1. Gaza - Here's what happened:


    Updated: July 26, 2014

    • April 29, 2014: The deadline for the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel was supposed to release a number of prisoners as part of the deal. They failed to do so when the deadline arrived. This prompted the Palestinian president to…

    This post chronicles all that has happened in Gaza post April and will add more clarity to my previous blog post.

    Reblogged from: openlyawesome
  2. image

    It has been a sad July so far. The (alleged) takedown of MH17 by pro-russian militants of Croatia will go down as one of the most cruel and despicable acts of this decade - nearly 300 innocent people killed without warning. A single boom and the light was out. The photos of the wreckage and the description of bodies spread across 15 km (and loaded into chilling containers for transport) still sends a chill down my spine. The hype created by the media only adds to the sadness.

    What happened with MH17 was a one off incident, there is another act of terrorism that is hogging the limelight in the last few days. Interestingly, there are few leaders who have the balls to call this an act of terrorism! While the world leaders wear a blindfold (and earplugs!) and act as if nothing is wrong, Israel has incessantly bombed the population of Gaza with no mercy.

    (Note: If you are really interested in the background of this conflict, hit this link before you read on: http://goo.gl/mYcT)

    The death-toll has cross 800 as I write this. More than a third of these are children. The number will be redundant when you read this. The scale of this massacre in the name of “anti-terrorism” is sickening. The Hamas has used the residents of Gaza as a human shield but this has not deterred Israel which is hellbent on proving its might in the region. Every evening hundreds of Israelis gather at the border to ‘patriotically’ see their country blast missiles into Gaza and turn living and walking people to lifeless chunks of flesh and bone.


    Are palestinian lives not valuable? Does this really deter the Hamas who are safe in their bunkers? Should this go on till every person (Hamas or non-Hamas) in the conflict region is turned to food for grave-worms?

    When I think about it, this isn’t very different from the wars fought by Hitler and Stalin or the cold war. And it is indeed a replica of the wars fought by America in Iran and Afghanistan on the pretext of finding weapons or a guy called Osama bin Laden (interesting fact: US was the only country against the UN resolution condemning the acts of Israel in the Gaza region). More people were killed fighting terror than terrorism itself! Israel was very strong in its choice of words when it condemned American sieges on these territories. Where has the morality vanished when the war is in their own backyard? Was it all talk and no substance? Ask this to Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and I bet you will be rewarded with either silence or death.

    Dear Israeli government, we all want peace. We all want commerce and we all want happiness. Sometimes, drastic steps have to be taken to ensure that. But, terrorism cannot be fought with terrorism. Please take your war to a place where innocent children, women and men don’t have to be thankful for every sunrise and sunset they see. Take the war to the boardroom instead of the border and sort your differences out. If you meet the Hamas halfway, they will go the distance to ensure peace. You just have to be more tolerant and willing to compromise. The world can definitely do with fewer dead bodies. As they say in my mother-tongue (Gujarati) - “ભગવાન તમને સદબુદ્ધિ આપે! - May god grant you the wisdom to know what is right and what is wrong.” 

    Image Credits: 
    (1) http://www.democracyinlebanon.org/war/hezbollah-israel-war2006.htm (representational image)
    (2) http://forward.com/articles/202122/gaza-war-a-real-life-reality-show-for-israelis-nea/

  3. "Acche din." - This was the plank on which the BJP and Narendra Modi laid the foundation of arguably the best election campaigns post independence. It was not a surprise when they won with overwhelming majority. But, every coin has two sides - with a clear majority, the government has no excuse not to take tough measures to revive the economy and give the needed adrenaline shot to business in India. The fiscal budget will be the acid test to determine whether the government has the balls to throw populist measures out of the window and do what is actually needed from a long term perspective.

    10 basic expectations that I have from this budget:

    • Retrospective taxation - This needs to be removed. If nothing else happens but this, I will be happy. Retrospective taxation just makes companies jittery when it comes to investing in India. - CHECK
    • Company Act - Needs reforms. It is ridiculous that independent directors have more powers than promoters. It eventually leads to stooges on the board. Jaitleyji - please set a platform for reforms in this direction.
    Read more
  4. In the world of drab places, a photocopy center would surely be one of the drab-est (oh Oxford! Just add this word!) places. But sometimes you end up meeting specimens that restore your faith that you can find humour anywhere on earth, even in a photocopy center!

    I am this place to get a couple of documents scanned and as usual, the computers are down. I am told to wait for a few minutes to get my work done and I patiently wait (what else can one do!). A few minutes later, a lady with her (on first look) teenage daughter comes to the shop to get a few documents scanned. She is politely told to wait as the systems are down.

    A few minutes pass. The systems are back on. The owner asks me for my documents and this is when hilarity ensues! The lady is visibly distraught and storms towards the owner who is blissfully unaware of the impending torpedo in human form. 

    She: (angrily) "Bandh karo kaam and mari vaat sambhado!" (Stop what you are doing and listen to me!)

    He: (politely) "Bolo ben?" (Yes?)

    She: “Tamne dekhatu nathi ke ahiya ladies bethi che? Aa bhai nu kaam pehla kevi rite kari shako? Ladies nu kaam pehla patavvani buddhi nathi chalti?” (Can’t you see that females are waiting for some work here? How dare you finish the work of a man before that of a woman? Don’t you have the common sense to finish the work of females first?)

    He: (politely) "Tame emna pachi avya ne?" (You came to the shop after the guy right?)

    She: (angrily) "E badhu tamari jode rakho!" (Keep that sh*t to yourself!)

    And she storms off. The world surely is a funny place!

  5. funnyordie:

An Official Complaint from a Maid at King’s Landing
Four seasons worth of Game of Thrones bloodshed has left behind quite the mess at King’s Landing. One maid has had enough.

Even the seven kingdoms have worker rights and complaint redressal systems!


    An Official Complaint from a Maid at King’s Landing

    Four seasons worth of Game of Thrones bloodshed has left behind quite the mess at King’s Landing. One maid has had enough.

    Even the seven kingdoms have worker rights and complaint redressal systems!

    Reblogged from: funnyordie
  6. I came across this paragraph while reading the book - The Everything Store by Brad Stone

    • For Wegner, the questions being asked that day carried personal resonance. “We had a key decision to make,” he says. “Was distribution a commodity or was it a core competency? If it’s a commodity, why invest in it? And when we grow, do we continue to do it on our own or do we outsource it?” If Amazon chose to outsource it, Wegner might be out of a job. “I basically saw my own career flash before my eyes,” he says.

    Quite interesting for a multitude of reasons. It is the point where the big debate of a core competency vs. a commodity activity is spawned and leads Amazon to the advantage it has in the industry at this point in time - supply chain. Another interesting angle is the mindset of a particular stakeholder - Wenger. As a person in charge of the process, if it is commoditized and outsourced, he would be out of an amazing job. Maturity is a gift given to few and in the subsequent pages (or years?) Wenger displays phenomenal maturity in leading the process improvement drives in Amazon.

    Read more
  7. It was the night of happiness. Across latitudes and longitudes, across countries, across continents, across the barriers of race and religion, it was the center point in time when everyone forgot their differences and celebrated with equal fervor. It was New Year ’s Eve and the clock had just ushered in the new year.

    His palms were sweaty when he picked up the phone. His heartbeats felt like the violent octaves of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. This was a first for him. Self-assurance and confidence came natural to him and this nervousness felt new and alien. With shaky hands, he dialed a number. It was a call that would change his life.

    He: “Happy new year kiddo. May the new year bring a lot of happiness in your life!”

    She: “Happy new year to you too! I was expecting your call. How have you been?”

    He: “I want to tell you something,”

    She: “What?”

    He: “I love you.”


    It was six months back, on a rainy evening when he saw her for the first time. He had known her for a long time. He always felt that he had known her longer than he knew. It was the virtual world that had connected them – the web of facebook, chat, whatsapp and phone had got him to know her deep inside.

    Read more
  8. So Arvind Kejriwal decides to contest against Narendra Modi from Varanasi. 
    This is quite interesting. IMHO, if he truly believes that Modi is the root of all evil, he should contest from Vadodara constituency too. This way, he can ensure that he wipes him out. Alternatively, he could additionally contest against Sonia Gandhi from from Rae Bareilly or Rahul Gandhi from Amethi to ensure that the most corrupt government of all time loses its key member. 

    But… Varanasi is good enough to give him the media coverage he so desperately wants, so why bother? Who cares about closure? Why think about Congress? Why care about consistency? Shoot and scoot is the name of the game!

  9. Going forward from today, Honesty is dead for good. Time to put it in a casket and bury it or burn it. That’s what you do with dead things. Hope for a interesting obituary in newspapers tomorrow.

    In an unrelated incident, Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal announces sops for power defaulters leaving people who paid the bills high and dry.

  10. Video: The World's Most Innovative Companies of 2014


    "Every year the editors of Fast Company pick 50 of the world’s Most Innovative Companies. We pick them not just for financial reasons, these aren’t just good businesses, but because we think they’re changing the way we live.”

    Reblogged from: fastcompany

Here speaketh the Bania

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