Report Child Labour in India – Call 1098

August 1st, 2014

Many people have become blind to child labour in India just because of the way we have been brought up. We did not have the awareness that child labour is a key factor for a country’s lack of growth.

We happen to come across child labour in many forms

  • The boy assisting the guy who takes care of the laundry.
  • The girl who helps in taking care of little babies and kids.
  • The boy who helps in the mechanic shed.
  • The boy who brings tea/coffee in tea stalls.
  • The girl who washes the dishes and assists with cleaning the house.
  • And many more

It is just that due to lack of awareness we tend to ignore this injustice.

Here is an amazing video that was created to promote this awareness.

If you do not support child labour and want to see a better India, do the following the next time you see a child employed as a labourer:

  • Take a stand and raise your voice objecting to this act. (Will you keep quiet if it was your relative who was doing the same job?)
  • Report the issue to the authorities. The number to call to report child labour is 1098 (Or you can also call 2652 0601)

Together, lets build a more efficient India šŸ™‚

The Alchemist – Book Review

July 23rd, 2014

When I had enquired with my friends for recommendations on books to read as the next steps, I got quite a few recommendations to read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho

The Alchemist is unlikely the other self help books that I have read in the past.

Some of my favorite sections from the book are given below:

1. When you set out to accomplish something, the whole universe conspires to support you to accomplish your goal.
This is so true – you should try to observe the next time when you set a new goal. It is an amazing feeling when you realize that you have no clue how it is going to be done, but when you put your heart out, you realize the universe adjusts itself to help you reach your goal.

2. Difference between a horse and a camel
While a camel is known for travelling quite fast in the desert, the only issue with a camel is that you never know when it is going to drop down dead in the middle of the desert. On the contrary, a horse does not reach the speed of a camel in the desert, but will clearly provide good signs much before it slows down. This helps you plan ahead of time and minimize the risks involved.
It made me immediately think about the resource management issues we some times have where some super smart team members join us but quit within a few months to join a top software services organization and compare them with some average performance producing team members who are guaranteed to stick around for a long time, thus providing with huge support in planning for long term projects.

3. Listen to your heart all the time and go after your dreams
The way I interpret it is simple. You live once, why compromise? Do everything that your heart says and just have fun all the way – this way, you can look back in the future and enjoy the journey you have enjoyed all the way.

A big thanks to everyone who recommended The Alchemist and I also recommend it to any one who is ready to read self help books.

Raping everyday?

July 21st, 2014

What is wrong with us Indian men? Why do we get in the news every day for raping?

Is it because Indian men have become more desperate or is it that it has always been this way and just that the news is coming out in the open more often now-a-days than before?

stop-rape-now

I do see the hue and cry about ‘death penalty’ for rapists. Are we trying to fix the effect and forgetting to fix the source? (Now stop getting sentimental and say ‘if it happens to your daughter you will know’).

We all agree the system in India is broken. While it is broken, what is the point in trying to convince ourselves that death penalty is sufficient?

Scare tactics have always worked to allow people to find ways to work around it. Eg. Driving at speed limits. Especially in India, with sufficient corruption and muscle power around, scare tactics can only go to an extent.

How have the other democratic countries handled this issue? (Forget the ones where they cut parts of your body depending on which part committed the crime!)

Why cant we learn from it? Why cant we make an attempt to work actively for a solution.

Is it using technology, working closely with the police force, introducing a offender database that is shared all over the country? I dont know.

We dont have all the answers, but we the men of this country should take it as a personal challenge and work towards eradicating this evil collectively. This will be the best gift we give the women of this country.

Can India win a Gold medal in Badminton at Common Wealth Games 2014?

July 20th, 2014

Can India win a gold medal in Badminton in CWG 2014?

While my heart says yes, my brain says NO.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Saina Nehwal is not playing

saina-nehwal
Saina Nehwal was the winner of the singles event in Women’s and with her recent victory in the Australian Open, there was a lot of buzz around how she could potentially win a big medal for India at the Common Wealth Games. With her injury worries, she has decided it is better to pull out of it and so is a big blow to Badminton India’s gold medal chances in this event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Four Hour Work Week – Book Review

July 8th, 2014

The Four Hour Work Week is a very interesting book byĀ Tim Ferris, where he helps the readers understand the details of how we can switch to a four hour work week using some of the tactics he used in life.

the-four-hour-work-week-tim-ferris

Tim Ferris uses a few unconventional approaches, which help us to look at life differently and based on his experience has come up with this book to guide the readers on some of the alternate options available in life to be ‘Rich’ (which he calls as New Rich)

Not sure if we can end up with a ‘Four Hour Work Week’, like the title suggests, but this book surely has many useful tips that can be used by everyone in their day to day life.

Tim Ferris groups the process into four steps:

  • Definition: This is a classic one as it helps us understand the new definition of ‘Rich’ which is directly tied to wants – goals, etc. He brings out very well the difference between absolute income and relative income with numerous examples.
  • Elimination: This is revolutionary. He helps the reader think really hard about what is required and what is not required in life and take some concrete actions around eliminating the unnecessary things in life (According to Tim, keeping up to date with daily news is also unnecessary – in that case, think of what he would say about those who spend hours on Facebook and Whatsapp!
  • Automation: This is another master class. He explains various ways in which we can automate the business and take ourselves out of the critical path of the working of the business. (As some people say, he helps the readers understand how to be on the business and not in the business).
  • Liberation: This section contains some cool tips on how to free yourself up from many ‘man made’ boundaries in the society – both at work as well as in our lifestyle.

In fact Tim suggests that we should approach this as DELA and not necessarily DEAL approach, but overall, this book is a must for all entrepreneurs, not necessarily looking for a life style like Tim, but also for those looking to optimize and enhance the productivity of their current setup.

Queen – Hindi Movie Review

July 7th, 2014

Got a chance to watch Queen, with Kangana Ranaut in the lead role.

The thing that impressed me about the movie was the positive angle with which the entire movie has been taken. Even in serious scenes, the director has found a way to bring in a touch of humour and that is amazing.

queen-kangana

Queen is all about how a young girl from a conservative family gets to explore the world and learns about really being happy.

She goes to Europe, makes new friends, and realizes what it is to liveĀ for yourself. This experience gives her the courage to come back to India and give back to the ex-fiance and his family what role they deserve to play in her life.

The last time I saw Kangana Ranaut was in the movie Fashion. I am 100% convinced that Kangana has amazing talent and it has just been under utilized in the industry.

Indian Nurses Safe – Thank you, Indian Government

July 6th, 2014

It was a moment of relief when we learnt the news that the flight with the 46 Indian nurses have taken off safely from Erbil airport in Iraq and they are going straight to Kochi in Kerala.

The Indian Government have used their political connections and handled the situation well. ImagineĀ the difficulty in negotiating between two groups that are at war with each other, and then making sure we sneak in one of our planes into their airport and take off with the people who are stranded. It is quite easier to do a rescue operation using force like the way the US does most of the time (if they want to), but it is extremely difficult to do so without using force. Kudos to the team that made it happen.

youknowwho-indian-nurses-come-back-from-iraq

Positive events like these are rare in India and we should appreciate the fact that some people went out of their way to make sure this is done right. (I know in many parts of the world, but in India it is rare).

No matter what the differences are between political parties, we should make use of such good events to congratulate the ones in the Government who made it happen.

Thank you, Indian Government, for making this happen.

Sachin Tendulkar Fans – Who is Peyton Manning?

July 5th, 2014

There has been a huge cry over the fact that Maria Sharapova mentioned that she did not know who Sachin Tendulkar was. Immediately her FB profile was trolled by a million Sachin fans. What nonsense is this?

Sachin Tendulkar

If you are a real Sachin Tendulkar fan, think like how Sachin will think – just think of those days when the opponents used to try sledging on the pitch while he is about to bat and how he responded.

Lets try it this way:

  • Do you know who Peyton Manning is?
  • Do you know who LeBron James is?
  • Do you know who Quade Cooper is?

Answer: Peyton Manning and LeBron JamesĀ won the Most Valuable Player award in 2013 for their respective sports in NFL and NBA. Quade Cooper is one of the best Rugby players of our time.

It is ok for people not to know a few things that are considered important by a few others. It is ok for Maria Sharapova not to know SachinĀ – you dont have to act like everyone should know Sachin. If Sachin is God to us, he need not be God to others too. We claim to have ‘Unity in Diversity’, ‘Religious Tolerance’, blah, blah, blah..Show it in action. Not in words on FB.

sharapova-tendulkar

While it is ok to have fun about such statements made by celebrities like Sharapova (I liked this one I found on FB), please let us notĀ do anything that will make Sachin feel ashamed of our action.

 

“Soak up the Sun”

June 12th, 2014

Listening to Sheryl Crows Soak up the Sunā€¦.. love the lyrics and the song. Anytime i feel low i just have to listen this. Great song to enjoy life as it is. The lines “It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve go” really strikes a chord .

Here are the lyricsĀ i found online. Enjoy the Summer…

 

Surprises in Switzerland

June 8th, 2014

We had a wonderful trip to Switzerland and had quite a few surprises, some pleasant and some not so pleasant.

Geneva-Montreux-Rainbow2

Besides the beautiful double rainbow we got to see during our drive from Geneva to Montreux, here is a quick look at the restĀ of them:

  • Stroller Friendly: Every place that we went to in Switzerland, was stroller friendly. I have not seen any other country with such stroller friendly rules implemented anywhere.
  • Tap water is drinkable : This is good to know as they do not have bottled water – they only have tap water or sparkling water, besides the soda, juices, etc.
  • Tap water is charged : I was surprised to see some of the restaurants charge money for 1/2 litre of tap water. Wow..I am guessing it is a matter of time before which they start charging for the air we breathe!
  • 6.30pm is the time to remember : Almost all shops close by 6.30pm every single day. If you are on the streets trying to shop after 6.30pm, you choices are very limited.
  • Almost everything is expensive : All the items except bread, beer and cheese are very expensive. If you felt US or India was expensive, try shopping in Switzerland.
  • No Room Service : If you are used to the room service concept in India and other Asian countries, get ready to manage in your hotels with zero room service, starting from bringing your luggage to your rooms, to anything that you need help with.
  • Speeding Tickets : Speeding tickets are sent automatically in Switzerland to your credit card account on file with the rental car company. So please drive carefully.
  • No Tolls : We were warned that there would be tolls in many places. We drove to over 10 cities, but did not notice even one toll booth anywhere. Not sure how that happened!
  • Indian Driving License: Indian Driving License is sufficient to rent a car in Switzerland. You do not need an International Drivers License to rent a car there.

While this post only has information about the surprises we had in Switzerland, if you are interested in knowing more about how to plan your self guided tour in Switzerland, this post will be useful to you.