Four Stray Thoughts : December 1, 2009

Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for the day:

1. Need more, pay more: So finally it seems that there will be no more power cuts for the Mumbai suburbs and other parts of Maharashtra. Did they magically produce the extra power … no! They did what we all suspected along that there is enough power…Its just that they want you to pay more for it. And in return they guarantee, no power cuts. They have also proposed a phased plan to implement this and will start with their own definitions of who needs power first. If this was the case all along, they should have merrily increased the rates long time back and got the power. But what they have ended up doing is destroying industries, small business and ruined the daily lives of people. And to add misery to the people’s woes, they say that all this price rise will only be temporary till 2012, when Maharashtra will be power surplus. Power surplus … now that must be the most cruel joke that I have read all day.

2. Kasab gets a new lawyer: It has been a year now since the Mumbai attacks and the only attacker caught alive, is still going through the trial. And to top it all, the judge presiding over the trial has fired Kasab’s lawyer. If you read it clearly the judge says that he had to fire the lawyer because he is deliberately trying to delay the proceedings. Deliberately? Cmon, what are we talking about here? Here is a case of national significance where we need to pronounce the verdict soon and make it decisive. And the judge accuses the lawyer of deliberately trying to delay things. If the judge is indeed correct, then the lawyer should be charged with having committed a serious offense and should be punished too. This is not a small case where the judge says that I think you are not doing your job and so you go away. The whole country (if not the world) is watching and it is grave injustice to the people who have lost their family members, if the court proceedings resemble a tamasha. So if the judge and our systems are really serious, please punish the lawyer else it is becoming a joke.

3. Act now or we will act: So it seems that the US is again tired of Pakistan not doing enough and have delivered them a 2-page letter. The letter tells them that there cannot be double standards and they must walk the talk. I think if there is anyone who will have to do the walking, then it is the US. You have started a job, now you must finish it. You cannot expect rogue elements in Pakistan to complete your job for  you. I would not even blame the US for that matter. It amuses me to whom they have written the letter. To the President, to the PM, to the army, to the extremists, to Pakistan Taliban, to North West Frontier tribals … you would be as confused as the postman who had to deliver this letter. The letter since it contains what action needs to be taken, should be addressed to the person who can take the action. I am surprised that the Pakistani politicians have not yet raised the issue that Obama wrote this letter after being instigated by India. You see, Manmohan Singh had recently been to the US and he must have brain washed Obama into writing it.

4. Bank Agents: The next time you go to your favourite kirana store, please pass along to him your bank pass book too, so that he can update it for you. Yes, this scenario seems straight out of hell. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the RBI wants us to be subjected too. A vision that I call “Customer Service Hell”. The banks are pathetic enough in their customer service and with the outsourced call centres, it is all the more remote to get any work done without spending significant amounts of time and money. So they compound it, they say that all these mom and pop stores can now act as your bank agents. If the bank folks cannot do proper customer service, you can as well assume that you will be worse off if your kirana store is told to take your passbook and update it for you. They will simply pass the buck that the bank is still waiting on the item. It is common practice that for any organization whether it is a conglomerate or a small shop, it should strive to do one thing well. Just one thing. By mixing up your food grains, medical supplies with bank work is asking for trouble. Well actually, there might be a point to all this madness. How about walking into your medical shop, collect your medicines and since your medical shop owner is a bank agent too, tell him to collect the money from your account directly.

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