Two states on our mind – cultural differences at workplaces.

A young, handsome, qualified Punjabi guy meets a pretty, smart, equally qualified but a non-Punjabi girl. They both fall in love with each other and that’s where the problem starts.

Yes, you are right. I am talking about the movie ‘2 States’. As always I do, I waited for a week to get the movie reviews before I logged onto BookMyShow to book seats for my friends and me. Movie was a great success and so next week I was sitting with my friends at PVR Cinemas, Mumbai.

Apart from spectacular performance of all the characters, especially by dashing Arjun Kapoor and very intelligent (:P) Alia Bhatt, and fast paced love ballads by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, that lift up your mood instantly, the movie also carried a strong message – a message that was very clear on how cultural differences are determining on how we are getting into new relationships. How the concept of two states is ruling on our minds.


Fragrance of First Rain!


I remember, I was working through the second last hour

In my office, one June evening, when struck the first shower
We first heard it loud, thundering, splashing against the glass window
And then glanced out at the beautiful town, now in a cool glow

Like, when Santa brought Christmas gifts and everyone was pleased,
Here, we were ecstatic, rebounded from the heat, released

We opened our nostrils and lungs to the fresh breeze
Taking ounces of wet-mud incense as the mind drifted into ease

Perched on the top floor of a 10-storied scraper
We leaned over the shallow pane, to touch the prime drops of water

It was five, and still one-twenty minutes to call it a day
But the rains had already announced, shut down and go your way

Sincerely, like the fragrance of first rain, there exists nothing
Nor any like the joy, pleasure and the freshness it brings!

Few hours before first speech of my life at Toastmasters

Deepika Padukone was just about to sign an autograph for me, in the midst of a hefty crowd when suddenly a loud fire alarm goes off….after a few seconds, to my great dismay, it was not any fire alarm, but my mobile alarm,and I woke up out of my dream of meeting my dream girl..These idiot machines can never understand human sentiments :P.

Anyway, rubbing my eyes,I got out of my bed.And then suddenly I realized “Oh Man ! Its 6.30am.I have a speech scheduled at 9am.Just 2.5 hours and I have to cover up my dressing, breakfast and a ride of about 20min”.I was messed up as to what to start with.Should I revise my speech once, or get ready and let it go.

After a few seconds, I was in the bathroom.As the droplets of shower were striking my head one by one,I was mumbling….A very good morning to all of you..I Rishabh Singla……As soon the bath and one round of revising speech(during bath) got over,I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for my first speech.And when nothing strikes to me,Black shirt with Blue denim jeans is the safest option that works everywhere,every time for me.
Putting on clothes, I rushed to the kitchen,grabbed two slices of brown bread, with little butter and a glass of milk.Picked up the paper on which my speech was written, I rushed downstairs towards my bike.Riding through hefty traffic,thankfully I timely reached the venue.Venue was TCS Maitree Toastmasters club session at Kensington,Powai (Mumbai).

Pros and Cons of Food Security Bill 2013 and its impact on Indian Economy ?

Food Security Bill, or should we name it as Political Security Bill.
Amidst so much political and economic turmoil, launching such a large scale cost involving project doesn’t go well with much of our educated population. This can have far reaching implications on our economy.
Before we discuss any further, let me brief you about Food Security Bill we talking about.

  1. Provide food grains to 67% of the population (approx 800 million) at highly subsidized rates.
  2. There will be fixed quota per state of grains allotted. Onus is on the respective states to decide the beneficiaries . This can lead to wide regional disparities as a person not eligible for such great benefits in one state may be eligible in other state.
  3. Grains amount to 5 Kg / per person / per month has to be allotted.
  4. Women will be made head of the family according to this scheme. This is very positive step.
  5. Special maternity benefits : Free Meal for every pregnant and lactating mothers (during pregnancy and 6 months after child birth).Also, allowance of Rs.6000 will be given in installments as maternity benefits.
  6. Special privileges for children under different age groups like free meals etc.

If you want more details about how this scheme will be implemented , please click HERE.

That was all about the features of Food Security Bill. Now lets discuss why general public (I mean proper educated public) and opposition party is against this bill.

  1. Cost of this bill as projected by Govt (UPA) : 1.25 lakh crores which will greatly impact current fiscal deficit.
  2. As per honesty in our country is concerned, we all are aware of it. So, no need to say that this system is also prone to much corruption as number of beneficiaries is to be decided at state level. Corrupt ministers can illegally hoard the grains and make shortage of grains as an excuse.
  3. With such high procurement of grains by govt , little will be left in open market which will lead to demand-supply imbalance and can lead to rise in prices and hence inflation.
  4. As our major exports are of grains, FSB will hamper our exports, leading to more Current account deficit. More CAD means more rupee fall, means more expensive imports (sply oil used in transportation) , means more inflation.
  5. Government will need to borrow high amounts from Banks to finance such huge project. So, banks will be lending more to government, leaving less for general public which will hamper private sector growth.
    Less growth means loss of jobs, less production and that implies more to be imported from outside India (as in case of Coal), which puts pressure on our foreign exchange and again we get into this vicious circle of a bad thing resulting in another.
  6. Narendra Modi had written a letter to PM citing some flaws in this system. You can READ IT HERE.

7 ways how Indian Economy can be improved by a common man

We always think about what government is doing regarding economy. Is our Finance Minister capable enough, Is RBI taking right steps towards uplifting economy or are we  just blindly following without questioning any of them.

But, hardly any of us would have ever tried to analyse whether we are also bit responsible for the condition of Indian economy in which it is today. Yes, of course we are. Each one of us knowingly or unknowingly somewhere responsible for this.

If we are going somewhere on Bike or Car, where we could have gone easily by walking or cycle or even public transport, we are importing extra litre of oil for which government is paying in dollars ,thus contributing to Current account deficit (CAD).

If we are buying Gold coins just for investment sake , and keeping them in lockers, we are again spending extra dollars which is resulting in price increase somewhere else.

There are many more such examples…But, I would rather focus on positive things, i.e what we can on our part to help our nations economy.In this article, I would discuss 7 ways how Indian Economy can be improved by a common man.

1. Less Use of Private Transport.

As explained earlier, more private transport implies  more oil imported. Oil alone stands at 66% of imports in India. Try avoiding going by bike/car and prefer to walk or use car pooling (car sharing). This will help three fold for you personally ; help your pocket, improves health and reduce pollution. Economy is benefited as an incentive.

Eco Funda -1 : Clearly understand Current Account Deficit with Examples.

So much news going around these days about high Current account deficit of India. Some say its because of poor economic policies of UPA and some owe it to high oil and gold imports . Well, today we will look into what exactly is Current Account deficit meaning with Examples and what causes it to be negative.

Before we understand Current account deficit (CAD), I would like to first discuss some other terms.
1.Balance Of Payments (BoP) : Every country is dependent on some other country for something.Thus, Exports and Imports and hence, payments done for them. Record of all those payments plus all other monetary transactions(investments, FDI,FII etc) between a country and rest of world is termed as Balance Of Payments.

BoP consists of two components :

a. Current Account(our Main concern right now)

b. Capital Account.

2. Balance of trade : Difference between Exports and imports.Whatever coming into country is POSITIVE and whatever going is NEGATIVE. So, if we export goods worth $100
and import goods worth $300 (definitely condition of India :P), then Balance of trade = Exports($100) – Imports($300) = – $200.
It is counted in Current Account.

3. Trade Deficit : If Balance of Trade is Negative , we term it as Trade Deficit. So, in above example , India has trade deficit of $200. If by chance, someday our exports exceed the imports, it will be termed as ‘Trade Surplus’. 😛 .(Don’t worry, that day will hardly come.)
4. FDI : Foreign Direct Investment.
5. FII : Foreign Institutional investors.

I know you must be familiar with FDI and FII terms. But, very few people know that exact difference between the two. Well, that is not our major concern right now , but briefly telling you, our FM P.Chidambram has explained in very simple words : If the stake of the company in other company is less than 10%, then it is FII and if  more than 10%, then it is FDI.

I Got it. What’s Next ?

Okay, now over with terms. Now, I want to discuss 2 simple Fundas.

Suppose, I am a resident of India. I buy a flat in London worth $100,000 (wow).Now, this money would be considered in Capital account as it is my investment(Negative, as money flowing out of India).
But, next month onwards, I start earning rent out of it (say $1000 every month), then this $1000 will be credited in Current account (Positive, as money coming into India).
Similarly, Foreigners buying flat in India.If American buys Flat in India ,that amount is counted in Capital Account (Positive), but rent paid by Indian counted as Negative in Current Account (Deficit).

Overview of why Egypt always in crisis ? What’s next ?

Egypt , well known as ‘Gift Of the Nile’ is not much of a gift for its natives as they suffering from one failed power to another. From the very early times, Egypt has been witnessing various revolutions for change of government, to address their concerns and lot more.

I have been reading a lot more about Egypt lately, but was not able to follow up clearly of what exactly the matter is. So, I went through all the history of Egypt and various newspaper articles, journals of previous years (all available on internet, ofcourse) and framed a summary of full Egypt crisis 2013 . Thought to share with you all. I hope you will like it.

So, we will start from very beginning.

Quick facts / brief History :

  1. One of the most populous countries of Africa.
  2. Invaded by French in 1798 , later by Britishers (defeating French).
  3. UK Govt issued unilateral Declaration of Egypt’s independence in FEb,1922.
  4. New Govt , New Constitution drafted.Saad Zaghlul, elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924.
  5. There was sort of political interference from King Farouk I and Britishers still prevalent in some parts of country.This lead to dissolution of parliament.
  6. Egyptian Revolution of 1952 started by a group of young army officers named “The Free Officers Movement”.Aimed at overthrowing constitutional monarchy and establish a republic .
  7. Following this revolution, rule of Egypt passed to military hands.Egyptian Republic declared,General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic.

8. After two more presidents, ‘Hosni Mubarak’  became fourth president of Egypt in 1981 and ruled for three decades, that is till 2011.
Here where the story starts  what we should all know.

People of Egypt suffered a lot during the period of presidency of Mubarak.They had both legal and political issues.

  • Autocratic governance of President Hosni Mubarak.
  • Corruption,poverty,unemployment.
  • Price inflation and other economic issues.
  • Lower wages to labourers.
  • Biggest reason – State of Emergency Laws.

Now what is State Of Emergency Law ?

Its something which started in early 1958 and continued till May 2012.The govt can declare this Emergency Law any time and what it results in :

1. Police powers get enormously extended.
2. Most constitutional rights suspended.
3. Anybody can be imprisoned for any period of time, that too without reasons and ofcourse , needless to say without trials.
4. Military ruler or his deputy has the power to monitor newspapers, journals, and other publications . He can even shun them without any cause.
and much more…….

Why only Delhi most unsafe ? What can drastically improve situation of women in India ?

A morning news where a 23 year old girl was gang-raped and then thrown off a moving bus bewildered me .It was not the first time I was listening to a rape case but this was something literally shocking and annoying.
I too have my cousins and friends living in NCR region and I know how much everyone feels insecure.
One important point is that the situation is far worse in other parts of the country than in Delhi. But, the reason why Delhi is considered is most unsafe is probably because :

1. More working population:

As more expensive city we move in, we find more educated class and hence more working people , in turn more working women. So, even if women feel unsafe, they have to travel at night as they don’t have any option. If a girl wishes to attend a tuition class or a working woman to attend an official meet, it cant be cancelled daily because they don’t feel safe on streets.
Whereas, in backward areas like some in Haryana, most women can adjust with timings as don’t have much critical to do at night that cant be done during day times. But, if they move in night , it is far more risky and dangerous than in Delhi.

2. More concern of family Reputation than of herself :

Even though in cities, rape is considered very shameful and most girls cant stand with dignity after such happenings, although she doesn’t have any fault of hers but still many are bold and educated to fight against it rather than sit at home crying. They register FIR and their parents support to fight against criminals .
But in villages, most cases go unreported as girls there, cant trust anyone, even their parents, that whether they will support her or not. Reason for the same is that already daughters are considered as a burden to the family members. Above that, if she brings bad name to the family, then family members and other members of rural society get enough reason to punish her or even kill her for absolutely no fault of hers.

Does being a politician gives you freedom to commit any crime and escape punishment ?

During recent past few weeks, many political leaders have made big news. From former Home minister Mr.Gopal Kanda , absconding  to evade arrest in Geetika Sharma suicide case, to West Bengal Chief minister Ms. Mamta Banerjee saying in assembly that Judiciary can be bought. And of course, not to forget U.P minister Shri Shivpal Yadav saying to his party members that its okay to steal a bit (do corruption) in our country where around more than 45% of the population survives on less that Rs.1000 a month.

Delhi police, strength of approx  85,000 policemen  is unable to find a former minister (owner of erstwhile MDLR airlines) who has a status of going from one state to another via private helicopter. What can we say about this statistics. Clearly, actions of police are under constant monitoring of some high power  minister who wants to save him.

People of  country like India, which stands 95th rank in briber index and 125th rank in corruption index in the world , if left with faith in something, that will be  Judiciary System. Now, if the head of the state without any substantial evidence declares in public that Judiciary can too be bought, then who else is remained to have faith on in this country. As per law, making any such allegation without substantial evidence is contempt of law and is a punishable offence. But, here case is different as person concerned is  the  Chief Minister of a state ,in  India who clearly mentioned in the assembly that Judiciary can be bought in our country.

Why not just print more money and remove poverty ?

When we have to buy something, and we don’t have cash , we ought to feel at times that wonder if we had the authority to print the money and spend lavishly. Any country ought to feel the similar way and specially at times of economic downturns .Then what does stop the country from doing so ? Is there a limit of how much money can be printed or should there be any backing of Gold or other reserves for printing money ?

The answer is that there is no such conditions to print money. Then why a country doesn’t  print money and get rich ? Lets see.