This was a wonderful space to hang out in and share our thoughts! But now we've all moved on and simply left our memories behind :-) ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An open letter to the Prime Minister of India.

Dear Prime Minister


By now, I am sure you know none of us envy you. Atleast the educated-not-wanting-a-ministerial-chair, sane minded ones amongst us.


You indeed are surrounded in some murky environs:


Fellow politicians with an expertise in the foot in mouth syndrome to put even good old Dubya and Paris Hilton put together, to shame.


A motley crew of alliance members with a 'DEEP' understanding of the current geopolitical and security situation. Incidentally they would all be out of their depth even in a parking lot puddle.


You had to give up your best man in the worst financial meltdown thanks to Shivraj Patil finally waking up to the fact that it’s time he put his political chair holding ambitions to sleep.


An opposition that beats even Ekta Kapoor’s knack of thriving on human misery to release advertising using terror attacks as a subject (ironically, their reign on the chair wasn’t a bed of roses for the country either).


A coast guard system that makes the Indian shores seem like the open gates of Appu Ghar on Children’s Day.


A stickler for protocol, neighboring leader of state who actually believes that your external affairs minister called him on the cell phone to make ‘phraindsheep’ with him and then threaten dire consequences unless his demands were met.


Laloo Yadav. Maya “bhenji” Wati. Vijay Mallya. Barkha Dutt. And a demanding lady boss.

The list goes on.


You really don’t have an easy life, I know. But since you are the leader of the nation, we have no one else to turn to.


We do not want a war Mr. Prime Minister. We want peace.


We do not want to hurt Pakistan. We want to annihilate extremism. And that does not involve normal citizens of any country. Or any faith.


We do not want bravado. We need alertness. Where every time something goes wrong, those who are at fault have more to say than just ‘ooops’.


We do not want blame takers and resignations on moral grounds. We want accountability. And some basic testicular fortitude in those who hold offices.


We do not want Barkha Dutt. We want news. She alone can give the entire opposition a tough fight for Ekta Kapoor’s throne of the ultimate human misery exploiter. Asking people who have just lost their kin “what are your feelings right now”. And yes, the gem: asking the NSG commander as he is entering the Nariman house amidst heavy firing “what is your strategy”?


Barkha-e-Tauba ! I hope the UN puts her on the list as well.


We do not need war. No we don’t.


For all the people who died in Mumbai on 26/11 and the million others in the acts of terrorism that ravished this land, do not send more Indians to the battlefield.


Because then, this will all go on.


This is what I suggest you can do:


Tighten our borders. If they cannot get in, they cannot cause harm.


Pay our security forces better. If they cannot be bribed, they cannot be breached.


Be clinical and ruthless with the politicians. You know, I know and we all know who are the ones who need this treatment. (Have Ram Gopal Varma make a new political potboiler – DeshMoorkh. The rest of the star cast is a ready set of asteroids led by R. R. Patil. This set of politicians will go far. The sooner they start, the better.)


Implement into law a bill that makes every politician with an ambition to hold office, hold a basic education first. The Prime Minister being educated enough, making up for the entire cabinet and political system doesn’t work.


Make public the ‘evidence’ you have. There is little to be gained with secrecy and protocol. As it is, we are on cell phone - first name basis with Zardari. Let the world know who they are, where they are and who shelters them. Remember it is politicians and power brokers who you need to target. Not innocent citizens. If innocent citizens are the collateral damage for our objectives, we are no different from the ones who did 26/11.


Be nice to Asif Ali Zardari. It is not his fault that he is brainless, spineless and powerless. Probably you can send Barkha Dutt as your special envoy with all the evidence to convince him if you have to. And threaten to keep her there till they get their act together. Atleast one of the two national issues we face everyday will be surely solved.


I have lots more to say, but as I said, I am aware of your tight schedule and tighter leash.


I hope these suggestions help. Till you do something about it, all we can do is pray for peace and seek sanity by staying away from NDTV 24x7.





Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I recommend..AmitL

I recommend(For those wanting to come to Dubai for work purposes and to save money as well for your budhaapa(old age)):

   Only accept a job which offers a minimum salary of AED 10000/- (Current conversion: Rs 12.5 or so, fluctuating daily) Anything less than that in these days of high rents and inflation is hara-kiri, unless you want to come at AED 5-6000 and not save anything. Of course, if accommodation is offered by Company, the lesser salary would be all right, but, it usually isn’t, even to the goras/goris. Do not be misled by agents telling you- oh, you’ll get Rs. 50,000/- or some such figure.

Bring a back-up amount of minimum AED 6000/-, if you’re not sure of getting an advance from your company/establishment. This will go in paying room rent(Today, even sharing accommodation by way of bedspace, costs @ AED 1500/- and they ask for 2-3 months in advance), as well as buying the basic necessities of life, including a TV set(@ AED 400) and a CD/DVD player(@ AED 100, cheapest) 

In fact, you might need more than that amount. Rents are expected to fall, but,at present, landlords want 2 rents in advance, and, if through an agent, then, his cut is another 2-4%, depending on demand in the area. 

 If you’re bringing your family in and your company is not sponsoring them(Even if it is, I still recommend this), then, don’ least not for the first six months. Settle in, save a bit, and then call them. You won’t know how fast the greenbucks go, when running after mandatory medical examination, residence visa, school admissions(If applicable) and all the related paraphernalia which goes with admission, from uniforms to books to what not.

 Besides this, be ready to shell out @ AED 200(Water and electricity), 89( TV channels), 165(Mobile phone connection)+ talk time which will surely soar in the first few months or even later) 

Once you move into your accommodation, you’ll need to get: The drinking water bottles( They cost 8 dirham for a 20 litre bottle and you need at least 6 per month), the manual/motorized pump to attach to bottles (25/-) or a normal+hot water dispenser(40/- min),   tea kettle (If you’re in a non-cooking sharing accommodation) for boiling water(@ 65/-), mugs, tea bags. Milk of course will be a regular item, too. (1 litre costs AED 5.5/- to 6).

 Food: If you don’t cook or are not allowed to, count @ AED 15 per day for food(If you scrounge, really, and pay just 8 or so, it’s your choice, but, why take chances with your health? 

Don’t fall prey to all that glitters, and, this includes, immediately buying a hi-fi cellphone costing upwards of a 1000 dirhams, to watches to branded clothes, to the best in Reeboks to a Canon digital camera. 

You might also need to buy furniture, from beds-mattresses-pillows to a computer table(Also a computer, of course), a small cupboard or two, et al.

In fact, I don’t recommend buying anything which is not a bare necessity or, alternatively, which you don’t intend to take home. Otherwise, whenever you are returning, you will sell them all at a much lower price.

Also, in these times of recession and pink slips, I really recommend that you first get your confirmation that your visa is under process, and then only quit your job(If it’s existing) in your home country. I’ve heard cases of people who quit their safe job, and, when they were about to come here, they were told to ‘forget it’, as there was a freeze on recruitment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Been A Week Of Tears...(Keshi)

Instead of hatred, darkness and unrest, let there be love, light and peace always. Be the radiance that you want to see in all starts with self.

~~In memory of all the innocents who perished in the last week's senseless Mumbai attacks. May your souls find comfort, rest and peace wherever you are now~~