Sales, Discounts = Happiness?

It’s not very often that I tend to look at the ads in newspapers, but I couldn’t have afforded to miss the one today. It was such a big one that it didn’t fit in the canvas of the folded newspaper and had to be browsed open for the entire thing to be visible.

Having done that, I realized that sales or discounts which more often than not are associated with groceries or the likes of electronic products were being used for a property worth 1 crore. To my bemusement, the discount that came along was barely 5 lakhs.

Not bad, considering that you are a third time or a fourth time buyer, but would it really go along well with a first time buyer, I guess not. Leave alone the value of the discount, the entire concept of discounting or putting on sales a property looked pretty novel. Wonder, who might have invented the word discount?

It’s not only in the property that sales have become the talk of the town, it has engulfed pretty much each and every aspect of our lives. As if the government was not too happy seeing the customers satisfied and as if the strong retail lobby had to chip in for the wants of more profits, what we, as consumers face now, is a possibility of not getting the discounts on the already escalated prices of the products, thanks to the new legislation being brought in for the e-commerce companies.

And the rationale being cited is that the government wants to make it a level playing field. Is it really the case? What about the huge profits that retailers make? And when e-commerce wasn’t there, I remember the very funda of discounts was based upon, first doubling the prices and then bringing it down tad bit to make the customer happy about the entire buying experience.images

Even after the discounts being offered online, there is a huge killing to be made out of the deal. That’s another issue that the unit economics including logistics etc. might not end up being a profitable deal altogether, yet going by the economics of sales, is still a good deal.

At the end of the day if the customer is benefiting by paying less, the merchant/seller is happy for being able to sell, and the aggregator is happy deriving its happiness from the investor money, which more often than not, comes from abroad; then why screw the entire thing up?

After all, FDI is what our government is after. The only difference is that the FDI is coming in this case through the HNIs or the investors looking for investment and quick return opportunities in emerging markets. Not all will have the appetite to invest in long-gestation infrastructure projects.

Is this legislation a good one for startups? Instead of interviewing the likes of the bigger retail stores’ CEOs, why not go and seek opinions from the doers who have been successful in bringing a systemic change, sustainable or not, can be debated?

Talking of sustainability, with trillions of debt that China has today, is it really sustainable or for that matter, the very fundamentals of fiscal deficit on which the current so called development takes place, sustainable?

Well, are we really concerned about sustainability? Are we really bothered as to what will evolve from the water crisis soon to hit the World in a big way? Are we really approaching the problems the way they should be? Are we wanting good for ourselves or the entire World? Are we concerned with short term gains or are looking at a broader picture focusing on long-term possibilities?

Sales and discounts always make the human race go gaga over the prospects, works in some cases, but not all. My humble plea to all concerned is to not go for discounts or short-cuts when it comes to making this world a “better” place to live in.

Source for Image: http://hr.tsu.edu/benefits/employee-discounts/

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Don’t Drink and Poo!

A decade back, I would have never talked about it even in my dreams but today, courtesy of working in the health and sanitation sector, I feel compelled to narrate this incident. Just yesterday, a very dear friend of mine happened to narrate to me a story that changed his life for good.

As a youngster, I am sure you must have gone to parties or discos or farm houses and might still continue to visit the likes. And at times these places tend to be located a little away from the city where you wouldn’t generally find any kind of habitation or people especially during the late hours.

My friend happened to visit one such place with some of his friends, a farm house, located nearly 100 km away from the city. They had a blast. They got extremely drunk and while returning, one of my friend’s friend got a direct call from the nature to the extent that he couldn’t afford to control the same for another 70  km left to be covered.

No matter, how fast they drove, it would have taken at least half an hour to one hour before they could reach home. So, they decided to find a place where he could cater to his instinctual urge. Finding no community/public toilet, they decided to take a halt at a hamlet and thought of requesting local folks to help them find a toilet.

To their surprise, they couldn’t find any toilet in the entire village and he was left with no other option but to venture into the bushes. The bushes came along with its own set of challenges and fear. There could be snakes searching for their prey, there could be thief eagerly waiting to bounce at the opportunity of making a buck or two.

But he didn’t have any option but to fight his fears on this very occasion. So, he decided to walk a midst the bushes to look for a suitable place where he could take it all out of his system. After roaming around for a couple of minutes, he finally found a place, where he could see some light in the background.

As he was about to begin with the rituals, a huge shadow came from behind and he became seriously terrified. In order to calm himself down, hallucination was one reason that he could think about for what he was perceiving. But this reason couldn’t last for long as the very next moment, the shadow spoke to him: “what are you doing here?”World Toilet Day 2

Relieved that the shadow was indeed a man who knew the language, all his senses that had become numb due to the overdose of alcohol came right back and he got up from the posture that he was in.

Turning round, he could see a man with his lath standing in front of him. Taking note of the situation, he realized that he was about to poo right next to this man’s house, who had seen him approaching and had come outside of the house.

He knew that it was in his best interests to apologize to this man, which he did. The man replied, “This is not the place, we go to another place which is around 1 km from here” and the man provided directions as to how he can approach the place.

The path that the man had shown him was an isolated place. There was no electricity and it was extremely dark. The urge was high enough to motivate him to venture into the unknown. After walking for another 20 minutes, he finally managed to reach the place of his redemption.

To his horror, the place smelled very bad. In the moonlight, he could see a couple piles of excreta lying everywhere. He felt like puking but he couldn’t have afforded to wait. With no option in hand, he sat down at a place which he refers to as the only possible place. As he was about to conduct the ritual, he could feel something on his leg.

He took out his mobile and realized that a huge object was trying to crawl up his leg. He took out his mobile to see what exactly it was. The moment he put on the torch, he just froze seeing a huge snake trying to crawl up his right leg.

Finding some courage, he caught the snake and threw it away. Thereafter he ran as if a 100 m sprint was going on and managed to reach the place where his friends waited for him. Without narrating the event, he got into the car and had to hold on to his instincts for another 45 minutes.

On reaching home, without bidding good bye to his friends, he ran to the door and went inside. His friends found the behavior a little different from what is expected. But they decided to call it a night.

It was only when they met again the next morning that he could explain things to his friends. On one hand, they all broke into laughter, but on the other hand, a thought struck all of them and suddenly they all stopped to ponder over a very major issue that seems to plague the have-nots in our society, which is lack of toilet facilities, leading to all sorts of health and sanitation issues.

There are more than 600 M people in India who do not have access to toilets, leave alone clean toilets.  It’s a pity that even after nearly 7 decades of independence, we have not been able to provide them with a basic facility like providing a toilet, which makes me wonder why no one thought about it before PM Modi started the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and if it was indeed thought over then why the hell it wasn’t implemented.

Without trying to conduct a post mortem for what has happened in the past, what I would suggest to all of us is to do our bit when it comes to helping the have-nots to achieve a dignified way of living. It could be donating a toilet. It could be donating money. It could be anything that comes under the ambit of charity and trust me, by doing so, the kind of satisfaction one will derive will be no less than what one derives in any sort of meditation.

The Modi Wave!

It is not often that you get a chance to have a conversation on politics, considering that you are sharing space with 4 other persons, all eagerly marching towards the Dhikaala gate of the Jim Corbett National Park.

What amazes me the most is that instead of me writing about my experience of the entire jungle safari, here I feel compelled more to share the wonderful thoughts of a learned gentleman (G) who happened to sit next to me in this beautiful journey on a topic which has become the most popular in recent times.

You are coming here for the first time?”—-G

Yes, uncle, how about you?”—-Me

No, I have come here before. You see I have plenty of time on my hands having retired from my job, unlike you youngsters who are busy with their own lives and need to take out time from your busy schedules.”—-G

That’s true, uncle.”—-Me

I don’t know whether it is the right time to discuss NaMo, as you youngsters like to refer to the man, still would like to know your opinion on the wave that everyone seems to be talking about.”—-GModi

Uncle, I feel today’s India certainly need a change in the way the things are being run by the state machinery and hence a need for better government. If NaMo does what he says then surely things will head in the right direction for a country like ours.”—-Me

So, you support Modi?”—-G

More than the person, I support the vision, though I have certain reservations about whether he would be able to do so in a country as big as ours.”—-Me

I have heard this many times before from youngsters as yourself and every time I feel like narrating a story which I happened to be a part of.”—G

I am all ears Uncle :).”—-Me

Well, a couple of months back, I went to Gujarat to attend my niece’s wedding. On one of the days that I happened to be there, I thought of taking a stroll down at 11’o clock in the night, not very far from a highway, where the house in which the wedding was taking place, was situated. I have a bad habit of losing my way as I tend to venture out far away and on this occasion it was no different. I had left my cell phone in the house, so had no one to call to. I decided that the only way left was to seek help, as I vaguely remembered the address.

As I was trying to figure out whom to talk to for help, I saw two teenage girls discussing their examination paper on a bus stop, with one sitting on a scooty and the other waiting for her bus. As I approached the girls, one of them asked, “What happened uncle? You are looking lost!”. After informing them about my situation, the girls informed me of the bus number that would take me straight to the place I was looking for.

As I sat on one of the benches on the bus stop, the girl with the scooty noticed my anxious face and came up to me,”Uncle, if you give me 5 minutes, I will drop you myself after solving this numerical.” to which I happily agreed and she did drop me to my place afterwards.

Now, of all places that you have visited in India, can you name a few where you would find the girls feeling safe while venturing out after 10 pm at night and talking to a stranger? I am sure you wouldn’t be able to name many. If we were to go by stats, Gujarat has a very low crime rate. Even if one were to question the very credibility of the crime numbers; there is no denying the fact that crime has not taken its toll in Gujarat.

If we were to talk of the water availability, it is available in remotest of areas in Gujarat. The roads are a beauty. On the industrial and infrastructural front, Gujarat has made tremendous progress. I have even heard that in order to improve the governance in the state, Modi routinely talks to the big shots in the bureaucracy and ensures that they remain grounded and on their toes in their service to mankind.

The man certainly has a vision but more than the vision he has the knack of fulfilling the same. If he can do it in one state, I strongly believe that he can do so in other states as well, if given a chance. Yes, it is my belief and a desire but it is founded on strong fundamentals.”—-G

And then the gentleman went on to describe the characteristics of the extremely generous Gujaratis whom he happened to meet on his visit along with the delicacies that formed very much a part of his visit to Gujarat.NaMo

I was pleasantly surprised to see the kind of effect this whole Modi Wave has generated. The people are hopeful. As we witness the great turnaround in the fortunes of the political parties, the focus is surely going to shift on what Mr. Modi will do in the coming 6-7 months after becoming the PM of our country.

They say, where there is a will, there is a way and where there is a way, things surely come to a fitting conclusion. All in all, after seeing the results that are coming our way, the only thing that I can hope for is for Mr. Modi to perform and that will determine whether India has truly voted for the betterment of our country.

Source for Image: http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-special-now-namo-on-your-dinner-table/20140102.htm, http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/politics/bjp-names-narendra-modi-its-pm-candidate-for-2014-polls_949487.html

Scared, Are you?

A very recent incident in my life has made me “right” this one. It is not often that you want to avail the service of a public transport in smaller cities and towns in India, considering that the available space inside the same is utilized so efficiently that where only 2 persons are supposed to be seated, the conductor or the driver of the public transport will make sure that at least double the legitimate number is made to fit in the same space. If that was not enough, a couple of people who happen to be standing next to you, would be found leaning over for want of some space and air, coming through the windows.indian bus

But this is just the tip of an iceberg, when it comes to being scared of a thing or having some apprehensions about the same. A couple of days back, having heard so much about the state of the public transport in my city, I decided to experience it first hand. And there I was, travelling in this bus, which was supposed to take me from a place called Mahanagar to Hazratganj, which resembles the likes of CP in New Delhi, when it comes to the colour combinations that have been used to adorn the place.

Having barely managed to squeeze in the bus, I was lucky to have found a seat next to a gentleman, who looked to be in his twenties. One thing that foreigners find quite funny in case of us, Indians, is that no matter whether we know the person sitting besides us in a journey, we are very good and keen on starting a conversation with the unknown person available at our disposal.

Not only do we happen to talk about the general affairs going on in our country ranging from what Modi might be up to in the coming elections to would Dhoni be implicated in the IPL crisis that has ensued in recent times, but also about our own personal issues ranging from what my boss might have said to me the very day, to what would happen if my child happens to fail this year.

Keeping what I can call the tradition intact, the gentleman (whom I will refer to as G, from here on ), sitting to my left, started the conversation.

Hi, so where are you going?”—G

Hi, to Hazratganj, and you?”—me

I am going to charbagh, to catch this train. You see, my luggage is kept right above me. Actually, my uncle’s son is getting married, so I am going for his ceremony. So, you are originally from Lucknow?”—G

Yes, very much :).”—me

By the way, yesterday I went to this place called Indira Dam. Have you been there?”—G

Ya, I have been there twice. Nice place, I must say.”—me

What nice! You know what happened yesterday. I went there with a couple of friends. It was 6 p.m. in the evening. As we were walking past this barrage, we saw this lady lying unconscious on one side of the road. One of us even thought about calling the police, but we were too scared to get involved.”—G

So, you didn’t inform the police?”—me

We did. But it was only after we had left the place, from a P.C.O. (Public call office) located some 2 kms away. You know how it is with Police. With no fault of yours, they might indict you for something which you cannot even think of in your wildest of dreams and even if you happen to find a good policeman, then also you wouldn’t want to be going to the court as a witness every now and then, for the case might go on and on, considering the state of our judiciary, which takes ages to issue verdicts on cases.”—-GPOLICE-BRUTALITY

Hmm! Then what happened. Did you follow up?”—me

Not really! We just hung up the phone, after informing the police of the whereabouts of the lady. Later on, we came to know that in recent times, a couple of people have been found murdered at the same place and people have even spotted a couple of bodies floating in the running water at times.”—-G

That sounds awful.”—me

Ya, so many things are so awful in our country, if I can refer to it as my country in the first place. You must have already noticed the cap that I am wearing. I am a Muslim and for Muslims, especially the underprivileged ones, life is not so easy. You see, for every other blast or terrorist attack that takes place in this country, we are the first ones to be rounded by the police. We are made to suffer for no fault of ours, at times. That’s why, so much of resentment can be found in the Muslim youths, who find it easier to astray rather than comply with the laws of the country. On top of that, these political parties try to throw freebies at us, thinking that we can be cajoled by their futile efforts, which is nothing but a mockery of the political system in our country.”—G

Hmm!”—me. 

I know, it is a very sensitive matter. Instead of treating us like aliens, the political parties will do good if they can just treat us at par with every other citizen of this country. Anyways, this gets prioritized only for namesake at the time of elections and later on it is found no where on the agenda that the political parties are so proud of presenting during their election campaigns.”—G

That is very true. But then why don’t you try to get rid of all these political leaders who talk as if they are the representatives of the entire Muslim community and take matters in your own hand, by creating awareness and vouching for some political and social work?”—me

If it was so easy, then don’t you think every other person would end up doing the same? These very political leaders create so many hurdles and for a common man like me and you, it comes down to a choice. Whether we want to continue living our lives in the same pseudo-peaceful manner or do we want to disturb the peace of our minds by going against the Hukumat.“—G

Hmm! You know, a day would come and in some ways, it has already, in at least the Naxal affected parts of our country, when people would take up arms and would revolt against the atrocities and crimes that are being committed by our administration.”—me

True! You know what is more moving on an emotional level. When we lose lives just because of maladministration and faulty decision making on part of our government. You see, what’s happening in Uttarakhand. So many lives have been destroyed. So many people have gone missing and no one can predict when their lives will go back to normal.”—GArmy soldiers rescuing pilgrims during their flood relief operation in Chamoli, Uttarakhand

Ya, it is very sad to see that knowingly we opt to sit on a time bomb, waiting for it to explode. Faulty constructions and the approvals for the very same granted by none other than our administrators, coupled with total ignorance of the environment has resulted in a major tragedy which will continue to haunt the lives of those affected for many years to come.”—-me

Yes, and the lack of preparedness on part of our government is a sheer nonsense, which shows that no one is really concerned about what’s happening with this country. Everyone is busy looking for avenues where they can make quick bucks in order to secure the future for themselves and their loved ones. Oh, your stop has come. I guess its time to say bye. How soon time flies by! It was nice meeting you. Allah ne chaha to fir milenge.”—-G

It was a pleasure talking to you. I am sure we will meet sometime in the future :).”—-me

And there I was bidding goodbye to this wonderful gentleman. As I got down, having experienced the journey which began as a test of the public transport in my city, I wondered whether the picture of my country that had been depicted of in the conversation that I just had with G, would ever improve.

Being an optimist that I am, I certainly believe that there is still time to bring our country back on the right track. Lots needs to be done not only on part of our government but also as individuals. It might require some sacrifices and hardships.

The question, though is, are we all prepared to think over and above our selfish ends and rise up to the occasion to eradicate the fear that has for so long kept haunting us for the want of corrective actions in our lives?

Source for Image: http://punjab-tim.blogspot.in/2010/03/no-seat-belts-requiredindian-buses.htmlhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/30/top-5-police-brutality-vi_n_115921.htmlhttp://www.deccanchronicle.com/130701/news-politics/article/congress-bjp-twitter-war-over-uttarakhand

The Focus!

How many times do we end up focusing on things which are not so relevant and significant in life? Things, which one uses as an excuse to run away from something about which one doesn’t seem to find appropriate matter of substance.

Things, which one can use to blind those who might have wanted results from the effective implementation of that one significant thing. Things, which always will haunt us in the times to come.

And one such concept which is so talked about in the national and international parlance is the concept of GDP, which since its initiation was aimed to provide cues to the government enabling them to see in which sector they might have to frame their policies in the right manner for the want of some progress, which had been halted in the same due to certain bottlenecks.focus

But little did Keynes knew that his concept, which was meant to reveal the market value of all goods and services produced within a country, would be used to hide the malace that might be going on in the entire World.

What amazes me the most is that things like Human Development Index (HDI) which is nothing but a reflection of the state of health and education in the countries worldwide, seems to take a backseat with GDP taking the lead in all the discussions being conducted on the economy.

The common man or the aam aadmi, who is too ignorant to understand the significance of the concepts, ends up believing that their country is being run in the best possible manner. With no political will aimed at educating the very same aam aadmi, they have no option but to tow in line with the logic that the governments around the world tend to give to their citizens.

And with no better alternatives at their disposal, they end up having no choice when it comes to voting a party into power. But are only the political parties that are to be blamed for the menace that our political system seems to be caught into? or Are we as people of a nation to be blamed for furthering our own ends at any cost what so ever?

To find the answers to the above, I decided to venture out and had the fortune and the privilege of talking to one such aam aadmi:

Bhaiya, why do you vote for a political party?”—Me

It is because they will take care of our needs and will ensure that all our problems are taken care of.”—Aam Aadmi

By problems, do you mean drinking, sanitation, health, education in and around your village?”—Me

No, I am talking about the disputes that I keep having in the village. They make sure that I get the upper hand in the duo that ensues.”—-Aam Aadmi

But for the fight that you are having, there is our administration and the police you should go to. Why do you need to go to any person belonging to a particular political party?”—Me

It is because the police and the administration never seems to report on time. They are either unavailable or unapproachable. In that case, we are left with no choice but to look for people with power and money, who end up becoming our mai-baap. Now, you tell me if you don’t vote for such men then who will take care of us.”—Aam Aadmi

I had no answer for what the aam aadmi had asked me. In lieu of our administrative and bureaucratic system not functioning to the fullest of its capacity, the aam aadmi is left with no other option to seek for bahu-balis in and around their respective area, who end up getting elected from the same region.

And the story after that is known to nearly everyone in our country. Who’s fault is it then to elect such leaders? Is it the aam aadmi who has got tired being exploited again and again by those in power or the bahu-balis who tend to get elected based on their muscular and money power that they possess?changes

And by the way, are we too caught up in blaming others for our own grievances? A great philosopher once said that there are two primary causes behind making a human being unhappy and these are desires and expectations. Whatever bad is happening around us is because of these two evils which tend to take control of our mind and body and in turn makes us incapable of differentiating between the right and the wrong.

The soution to all what I have just said above lies in this one question that I am about to ask us all:

Are we prepared and ready to forgo the two evils when it comes to deciding upon what is right and what is wrong?”

It is up to you to find your own answer. And if the answer to the above is YES, then you can rest assure that the system in which we are all living in and which we tend to criticize on every other opportunity that we get, is heading in the right direction and we will soon be able to witness the much sought for change.

Source for Image: http://www.zachandjody.com/blog/tuesday-photography-tips-tricks-back-button-focusing/15588/, http://www.peacharno.com/specialisms/change-management/

Era of Flats!

Few years back, when I was about to change my branch from Chemical to Civil Engineering, one of the professors of Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur told me that this would prove to be one of the life changing decisions of my life, considering that India would soon be hit by a construction boon.

Though, I had altogether different reasons for changing my branch, and didn’t really care about the advice that the professor had to offer, yet when I look back at what he said taking into perspective today’s scenario, I wonder how correct he was with his prediction about the industry.

Yesterday, I was taking a tour of my very own city and realized how many societies and projects are coming up in the city with so many different builders ranging from Ansal to Omex taking share of the same pie.

What amazes me more is the holding capacity of the who’s who of my city, who tend to take part in the auctions conducted by the Development Authority. I also wonder how the who’s who of the city are able to get atleast a flat or atleast some piece of the land that is supposed to be auctioned.

Either the God is very kind to them or some other forces have a role to play in the same. Having said that, you will of course find certain genuine cases who happen to get a flat etc., much to their relief, in the auction at a price which is much below the inflated market price of the same.flats

One other factor that plays a big role in the Real Estate business is the amount of black money floating around in our country. With so much black money waiting to be made white, real estate provides that golden opportunity which the hoarders might be waiting for years now.

Not only does their money becomes white, but also they are able to possess the all so precious property whose prices, at least in the current scenario, are bound to increase exponentially, in turn affecting and in fact determining the market price of the land, which is inflated, courtesy the presence of people who are ready to pay large amounts of money in order to get a chunk.

As you know, it is all contigent upon the demand-supply game. At loss are those who neither have black money, nor are rich enough to make the cut and are found wanting. For a common honest man, it is extremely difficult to even think about getting a nice house/flat in a decent locality, leave alone actually possessing it.

Don’t you think, if such a scenario persists for long, people will tend to become more corrupt and would want to earn more money? Do you think, in this case, people would really worry about the legitimacy of the same, considering that, at stake is one of the basic needs of human kind and that is the makaan or the housing?

What is needed is formulation of a policy which caters to the equitable growth in society and its effective implementation. The question, though is, who will do such a thing and will someone be able to find the grit and determination to overcome all odds in proposing the same and turning it into a reality?

What will happen, no one can tell. But one thing is for sure, time is running out from our hands and the need of the hour is to get going and implement effective and efficient policies on an urgent basis, so as to stop this society from getting more and more corrupt.

Source for Image: http://www.missionbuilds.com/uploads/26/Mission_Flat_1.jpg

Travel Woes!

Traveling in India can be a big problem at times, especially during the winter season, when the cloudy and foggy conditions tend to hamper the locomotion of the majority of our public transport.

For the aam aadmi, it becomes really hard to plan a trip or an outing in the near future, for the fear that trains might get late or flights might get cancelled. It becomes even more tough in case someone is planning a family trip using the services of the companies like make my trip etc. because one needs to pay the entire amount for the trip in order to confirm the same beforehand and in case the flights or the train gets delayed, the entire amount goes in the vain coupled with the disappointment that ensues amongst the family members.travel portal software

What should one do in such a situation? And before that why is it that India has not been able to modernize her public transport to deal with situations that arise every year with winters setting in? Is it due to lack of political will or are we out of options on this front? Is it because of the lack of funds which government cites as a reason more often than not for any and every problem they might be facing or is it because no one is really bothered about improving things on this front?

Mind you, the delay in the transportation results in a huge loss for not only the people of the country but also has a huge impact on the exchequer of the government. Then why the issue has not been taken on an urgency basis?

As if the problems with train reservation and the nexus of the agents was not enough, the above factor has also come to haunt both the people and the government. Coupled with the same are the issues related to the lack of competition in the aviation sector which is leading to airlines hiking air fares in the wake of lack of options for the people to choose from.

A good example of this is the US aviation market where there are numerous players and flying has become extremely cheap, even cheaper than train travel at times, giving the public a large leverage when it comes to opting for the airlines.

Of course, the same cannot be copied as a whole from US on an immediate basis, but still things can be made to improve by ensuring reduction in operation costs of the airlines as well as reduction in the cost of aviation turbine fuel. On the infrastructure front, a lot can be done to enhance the quality of our airports.

Allowing foregin players would also help in increasing competition which will in turn will lead to better services being offered to the consumers. What is required is the initiative on part of our government along with the DGCA which is responsible for regulating the same in our country.

The recent decision by the DGCA not to renew the license of Kingfisher airlines might lead to other airlines again hiking prices in the near future. DGCA should ensure that there be a limit on the hikes, for it is unimaginable as a traveler to be paying nearly double for the same ticket of the same class in case one tends not to book it, say 1 or 2 months prior to the travel date.plane

This is, in a way, killing the ad-hoc notion of travel, a concept that many people like myself are really fond of. Why the hell everything has to be planned! And that too, in case of travel, which is nothing but a personification of the natural desire of a human being to explore. It cannot and it should not be tamed by the whims and fancies of a couple of players in the aviation sector.

As far as I am concerned, because of some of the reasons cited above and because of me being a big proponent of ad-hoc travel, I prefer road over any other form of public transport. Sometimes, though, I too feel constrained by the factors which are not under my control.

With a hope that a day would come when the people will be able to experience the fun and pleasure attached to the ad-hoc nature of travel, and hoping that our government would leave no stone unturned in order to ensure the same, I would like to raise a toast to the curiosity which makes us all human beings. 🙂

Source for Image: http://www.zecatravel.com/, http://max3logic-it-solutions.blogspot.in/

Understanding the Men Behind the Art

If you have ever been involved with constructing a house or getting done the woodwork or the interiors in a flat, you would know every bits of information that I will be mentioning henceforth.

With the kind of work environment provided to the workmen who are involved in the above e.g. carpenters etc., and with the kind of work prestige that comes along, they are bound to get unprofessional.

They are truly an unorganized work force, who live on a daily basis. They have no option but to work at the mercy of their agent or the contractor, who tends to get the major part of the profits, leaving these artists a very meagre amount in which they have to sustain not only themselves but also their families, residing either in the slums of the city or their native villages.

This coupled with the fact that the skill set they possess is not because of any professional training that they might have got through the various government non-functioning schemes, but because of being involved on site with their brethen, makes them sometimes a target of the ire that the client might have built in him/her because of the quality of the work that might have resulted.

What follows is a series of quarrel between the client, the contractor/agent and the workmen. The client takes it out on the contractor who according to the client is supposed to fulfill his/her part of the deal (by the way, in most situations there is no deal of sorts and the work gets done on a purely verbal understanding).

The contractor, since he/she is bound by his/herwords tends to take it out on the poor workmen who have no option but to listen to the wrath being taken out on them. The workmen are sometimes aware of the lack of skills they have, but they end up not doing anything about it because of the sheer absence of alternatives available to them.

What follows is a total chaos. The client gets upset because his/her work doesn’t get completed to his/her satisfaction and liking. The contractor is upset because of the things that he/she might have to listen to (though they have got pretty much used to the bickering and are only concerned with making money these days). The workmen of course are a disadvantaged lot and have no where to go to.

Seeing the above, the need of the hour is to have a professional organization which can organize things for these craftsmen, who can register themselves in the same and can be assured of an equitable and continuous source of earning.

The perception of the so called well-off in our society needs to be changed and they should be sensitized towards the plight of these workmen, at the same time, a respect for the very work should be made to develop amongst the lot.

The government needs to become responsive to the needs of such labour by introducing well planned schemes which can enable these workmen to develop appropriate skill set required in the profession that they are pursuing, which would in turn help them in developing self-confidence.

This would ensure that the workmen would no longer be considered the dirty lot and would get their due, of which they have been deprived off since centuries now.

Source for Image: http://www.dartblog.com/data/2010/10/009220.php, http://quinn-tasteandsee.blogspot.in/2011/12/i-am-carpenter.html