The Great Indian Middle Class and Kindle

I still remember the day when we got our own telephone in our home in Nasik. That was a privilege those days and we being a lower middle class family, it was sort of pride for us. Switch to 2010 and things are different in India. Almost everyone you will see walking on the street owns a mobile phone. The famous STD/ISD calling booths have almost vanished from the landscape. It was supposed to be one of the important medium for youth to earn a livelihood not so long ago.

The middle class of India has come of age and there are many a reasons for the evolution of this class. I am not gonna list down the reasons of change but something interesting. Just read some of the interesting facts about the rising Indian middle class below:

The Asian middle class, powered by India and China, is fast replacing Europeans and Americans as the global consumers who anchor the world economy, says a new study by the Asian Development Bank.
  1. India’s booming middle class — or, those who spend anywhere between $2 and $20 ( 93 to 930) a day on purchasing power parity basis — is now spurring consumption and innovation in the country, said the study, The Rise of Asia's Middle Class, released on Thursday.
  2. However, more than three-fourths of India’s 274 million-strong middle class face the risk of slipping back into poverty in the event of a major economic shock as they are in the lowest spending bracket of $2-4 ( 93-186) a day.
  3. Over the next two decades, the Indian middle class population is expected to touch one billion, it said. And 55% of the world’s middle class will be in Asia by 2030, up from 25% now.
  4. The study found that Asia’s consumers spent an estimated $4.3 trillion (in 2005 purchasing power parity dollars), or about one-third of OECD consumption expenditure, in 2008 and by 2030 will likely spend $32 trillion, comprising about 43% of the worldwide consumption.
  5. China had 817 million people, or 63% of its population, in the middle class bracket in 2008.
Ok enough said about the middle class of India. So what's it got to do with Kindle? Well, nothing! Just wanted to share with you that India has an answer to Kindle as well. The same way we have one for the iPad.

Bangalore-based EC Media will launch a desi version of the e-book reader, Wink, on September 1.  It will allow readers to access their favourite content anytime and anywhere, in the language of their choice and aims to revolutionise the way people read. It will be having a 6-inch display screen and will come with a 2GB internal memory expandable up to 16 GB and can last up to 300 hours when fully charged. The product will be priced at Rs. 11,400.

The gadget will offer a one-stop e-store where consumers can access e-book titles, newspapers, magazines and journals across 15 Indian languages. Wink will initially provide access to over 2,00,000 titles and has enrolled top publishers like Penguin, Roli, Oxford University, Harper Collins and Permanent Black.

Quit Corruption Movement

Today we celebrate yet another Independence Day! We Indians take pride in being citizens of a free country but think again. Are we really free?

"If only we had foreseen the recent developments, probably we might have not fought for the nation’s independence from the British government!"

These are words of a freedom fighter and I read these in one of the columns today. What a shame for myself and my country! We all know it is there, we all know it's the reason for India's debacle in many fields and we all know it's because of us ... still it is there and spreading like a virus all across.

Now is the time to fight back hard. Fight for a India free of corruption. YOU can make it happen. Don't wait for anyone else to clean your house. It's your duty. If you take pride in being an Indian, be one by saying NO to corruption from today. Things will work without corruption. You will have to struggle a bit in the beginning but then, we didn't get Freedom for FREE! So many people laid their lives for this country. Can't you just do one simple thing by saying NO to corruption?

Think and join the 'Quit Corruption Movement'! You can join us at Facebook as well. just click here to be a part of 'Quit Corruption Movement'.

"Today at midnight, when most of the Indians are sleeping, I am awake to life and freedom in true sense for my country. I take the pledge of making my nation free from corruption. I may be a fool and loner but I know with time, I will have some more fools joining me."  - DholiBaba

'iPad' Killer 'Adam' - Made in India!

Believe it or not, if you have a look at this tiny thing called 'Adam', iPad will look outdated!

Hyderabad based Notion Ink has developed this wonder called 'Adam'. Early prototype of Adam was first demonstrated at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the world's largest consumer tech trade show in January this year. 

Never heard of Notion Ink? Its founders are six IITans and an MBA grad. With an average age of 24, they believe India has what it takes to compete with the most innovative tech companies in the world.

What's so different about their tech? Three years in the making, the Adam tablet is the first device in the world to integrate two breakthrough power saving components - nVidia’s Tegra 2 chip and a PixelQi screen. Together, they help it achieve twice the battery life and performance of the iPad. 

The chip provides an edge over the iPad with its ability to play full high definition videos and Flash on the web browser. It can offer the performance of a computer with the power consumption of a cellphone!

Adam’s 10-inch screen integrates many innovations first used in the $100 OLPC (one laptop per child) project. Unlike traditional screens, PixelQI screen has a dual mode, and can be read in bright sunlight like an e-reader. Notion Ink worked with National Institute of Design’s R&D development campus in Bangalore to build a unique touch interface that runs on Google’s Android mobile operating system. 

Enough said by Baba, you can visit the company's website by clicking here.

Now don't I always say. "Be a proud Indian. We got all thats needed to be a superpower!"

वैसा भी होता है - पार्ट ३ (Miracles Do Happen!)

I hate when the door bell rings at 7 O'clock in the morning but today was an exception! To my surprise there was a postman from India Postal Services standing downstairs and even more surprising was the fact that he had come to deliver the passport of my son ‘Arav’! My lucky day, it must be, for sure.

Well as you are aware (and if you are not aware, read my older posts with the passport story of mine here), I was pretty sure about the way I was gonna behave in this system and follow my path … Path of not paying bribe to any Government official.  I must say and am proud to say that I got my son’s passport without paying a single penny as a bribe to anyone.

To be frank, it’s not a miracle and I have not done anything great here. But I just want to tell you all that you can get your work done from Government even if you don’t pay bribe to anyone. I know it’s not simple but trust me, it’s not impossible either. What happens really is that you pay bribe for your comfort and you make these Government employees used to this thing called bribe. It’s you who can stop this and only you can make the coming generations happy with a small step.

I have never liked the concept of doing a favor to anyone for getting any work done all my life. The problem with Indians in general is that they are by now used to things like doing a favor to get their work done. Well, a good example is we Indians pay bribe even to GOD! We offer him worship in the form of money, flowers and what not. Isn’t it bribe? I think so and it’s not necessary that you agree with me. I got my own thinking!. Instead of offering money in temples, if Indians start using the same money for good caused like poor children’s  education or providing food to deprived children, I think the GOD (if there is one) will be more happy.

So from today, always stand against corruption in any form. You have to lead the way. No single person can bring change – I have been hearing this all my life and been told every time I fight for justice in the corrupt system, but I know that an ocean is formed cause of the drops. Billions of drops make an ocean and we are a billion people country!

Last but not the least, if you want to know whom to approach in case there is injustice to you with respect to getting your passport, please get in touch with the below people:

Appellate Authority 
Shri A. Manickam, 
Joint Secretary (CPV) & CPO, 
Room No. 20, CPV Division , 
Ministry of External Affairs,
Patiala House, Tilak Marg, 
New Delhi-110001 
Fax no +91-11-23782821
E-mail :

Central Public Information Officer 
Shri Bidhi Chand
Deputy Passport Officer & CPIO
Room No. 31 CPV Division.
Ministry of External Affairs
Patiala House
New Delhi - 110001
Tel & Fax : 0091-11-23388648

If you don’t get any response from the above two guys, you can escalate your problems to the Union Minister of State – Ministry of External Affairs, Smt.Preneet Kaur at her mail ID preneet@sansad.nic.inIn my case, I had to reach out to the Minister of State and it worked. I didn’t even go to the passport office for my issue and it was resolved by approaching her.

You can also visit the RTI (Right to Information) website at .  If you are more interested in knowing the RTI and its first four years, you can download a research paper by just clicking here.

Take an oath this Independence Day – “I will not pay bribe for any work to any Government of India official”. Your next generation will be very happy with your simple step taken today!

फ्रेंडशिप डे (Friendship Day) ...

“Do you have a friendship band for sale?” शी-शू करायची अक्कल आत्ता आत्ता आलेल्या साडेपाच वर्ष्यांच्या  मुलीला मी एका दुकानदारास विचारताना बघितलं  दोन दिवसां पूर्वी.

आमची शाळा आठवली. फ्रेंडशिप म्हणजे काय, ते आम्हाला सातवी-आठवीत (खर बोलायचं तर थोड लवकरच कळायला लागल होत हे सर्व) कळू लागलं. तेदेखील मुला-मुलांच्या फ्रेंडशिपबद्दलच. मुला-मुलींची फ्रेंडशिप वगैरे नाव काढायचीच सोय नव्हती. एक गाल शिक्षकांनी आणि दुसरा घरच्यांनी लाल केला असता, अशी परिस्थिती होती. शाळेत मुला-मुलींच्या गप्पा, मैत्रीवर अघोषित बंदी होती. शाळेनं तशी घातली नव्हती, पण प्रथाही नव्हती. मुला-मुलींना चिडवणं वगैरे चालायचं. एखाद्या मुलीला एखाद्या मुलाच्या नावानं जास्तच चिडवलं जाऊ लागलं, की ती राखीपौर्णिमेला थेट त्याला राखीच बांधायची. मुला-मुलींमध्ये एकच नातं होतं - भावा बहिणींचं! कसं अगदी पवित्र नातं! आम्ही वर्ग डोक्‍यावर घ्यायचो म्हणून सातवीत आम्हाला भयंकर "शिक्षा' झाली होती. मुलींच्या शेजारी एकाच बाकावर बसण्याची! एखाद्या मुलीच्या शेजारी बसण्यासारखा अपमान आणि अवहेलना नव्हती! आम्ही मग बेंचवर "हद्द' आखून घ्यायचो. माझ्या हद्दीत तू फिरकायचं नाही...हात ठेवायचा नाही...पेन इकडे येता कामा नये, एवढ्या पातळीवर ही खुन्नस चालायची. झ्या शेजारी राहणारी मुलगी माझ्या पुढच्याच बाकावर बसायची, पण मी वर्गात तिच्याशी जेमतेम एक-दोनदा बोललो असेन. तेदेखील पेन खाली पडलंय, खोडरबर आहे का वगैरे प्रश्‍नांसाठी. फ्रेंडशिप वगैरे करण्याचं वारं कॉलेजात गेल्यावरच डोक्‍यात शिरलं. स्लॅमबुक देखील वर्षाच्या अखेरीस हाती पडलं.

पण जेव्हा पासून इंटरनेट चा आधार मिळाला, तेव्हा पासून सर्व काही बदलल.  ह्या माध्यमातून अनेक चांगले मित्र मिळाले. कुणी माझ्या गावाचे निघाले, कुणाशी विचार जुळले, कुणाशी भावनिक तारा जमल्या,  अनेकांशी दृढ मैत्री झाली. ती केवळ व्हर्च्युअल न राहता प्रत्यक्षही भेटणं झालं. अहो मला तर माझी बायको हि इथेच भेटली! 

असं असलं, तरी फ्रेंडशिप बॅंड वगैरे मैत्रीच्या देखाव्यात कधी अडकावंसं वाटलं नाही. तशा दिखाऊ मैत्रीपेक्षा खूप घट्ट मैत्री असली, तरी ती जगाला ओरडून सांगावीशी वाटली नाही. कधीकधी स्पष्ट बोलण्यानं, अलिप्त वागण्यानं काही मित्र दुखावले, काही दूर गेले, काहींनी अचानक रामराम ठोकला. पण जे उरले, त्यांच्याशी छान संवाद राहिला. त्यांच्या आयुष्यात वेगवेगळी स्थित्यंतरं आली...दरवेळी मला साथीला जाता आलंच असं नाही, पण त्यांच्याबद्दल प्रेम, आपुलकी, मदतीची भावना कायम राहिली. आजही आहे...जे दूर गेले, त्यांनाही या निमित्तानं परत येण्यासाठी ही हाक आणि जे आहेत, त्यांच्याशी मैत्री अधिक घट्ट व्हावी, ही सदिच्छा!

फ्रेंडशिप बॅंडच्या निमित्तानं बऱ्याच आठवणींवरचा पडदा निघाला. लिहायचं होतं जरा हलकंफुलकं, पण जरा भावनांचे कढ जास्तच झाले.