You can’t get drunk unless you’re 25

A road sign attempts to discourage drivers fro...

The Maharashtra State government devised a novel solution for the menace of drunken driving.

Simple, let’s just raise the minimum age for alcohol consumption from 21 to 25. A youngster can purchase beer at the age of 21. Other hard liquors are to be consumed only at 25.

You can get a driving license at 16, marry at 21 but can’t drink until 25.

I guess, the state of Maharashtra won’t have any young drunk drivers any more.

PS: I’m mostly a teetotaller but some laws are truly absurd.

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If fake pilots are flying, what are real pilots doing? (Satire)

The shocking news that fake pilots have been flying jumbos and airbuses for SpiceJet and Kingfisher has eviscerated the flying public. There exists widespread outrage.

An intrepid journalist decided to investigate and find out what genuine pilots in Mumbai city are up to , in the absence of jobs (taken up by fake pilots) in the private and public sector.

A few pilots have been discovered practicing their craft on flight simulators; the simulators give them a feeling for the real thing and are less expensive on their pocket-books.

Other licenced pilots have been discovered at Lions Park, Juhu, pretending to fly the concrete airplane.

The aeroplane at Lions Park, Juhu

Yet, other pilots have made it a daily ritual to watch air planes take off and land at Sahar and Santacruz aerodromes.

It has been learnt from reliable sources that the Indian government will be floating tenders for private ‘fake’ airlines who will be allocated ‘fake’ routes.

Details of the tender bids will be advertised in the online journal “Faking News”.

Logo of the Indian news satire website Faking News

Image via Wikipedia

Kindly watch this space for more details.

Disclaimer: The facts in this article are made up but you knew that already, didn’t you?

Quote of the day:
No man ever listened himself out of a job. – Calvin Coolidge

Have a complaint? Will complain!

India

Image via Wikipedia

Ever wondered whom to turn to for those little, niggling, minor complaints or irritants that others tell you are nothing or just to live with it?

After all, that’s life in India. Chalta hai, everything goes!

Well, if you have an internet connection and the time, Complaints India might just be the place for you.

The web-site address is : http://www.complaints-india.com

All you need to do is fill out a form and your grievance will be published on the site.

If you take the trouble to locate the offending party’s e-mail address, your plaint will be forwarded to the (un)concerned party.

If not, the good guys at Complaints India will try and  locate the appropriate address from their database.

The site works on the premise that firms do not want the adverse publicity generated regards  their products and/or services.

Good luck complaining!

Quote of the day:
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim. – Bertrand Russell

The smoking Bacchan ‘bahu’: Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai at the Cannes film festival

Image via Wikipedia

Aishwarya Rai is smoking!

Literally so!

The Guzaarish posters on BEST buses have drawn the ire of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

The pictures depicting a puffing Rai “send a wrong message to society and should be withdrawn immediately” says Avinash Abhyankar , president of the MNS BEST workers’ union.

If the MNS are railing against any endorsement of smoking in general , then maybe they have a point.

But if they are particularly against women smoking or waging a vendetta against the Bacchan ‘parivar’, then their protestations should not cut any ice with the general public and should be seen as yet another attempt to hog the limelight.

“Smoking is injurious to health and can cause carcinogenic diseases” should be on the agenda of every political party.

Does anybody know what has happened about the ban on smoking in public places? Are there any statistics about the sums collected in fines? Is that law just on paper? Has it ever been enforced?

Just a thought!

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white. Colour version available) Aishwarya Rai arrives at the World Premiere of 'Raavan' at the BFI Southbank on June 16, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Quote of the day:
Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done. – Andy Rooney

Ten days to results: Mumbai university starts off on the right foot

University of Mumbai library, India

Image via Wikipedia

Mumbai University have set a record of sorts by declaring the October TY B Com exam results within ten days. This minor miracle was made possible by a change in ‘methodology’; six centralised assessment of papers were set up at South Mumbai. Navi Mumbai and Thane. This had the effect of reducing the travel time of the evaluators who would previously travel to Kalina campus.

Just goes to show that more than technology itself, it is change effected in processes that has more of an impact.

The statutory requirement is that results are to be declared within 45 days of the exams.

This year’s March-April examinations were declared after 89 days ;the university was severely criticised for a lackadaisical attitude towards the students.

The number of CAP centres will be raised to 15 – 20 for next year’s March exam.

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

Meter Jam 2 Jams!

Bangkok, Thailand

The second Meter Jam organized on the 12th of October, 2010, did not quite take off in its offline avatar.

The harried office-goers blithely ignored all entreaties to boycott the rude auto and taxi drivers.

Social activism needs to be planned and there seemed to be no plan B.

The commuters seemed to ask the question: “Yes, we know that the rickshaw and taxi pliers are cheats, rude and ill-mannered and have no or little consideration for their customer’s needs. But tell us why should we punish ourselves to punish them? Are we masochistic? Can you provide us some alternative mode of transportation? Do you think that reaching late to work is going to be excused by our superiors when we say we took the bus so that Meter Jam could be a resounding success?”

The only sliver was the Mulund drive which saw a dozen vehicles put into use for car-pooling. Now, that’s a plan!

Social activism that ignores the ground realities will be a dodo!

Lest, you think I am being harsh on the organizers, let me tell you that I have no liking for the rickshaw drivers’ autocratic ways.

I have suffered doctored meters, have been refused several times and have resorted to verbal abuse and complaints to book erring drivers.

But to expect just altruistic motives to win the day is unreal!

India is no utopia!

Quote of the day:
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. – Unknown

Mumbai First For Meter Jam

the bliss dancer at dawn

Image by john curley via Flickr

In this age where dysfunctional behaviour is winked at, it is refreshing to note that the organizers of the Meter Jam campaign have taken another step forward by adding an offline component to their online avatar.

Area volunteers will be created in a bid to create awareness in the general public of commuter rights.

At the same time, Hindustan Times have launched a Facebook fan-page called HT Mumbai First that is dedicated to tracking genuine complaints , which are then forwarded to the traffic police department.

Just two interesting movements FYI!

Meter Jam After Effects

Waiting for a taxi

Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

The latest news in the media is that Meter Jam made the state transport department sit up and take notice.

A drive has been launched in certain pockets of the city to ensure that auto and taxi drivers will face punitive charges if they are discovered refusing to ferry passengers for short distances.

This is despite the helpline – set up by the department earlier – meeting with limited or  no success although there were quite a few disgruntled complaints (more than 3000 in 2 months) by members from the traveling public.

Drivers will be educated on how to treat their paying customers.

What can I say except that I hope that progress is continual and drives are not followed by periods of hibernation , and then more drives. Kicks in the butt should not just have you saying ouch but also  propel you forward. Else it’s just an ouch , a band-aid and back to business as usual!

Have a great Independence Day!

Quote of the day:
I have often depended on the blindness of strangers. – Adrienne E. Gusoff

Meter Jam

An auto rickshaw in Bangalore, India

Image via Wikipedia

The Meter Jam – a boycott of rude, unruly autorickshaw and taxi drivers – organized largely online via a Facebook Fan Page and a website, was  a  tiny, minuscule success.  In  just a few pockets in the city were rickshaw and taxi drivers were seen seeking passengers,in vain. For the rest, it was business as usual.

One of the reasons was that the folks who use these modes of transport do not have any alternate means of transport other than BEST buses and local trains. Expecting them to take part in the protest was perhaps wishful thinking; it was more like punishing the would be punishers. As for the rest, who enthusiastically were a part of Meter Jam but used their own transport to get to work or anywhere else and also forgot to car pool, lest  you think you struck a blow against the tyranny of rickshaw and taxi pliers, lest you pump yourself up with bloated self-righteousness, lest you feel that mere tokenism is going to win you brownie points,  I am sorry to disappoint you and tell you vehemently, YOU DIDN’T!

Quote of the day:
We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. – Oscar Wilde

Returns, Repairs & Videocon!

The EU requires washing machines carry an effi...

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Best estimate of the share of people in develo...

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The weakest link in any Supply Chain is the returns and repairs that any firm handles! This was brought home to me even more emphatically when the washing machine, recently bought from the local appliance store (IMP Electronics), manufactured by Videocon, malfunctioned.

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