Friday, November 29, 2013

Business Idea #2 - Clean, Green Earning Machine

Idea number 1 and 3 were deleted because someone not as lazy as myself worked on their idea and brought it to the market before i could bring my lazy a#@ to the computer and type a few paragraphs about it.

Recently, my Mom was saying that dumping waste on the road was now punishable under law in Tamil Nadu with a fine or even imprisonment. Like always, i was quick to say that it will never be effective and the government will forget it even before the news spreads to all the citizens in the city. But then, measures such as these are designed to fail.

We do not live in a homogenous world. People in the same house are not alike and do not always concur on thoughts or actions. I would like to be in a clean environment and i'm prepared to spend x amount of time and money to make my environment clean. That does not mean that everyone in my house or my street or locality has the same thought process. But we all concur on one thought, "Let someone else start it"

We are so good at following. Half full garbage bins with more garbage strewn all around the bin are a common sight in this city. I wish there were cameras installed there, so that we could clean the place just once and wait and watch. The first person that dumps garbage outside the bin should receive a royal a#@ kicking because i feel it sets off a chain reaction. All of a sudden, it is now ok to dump garbage outside the bin because there is garbage already there.

When the process of making a place dirty is a chain reaction, so should be the process of cleaning. Instead of having a state wide law, we should start at a small place in slow pace.

Thats where this idea comes from. Take a locality in the city, lets say Nungambakkam. More specifically Loyola college. This is where it will start. We start by cleaning the campus and putting measures in place to keep it clean. Simple announcements by the dean and frequent bulletins will help immensely in this environment of almost like minded people. We learn from our mistakes and make constant improvements and establish a system that can be horizontally deployed. Next, we do not move to other colleges but jus outside the campus.

We tie up with the local businesses and schools and churches and expand the system to the streets and roads near the college. Place dust bins, employ cleaning staff, supply cleaning equipment and fix time tables. We should spread information and knowledge through these institutions to the people living and working the area on how the cleaning system works and what small things they can do to keep it working. Distribute leaflets to all houses in local languages and pictographic representations. Have a helpline number that would respond to any call in case there is a lapse in the system. Gather some media attention so that people even crossing the area become aware of the speciality and maintain the cleanliness.

Get in advertisers for the dust bins of cleaning staff uniform and expand slowly, street by street. Students of the college can form a special team that continuously studies the progress and also alerts of any lapses. At each step, it is important to check on the areas covered. It may take years to cover the city and perhaps decades for the state, but then, better late than never.

News This week

Saturday, 30th November, 2013 (Actual headline on front page of economic times)

In the most shocking of revelations, Goldman Sachs has said that the upcoming parliamentary elections could play an important part in shaping the future of the country. The government and the citizens of the country are equally in shock after this statement. The leading investment advisory firm based in the US have gone on to say that India needs to focus on reforms.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, "We did not see this coming. But then, these are investment advisory firms and their reports are based on a number of criteria assigned different weight ages. It is not necessary that they have to be true. We would like to assure the public that we are doing everything in our power to change the opinion of Goldman Sachs"

The report says that greater stress on reforms and the removal of infrastructure bottle necks may spur India's economic growth. "Firms like Goldman Sachs are such a boon to the world", Rajan said. "If it weren't for this report, we would never have known the secret to economic growth. I would like to emphasis that we are in a very safe position and are on track towards a zero inflation future." Sensex rose by 11 basis points after Mr. Rajan's statement.

We could only get a quick response from Rahul Gandhi, "What elections?"

NaMo responded to us through whatsapp, "I'm very good at shaping the future. Shaping is actually a passion that i have held close to my heart since my childhood. I have even managed to shape an image of myself as a secular and religiously unbiased lauda"

"typo *leader"

Our special correspondent whom we had sent to the Goldman Sachs office in the US was not available for comments since he had apparently missed his connecting flight from Hawaii.

As the nation is gripped by this report, it prepares itself for the high octane mega budget drama that is the general elections 2014.

Monday, October 28, 2013


When I was employed with a commercial Vehicle manufacturer in the past, we studied the various things that can go wrong in a vehicle. These faults / complaints were grouped under different categories and each one was given a rating of sorts depending on the severity and dis comfort to the customer. There was one category called "Irritant". That was sub divided into two, Major and Minor irritants. These were small complaints that would not lead to any monetary loss but still concerned the customers, like a rattling door or squeaky passenger seat or stuff like that. But one should not under estimate the power of minor irritants.

When i can sit and learn and lecture on what irritates others, why not have my own list? So here it is,

1. My latest irritation (and what prompted me on this topic) is the new BB pin thingy. Seriously what the hell? As if the unwanted number of messenger services and their lousy ads on TV were not enough. Now terrorists don't have to go to the extent of encoding or decoding their messages, they can transmit messages through one of the messengers and the government would take forever to find the right one. Our generation, sorry, great generation, has the power of communicating infinite number of non sense messages, moral lectures, photographs that are a waste of disk space and 3g data to infinite number of people through infinite mediums.

2. Filthy advertisements. Not the ones that you don't want young kids to see, but the ones that the advertisers themselves don't want you to see or notice. I have done some little study and come to understand that some people have the power to switch off their minds during advertisements. They are clearly watching the ad, but if you ask them something about it, they say they didn't listen. Sadly, I do not have this super power. That is why i get irritated when every week, some cosmetic or soap company comes up with a new chemical element that can make your skin look better. I think all the research they do is finding words that are not in any dictionary. Only if they were sure that the listeners aren't really listening, they can come up with soaps that are made of fruit milk shakes, face wash with magnet action and deodorants that smell like chocolate. I think within the advertising circle, the power of your beauty cream is determined by how ugly you make your model look before they use the cream. Something that put me off recently is the Tang ad. Initially, the mother says that the new Tang has fruit inside. But recent ads have changed the wordings. Now the mother says that the new tang has the taste of fruit. Same ad but changed voiceover. I don't know why, there is no logical explanation, but this highly irritates me.

3. Real Estate. An ad not so far in the future. "Are you looking for a home in Chennai? Look no further. ABC builders (my intention is to quote a random name but i'm pretty sure there is some builder by that name already) is here to solve your problem. Just a 2 hours flight journey from Chennai airport is our lush villa style houses ready for occupancy". Advertisements are everywhere. It is impossible to escape them. There are already premium TV channels that do not have ads. Slowly there will be premium radio and premium internet browsers that will block all ads. Then there will be a time when customers will be paid to watch/read/listen to ads.

4. High beam head lamps. This is the most irritating experience of driving in India. At least 50% of the drivers always have their head lights on high beam. Most of them are bikers. I fail to understand how they cannot notice that they are flashing their lights on faces and not the road. This, and a lot of other things root from our deeply engraved misunderstanding of FREEDOM.

Our freedom is more important than the freedom of others around us. People are entitled to make their own choice, so they go around choosing. Choosing to cross when the signal is red, choosing what their children would graduate in, choosing where their wives should work, choosing when their sons should marry and choosing whom their daughters should marry. We believe we are right, we are more experienced and we know what is best for everyone. Do we?

Assume we have a choice. The most important choices will never have a sure, definite, time bound, quantifiable result. Like buying a home, choosing your spouse, etc. And if a choice has a sure, definite, time bound, quantifiable result, then they are most likely insignificant decisions. Like ordering your food, selecting clothes, etc. Coming to the significant decisions, there is really no way of telling for sure that your decision was wrong. One cannot say that it would have been better if one had selected option B instead of option A because of the simple reason that one did not select option B. The comparison becomes between something real and existent with something that does not, cannot and will not exist. We exercise great strengths of imagination to create this parallel universe where we have made all the right decisions in life, just to gain a feeling of regret or hatred towards life as it is.

Some may lecture on the concept of probability. The probability of success in class B is higher than the probability of success in class A. Try that lecture on someone who has survived a plane crash or  a family who lost a loved one in a lightening strike. The number loses all its charm once you become part of the statistics.

You had a choice to read this article or skip it. I have consumed 3 minutes of your life and given you nothing in return. But don't regret it, because you would have to spend another minute doing that.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On a roll

I am sitting in my office going through my blog after a long time, almost a year, determined to add something today. There are a few ideas i had drafted in the past year but none of them seem interesting once they are typed out in black and white. I guess things are a lot colourful when they are inside your head. I start to dwell on a new topic, try to build on it, check a few things online and finally give up when i reach an article on brain death. I cross my hands on the desk and rest my forehead on them and close my eyes for a bit. Getting the idea out of my head, thinking of removing the blog's bookmark from my browser. Thinking... thinking...

Suddenly the office door is kicked open from the outside and three men enter. One leading and two following, dressed in shabby clothes and looking like none of them has seen water for a week except for when they mix it with their drinks, which i'm guessing took place just before they came over. Having spotted me, they come straight towards me making loud noises with their mouths and also by moving objects in their path. Startled as they come closer, i begin to ask them who they are and what they want but before i can complete the first word, the leader pulls out a gun from inside and places it on my forehead and asks, "Are you Midhun?"

Should i say "Yes"? Do they want me alive and don't mind killing the people who aren't me?

Now I should be saying "No". They are obviously looking to for me and in all probability they want to kill me. They don't look like they care of the consequences and they definitely don't look like the practical joking types.

"Are you Midhun?" He shouts again, this time the other two get excited and kick at the table and chair.
"Yes", i stammer. Honesty is the best policy?

He pulls the trigger. BANG!! 

I get up. What if something like that really happened? What would happen to me after a death like that. Would there be a me? Would i be in heaven or hell? When would that be decided? Is it already decided? Because the gruesome death that i just went through should be accounted while judging my life. That and all the years that i could not live must have nullified all the wrong that i have done. And some more. I imagine i must be in some place in between where the decision is taken. Standing in front of the judging entity or in a line to meet the judging entity. That person standing in line, does he look like me? would i be carrying my body or would it be just my thoughts or conscience looking like a cloud? Wait a minute....

What if there is no heaven or hell the way we think? What if i don't leave my body? My mind just goes into infinite sleep. I can only dream. I can dream everything, sweet ones and nightmares. Maybe, if i have lived good enough, i get to see only good dreams and if i have done wrong, there would be nightmares playing in endless loops. That looks pretty much like heaven and hell. but wait a minute....

What would happen to my body? That body lying lifeless on that office chair with blood dripping through the leather, to the floor. It would be a mess indeed, taking hours to clear the body, days to clean the place and weeks to get rid of the furniture and still people would hesitate to enter the office for a few months to come. It would take a year for the body tissues to decompose depending on the depth of burial and the waterlogged in the soil and many decades for the bones to become brittle enough to.... Wait a minute....

The guy pulls the trigger, igniting the gun powder in the bullet to set it in motion. The bullet leaves the barrel and enters my head, the time reduced considerably because of the nil distance between the two. It penetrates the skin without any fall in speed. I guess i'm still alive at this point. The sensation of pain racing against the bullet to reach my brain first. The bullet boring through the skull taking it some effort before entering the brain. The soft brain tissues easily burning away to give way to the hot piece of metal that comes out through the back and then through the black chair before finally coming to rest on the wall behind me.

Boy...... If i could write at the speed of my thoughts........