The Aww.. Crap! Threshold

[Depending on the kind of vehicle you own, you tend to go Aww.. Crap! for a certain distance above which you have to travel. Here's mine..]

You walk = 1.2Km

You ride a bicycle = 2.5Km

You ride a scooter = 4Km

You ride a bike = 4.5Km

You drive a car = 7Km

You drive a bus = .2Km

You fly a helicopter = o.0

You navigate a UFO = The ladies toilet (in case ur male, vice-versa if ur female)

Cell Phone Gang

[In the wake of rampant cell phone stealing in my area and due to zero media coverage, I thought of doing my bit and write a humble little blog post about it...]

Two methods by which they work:

1. As you are walking down the road merrily talking into your phone, they come by bike and whack you on the back. As this happens you fall to the floor dazed and your cell flies out of your hand and onto the road in front of you. The guys in the bike overtake you, pick up the fallen phone and speed away before you have the time to react.

2. A "well dressed" guy come along on a bike and asks you for your phone. He says he has to make a very urgent call and has lost his phone/no balance/no validity. When you give him your phone, he talks for a long while (oh! and very decently asking the person on the other side to make the call of course after an initial message or short call from your phone) till your guard is down and suddenly speeds of on his bike leaving you to bite the dust (yes, he keeps his bike;s engine running, an indicator that he's a thief)

Not much is know about the origin of these theives except that they are from the fishing areas of Chennai. They seem to have divided South Chennai into specific area where each gang operates. A reminisence of Viramani's time? Who knows...???

On Cell Phones & Electricity

"Cellphone service is widely available in India at low cost because it was regarded as a luxury and therefore left to the market, while electricity is hard to obtain because it has been regarded as a necessity and therefore managed by the government"
- Martin Feldstein, Harvard Economist, February 16th 2006 in the Wall Street Journal

On wells, stock market crashes and what your mommy told you

Remember the time when your parents were called to the principal's office because of some trouble you got into at school? And after you were sent home with them, remember the long lecture about being a good boy/girl? INEVITABLY, at some point in the whole (almost) one -sided conversation, you would have raised a small argument, a small but very popular one of course. Like this one...

"But ma, all the other kids were doing it" . And then your parents think they can go all Buddha on you and decide to quell you with the 'smart' metaphor of:

"So if all your friends were to jump into the well, would you do that as well??"
[The first well ---->]

and you would probably have shut up. But were they really that awesomely correct for you to admit defeat?

So, now that I'm an economist and with all the buzz about the recession going around, I did get to read up a little about stock market crashes. Now a crash happens largely due to large scale selling of stocks (or any other security) leading to a downward spiral of devaluations. Now, if you held a stock and you DIDN'T sell during a market crash, they would be worthless in a very short time and you'd lose a lot of hard earned money. Now it so happens that in a crash, not all parties know why the stock is so bad and needs to be sold (asymmetric information), they only know that it IS being sold and hence is bad and they'd better start selling as well. So, coming back to the well.. if all your friends are jumping into the well, you'd better to that too... else you're screwed...

Here's why you might want to jump into the well when everyone around you is also doing the same..

1. You're in the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre (am not sure if I should put this here, but I hope you get the idea)

2. There's a nuclear shockwave approaching

3. The aliens from Mel Gibson's "Signs"are here, and as you might know, they are dissolvable

and a million other reasons. Your friend's aren't stupid, if they are all jumping into the well, I'm pretty sure they have a valid reason to do so. And I guess you'll want to as well if you knew that reason.. but only that you dont know it.. yet...

So, we finally realise that what your mommy told you... was.... well....wrong :|

Inside The Prison Cell

Here is the inside of an American prison cell in Guantanamo Bay

And here is the inside of an Indian slum dweller's home..

Seriously... What the hell??

On Hugging

[A warm up post...]

It is a known fact that hugging is less prevalent in India than in many other countries. Sure, we have our customs like the famous 'namaste' sign or falling at our elder's feet, but hugging.. well.. lets see...

Why hugging may not have caught on in India
1. India is a hot country and people sweat a lot. You really don't want to hug hot n smelly people do ya?

2. India being a crowded place, you might expect all of us to be comfortable with having people all around. Our personal spaces are indeed of a smaller diameter than some person from say, Austria? But our mental head spaces are just as large as any one elses. A hug would in a sense be intruding onto an already agitated head space.

3.Indians are spiritually aware as a culture. The concept of an aura/chakra/prana/whatever being taken into account in almost everything. A hug does, technically disturb both the individuals pranic flow in the body when the chakras come in contact during a hug and hence ill-advised.

What do I conclude form this? Its hot n smelly and AC rooms would be awesome if not for the green house gasses they emit and the power guzzlers that they are..