Monday, April 28, 2014

He now wants a smartphone

My father is a doctor and will turn 62 in a few months. He contested the Lok Sabha election in March 2014. And all the volunteers who worked for him told him he now needs a smart phone. So that they could connect with him on WhatsApp. So he asked me for advise on buying a smart phone.
I, on the other hand, am trying to run away from a hand held device. The only utility that my existing device has is it let's me remain connected with my official email and chat while on the move. I am thinking I will trade my device for my father's conventional mobile phone. I will do it as an experiment.
The experiment will server quite a few purposes. One, it will help my father get used to a touch based, low battery smart phone. Two, it will allow me get used to a life without a smart phone. And three, for the time being, we won't add to the unnecessary stuff in the world by just going ahead and buying a new phone for my father. Let's see how that goes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The politics of pupular decisions

Two years ago when the BJP Government came to power, they reduced the VAT on Petrol to 0.1%. This was one of the most popular decision by this government. It also received a wide national publicity. All the countrymen applauded the Goa government's decision and judged Goa to be a progressive state just based on the fuel prices. There is no doubt Goa is a progressive state, but this is a wrong measure!
The Goa government's intention was probably to insulate the common man from increase in petroleum prices. But, in my opinion, there are better ways of doing this. How about overhauling the public transport? Since the implementation of this VAT reduction, Goa has lost about Rs.300 crore worth of potential revenue. Had this money been used for a up-gradation of state owned public transport, it would have had a far wider impact than reduction in Petrol VAT. Not to forget, it would have generated revenue, jobs and made the roads in Goa far more free.
The Goa government already distributes a lot of money to the public through many schemes (like unemployment stipend, widow pension, DA for housewives etc.). I am sure this would take care of petrol price rise as well. Instead the government should concentrate on giving employment opportunity to Goans.
But, the governments are increasingly becoming populists. They sacrifice long term visions for short term popularity and gains. 
It's high time governments stop giving fish to people and teach them fishing instead!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hyderabad to Goa by Road...again

This is is update to my previous post on travelling from Hyderabad to Goa by road.
I did this trip again on 28th March 2014. But this time I took a different route.


This is a pretty decent road except for the road from Raichur to Belgaum. There are unmarked speed breakers that make it really horrid to drive on. We (I had a co-driver) did the distance in 12 hours with all breaks. Remember NOT to take the Khanapur --> Anamod route when going from Belgaum to Goa. Take the Chorla ghaat. And if you are taking the route for the first time, try to make it in the day time. Happy driving!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A new life

There comes a point in life where you start questioning everything. Call it mid life crisis or whatever you may, you want to know stuff, want to be more rooted and productive in every possible way. I have been living a pretty much a procrastinator's life all along. Looking for some greater good to happen. 
But today is the day. I was going through this website - www.storyofstuff.com  . It's not the first time I have come across this thought process. I have read about frugal living (www.raptitude.com), met a few people who believe & practise sustainable development/ livelihood. I have read books, attended seminars and thought I'd done my bit. But I always thought that it was some sort of a fad. I hadn't bought the idea completely. But today, I am sold on it!
I begin today by not using the air conditioner. I usually sleep in an air conditioned room; Telling myself that keeping it on for a couple of hours is not going to cause much harm! But today onward, I switch it off. I hope it is just the beginning. Let me see where I go from here. Stay with me!