Perfect Revenge By The Onions

No the title is not a tagline of any new Hollywood or Bollywood movie but I am talking about onions as a vegetable taking revenge from the Indian market. Onion is one of the basic seasoning that is used in most Indian dishes. Excepting about 1% of the pure vegan Indians, the rest of the nation swears by onions day and night. However, last week the price of this favorite Indian condiment has hit 80 INR per Kg causing mayhem in the ordinary Indian household. In a country where the earning members of a common family get about 100 INR per day, eating onion (from now on) would be counted as a luxury from now onwards.

Price Hike

The wholesale onion market of India which is located at Lasalgaon, Maharashtra has witnessed the highest bid for onion per Kg last week i.e. 24 INR per Kg. This incident has sparked off protests in many parts of the nation and followed by many strange occurrences like looting of a truck that was carrying about 9000 Kgs of onions near Delhi. Such incident of plunder reminds us of the famous Kakori robbery case, where the revolutionary Indian freedom fighters were trying to plunder the British government for buying arms so that they can put up a strong fight against the foreign ruling power.

onions price rise

However, now a slight difference can be noticed. The common people are actually taking recourse of the traditional means of protesting to show their grievances against the exiting government of a democratic republic. The worst part is that, rumor has it that the price is going to increase further in the near future and may touch 100 INR per Kg. Though there is hardly any place left to absorb further shock, but still the general people must prepare themselves for further worsening of the situation. India is one of the largest exporters of onions. But the current scenario has forced the government to take measure to curtail onion export.

The Proposed Reason

Decline in supply of onion from the major onion producing region like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and other states of the nation has been attributed to unfavorable climatic condition and drought by the Director and other key official of NHRDF. They are of the opinion that by next season when the kharif crops will be harvested, the price of onion will be again slashed. They have also negotiated with the farmers for increasing the area of onion cultivation but still a lot depends on the weather conditions.

The Government’s  Opinion

However, the central government of India has a totally different explanation for the skyrocketing price of onions. They are of the opinion that the explanations given by the wholesalers in Azad Mandi, which is Asia’s largest wholesale market, is absolutely baseless. On the contrary, the crisis in supply is created by them. They are hoarding onions so that the price shoots up and they earn a lot of profit within a short span of time. To stop such illicit activity the government has announced that it would buy onions directly from the wholesale markets of the most thriving onion producing states so that the prices can be brought back to normal.

Politicization of Issue

The general elections being round the corner, the opposing parties are leaving no opportunity to denounce the ruling party and bringing forth its incompetence to the people. The BJP and Congress are campaigning aggressively for the next general election and onion, being an indispensable part of every Indian kitchen, striking this chord has certainly helped in flaring up negative public opinion against the ruling party. The ‘aam janta of India’ whose believe in the existing ruling party is already dwindling, occurrence such as price rise of onion by nearly three times is definitely acting as a last nail in the coffin.

price of onions increased in India

Even if there is no truth in such claims, there is no denying the fact that both the parties are trying their best to utilize the existing situation in their favor and win over the masses. The ruling party has opened up some special shops where onions are sold at a much lesser price, BJP leaders have also adapted the same move to make the most of the situation. Moreover, one BJP leaders have deposited onion for distribution among the common people and another leader of the aforesaid party gifted onions to women who have tied rakhi to their brothers.

This is definitely an archaic strategy adopted by the politicians to win over mass support. But if we turn back the hands of time, we can see that no matter how thoughtless this gimmick might appear, it has played an important role in determining the fate of BJP in the year 1998. However, in between such tussles the hardest hit is the ‘aam janta of India’, with whose emotion the so called ‘educated intellects’, on whom we have entrusted the duty and responsibility of running our country, play to realize their selfish motive. They minds are being continuously manipulated by the ‘Mogambos’ of the nation by hitting them in the worst possible ways and in the worst areas.

All the promises made by them will go in vain once their purpose has been solved. However, human beings cannot survive without trusting and believing in someone. It is the basic nourishment that our mind needs to remain stable and function normally. Therefore, all we can honestly hope for is a better and brighter tomorrow.

Facebook Promotion Is Not Only About Increasing Likes

Only a decade ago the social networking portal of Facebook was launched with the view to make the virtual world come a bit closer, a modern peek-a-boo into someone’s life- a friend, a foe, your boss or even that heart-throb. However since everything in this era of globalization, after a certain point of time is evaluated in terms of their monetary vitality, Facebook sooner or later had to give into it. So it slowly began with that right side of your profile filling up with deals from the e-commerce sites and gradually people tried getting it for free. So, what we had, was a Flipkart version of a Facebook page, where every tom, dick and harry who could not handle a little bit of appreciation over a creative bone in their body a bit sensibly, opened up their own Facebook page!

facebook likes

So from ABC’s profile, we know had ABC’S XYZ Endeavors profile. No, and it did not just stop at that, sometimes sooner I saw someone put up some advertising on the space for their cover picture and hell! someone else wanted to rent out that space. And just when I thought it could not get madder, Facebook just proposed to deliver a message from me to someone completely unknown with whom I did not even have one mutual friend by charging me Rs 21.92! So, just like that within a span of 4 years there was absolutely no basic difference between any e-commerce sites and a social networking site.

That basically got me thinking, what is the whole purpose of using a networking portal as a tool to sell of your products? Why not get it on any normal e-commerce sites? And then it struck me. “Likes”! It is all about likes. Now anybody and everybody who has a Facebook page, would know what a ‘like’ is and no it is not just a smiley. In the present dynamics of the virtual era, this is the tool which has become the ultimate form of external validation. Be it a status, a link, a note or a photograph, until and unless it gets the needful amount of likes ranging on the premises set out by the person updating it, the communication does not make the cut. And if you thought, I was joking, wait for those times when people added on your profile who has never even spoken to you, would just randomly ping you and ask you to favor them by just ‘liking’ their stuffs. For people like me, that might just seem stupid and lame, I mean it’s just a like, but for many out there it is a score board to rate how popular, pretty or socially accepted they are.

Getting back to the promoting read “publicizing stuffs” through Facebook, the pages have taken up this concept of ‘likes’ to work in their favor. Try and search out the pages of any major brands, say Shopper’s Stop or even Maybelline, the first thing that the cover picture is bound to state is “Like Us” or something very similar. Scroll a bit more, and you would actually amazed how the timeline would consist of several offbeat competitions that would require the interested participants to put up one of their pictures wearing an apparel or using a product from the brand, and the one picture with the maximum likes would win some amazing goodie. And not just that, recently during the promotion of Samsung S2, something appeared on my news feed which got the better of me. It actually said that interested participants in order to win a free S2 had to just like the Samsung S2 Page and then share a picture of that phone on their timeline. What?! Yes, that was my reaction, and I was more amazed to see the number of educated people in my profile who actually had followed the exercise.

Well, I don’t know much about what kind of people actually got a S2 free of cost by just liking a page and sharing it, but well Samsung did manage its publicity very smartly, since the phone obviously made it to the news feed of several people within minutes, thanks to the ‘liking’ efforts of hundreds of greedy fans. This made me think, whatever happened to authentic ratings of a product or marketing strategies? Would people in the upcoming years buy a pair of glares or boots, because they actually read up what it can do for them, or based on the number of likes the picture has on Facebook? Is external validation, so important for people that some may just compromise on their personal taste of brands and follow the trend ‘like’ a herd of sheep?

samsung facebook page

I got extremely close to my answer, when I witnessed a fight in one of such pages, where a winner was announced and someone pointed out that the picture which actually had the maximum likes, was not likes made by real or random people, but by paid people or auto-likes. That is when it dawned on to me, the severity of such a web-tool, where people or brands are actually paying others to just like and consequently promote their page. I was about to conclude that for promotion now, you need not spend those hours at the couches of the advertising agencies or offices of the marketing gurus, open up a god damn page, start off by inviting everybody on your friend list to like that page and bamm!

Customers would just start pouring in. And that is when this amazing thing happened, a friend of mine, pinged me with a review link of a product, I so badly wanted to buy- the facebook page had some 2500+ likes and comments ranging from “I have this” to “This is soo saxxy”, and the review in the link was made by some original certified buyer who labeled it as sophisticated trash. I made my pick, and did something more, posted the same link from the review site as one of the comments in the product page.

Obviously, the administrator of the page blocked me, but I hear I have saved a lot of customers from being fooled, which restored back my faith on humanity. So here it is a nutshell for you- if you want to buy a product or services, please do yourself a favor and do some researches on other sites, rather than blindly deciding on the number of likes/ shares of comments that item has to itself, an if you are selling or promoting a product on Facebook, well use the ‘likes’ to project your product, but do not ignore on the quality- some people still trust referrals, you know?

With Relationships, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

It all started with that one phone-call on that fateful day of 28th September, two years back. It was just a regular Saturday night for Meetali, as she fitted into that sexy little black dress and was going through her final touch up for the crazy evening that was to follow.

Meetali, was your typical 24 something Gujrati Girl, based in Mumbai who had completed her graduation and had no idea what to do next. Obviously rich daddy and mummy was looking for an even richer hubby to be, to marry off daddy’s little girl somewhere abroad. So there she was, pretty and pampered, waiting for her prince charming to woo her off to far-away land and while she waited, she partied.

sad love story

So, as she hurried off and adjusted herself in the interiors of her Honda City, her phone rang for the third time. She did not really receive calls from those tele-marketers but this was heights. Who calls you three times on a Saturday evening?

“Hello?”

“Why can’t you just pick up my call”

“Uh! Excuse me, Who is this? Do I know you?”

“Wow! You don’t remember me now? Stop acting like a kid Gayatri. It’s Gaurav.”

“Oh Hi Gaurav! Gayatri is not around, Can I have her call you back in sometime?”

“Ummm.. sure, please do that. I have been trying to track her down like crazy, she just went off to Mumbai without informing me after that fight and…..errr..sorry, Who are you again?”

“Nevermind. I will inform Gayatri that you miss her and to give you a call back. Tata”

“Weird”, Meetali murmured to herself, and with that she hung up the call, unaware of the twisted story that she was about to weave in the next few hours. Back at the lounge, the ambience was a complete high! Alcohol, Weed , Smoke and a complete state of trance. And as the night grew darker and all her friends cuddled to their respective partners, Meetali felt that sense of loneliness sinking into her again.

There she was with anything that a girl could have wanted – that pretty face, the best lifestyle, the caring family – yet she missed out on one tiny emotion about which she has always read in those books under the covers of her bed-sheet or secretly cried to while watching a movie- that unconditional bliss called ‘love’. And though she was scared to undergo the agony that was inevitably attached to this feeling, today she was willing to undergo just the ecstasy of it.

So as she got back to her vacant home and lay on that sofa with twirls of smokes over her head from that midnight cigarette, she made that call to Gaurav. Two rings and there he was:

“Hello, Gayatri??!”

“Yes, Gaurav. Heard you called. So, What’s Up?”

“Not funny yaar. Where are you? You realize you behave like an absolute kid at times, right?  Who leaves the city over a trivial fight? You changed your number, left the flat overnight, nobody knows where you are, I have been hunting you down like crazy.”

“So you missed me, Did you?”

“Do I really need to answer that? You know I love you”

“Really? Prove that.”

“What?! Fine. Come down to Kolkata, and I will prove every bit of it”

“Not like that. Make me fall in love with you again. Show me what it was like the first time. See if you feel the same way”

“Gayatri, Have you lost it completely? What are you talking about? We have been together for 4 years and now this is what things have come down to? Reminding each other that we are in Love?”

“Not really. It is about finding a way to love you again. So Gaurav, who are you?”

“Great. At your service Mam. I am Gaurav, a 27 year old Marwari Guy, based in Kolkata, a working Media Professional with a leading MNC, head over heels in love with a girl who has the cutest nose in this entire world and the nastiest temper”

“Bah!! Gaurav, see these are the areas you need to work on. I was so bull-dozed by those lines of yours, and then the last set of words completely screwed it.”

“Really?! Now you are going to teach me lines and romance. Please, go ahead and be my guest Gayitri”

“Okay! Hear and Learn. Gaurav, I don’t really know you, but I know myself pretty good. And I know it doesn’t feel so warm – if you are not the one I am sharing my meals with, I don’t feel so pretty if I don’t catch you looking at me and It doesn’t make my day till I get those cute texts from you. So it’s not you- it’s me. I need you to need me.”

“Cheapoooo!! Muaaah!”

And with that started the whirlwind romance of Gaurav and Meetali, or whom Gaurav thought was Gayatri. Meetali knew all along, that this was never meant to be, but the love Gaurav had for Gayatri, was the love she enjoyed, felt and reciprocated. May be it was something borrowed but after 7 months, hundreds of calls, thousands of text messages and more of Instant messaging- she was convinced that destiny had willingly given her the most treasured possession in charity. For Gaurav, it was a whole new affair- he loved this new Gayatri even more, but something else was also at stake. It was about strengthening those dwindling bonds of 4 years. And as they got closer and had inter-twined dreams of a blissful future, somewhere at a parallel universe a clock ticked away.

couples

7 Months later, 28th April:

Meetali has been trying gaurav’s phone since morning. One rings, two rings- 32 Missed Calls. She began to grow worried; it was the first time in 7 months, when her day has not begun with Gaurav’s sleepy voice waking her up. It just did not feel right. “Was he okay? Is he sick? Is he still sleeping?”A thousand questions raced across her mind as she kept glancing at that phone nervously. It was no more an addiction or fling, evidently Meetali had lost this gamble of love. As the day rolled on, the signs were just getting clearer, something somewhere was not right. It was a gloomy saturday in Mumbai, the crow just cawed a bit unnecessarily today, the maid just screwed the dish with that excess salt and even the evening coffee burnt her tongue.

And as Meetali lay on that couch, her fingers fidgeting through the keypads furiously texting and calling that number to catch one sound of that known voice, she realized the importance of that voice in her life and the man more predominantly. A man with whom she was unconditionally in love under the veil of mistaken? No Stolen Identity. The truth sounded Harsh. A comforting voice spoke back reassuring her “He loves You. He values the bond you share, a bond built with communication and comfortness, love and affection. A mere name, cannot destroy it”.

And in the late hours of night, when she could see hardly through the smoke or tears of her doubts, somebody finally picked up that call:

“Hello, Gaurav! Where are you? What have you been doing dammit? I have been calling you since morning? Do you have some basic sense of responsibility?”

“Who is this?” answered an unfamiliar tone on the other end. It was a lady.

“Hello…hello! Can I talk to Gaurav please?”

“May I know who is calling?”

“It’s Gayatri”

“Oh!! Interesting. Sure. Hold on” and then she could hear the fragments of conversation “Yes, its her again. No talk to her Gaurav. Tell her, you know the truth and the scumbag she has been”

Meetali just stood there, pressing the phone with every passing second harder into her ear. Did he know? Was it actually happening? And finally that moment came

“Hello?! Who is this?”

“Gaurav, It’s me. Listen, I can explain. Just hear me out. I know it was wrong, but I was not fooling around. I swear..”

She was cut short in between with an abrupt statement, but it wasn’t really the statement that killed it, it was the tone: “Listen, whoever you are. I don’t know you. Nor, do I wish too. You seem to really act well, try some theatres. And incase you didn’t know who answered that call for you. Take a wild guess”

With that the call cut short.

So there she was, in the middle of the night struggling to get through that number. Once, twice, thrice and so it went.

Present Day:

It has been two years since then. There was a grand celebration at Meetali’s house. Her parents have finally found the perfect match for her and the wedding preparation was in full swing. Somewhere distant from the celebration and the noises, Meetali stood on the balcony on a call “Hey Gaurav. I am getting married in a month’s time. Obviously, I just had to inform you. Remember, I told you, one day I am not going to get over you. Well, this is it. I promise.”…and the conversation continued. The call had however disconnected long before with the usual tone “The Number you are trying to call no longer exists”.

Time For MODIfication: Why I Want Narendra Modi To Be The Next Prime Minister of India?

With the 2014 polls coming near, the market is betting heavy on the Bharitiya Janta Party candidate Mr. Narendra Modi, the present chief Minister of the state of Gujarat. While there have been a lot of political dialogue exchanges between Mr. Modi and Congress Leaders, it is the people who will finally choose the next Prime Minister of India.

Modi is the chief minister of Gujarat since 2001 and beside a lot of upheaval in the country including the Gujarat Riots, upcoming of Anna Hazare and allies, he has been sitting strongly in his state, thanks to the solid support of the people of Gujarat and economic growth that is one of the most impressive accomplishments of his.

Narendra Modi

He recently said, “The dynastic politics followed by the Congress in the last 60 years has completely crushed the hopes and aspirations of the common man.” Well, we know that the Second term of UPA government has been quite a difficult one especially with the commonwealth goof up, and 2-G Scam along with other just some few crore scams which seems like never ending; the common man is simply too fed up.

Apart from the inflation which is simply soaring in the UPA Tenure, the change is certainly what is needed. The change that India needs is Narendra Modi. He is today an idol for many in the Indian political scenario and has an awe-inspiring respect in his state of Gujarat. He is known to have amazing organisational capabilities, has the ability to motivate the crowds and has a very dynamic personality. After Manmohan Singh as the prime minister, India needs a leader who has the ability to take a stand and not be puppet in the hands of someone else.

There are many reasons why i would think Narendra Modi is the right choice for the Prime Minister candidate. Some of the reasons are as follows:

His Portfolio as a Chief Minister

Since 2001, the moment he took the chair of Gujarat CM, his fan following has increased. Modi took up the slow economic Growth of industries in his state and now Gujarat is one of the leading states which are contributing to the country’s industrial growth. He has stood strongly even after allegations for the riots, the visa issue, besides various others issues which are spoken against him. His strong personality and solid support upheld his position and now that BJP is betting on his popularity as one of the significant BJP leaders, it is him that can be one of the next leaders of India who can represent India at the Global level.

Solid Approach

With a 12 year position as chief minister, he has seen many ups and downs in worlds and country’s economy, but was able to maintain steady growth of his state. This is essential for the country since Indians demand economic security and a steady GDP than rising petrol prices and high rates of basic utilities.

Youth vs. Experienced

The young India demands a younger leader to take care of the country’s future since India has seen many who follow the same ideology, but can we bet on the younger leader? At a position of prime minster, the leader must be able to take decisions foreseeing the future of the country. Here, Mr. Modi will greatly benefit as he is known to be a decision maker and rather than taking time, prefers to take immediate action and ensures gets the desired results.

Rationalism

Inflation and corruption is a major nuisance for the common man and the young India wants a future without these. What is needed is a rational approach to running the country, betterment of infrastructure, less corruption, and strong judicial support for the common man and in the present times this is something that Narendra Modi will bring to the country and the economy. He has proved it in Gujarat and he is the man with the vision and will make India a better country for the young India.

Mr. Narendra Modi made an impact on the world with his governance in Gujarat and our expecting the same at the centre is not at all wrong. He is a role model and a development icon. Unlike most of the governments in our country, he has led the Gujarat government to make it an honest and efficient government.

This is the reason he is the best chief minister the country has today and this has been proved through many awards. Since India needs a change, this BJP leader can lead our diverse country with a promise of securing country’s political and financial future with his capacity to impress the crowd with results and of course, his personal charisma. He definitely has sold his dream of “New India” and is the ideal choice for our next prime minister.