October 4, 2013

Blogger's Relevance

Many a times I think of great things to write about, and many a times I'm just plain clueless. There are ideas, thoughts which come at all times, and when I open the blogger app to write them, I'm usually blank. I would have called it a writer's block, but I haven't written anything in ages to call myself that. Its much worse than that, it just shows how mundane and boring life has become lately. 

May be its the things which have changed. Now there's twitter and facebook where you can read and write about lives. So, there is very little left unsaid which can be written here. However, given the purist that I consider myself to be, I wouldn't just kill this for that 140-character twitter, or the crowded-like-mumbai-local facebook. There are things which aren't sensational or spread hatred, things which aren't written to collect likes or followers. My mind is blank for now, but am sure it would have plenty to talk at some later point in time. For the time being, we need to house-hunt (that dreaded time), and have to plan a small trip to Beijing. We are going on a 3-day trip to Beijing, and hopefully it would be sufficient time to see all the major attractions. Some time next year, hope to visit Shanghai as well. 

September 23, 2013

Sleepy September

Almost at the end of another year, and doesn't seem to recall much about it. But during the times of recession, may be boring is what is needed.

The europe trip seems like a lifetime ago, and desperately need a break. May be will plan a short trip to Beijing or Taipei next month, just to kill the boredom. 

August 10, 2013

Break Ke Baad

Its been long since I last visited this blog. May be finally the chorus of daily life has caught up with me, and I have lost the time for myself. Or may be, its just one of those breaks, and I would get back to being regular here once again. I couldn't say. 

Though, not much has happened over the past few months which was worth writing about. Except our trip to Italy and France early this year. And even though I haven't seen too many countries to make a judgement, it would be really tough to beat Italy. If there is one country in Europe that you wish to see, then it must be Italy (or Spain, as some people say, I wouldn't about this). 

Everything about Italy was awesome, the places, the history, the monuments, the food, and the gelato. We went mainly to three cities - starting with Rome, then to Florence, and finally to Venice. You would have seen Venice in numerous movies and songs, and believe me, its really as much beautiful and much more. Its a completely different experience, the whole city is just canals and gondolas. I would certainly wish to plan for another trip back to Italy after a few years (when I have seen a few more places to decide if its really the best destination). 

We went to Paris as well, and it was a nice experience. For a city as big and diverse as Paris, it really well maintained, and connected. I was amazed by the efficiency of the place (and having lived in HK, thats saying something). The Eiffel is wonderful, has been snapped to death by the tourists, but nothing beats the excitement of going to the top of the tower. Which reminds me of another famous tower we visited, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And we did get those stupid of trying to straighten/hold the tower. Pisa has this effect on you, makes you wonder what would have happened had the tower not been defective. Some times, imperfection makes for better viewing and story than the all-perfect stuff. Similar to Sir Don Bradman's batting average. 

January 27, 2013

Superpower, who?

Many people of my generations were fed on the constant diet of how India is going to be the next superpower in the world. It was far fetched, but a few of us did have some belief in the notion that may be, after a couple of decades, we would be there. It was the late 90s and early 2000s when the notion was at its peak, and 2020 was the year which was considered a good approximation of when our nation would have progressed enough. 

Well, more than a decade has passed since then, and we are now in 2013. And yet, the dreams are as distant as they were a decade back. We still hope for things to get better over the next couple of decades, and its certainly not 2020 when India shall arrive. Someone had aptly said that we over estimate the changes which would happen in the short term, and under estimate the changes that would happen over the long term. Over the short term, we have been proven wrong here, and its now getting pretty clear that next decade and half would certainly belong to China. They have improved much more than anyone had anticipated, and slowly and slowly I am becoming a fan of their model of development. There are shortcomings, no doubt, but the system has served them wonderfully well. 

Many in the region view it as a China Vs India story, which is wrong at so many levels. China is ahead of India by at least a good 20 years, if not more. So, any comparison along similar lines is plain foolhardy. Secondly, they have been following a different model of development than India, and have been focussing more on industries meant for export. Only in recent times they have started looking inwards, and are now trying to develop domestic consumption. India on other hand, is still struggling to keep its economy moving, and doesn't really cater to any outside demand. Multinationals view India's population as a big potential market, but for that to happen, the population needs to be productively involved in producing something for the outside world. At the moment, its missing, and hence the big trade deficit. However, I'm hopeful on this front. As China develops, and become more and more prosperous, India would start exporting a few things to them. The cost of labor would be much more cheaper in India, and that should give us plenty of opportunities to manufacture goods for exports. 

We need a few more reforms from the government, a little more open economy, a little less of controls and license raj, and we shall certainly have a better economy. For now, it seems like 2030 would be a good timeframe to target. 

January 4, 2013

New Hopes?

Much of past few in India have been spent pondering over the sad state of affairs in the country. Be it the safety of its citizens, or the apathy of our political class. The whole country is in a state of shock, and despair.

However, as they say, the public institutions are just a mirror of the actual society. Do we really believe that these politicians are any different than an average citizen? What we need to change is the whole society, not just our leaders. The moment the society starts respecting its women, or for that matter look down upon corrupt practices, the sooner we would become a better nation. We still have a well functioning and vibrant democracy where every willing adult votes to elect their leaders. No point crying over the outcome here.

Anyways, the post wasn't intended to be on our state of affairs, but on how I see hope for us. There have been large number of protests and opposition against virtually everything, there is niw at least a discussion happening on our social ills. For a long time, our culture is superiormost was the common excuse, but now people have started questioning it. How good is a culture where half of the society is not treated as equal.

There is hope because we can protest against these, and because we can send in our suggestions for proposed changes in law. There is hope because governmnt is considering naming a law after a victim and not after some of their leaders.