EV’s! The Eco System Disruptions!

Below is an article which informs us about governments seriousness regarding introduction of EV’s in India. It is hoped that at least 30% of all new new vehicles by 2030 will be EV’s. Last year, government ordered 10000 EV’s and there is a plan to order the same quantity this year too! Government is also encouraging bus fleets to buy Electric buses. Himachal Pradesh has ordered 25 such buses and are being run in hilly areas. I saw a few of them plying, during my recent holiday in Manali.


What EV’s are going to do to various Eco Systems? When we discuss EV’s, discussion is about pollution, how long petroleum products will last etc. There is also a discussion about petroleum cartel holding human race to ransom. But there are many more disruptions that need to be considered. These are not only for individuals but for various agencies like government, businesses and many other systems. These need to adapt, change and modify to suit new environment created by the EV’s.

Take the case of governments tax collection. Tax collected on petroleum products are so huge that these are almost 100% of the price of the petroleum products. At every stage tax is collected. From refining, to distribution to sell. Both central and state governments will start losing this revenue when critical mass of new EV’s is reached. 2030 as indicated in the above mentioned article, may be that year. Government needs to find methods to make up for this revenue loss. Not all revenue will be lost but there will be a loss of big chunk. Another issue is the “fuel” that will replace petroleum products will be electricity which traditionally is being manufactured in Public sector. This fuel cannot be taxed very heavily,  as its usage will be multi-purpose, vehicles, industrial and domestic usage.

Another major change that has to happen is the growth in production of electricity. If this continues to happen using petroleum products, then pollution will come out of chimneys instead of car exhaust systems. Main thrust appears to be on solar systems but they will also have their own issues which need to be tackled in parallel with increase in production. Another method that is being undertaken is nuclear power. This will also help the ecosystem to achieve the same goals.

Why would people switch over to EV’s? In case of buses, since it is a public transport this can happen faster if funds are made available. These organizations are anyway public sector. Of course, cost of the vehicles needs to come down. From present knowledge, it appears that maintenance cost will be lower. With decrease in Electricity price, battery replacement costs may also become quite manageable over a period of time, due to mass production.

But the real numbers will be coming in cars. Why will people change over to EV’s, the cars? Cost of ownership is the going to be the answer. This is made up of Price of the Vehicle, Cost of servicing, cost of repairs, resale value and ease of use. To me the last factor is also very important though it is not a tangible factor. All other factors have been there in IC engine cars too! But this is a new factor that has come up. We are all used to just using the key to go where ever we want; if required, we go to the petrol pumps and fill it up! With EV’s it may not be as simple, to start with. We need to plan, we need to have cars that will give more mileage per charge. The current charging technology available takes about 30 to 40 minutes minimum, to fully recharge. How fast this technology will improve? Will the charging time reduce to 5 minutes or some such time? Only time can tell. This brings us to charging stations, which is going to be a factor by itself!

EV’s will need charging stations, bus operations will have their own stations. But cars will need a huge number of charging stations. In India, we should not forget two Wheelers. Two-wheeler companies are also thinking big in terms EV’s and those numbers could be large. First and foremost is going to be the charging time! Unless this reduces drastically, number of charging stations needed will be a big challenge! So, to me this improvement to around 5 minutes or less is almost mandatory! I am sure the improvement in battery technology will increase the capacity of batteries which in turn will increase per charge running of vehicles. Who should invest in charging stations? Who will invest in charging station? Current Oil companies can take up onus of this, being public sector companies. Chicken and egg situation will prevail in initial phase. Charging stations first or EV’s first will be the dilemma! ROI on charging stations will be tricky and priorities is going to be an issue. Till IC engine vehicles are manufactured, they will keep on having the pressure of exhaust pollution control. By 2030, something equivalent of Euro 8 or 9 standards will be prevalent.  Car companies and Oil companies both will have to invest a lot on pollution control during this phase, along with investments in EV’s. This is tricky because nobody can predict the speed at which proliferation of EV’s will take place. Lest we forget, EV’s are Zero pollution vehicles!

About charging stations, will the government agencies build them or private agencies build them? Private companies have an option of not building them. There will be  individuals who may have proper parking space in office or at their home. They will build their own station but that number is going to be small, at least to start with. But looking at vehicles parked on roads even at night in cities, common charging stations, like petrol pumps, looks to be the only way. Can there be a “Charging Station Cess” on all new vehicles sold? Will it be acceptable to burden IC’s engine car buyers to benefit EV buyers? Can local governments take part in this, in cities where EV’s will be sold in large numbers? When will they know the trend? When will they decide to do it? All these questions do not have easy answers, but these issues need to be resolved.

The drive train in IC engine cars, starting from Radiator and ending with Exhaust pipe, will be replaced by about 18 parts, maximum. Out of these, the motors and gear are the only so called moving parts! When there are less moving parts, there will be less repairs needed! In fact, Tesla is offering life-long warranty for their cars. So, the car service industry will be the first victim of EV introduction. Today major chunk of repairs after warranty period is over, are the drive train parts. When these repairs are simply not needed, will the service industry be viable at all? Will manufacturers offer the paid service life long, through owned outlets. This is already happening in spare parts business, where component manufacturers find it difficult to compete with the vehicle manufacturers.

Another major disruption will be component industry and their basic vendors like casting, forging industries and their allied industry. These industries today, employ millions of people. Since there will a major disruption in this eco system, things are going to be tough. If a certain business simply ceases to exist, what do you do in life? Not everyone plans 10/15 years in advance. By the time they realize this, it could be too late! This group of business men will have business knowledge but may not have where withal to completely switch over to something new! How many will be smart enough to change to a totally new and/or unconnected business?

Friends, I have seen my city Pune change from use of carriage pulled by horses (called tanga), to auto rikshas, to Ubers and Olas. Tangas simply don’t exist now! I have observed that riksha business will also taper off over a period of time. Riksha is not an elegant mode of transport and it appears that young generation does not want to come in this business, as it is NOT COOL! The advent of Metros in the city in next three years will push Rikshas and even Uber/Ola! I will definitely use a Metro, if possible! When I talked of major disruptions, I was talking of obsolescence too! History has been harsh, and there is no replacement or option for obsolescence. If a system has to go, it has to go whether it likes it or not! It is like death, one has to accept it. Welcome to the brave new world of EV’s.

A little deviation!

I generally avoid writing about things that are in public domain and especially related to politics. But some recent events have forced me to temporarily tweak my rule, maybe just this one time! So, pardon me. Many actions in public domain are supposedly taken with elections in view, or some such ulterior motives. As usual ruling party and oppositions parties do not see eye to eye on most things. Only time both sides seemed to have come together, are during national emergencies. But there have been no such emergencies. I am not talking of this government or that party. 

Today I read about a small plane carrying Rahul Gandhi and his close aides, flying from Delhi to Hubli. It appears that as the flight was approaching Hubli, the airplane suddenly lost height, became unstable, and pilots lost control. This was during day time and weather was clear with no obvious winds. Pilots took charge of the plane by shifting from Auto Pilot to manual mode and landed safely. On landing, the entourage approached the police and lodged an FIR, claiming sabotage. The FIR is lodged against the pilots! Do pilots not know if the plane crashed, they will also die? I do not know why FIR was lodged. All, including crew were petrified. If someone wanted to kill the leader why will they put the lives of unknown persons also, in jeopardy? The plane could fall and kill a few on ground too! Are we such a vicious country that we will try to kill some senior leader because of elections? Are we a set of “Stupids” to react this way? Are we so malicious, that we want to charge our opponents of murder? After getting down, the complaint could have been made to authorities. These authorities could have been requested to stop flying the plane for thorough inspection. (apparently this is now done) Who advised this group of people to complain about saboteur? What is this, stupidity or viciousness, naivety?  

On the other side, due to the rise in Oil prices in international markets, petrol and diesel prices at home are also sky rocketing. With elections around in some states and national elections next year, this is supposedly a disaster for the current government. But they are sticking to basic finance rules and not taking any action to reduce these rates by way of subsidies. Sometime back, Indian petroleum sector was linked to international oil prices. A couple of years back, we got the benefits of very low petrol/diesel prices. Popular measures may be good politics but it is not good for the nation. This is an extraordinary courage being shown by the government.  

Supreme Court Chief Justice issue is one more such saga. I do not understand much about law of the land. But it was apparent from the beginning that this action was going to boomerang on the people who started the action. First and foremost was that the opposition parties could not form a coalition, based on similar thinking. The numbers were not there, and according experts, logic behind the action was not tenable. With this background there was no point in moving ahead. But why they moved forward is a mystery! Do they have no other agenda? Do they have nothing viable to pressurize the government?  

AFSPA is Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA), are Acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms “disturbed areas”. Tripura government has withdrawn this act after 18 years. This was promulgated when situation there was bad and there was no option left. But somebody has reviewed this and taken a decision to withdraw these. This is creditable because generally nobody wants to bell the cat. Decisions in the government, are generally left to bureaucracy and their motto is status quo! Generally, there will be no review, things keep on lingering. One arm does not know what the other arm is doing! That reminds me of a small anecdote from Solapur district. In the district collector’s office, there was a file called “Report for the Queen”! Nobody knew what it was. But every month a group of officers was creating a mundane report, to be sent to the queen (of England), naturally! This procedure was started more than 100 years back during British Raj and continued till the year 2000! Review? What is that! 

Last but not the least is current China visit by our PM. Both our countries are large and with big population. Somehow China has been coming in the way of many things that India wanted to do on the world stage. May it be Pakistan, Sri Lanka or United nations China has always tripped India; on top of that there has been continuous probing on border posts in Himalayas. These type of skirmishes, are always stressful and can prove to be very expensive, even money wise, with no tangible results. Our PM has realized this and has taken first step to cool down tensions with China. There will be give and take, but we need to be pragmatic and keep our egos aside! That is the real diplomacy. I always felt that India was always lagging in finesse in diplomatic relations, though there has been improvement in last ten years or so. There were no declarations, no noise, just tête-à-tête between top bosses; it appears that meetings will be regular in future! I felt that this is a feather in the cap of our Government!  

Are we showing maturity in our governance? Are we not afraid to take steps which may be termed bold? But one thing is sure, we continue to be idiots, stupids and smart at the same time. Mainly the political arena has to change! Can we be a little smarter in our internal political moves also and try to be less confrontational? Hope we mature in this area too!  





Full Positivity!

Human body and mind are most complex things in this world to understand. In our body the design, the reactions, the capability to absorb physical as well as mental shocks is un believable! We sail through the life following different trajectories as per our destiny. But we do not know where it is going to take us. The destiny may lead us through our life with routine ups and downs but in some cases life can be full of major ups and downs. These ups and downs can be by way of illnesses, accidents, business upheavals. Each person will handle it in a different way.

A friend of mine went through a major upheaval almost 25 years back. His wife had paralysis attack and her activities have been severely restricted since then. He was working full time, his children were young and needed parental support. Luckily, his mother has been staying with them. First few years were tough for the family but they adjusted to the realities of life. It is easy for outsiders to say a few encouraging statements once in a while but it is the family that has to handle the situation. My friend managed everything beautifully. His daughters got married, he has grandchildren but the most fascinating part is the smile on his wife’s face. Whenever we meet, the smile on her face puts one at ease. We know how tough the life has been for her. She and her husband obviously decided to face the problem head on instead of shying away from it. I am sure when they came out of the immediate shock, they must have said, “It is not only the health issue but it is the issue related to the whole life. Unless we try and get the completely derailed life back on track, life is not going to be what it was. I am sure they both have worked very hard for the same. Both their faces are always with a smile. Adding to difficulties, now his mother is around 90 years of age so he needs to support both the lovely ladies, he of course has support staff but I am sure the smiles will be there forever! That is because they tried and successfully found a solution for the whole life! Hats off to the family!

I have another friend who also had a paralysis attack a couple of years back. His one side is paralyzed. Naturally he took some time to come to terms with the condition. Last time we met about six months back, initially he was not really comfortable even meeting us. But we met him again recently. As soon as we entered his house, we could see the change in his demeanor. He was smiling, he looked fresh and he chatted with us with enthusiasm. When I asked him how his new treatment was helping him; he explained that the lady who is giving treatment to him has told him that his whole body is being treated for improvement rather than only the paralyzed area. She has told him that to come out his problems, his whole body needs to synchronize and improve rather than only his damaged areas. After understanding what he said, a thought came to my mind. Will improvement only in body condition, improve his life quality? He should also try to improve his social life to the extent possible. Then I asked him, ” Why don’t you come to my home after a couple of weeks?” Initially both he and his wife were a little hesitant. But then I discussed with them the logistics. We ultimately found a solution. Then I explained to him why I am discussing this. I said, ” The lady has told you that it is not only the damaged parts of your body, but the whole body should synchronize. Taking this logic further some trials in socializing will take your recovery further as a whole. So it is the combination of our body and our mind is what makes the whole life!” He liked my thought and said, ” Pramod , I will definitely come to your house.

I also want to touch upon another important aspect of life in such situations! It is the person who is unwell, who takes the major brunt. But lest we forget, the person supporting the unwell person also shows great character. Handling the unwell human being for months and years is not easy. At the same time, this  person cannot discuss openly his or her feeling. They are not “allowed” fall sick. They have to keep on doing things with ever smiling face. They also show toughness in such situations. They are like infantry in the army taking the full-frontal brunt of the situation, day in and day out! In such situations, the person who is unwell and the person who attending have both to be equally positive, if not more in case of support person. In case of ladies, who tend to share some tears in tough situations, cannot even do that, to look positive!

Friends, I hope none of us have to go through such phases in life. I can say this from personal experience. When I went through cancer treatment in 2013/14, I have seen how Jaya struggled to support me. For one full month, I was required to be fed through rice tube. My first feed would be at 5.30 and my last feet ended at 11.00 pm. The feed was every three hours. I have seen Jaya juggling to handle the situation. At some stage, we took a decision to avoid even receiving phone calls. Though we knew that people were concerned about me, taking phones and responding was a task by itself, adding further to Jaya’s burden! But let me tell that Jaya handled the situation “womanly” yes pun intended; it could not be “manly”, men cannot do this with such an aplomb!

One thing all of us can do is to help others in best possible manner without intruding their private space. But don’t feel shy, do it! There have been others who supported Jaya! In tough situations, as the saying goes, only tough can get going! Rest assured, we have it in us, just do it! Only full blown positivity can encourage you to do it!


Do nothing holiday!

Why do we take holidays? There are different reasons for this. The working people take a holiday to come out of their day to day grind and to rejuvenate. Sometimes, we take holidays to visit relatives, to attend family functions. Other times we take a holiday to visit places, see things. But sometimes, we should take a holiday only for the sake of taking a holiday. But is it necessary that every time we travel, we should do something, see some places, perform some activity? Well, at least we took a ” do nothing holiday” for the first time and it was fun. One thing that is my favourite on any holiday is to watch human interactions along with nature!

We were planning for a holiday in the Himalayas. We were trying the eastern part of India and but in the end, somehow, we finalized on Manali. We booked the vacation for a week and had decided to take it easy. Except for arranging the travel logistics, we did not bother to find details about Manali, except for weather details. This was essential, as in the mountains the weather can be fickle, and it can become cold. We geared us with woollens; our planning was on the dot as the weather turned out to be the same as what we had encountered in the Alps last September, rainy and cold, at least for a few days.

During this holiday, we had decided not to do much of the research so that we could get some surprises when we reached the destination. We had some information about Manali. Our knowledge about Kullu Manali was 30 years old when our son Sachin had come here for trekking, while he was in school. As we landed at Kullu airport, it was a pleasant-looking small airport surrounded by mountains.

When we came out with our baggage, we were surprised to see only 5/6 cars that had come to pick up travelers, around 30 of us. How others were going to move further was a mystery. The driver said that the distance to our destination was about 45 km. In his inimitable way, he said, that it will take 1 ½ hrs. We took two hrs. Courtesy, very narrow and bad, bad roads. The same distance was covered in one hour and twenty minutes on return journey though the driver was not as brisk. This was because we started our journey at 5.30  am

Manali in April presented us with snow-clad peaks, cold weather, sunshine, and rain to our surprise. Of course, it also gave us local Puri Bhaji and Parathas. When it was not cloudy, weather was divine though we had to wrap ourselves in caps, mufflers, and jackets. Our main plan was sitting on the lawns and soaking in the sun and nature. We did take a few photos and a couple of videos, but the main agenda was to absorb the sights and whatever we could absorb from nature. What more do we want in life when you get beautiful nature, lovely weather and surroundings, birds chirping; add to this our usual reading stuff!

Please keep volume high to hear the birds chirping!

We knew that Manali is famous for trekking, white water rafting, skiing, paragliding, and snow. We found another adventure activity there. At Solan Valley, we saw a couple of hundred three-wheel cross country bikes. People take cross country rides on these bikes, with a driver. Behind the driver, there is a two-seater bench where parents and kids sit to enjoy the ride! We were also lucky to see the light snowfall. The flowers in bloom at our resort were beautiful.

Besides the surprises of Manali, we enjoyed our human interaction. We met a doctor couple from Mumbai. Young folks with their 6/7-year old child and their mother, who needed support even to climb down the stairs. But their enthusiasm was to be seen to believed. They had driven down from Mumbai, and the total driving distance was going to be about 4000 km. Driving this distance with their mother, who had physical difficulty in moving around, must be tough. The mother would stay in the hotel all the time when the gang went for trekking and other activities!

We met a couple from Pune, our age group, with their developmentally disabled daughter, who must have been about 40 years of age. They were on a circuitous tour from Delhi to Dharamsala to Manali and back. An arduous journey by road for anybody. But their enthusiasm and the way they handled their daughter’s needs was amazing.

The best interaction with people happened at Pune Airport when we came back. We hired an Ola Cab. When we sat in the cab, the driver said that it was his first trip. I asked him why he started so late during the day; we hired the Cab at 6.30 pm. He said that it was his first trip with Ola! We both gave congratulations to him and wished him great business in the future! He was so naïve that he was unaware of basic things. When the trip started, I gave him the OTP I had received from Ola. He asked me what to do with the OTP. I said that he had to key it in. Did he ask me where to punch the OTP? I naturally did not know. Then I suggested to ask him to check with another Ola driver. It was finally done. He was very helpful, and at home, he put our bags in the lift for us; in fact, he forced us to wait on the side!

We had the pleasure of meeting one couple from Nasik. The husband was an engineer, and his wife a painter. We naturally found some common friends. We had a lovely time with each other. A couple of times, we had a local lunch together.

As planned, did we not do anything? We did a lot of things which we should be doing. We interacted a lot with people. We did not rush into things. Manali “activities” were anyway not suitable for our age group. We soaked into nature, enjoyed the surroundings. Eating and purchasing were only incidental, but trying local stuff was the main aim. One so-called activity we did was going to the Spa! That 90-minute activity was very relaxing, but so was our “not doing anything”! The 90 minutes in Spa gave me deep insight into Manali, local life and surroundings, from my masseur! This “not doing anything” bug has caught up with us, and I am sure our next holiday will also be similar.

Faith or Facts?

Discussions are always going on about how advanced science and technology was in our old civilization; there have been references like use of Pushpak Viman by Lord Ram. Honestly, one does not really know how to handle such discussions. Discussions about old civilizations are mainly based on religious dialogues and sentiments. Religion is a matter of faith not knowledge. When you try to marry the two there is confusion. This issue is perhaps there, in every faith. However, the problem is accentuated, when to this mismatch of knowledge and religion, politics is added. 

Tripura Chief Minister  Biplab Kumar Deo made a statement that there was internet during Mahabharata. Mr. Deb is not the first politician to claim that modern day technology existed in mythology. In January, Satyapal Singh, a junior education minister in PM Modi’s cabinet, criticized the theory of evolution, claiming “nobody saw apes turn into human“. In February, he said mantras‘ had codified Newton’s Laws of Motion. 

Now this is a topic that is always going to generate heat, and heat it is generating. What is correct and what is wrong is individual choice; this sometimes is blinded by faith, every body has his own justification and thought process. Probably it starts with people who are totally religious and those who are atheist! Two ends of the spectrum. Most will be in between. But the thought process about mythology depends on whether you are scientific minded or not. Those with scientific mind will heat everything in the crucible of thought and analysis. It is possible  that for some people who are trained in science still may not want to analyze it scientifically. It is the faith element in those persons which is stronger that the analytical part. 

But do we make fun of people who have stronger belief in faith than in thinking logically? Do we say something which we normally don’t say to each other? No way! Let us be fair to each other. You may try and have a dialogue with such people, try to explain to them your point of view if it is different. It is normal way of life, we have difference of opinion on a subject. Why should there be excitement in saying or writing on such issues?  

But then another thought comes to my mind. I tend more towards atheism and I am also trained in science side of life and have been working all my life in the same area. So my mind veers towards analyzing everything, including religious things. There have been many inventions that were claimed to exist during times of our old civilization. But I feel that this thought process is made by people who believe in it and is presented to suit and strengthen their arguments. These and many more abstracted truisms are just based on optical and physical observations and concentrated analytical thinking, in olden times. The disadvantage these people had was that they had to study without the help of instruments, now available to the scientists! So, we can claim that we knew about a lot about things terrestrial but I do not think we knew real details! Another thought that always comes to mind is that written records of history are a recent phenomena, compared to the time frame of our civilization. I am really not sure about the authenticity of the records, as there have been no written records. All the knowledge, information was passed on verbally to next generation. Similar was the case of other sciences like medical treatments. The quality of passing of this knowledge depended on the person who passed on the knowledge and the person who received the knowledge. In Marathi, there is saying ध चा मा! A king gave an order to his juniors to arrest someone; one change in the alphabet in that order, indicated by ध चा मा, ended up killing that person instead of being arrested. These small errors could have multiplied as the knowledge was passed on from generation to generation, in absence of written records. This is profoundly reflected in Ayurveda. Ayurveda had an advantage of being around for a long time, compared to other medical pathys. But in absence of such record keeping, many good treaties and treatments may have been lost or got diluted. This of course, is another subject for discussion because Ayurveda fell behind later due to lack of research. 

I must write about how people go overboard about things supposedly present during mythological times. Lord Rama started to go to Ayodhya from Sri Lanka, after killing Ravana, on Dussara day. When he reached Ayodhya, people were ready to celebrate the event by putting lights or Diya’s everywhere! Of course, I am talking of Diwali. They said that this is the reason Diwali is celebrated 21 days after Dussera, time taken by Ram to reach Ayodhya from Srilanka. There was a google map in circulation,  showing the path followed by Lord Ram to reach in 21 days. It was straight as an arrow passing through jungles and mountains and crossing large rivers. We find it difficult even today, to traverse certain paths with modern roads and vehicles but… Secondly, how were people in Ayodhya ready for the arrival? Internet, cell phone, of course we had them during those days.

Ex Police Commissioner of Mumbai and now a Junior minister, Satyapal Singh says that Darwin’s theory is meaning less because he has never seen apes getting converted into humans. Now when people like an ex commissioner of police of Mumbai and chief minister of the state say such things for political purpose, it is more of an embarrassment and not correct. Of course we can then say that Dhritrashtra was getting all the information from the war zone, sitting in his palace, by live streaming! I am ok with someone who says that my life is better if everyday I go to a mandir! Perfect, nothing wrong in that. It is the faith of that person. If someone claims that his life better as he chants mantras every day, I am ok. He says these things after the event! Someone’s belief in faith is acceptable. But the above mentioned statements by Ministers, are rather difficult to digest, freedom of speech and all count but there has to be some logic behind what one claims. 

I met a person recently who was doing some archeological study in interior of our country. After digging deep they found some artifacts which were probably 2000 years old. I asked him what was his conclusion. He said, that they concluded the old civilization definitely had WiFi during those days because they did not find anything like cables etc!  






सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते! Beloved in my dreams!


I am sharing this song with you as this one is rare and my favourite! This is a Lata Madan combo!

 सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते एक याद रही एक भूल गये,  

सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते 

एक रात मिलनकी आयी थी और उसके बाद जुदाई थी  

गम और ख़ुशी की दो राते  

गम और ख़ुशी की दो राते  एक याद रही एक भूल गये,  

सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते 


एक सावन की रुत लायी झुले, दुजी में सजन हम को भुले  

देखी हैं यही दो बारसातें, एक याद रही एक भूल गये  

सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते 


एक रोज तुम्हे दिल दे बैठे, फिर रोग बिरह का ले बैठे  

ये प्यार की हैं दो सौगाते, एक याद रही एक भूल गये  

सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते एक याद रही एक भूल गये,  

सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते 

Many  a  times,  I  have heard  people  talking  about  Hindi  Film  songs  in  two  extreme  emotions.  Hindi film songs are  either described in  derogatory manner   or  they  are treated as  gift  from  God.  Likes  and  dislikes  about  songs  is  individual  choice.  So  these  reactions  are  understandable. Recently I have started going into details of understanding of the meaning implied in the songs. Some the lyricists have been legends and the songs they have written are phenomenal. Of course, many times it so happens that the songs are just inserted for TRP, maybe as good as on public demand. Here I am not  writing about this aspect of Hindi film songs. 

This song is from the movie “Gateway Of India” It is a 1957 movie, singer Lata Mangeshkar, Madan Mohan’s music and the lyricist is Rajinder Krishan. Song is picturised on Madhubala. This song is a typical Lata-Madan combination. 

You are swayed by enchanting romance, moods of dejection and a feel of refinement when you listen to any of the songs by these greats. Both had a great chemistry together, which helped them highlight the female protagonist of Hindi movies through some soothing Ghazals.. 

The wordings of this song are very simple, with no fancy words, no Urdu jaban, but the song  talks beautifully about life’s philosophy. सपने मे सजनसे दो बाते  is  the  refrain from the song and has been used beautifully. (Refrains are the lines repeated in a song) This song talks of the expression of thoughts by the lover about her beloved, in her dreams. This thought itself gives mystical dimension to the song. The lover is saying that, ” I  spoke  with my  beloved  about  two  things  but  I  remember  only one  but  I  forgot  the  other.”  She  is so involved  in  her  love  that  has  become  forgetful. The  night  they met was  followed  by  separation.  This  is  typically  sadness  followed  by  joy  in  our  life.  Come  to  think  of  it,  if  only  joy  or  sadness  existed  in  our  life,  we  won’t  really  feel  the  other.  Joy  exists  because  there  is  sadness,  sorrow!  What  we  need  in  life  is  change.  What  state  we  are  in  and  what  events  will  happen  in  our  life  is  destiny  and  we  can  not  control  it. This interchange of joy and sorrow brings back our sanity.

In  the  next  stanza  the  lyricist  takes  this  to  a  new  height. In  the  hindu  month  of  Shravan  there  is  tradition  to  tie  swings  to  the  trees  to enjoy  the  arrival  of  rains. The  rains  also  help  us  in  our  fields  and  brings  water  to  the  drying  rivers.  The  first  smell  of  the  rain  drops  falling  on  the  heated  soil  is  the  same  joy  that  we  all  feel.  But  as  the usual cycle  is,  joy is  to  be  followed  by  sorrow! With second shower my beloved has forgotten me! Cycle of joy and sorrow continues.  It follows the same pattern of feeling of joy and forgetting sorrow.  

The lover finally says, my beloved I gave you my heart on a platter with joy but I never knew that I will be caught in the sorrow of separation. It was my joy to give you heart my beloved but never knew that separation will be like a disease. These contrasting feelings are part of our life but get highlighted between lovers as the emotions are very high. 

The sorrow of separation and joy of togetherness has been beautifully used to explain our life. This can be between mother and child, two friends, or your separation with your pets! In any relationship this is bound to happen. Rajinder Kishan has given this superb song in which is very simple but at the same time full of meaning.  

This song is rarely heard on radio/tv and I was lucky to see Lata sing this song live, in late 70’s on DD Srinagar. I was simply struck by the simplicity and beauty of this song. I had to wait for the advent of internet  to get this song. Who am I to talk of the virtuoso duo of Lata and Madan? They are legends and they give us joy. The joy they give us, helps us overcome different sorrows that come in our lives. There are many such combinations like Lata/Madan in our Hindi movies. Hope I am able to share a few more combinations with beautiful and meaningful songs with you.





I am the best!

Our Tera Firma is full of smart people. In last 50 to 70 years the innovations, evolution of technology has gathered momentum which is far swifter than what happened in previous 2000 years. This has happened because of the people who besides being smart, innovative were humble too or may be some of them were not! They knew that any idea that becomes popular may easily get pushed aside by a better idea or a product. Maybe some of them hardly had any choice as one can’t stop advent of new things especially in technology area. 

Digital cameras is a classic case of the  inventor  being  flat  footed.   Digital  cameras  were  invented  by  Kodak ,  the  pioneer  in  cameras  and  films.  They  invented  the  digital  camera  but  apparently  forgot  about  it. Later Cannons and   Konicas  of  this  world  just  blasted  Kodak  out  of  business  by  bringing quality, reasonably priced digital cameras in the world in large volumes. By the time Kodak woke up it was too late! They went into bankruptcy. Now these same digital cameras are being included in cell phones. These cameras in cell phones, are becoming better and better. So, what is the future of digital cameras as we know them? Honestly, it is difficult to judge but is it possible that digital cameras will come with a SIM card in future or we may have cell phones with better and better cameras. I am not talking fantasy. Recently I read that Jio, Mukesh Ambani’s company is bringing out Laptops with SIM cards with the idea of always being connected. Then do you need WiFi? I don’t know what this will do to the current market conditions. However, there are already cheaper hotspot devices, with 4G, available in the market. For a fee of Rs.400/ per month this hotspot can be connected to 10 devices. Then will we need SIM card for an individual Laptop? This is how the technology is changing swiftly. All the current and new players in the market will have to come up with their own variations to ween away customers towards their technology!  

Electric Vehicles, especially cars, were considered as niche products in the market and maybe people thought that they were competition, at US $ 100,000/ price, to high end cars like Mercedes, BMW and Audi. This was only a couple of years back. Besides Tesla, other car makers are also showing nimbleness. They have already come with their own EV’s and going strongly in bringing EV’s in mass production.  The other car makers already know how to manufacturers millions of cars, so once they master Electrical drive train technology at a competitive price, things will change drastically. What will happen to today’s drive train industry? We don’t know. But there is a good chance that this industry will become sunset industry. Maybe 20 years? I have had a discussion with couple of friends who are running allied industries in auto field. They are worried and are already thinking in terms of change over. Their nimbleness will help them. But a few others are still saying that EV’s is a passing fad! For their sake, I hope they are right but my mind tells me otherwise. They are “I am the best” types.

We see similar case in Indian IT industry. Our IT business was started by doyens of IT industry. They have done a fantastic job of bringing India on world IT map. Indian IT business grew by leaps and bounds and has created technology culture in India. They also created large number Indian millionaires and now billionaires. Their contribution has helped India in other sectors! They have made India confident too. But during last few years there have been signals, that this model of service providers is not going work for a long time. Indian companies need to go up the value chain. These companies on Nasdaq are officially described as “Providing technology consulting, application, system integration and engineering services” that means these are service industries. In India, they call themselves as software  companies.  It is with this false nomenclature they have started thinking that are software product companies.  They started the culture of people sitting on bench, as per demands of their customers. For those who don’t know the meaning of “sitting on bench” this is what happens. The customers ask the service providers to ensure that additional 20% people are assigned to the project but they have no work. If the project is of 2 years duration,  then   these 20% folks have no work for two years.  What culture have we developed? Should we not be going away from this method? 20 is a substantial % to be forced to remain idle. This according to me is poor management, in crude language run by bean counters. Is profit the only motive? What about the career of 25/30 year old young people? Once they get used to this life, they would be happy to remain idle, if possible, all their life!

Once there was a meeting between a doyen of IT industry with CEO of an American company.   The American company is a world’s top end product company employing 5 thousand people   where as the Indian company employs  1.5 lacs people.  Out of 45 minutes meeting the doyen talked for 40 minute and the CEO for five minutes. Both their turnovers are same. Doyen never felt it necessary to find out how the same turnover is achieved with so few people. He must have got same opportunities to talk with many such people world over but probably, “I am the best attitude” has kept the thought process where it was ten years back. I hardly read any news about this company trying to go up the value chain. Attempts made by a new CEO were brought to null by the doyen with his “Expert” knowledge! In such fast changing world, even a year or two of sluggishness, can put a company under severe strain; but maybe these “Limited” companies are “personal limited” companies even though share holdings of the doyens are low. Going up the value chain, what is that? I know how to run this company. “I am the best.”

All the best to Indian IT industry and hope better sense will prevail at some stage. I have seen enough small companies which have made software products and are up the value chain. Typical case is “Tally”. They have made an ERP suitable for India and millions of copies have been sold. Quick Heal is another company that comes to mind. Their security products have become well known. For both these companies their Profit/Turnover per employee is pretty good. If these smaller companies can do it why all the service giants  cannot do it? They have mountains of cash reserves. They don’t know what to with it. Is it the proverbial  Ostrich’s head in the sand?




To do or Not to do!

Advent of technology brings many benefits to the human race in curing illnesses, diseases and body conditions. They also help in better and improved diagnosis due to inventions like imaging technology. When modern techniques like Laser are used in surgeries, the benefits are manifold. The Laser technique uses probes to perform surgeries; this avoids the external cuts hence improves the healing process and  speed.  I know of someone, 91 years of age, who underwent a surgery, which without Laser technique may not have been possible.

But again the new techniques and technology  are used  for  certain procedures  which are not  proven or their long term effects are unknown.  There is a  procedure called Lasik. LASIK or Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery for the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologists who use a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye’s cornea in order to improve visual acuity. For most people, LASIK provides a long-lasting alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.

While talking to an eye surgeon, I  asked  him  his  opinion  about  Lasik.  He said that anything that is done to our  body,  against  the  nature,  can  be risky,  dangerous  and  some of the detrimental effects  may be  seen  after  a  long  period has passed.  He felt  that  this  maybe  done  for  a  specific  reason;  for  example, for joining  armed  forces  certain  eyesight  requirements  are  there. This  is  also  done  on  people  who  want  to  be  in  show  biz  like  movies,  TV.  Using eye  glasses is considered taboo for younger aspirants. But he made a valid statement. He said, ” In our city there are 13 eye surgeons who perform this surgery for sometime. Why not a single one of them has undergone Lasik? If they perform this surgery on hundreds of patients, do they not find it safe enough?”  This reminded me when I had visited an electronic item chain store called Radio Shack, in Boston with my son Sachin.  We bought a few items and went for billing. This was many years back. Their system was so slow that I said to my son, jokingly, that these guys seem to have ancient computer systems that have a speed of a bullock cart. I said this in Marathi. The person on the counter was smart enough, he understood what I had said, “Sir, upgrades are for customers, not for us!” Like  many  drugs,  these  new  procedures  will  have  side  effects  but we don’t  stop  using them.  In  fact  judicious  use  of  modern  technology  is  going  to improve  our  life style.  Laser  assisted  cataract  operations  are  the  classic examples  of  such use.

Humans  are  known  to go overboard  sometimes,  and  get  things  done  that  should  not  be  done.  These procedures maybe  essential in show  business (says who?)  but  can  cause  lethal  damage, sometimes.  Michael Jackson  and Sridevi  are  two  names  that  come  to  mind.  They  had  performed  some  procedures  over  a  period  of time  which  made  their  skin  lighter.  Both of them, originally had darker complexion. If we compare their  videos from  early  and  later  days,  you  can  distinctly  notice  the  change  in  colour  of  their  skins. Even a nondoctor like me understands that the skin colour  rarely changes  over  our  life  time. Skin colour is due to Melanin, and it is HIS gift! We cannot do much to change it!  What treatment they took, I am not aware.

But both of them had early deaths which could have been due flogging of their body to improve their skin  colour.  A well-known blogger and writer  Ratna  Rajaiah  had written an interesting blog  about  skin  colour. As we are all aware that the South Indians normally have dark skins. She mentioned that in Southern India, during growing phase of girls, there is an advice given to her to “Talc Yourself”; just finished your bath, talc yourself. Going out, talc yourself, have done nothing for some time, talc yourself. She mentioned that “talc oneself” is an obsession in South Indian ladies. The weather conditions are very humid and add to that the colour of skin, this leads to excessive use of talcum powder. It has been a human thought process since thousands of years, that anybody who is good, is fair skinned and those who are bad have always been dark skinned. This old thinking prevails and people want to be “Gora”, fair skinned.

This obsession has led to people taking treatments for the skin “improvement”. They should have asked their surgeon if anyone from surgeon’s family was given this treatment. Maybe all these doctors were Caucasians! Another thing people want to control is their body shape. It is well proven over thousands of years what is good and what is bad for our body. But still people go out of their way to control weights and in case of women their figure, the so called 36-24-36-hour glass figure. Controlling weight is good but good idea is to eat sensible things and exercise regularly. People don’t do these things and then want to do crash diet, follow severe work out regimens.

Another thing that ladies do, is to control body to “Zero Figure”. Honestly, I do not know the real meaning of this. But the girls who are in modelling and advertising, try to achieve Zero figure. For what? God has made woman’s body keeping in mind child bearing capabilities. Procreation is the most important aspect of human life which keeps continuity. HE has given the right size, shape and contours to take care of child bearing. Ok, you don’t want a child but HE is not going change design only for you. By making such drastic changes in your body, you are inviting trouble. I hear that some these girls have bulimia. Bulimia is an emotional disorder characterized by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging. Princess Diana had bulimia!

As usual the questions arise why, why and  why?

Friends I shared with you some things  where  doctors  do  some  procedure  on  patients  but  will  never  do  it  on  themselves.  People in show business get somethings done, but these  are  basically  against  nature.  Some people follow regimen which  are  against  HIS design.  So  is  your  career  so  important?  Is looking beautiful so important  even  if  the  risks  are  known?  Is bulimia accepted? Why not try a different profession? There are enough choices in life, choose the right one, choose the path which does not go against the nature. To me at least, health is more important than the so called successful career.

Be happy in life! It’s in your hands!


Life is full of things that we like and dislike. Some like tea and some don’t. Some like their drink and some don’t. Life is a combination of good things and bad things, sad things and happy things. Our overall situation in life decides the quality of life we lead. It is said that one can be reasonably happy, if we have no day to day worries about money. But I have seen people who are less fortunate with money are as happy as those with money or vice versa. Money is just one of the factors. Ultimately, it depends on your attitude towards life, your ability to accept situations as they come. It is your ability to face adversities upfront and surmount them, that can make life easier, and hence happier. It is your ability to “Like”. I am sure people who like you and those you like, will improve the situation.

But to me, the most important likes and dislikes in our lives, are  people. We come across many people in our life from childhood. This starts with our parents, siblings, friends, relatives, colleagues and so on. In the diagram above, the top circle and the circle on the left side are the most important people to us. The circle at the bottom is also equally important because it is in our hands, to like or dislike people. The circle on the right side is one, on which we have no control. Being happy in life is 75% in our control from what we can see in the diagram. Then are we happy in our lives? If 75% things are in our favour what can be the reasons for being unhappy? Who is to be blamed for the situation?

What can be the basis for liking or disliking people? There are no fixed formulae to decide why some things happen. I met my friend Rufus just by chance, 12 years back. He was 67 at that time and I was 57. The moment I saw him, I knew that this is the person I am going to like. We had bought a home in the colony where Rufus lived and we went to live there, that year. We just became good friends. Of course, it is not so simple in all the cases. There is a good chance that your childhood friendships may turn out in a life-long friendship but it needs to be nurtured. To “like” people is also part of nurturing.

In case of such friend’s, liking is mutual and it occupies the two “like” circles. But to like a person, you don’t have to be friends or relatives. These can be acquaintances, these can be people you meet in your daily activity, your service providers and many such people. They can be your business associates too! I have met many such people who have been meeting me in work related meetings. But we like each other. We have been discussing strongly in work related meetings,  we stick to own views and points but we have always managed to keep these discussions aside, over a cuppa, once the meeting got over! Luckily there are very few people in my life who dislike me, even though, I have tried various things to change their way of thinking about me. There have been only 1 or 2 people in my case, who disliked me but it was never mutual. There can be people who may dislike you under certain circumstances. But that should be treated as part of life. One should have ability to discern that such circumstantial likes and dislikes are temporary and should be treated as such. This will help you in keeping right and bottom circles as empty as possible.

When people like you, life is full of joy. Imagine people waiting for you to join them! There can be some people who are at the opposite ends of spectrum in life. A politician and a doctor or businessman and a police officer. One may be fond liquor and another maybe a teetotaler. Someone a pure vegetarian and another maybe fond of non-vegetarian food. Since these people like each other they will get along well. It is not what you eat or drink that brings people closer. It is your personality, behaviour, you thought processes and your ethics towards life. Sometimes these thoughts match and other times they may not match; but there will be some common grounds and people will start liking each other. They will agree to disagree on certain points. Then people bond and start liking each other, more. There will be exceptions like my friend Rufus whom I liked instantly that too in late stage of life.

Friends, what can we do to reach the “circles of like”? What should we do about people whom we dislike? In this case we should analyze why we dislike these people. We should find out the real reason about the dislike. It is possible that the dislike is generated because of some misunderstanding. This can be true in the case where people dislike you. Try to remove misunderstandings. If you get an opportunity then try to discuss this aspect, one on one. In the case where people dislike you, try to find out from people close to them if they know why you are disliked? Try to find out what has really happened? In any case, try and resolve it to the best of your abilities. Ultimately, you sometimes have to be a little selfish also. If the person who dislikes is your customer, then good idea will be to resolve the issue, from the business angle, try it. Sometimes you may have to reach a decision to let go!

Friends, I have found many times that we meet some people who may be “over smart”, chances are that they will have inferiority complex in 90% cases. Don’t form opinions without knowing people well. One sure way of making people like you, is to have smile on your face, all the time. Keep your mind open to hear them out first. Especially in work, it is better to do that because then you can base your strategy based on what they are saying.

The other day, I was in a vehicle manufacturers plant. I met a business associate after a long time. He is senior to me by about 4 years. I felt energized after meeting him. Later, I met a few of the officers and they also gave me the same feedback. They said, ” He is a tough businessman. But when we have meeting with him, we feel energized after the meeting is over.” I will plan to try and achieve this in future! I go to Facebook sometimes. Mark Zuckerberg has understood the importance the concept of “like”! He tries to tell people to “Like”!  We all do “Likes” in virtual world so why not in real world?

New Great Wall of China!

In modern times, we are required to deal with many agencies both private and governmental. Some times, problems do crop up. Many times, to resolve the issues we are forced to deal with call centers or an e mail id. This can be frustrating. It is modern world’s “New Great Wall of China”. One can be very tired, frustrated and sometimes desperate, climbing it. If you are lucky, you may deal directly with a person who is actually handling this problem. But all this is not for weak hearted people.

A lady staying in Pune was drawing her government pension for last 10 years, naturally in a bank in Pune. Suddenly, somebody in the system realized that there was an error. The address in government files was from another state, Gujarat. 10 years? I think it is too long a period to not realize this error. System has made this error for 10 years now onus should be on the system to tell the lady how to correct this error. What does the system do? Simply tells her to go to Gujarat to withdraw her pension. All the large organizations, whether private or government have their own issues, some are functioning issues and some are issues where procedures are blindly followed.

Let me share with you story of  Citi bank. Jaya has been using their credit card for years. Recently when there was a directive to link Aadhar card to credit cards, we sent the documents to them. After one month, Yes! one month, she got a mail that Aadhar link cannot be done as name on Aadhar card is incorrect. We were surprised as the same has been linked to many bank accounts etc. So, we called their call center and were told the same thing. Then we decided to investigate it. Aadhar name ok, Credit card name ok, Address is ok. After going online, to check the details in Citi Bank system, we found her name displayed as P Jaya Krishna. We called the call center again; we explained the whole thing and said that name registered in their records is wrong. Name on the card is correct. We were told to send all documents again, we also sent them the passport copy. After one more month, we got the same message your KYC cannot be done due to incorrect documentation. We followed the same procedure through internet, via courier, and as a precautionary measure we went to the banks local branch and personally explained the issue to an officer. He arranged to send the documents to credit card department and wrote a mail to them in front of us. End result, zilch! We keep on getting mails that the card will be blocked if KYC procedure is not completed. What action did we take? Simple, even a better credit card from another bank was procured. If this can happen in case of Jaya, what will people who do not have resources to handle such things do? What will young people do? They have difficulty initially in even getting credit cards. This is supposed be one of the better banks!

I am by no means saying that nothing works. Some large organizations have superb methods of resolving the issues when the highest person is approached. I have a couple of good examples too. But why the problems are not resolved at the level where they should have been resolved.

One of my colleagues dealt with Amazon India. She was facing many issues during a particularly trying week. Cell phone ordered by her was not being delivered. Her order cancellations were not completed and there were issues about partial supplies. She was totally frustrated. Their call center was stone walling. When I came to know about this issue, I said lets us try extreme measures. I looked on the net and Lo! I found formal e mail id Jeff Bezos. An appropriate but brief e mail was written on that id regarding issues not getting resolved. This was done at 5 pm. On the next day from 9.30 in the morning she started getting e mails, phones and parcels. Yes, the person handling big boss’s id pushed the right keys and maybe kicked the butts!

We had booked a Maruti car, ages back. Later on, we realized that there was going to be official delay as they had strike at their plant. We cancelled the booking and I requested for the refund for Rs.10000/. The sales person told me that there will be a deduction of Rs.2500/ as processing fee. I said, ” Only tangible service you provided was some tea. You can deduct the amount for tea.” But he was adamant. I found the e mail id of then CEO of Maruti and wrote to him a brief mail. Next day at 9 o’clock, the dealer person called and said, ” Sir, I want to come to your office to deliver the cheque for Rs. 10000/. When can I come?” Problem solved.

Then there is story about now defunct King Fisher Airline, owned by Vijay Mallya. Their refund policy said that it takes 8 working days for a refund to be paid. When I called their call center, the usual dilly dallying was going on, it was already one month. In the end, I made a casual statement, “Looks like I have to talk to Vijay Mallya for this.” Within 15 minutes I got a confirmation that the money was refunded.

There are stories galore but I always wonder what happens to people who don’t have the experience of such situations, do not have contacts at high places, maybe they just don’t have the wherewithal to handle situations. What do they do? Keep on wasting their time finding a solution, or sometimes simply give up. I sometimes fear , that the systems are designed to stall, and not to solve the problems. At the call centers you cannot talk to higher authorities as they never put you through to someone else. One trick I have found, it succeeds most of the times. When you are getting connected to the call center, they give a message that the call is being recorded for training purpose. Take advantage of this statement. This statement also implies that the call center person cannot disconnect the call. When you reach status quo, tell the person that you are not going disconnect till you get to take to talk to someone else, maybe a senior guy. At least in my case in 70% of times, my issues got resolved.

When they train you in schools and colleges, they train you for many things but you are never trained to climb this “New Great Wall of China”. Share your experiences with as many people as possible and get feed backs from others on the subject. This is one skill set nobody teaches you but you are going to need the most! I am opening an institute for training in these skills. Care to join our courses?   Our call center number is 1800 xxx yyy! You may call between 9 to 6, Monday to Friday! And 9 to 1 on Saturdays!