Sameer Agarwal

His views, thoughts, introspection and rants

Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Take Light!

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I was at the gym and was getting irritated with this obnoxious trainer – for lack of customer service and in fact being arrogant. Cut back a few hours and I was getting irritated with things at work; people at work. Huh. Getting irritated with everyone; a gym trainer of all people, imagine! 

And then I thought. Take Light. Is anybody worth it. Chillllllll!

Think about such things very often; but I sure hope I can live it – stay unaffected.

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January 12th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Feelings,Rants

Fighting terrorism

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I won’t talk about the recent shameful and dreadful terror attack on Mumbai per se – but on what to do next. My thoughts on how to fight this menace; not that I’m an expert… but just my two cents I guess.

We can’t hope for situations like this to get addressed by mere rhetoric or patriotism. We do need an investment in basic police infrastructure so that a Karkare doesn’t die fighting AK56s with a .303 rifle and a half sleeve bullet-proof vest! So that a bunch of boys do not come sailing in boats, land on the Gateway of India and start firing indiscriminately and take hundreds hostage; without the Information Bureau having no clue about it!

We do need a solid security infrastructure to fight this; maybe we already have one. But beyond building infrastructure we need reforms as well – why can’t we pay our armed forces and police better? Why do we raise a hue and cry over the 24 eggs that an army officer gets? You pay peanuts and you get monkeys… right?

And, we need to leave politics behind when it comes to fighting terror. Why do we need a Shivraj Patil as the home minister who has no idea about what he needs to do and has the audacity to continue staying in office despite terror attacks every few weeks? Now that he has quit (or fired) it seems fixed – but is it really? Is it about Patil himself, or is this a larger issue? Why does LK Advani have to say “Oh this is worse than the last time…”?

And, we need to fight corruption. It takes a bicycle, and not a passport, to come from Nepal/Bangladesh to India and then 200 Rs for a ration card. How can we allow this to happen? How can we sell our country for 200Rs? Is this how we grow at 8% year on year I wonder!

The Bottom-line: the main culprit is our so called ‘spirit’ to move on… heck how can we get so thick skinned. We’re concerned today, but will soon forget it like the hundreds other terror attacks in this country before. I think we only deserve it. I liked what Suhel Seth said yesterday on a TV channel – we need surgery not band-aids… we don’t need elections; call a national emergency and fix it NOW…

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December 1st, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Why can’t you say it straight?

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Hell, rant again. Seems like I’m the most inspired to blog when I have a rant. Why on earth will I want to make a rant public? I guess it’s similar to just “talking it out”. So here goes.

One thing that really pisses me off is when people can’t say it straight. I don’t seem to understand why this fear psychosis really spans everyone – across gender, ranks and culture! I guess there is one set of people who have the courage/assertiveness to say things the way they mean and the other much larger set who can’t.

Why can’t Yes or No be easier to say. Whoever believes in Ms Rand anyway! There is no black or white for them; it is all gray and as ambiguous as it gets. Some people survive on ambiguity for they feel it keeps their options open. Am I one of them? Very difficult for me to answer, but I sincerely hope that I’m not. May God always give me the courage to call a spade a spade. Amen!

Ok I’m feeling better now :)

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October 29th, 2008 at 6:20 pm

This one is just to break the hiatus

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I’ve been hibernating for two months now. Been completely off blogging; off reading; off exercising. Crazy how I get so caught up in life. Looking at the past two months – it started with getting awfully busy, ‘that’ broke the routine and the discipline was gone. End result – a completely weird routine…. It’s funny how blogging reflects my personal patterns. If I’m blogging regularly that sort of means I’m more organized those days. Hehe!

Anyway such hibernation happens to me every once in a while. The good thing is that I do wake up! Let’s see how long I stay awake this time….

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October 20th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Rants

Half of live bands’ income comes from extortion?

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Reacting to a story by Times of India here. Shankar M Bidari, police commissioner of Bangalore, very proudly says that before his predecessor Ajai Kumar Singh did not regulate live bands:

did business worth Rs 1 crore every day, of which Rs 50 lakh came through robbery, extortion and land dealings

Wonder what sort of study was commissioned to arrive at this data. Moreover, if the police has this data, then why not use live bands as a bait to catch the robbers, extortionists and land mafias?!

Now read on, this is interesting. These people have obviously no idea what they’re saying -

The commissioner said this was a clear indication of the reason for increasing crime. “We are not against music or entertainment but don’t want any activities which will increase crime in the city,” said Bidari.

Okay. So what’s the correlation Mr Bidari? I don’t see any. If the criminals are spending their money on patronizing live bands, does that mean that the relation is causal? I mean are criminals committing crimes because they need to spend their loot on live bands? Well forget all this, did you ever study economics?

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August 17th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Posted in Rants

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Want to marry someone?

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The love/affection is one sided – the woman either does not reciprocate, or may even abhor you/the whole idea. Still want to marry her? Easy! Just rape her. Yes, you read it right – rape her.

At least that’s what the Orissa High Court has proclaimed (not verbatim of course; as an ‘in-effect’ interpretation). Catch the full story here, but here’s an interesting byte:

…either languish in jail without bail or marry the victim and enjoy the freedom…

Enjoy the freedom. Well, yes thank you sir!

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August 9th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Feelings,Rants

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The Indian Olympic Dream

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Or does it have any? I don’t have too much data around it but at least my perception is that India is not at all serious about the Olympics. We’re still plagued with mediocrity and politics (wonder what’s this Monika Devi doping case all about). Seems like we’re comfortable with being at the bottom of the medal tally. Sports it seems is not a matter of national pride for us.

Sure. How can a country that still grapples with poverty and illiteracy and unemployment ever take sports seriously? So what if we are a nuclear power? So what if we have some of the richest individuals in the world? So what if have a growth rate of 9%? So what if we are a billion people? So what?

Cricket is what matters to us. So what if we haven’t won even a cricket world cup in the last 25 years? So what if cricket is not even played at the Olympics? So what? We’re the richest cricketing board in the world. Isn’t that enough? Alright. Everyone wants an incentive. What’s wrong if a sport is supported because there is evidence that it makes money for all stakeholders? Who cares about national pride – what’s it worth anyway?!

Here’s what wrong. ‘Greatness’ is a perception. The greater others perceive you to be, the greater you feel. Of course, vice versa holds true!

Just a thought. Probably the spectatcular Beijing Olympics opening ceremony did it to me. Probably the fact that a larger percentage of the 56-strong Indian contingent did not even bother to join the opening ceremony did it to me. Probably the casual attire of Sunita Rao (in a sports jacket of all things; and wonder what she was doing there) did it to me. Probably…

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August 9th, 2008 at 12:16 am

Posted in Feelings,Rants

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Elevator Pitch

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At GE one of the things they train you well is making those impactful elevator pitches. Supposing you meet your CEO and he asks you how it’s going and you have 20 seconds at best to make an impression, what do you say. What are those right words, et al!

Lately I observed that such pitches reek of bull. Those same standard words, that fake assertive voice. Those fake smiles and laughters, that tapping on the shoulders, that little bow. Get real guys!

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June 20th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

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Why should I be penalized for doing good in life?

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I’m sure this is the question most tax payers have in mind over the proposed oil cess on income tax. Agreed that crude oil has touched $135 and the increase in the price needs to be passed on to consumers. But pass it on to the ‘consumer’, not the tax payer alone. Anyway, the price of petrol consists of heavy duties necessary for funding the government. Why can’t the duties be reduced? The budgeting would have been done keeping in mind an absolute number in mind. Now that the base has changed, why can’t the percentage of duty be reduced so as to maintain the same absolute number? Why is the government pretending to subsidize when the reality is that it gets greedy every time the base price changes (duties keep going up in the same proportion).

And, the big question is why can’t they just increase the price of the commodity for the consumer? Why burden the tax payer? Well I guess I know the answer – to appease the ‘poor’, majority voter! How long will we be penalized for creating wealth?

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May 28th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

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Faltering Commitments

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It’s a Saturday morning, actually noon now and I’ve been waiting for the carpenter from Big Bazaar to come and install our dining table. The appointment was for 10 AM and they have still not arrived. Not sure why people can’t respect time. My cousin is in Bangalore and I need to show her around. I’ve given away my old dining table already and so can’t even afford to just go and let the carpenter come at some other day…

Why can’t people respect time? Other’s time? This is not about Big Bazaar, or Bangalore, or South India, or India. This is a standard behavior across India I guess – that’s why the IST (India Standard Time) is sometimes also known as the ‘Indian Stretchable Time’!

Is it just about time, or about keeping commitments? We as Indians are very vocal (and often righteous) about keeping some commitments, like marriage – whether or not they are convenient. Why can’t we keep other commitments? Time commitments? Verbal business commitments (like “I agree to buy/sell at this price”, or “I agree to give you a raise if you do X” etc)? Why?

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May 24th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

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