Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I don’t know who compiled this list and how much of it is actually true. But for my blog, it may be reasonable to assume 50% accuracy and probability level. The figures at the end of the list are `910,603,234,300,000 which roughly totals to US$20 trillion. That’s right 20 trillion US dollars. Just for simplicity purposes, I will explain the math here. Let us assume that 1 US dollar = ` 45 (Its ` 43.85 as of today). 1 million US dollars would be equal to ` 4.5 crores. Now, $1 billion (bn) = $1000 million. That sums up to, $1 bn = ` 4500 crore. Again, $1 trillion (tn) = $1000 billion. This again adds up to, $1 tn = ` 45 lakh crores. So, $20 tn comes out to be ` 900 lakh crores. With 50% probable level, this is 450 Lakh crores. Current Population of India, a little over 120 crores. That translates to ` 40,000 per citizen. Think of it as two months earnings of millions of Indians after hard work and uncertain future. And we are talking about scams known or reported. There are, I am sure, many more which never came out in public.
Had these dollars been used for the development of the country, just think how much employment would have been generated and to what extent poverty could have been curbed. The end result would have been probably a developed nation in India and many more people not being forced to resort to the life of crime or terrorism to earn a living.
How black money abets violence? Firstly, black money is generated through a route which is criminal by law and hence, thus violence is an embedded feature of it. The one who is generating black money is by nature a criminal and hence can transit easily to higher levels of crime, which he/she or those benefitting would probably do.
Ill gotten money has another route for violence creation. What does one do with the black money? All of this cannot be spent on Palaces, Luxury Yachts, Cars, and Jewelry etc. The money finds its way to the dirty routes of arms smuggling, drugs manufacturing and funding of terrorism.
Corruption creates islands of wealth and thus the gap in the social structures. This in itself is the cause of serious discontentment leading to violence in the society.
In spite of all this Jihad talk, I believe that main reason which drives a person to violence (read terrorism) is poverty. It is always easy to lure a person to do the dirty work who cannot provide a decent one time meal for himself/herself or their family. I had once read in newspaper that in Mumbai, all you have to do is shell out `5000 if you want somebody murdered. It is that EASY! Similarly, if you promise someone that you will take care of their family for the rest of their lives if you drive a plane into a building he/she is tempted even if means sacrificing their own miserable lives. Also, combine this monetary incentive with martyrdom and you have a terrorist in your hands.
The politicians, bureaucrats and the greedy that are part of this corruption are all directly responsible for the upheaval caused by terrorism in the world. Even the tax havens, who stash away all this black money safely in their banks, are equally to blame for this. Their own economy runs on our money which is hidden in their country by the corrupt because of the laws which safeguards it and protects them at the same time. In fact such places are as much part of terrorism as internationally declared Terrorists States. The moment these countries stopped providing protection to black money, the world scenario will change in no time. Most of illegal transactions including arms sale and smuggling will stop breaking terrorists backbone.
IT IS TIME THAT THESE COUNTRIES SHOULD REALIZE THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE CRIME IN THE WORLD AND SHAKES OFF THEIR OWN INTERNAL AND OUTWARD SHOW OF BEING GOOD AND RESPONSIBLE NATIONS.
However, at the end, I would like to say is no matter how imperfect and flawed the world we live in is, it is not a bad place. There is still lots of good and hope in this world. To end the blog, here’s a commercial from Coca Cola titled “Reason to Believe” which symbolizes hope and optimism.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Earrings are probably the last thing a boy would notice in a girl but somehow I ended up making an exception to this unsaid rule for the “Girl with the pink earring”.
It was a typical Monday at the office. I was still reeling from the after effects of indulging in partying and heavy drinking for last three consecutive nights. Last night had been the worst of all; me and my friends had started drinking at around midnight and drank till 5.30 in the morning. On top of that, I had reported to work at 9.30 in the morning with barely 3 hours of sleep and made sure to eat 2 disprins before stepping inside the office so as not to look too hung over. While on my way to office, I had decided to abstain from alcohol for some time but in my mind I knew that if someone asked me to join them for some drinks over the weekend I would in all probability oblige. Luckily the work load was less today and I could get away with a quick 2 minute nap every now and then by pretending to look at the computer screen reading something important.
However, my manager had no intention of letting my life become so painless and buzzed me on the office messenger. He wanted me to help some other team with their work as they were falling short of time and people. Instantly, my defense mechanism became active and I very subtly told my manager that I was already overloaded with work and also provided him with a list of things I was working on. Trying to sound somewhat supportive, I suggested him the name of a colleague who had some bandwidth available and who could help him on his request.
Just as I was wrapping up the discussion with my manager, my friends buzzed me for lunch. ‘It’s about time’ I thought. I was hoping that a good sumptuous meal can probably cure the hangover that still remained although it was no secret that our cafeteria served some of the most pathetic food that I had ever eaten in my life. Still, I got up from my seat and dragged my feet towards the cafeteria. As I was crossing the aisle to approach the cafeteria looking here and there, my eyes fixed on a girl chatting with someone. I could not see her face as she had her back facing towards me. From where I was standing, I could only see a pink color diamond earring dangling from her right ear. I had always liked dangling earrings over hoops or clip-on earrings on a female which is what probably caused me to take a notice of her earring. As I moved forward, the back of her body came into the full view and I noticed that she was wearing a pink salwar kameez. The kameez came down to the top of her knee and had some kind of flower embroidery done on it with white threads which looked extremely pretty. I somehow felt myself getting curious about her looks and for a moment thought of taking another way just to see her face. But then I saw my friends coming down the aisle and quickly discarded any such thoughts from my mind.
As I sat down for lunch, I found my thoughts going back to the girl with the pink earring. I kept trying to paint a face on her in my mind while having lunch at the same time. Halfway through my lunch, I saw her enter the cafeteria smiling and talking with the same person she was chatting with earlier. She was more beautiful then I had imagined her to be. I was immediately captivated by her smile and kept staring at it until I was shouted at by my friend for not paying attention to his distress story. However, I still kept taking occasional glances at her direction while trying to keep myself focused on the discussion happening at the table. The discussion at the lunch table mostly revolved around either abusing managers in hushed voices or pure gibberish and today was no exception. After taking her food, she and her friend sat two tables away from where we were seating. She was seating diagonally opposite to me and I could see her face clearly. I noticed that she was wearing a visitors badge which probably meant that she was here for an interview and the friend with whom she was having lunch with had had referred her for some opening in the organization. She was just starting her lunch while we were almost through with ours so it was useless to try and reduce my pace of eating just to spend more time looking at her. While we were getting up from our table, I deliberately chose to pass by her table to get a closer look at her face hoping that my friends did not take any notice of it.
Post lunch, we went about our daily routine of having tea at a shop outside our office gate. While we were paying the shopkeeper after finishing our tea, I saw her come out of the main gate. She must have called her driver in advance as he was already at the gate waiting for her holding the back door open. She quickly went inside and the driver shut the door. The driver wasted no time in hitting the accelerator once he was seated and within couple of seconds, her white Toyota went out of sight.
For the next three days, her face and smile kept wandering in and out of mind. Then on Friday I saw her again. While I was going out for Lunch with my friends, I saw her come in and proceed towards the lift lobby. I immediately made an excuse that I had my forgotten my mobile phone at the desk and will have to retrieve it before someone else pockets it. I ran towards the lift lobby and saw her standing there waiting for a lift to arrive. After a few minutes, a lift arrived and we both stepped inside it. Once inside, she pressed the button for 5th floor which ironically was the same floor where I also happened to sit. She was wearing western formals this time and the perfume she was wearing smelled heavenly. I thought of wishing her all the best as it was pretty evident from her visitors badge and the fact that she was wearing western formals on a Friday which happened to be casuals’ day that she was here for an interview but then decided otherwise. Within few seconds, 5th floor arrived and both of us stepped out of the elevator. I saw her open the front door which did not require any identification and approach the security desk behind it. She would probably wait there for a few minutes before someone came in and ushered her in to the conference room for the next round of interview. After that, I quickly ran downstairs using stairs and joined my friends. I had intentionally kept the mobile in my hand to show as if I had hurriedly picked it up from my desk and came down as soon as possible without bothering to keep it in the pocket.
Another week passed after that incident without any sign of her. ‘Maybe she did not clear the interview’ I said to myself. Slowly, I was trying to forget her as I had no hope of seeing her again. Besides, I had resigned from my job three weeks back and only four weeks remained on my stipulated notice period. ‘Who knows we might meet in the new organization I was going to join’ I thought with as much optimism as I could gather. A pat on the shoulder interrupted my thoughts and I turned around to see my manager standing with her. For a few seconds, I just remained seated with my mouth open and did not even bother to get up and greet my manager. As soon as I had regained my composure, I got up from my seat and greeted my manager with a “Hi” and looked at her direction. In reply he said, “Hi Nishant, I want you to meet your replacement …………. “