Archive for March, 2008

Disclaimer 1: This is a sarcastic and humorous interpretation of the dowry related marriages and their acceptance. This is in no way to hurt the sentiments of anyone, anywhere, living or dead.

What is Dowry?

According to The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 – Dowry means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly-

  1. by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or
  2. by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person at of before or any time after the marriage.

Most of the times, this is given to the groom/husband of the bride/wife by her Father.

To get to the point as to how dowry is good for India, let us begin by asking the question, Who gets more dowry?

There is a price tag attached to every commodity in the market, and the potential bridegrooms are no exception. The value of the man goes up according to the status of his or his family in the society. A well educated guy is obviously high up in this ladder. So is the guy who’s family is well known or has enough fortune from forefathers at their disposal. The latter kind of men have it easier, and a college degree would be enough to get a ‘pretty bride’ along with substantial fortune as dowry. The former kinds have to ‘earn’ it by getting more degrees, from abroad may be, and by working in US or other parts of the world.

IAS officers, men in civil services or other government service (‘earning well’, not just from their salary) fetch the highest bid (read dowry) in certain parts of India(where dowry is prevalent, that is in AP, Bihar and few other parts). Others living in India(software engineers et al) are not even considered for bidding, at least in the first round (you’ll come to know about the rounds later). They have to be in USA, preferably in New York region to fetch the highest bids in the first round.

So, it is the people with the best of education and job fetch the highest bid.

Since we now know who gets the highest bids, let me tell you how this is good for India. Before that, what are these rounds of bidding?

A prospective bridegroom, gets more proposals if he happens to work in NYC, and hence more dowry than others in other parts of US and the world. The order of preference is like this: first NYC, then CA region, then any other part of US, and then London or UK. The first round ends here. This means, the parents of girl stop looking for a match, for their daughter, if they can’t get any guy from these regions at the first try. They would wait for some time, before trying again. In the subsequent attempts more regions in the world are covered, including Australia and India in that order.

So, how is this good for India?

Few decades earlier, even a 10th pass was valued as there were very few men having cleared 10th. These men got more proposals for marriage, and more dowry, than others. Then, men realized they could get more dowry if they clear 10th and they started doing that, setting the new bar as 12th, and this went on progressively. A college degree, a Masters, and then a foreign degree. The bidding for a guy abroad, say USA, was more than any guy in India.

Dowry has made men from certain states (read Andhra Pradesh) ‘value education’, and US degrees. They would cram for their GRE, even if they have barely managed to clear their undergraduate degrees, and fly to US. Read my previous post about US frenzy guys, dominated by guys from AP. If dowry was more prevalent in other parts of India, there would be female foeticide no doubt, but there would be more men ‘valuing education’ and getting in to US tech and b- schools, IITs, and IIScs. The literacy levels in India would increase.

Government of India could provide interest free loans (and may be loan wavier) for dowry. This would encourage more Indian men to strive hard and get the pinnacle of degrees available in India and abroad, in hope of fetching highest bid in a marriage proposal. All men(of course women too) work for incentives, and dowry is an incentive for men making them work hard in life.

One more interesting thing i would like to mention, if any guy does not want dowry and will show interest to marry a girl without dowry the guy is not given the girl’s hand because the parents (and/or whoever involved) of the girl think something seriously wrong with the guy. This shows the prevalence of dowry, and assures that the guy getting dowry would be right in every possible way the dowry amount could get. :)

Source: This is based on my knowledge on the happenings around me, and from few confidential sources i know.

Disclaimer 2: This post in based only on the views of the individual author, and is not to hurt the sentiments of anyone, as mentioned earlier. This is only a humorous interpretation, and the author is aware of the dowry related deaths and harassment women face, and solemnly condemns anyone involved in such heinous acts.

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BarCamp Bangalore

I was waiting for this since last (and my first) BarCamp in November, which was great fun. BarCamp Bangalore 6 (BCB6) is here, on April 19th and 20th. After having thought about few other venues IIM-B campus has been retained even for this BarCamp. The IIM-B campus is a wonderful place, and my last barcamp visit was more fun ‘coz it was at this beautiful peaceful campus.

BCB5 was my first barcamp, after having to miss BCB3, and 4 due to reasons not-so-obvious. Logo design collective by Aashish Solanki, Blog review sessions with few experienced bloggers reviewing on aspects of a good blog, and of course many startup collectives were great fun. The ‘unconference’ mode of discussion puts you at comfort, and talking about anything to new(and interesting) people, you meet there, is much easier.

BCB6 is encouraging more people to talk, and hence the registration is not open to anyone who just want to hang around and watch. BarCamp is about talking your mind, and one couldn’t get a better place to discuss about any thing under the sun. No wonder i am excited about BCB6, the summer edition of BarCamp Bangalore.

I would like to talk about SEO and know more about this from knowledgeable people at BCB6. Also, the DSP over a blog session by Krishna Pillai looks interesting, meeting people from same clan would be better than always talk to web design and development guys. Check out more BCB6 sessions.

Here are few important links:

BarCamp Bangalore 6 twitter page

BarCamp Bangalore yahoo groups mailing list

BarCamp Bangalore official blog

Also, the logo design contest is open and few nice logos are designed. Check this out here. The logo at the top of the post is designed by Arun Vijayan, and is my favourite.

Catch you at BCB6! :)

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Copying happens all the time in the creative industry, be it in flicking the music tunes or the movie concept (and mentioning it as an inspiration or not even mentioning it if not for the critics to figure out) or in the technology or fashion or manufacturing if not in mining and oil exploration industries. :) I was wondering if it happens only in India or all over the world. Putting my little knowledge in a more quantitatively in this post.

Yes, movies and music has highest copying in India, ‘remake’ of good Hollywood movies by Bollywood and in turn by some regional Indian film industry. Most of the Music composers are copycats, with exceptions of the genius AR Rahman and few others. Pritam beats the copycat-king Anu Malik in recent times, with tunes of his hit numbers like Ya Ali, Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai and many other tracks being copied shamelessly, and not even mentioning about it. Maine Pyaar kiya had some of the best songs of last decade, with most of its tracks had been ‘inspired’ from other good music of 80s. You could have a look here for more on copying in Indian music industry.

Copying of the manufacturing and consumer electronic goods happens no where better than China. They come up with almost all kinds of consumer electronics, and manufacturing goods as a fake of the exorbitantly overpriced original goods of American or European branded companies. Of course manufacturing of the original goods also happen in China, thanks to their cheap labor, giving them better knowledge to make the fake. The design of cars comes at no cost for many Chinese car manufacturers as they would have the exact same design of a Toyota or Ford or even a Maruti. There would be plethora of watches of Tag Heuer and Rolex selling on the Chinese streets, and in grey markets of India and other places in south-east Asia.

Wonderful thing about this is they also export these goods around south-east Asia, where there is a huge market for these fake stuff. The fake apparel manufacturing seems to be a big industry in Thailand, and China. The fakes of Nike, Adidas, Umbro, and others are mostly imported in India from these places. Anyone who has paid a visit to National market area in Bangalore would get these fakes of international brand watches, shoes and apparels at much much cheaper price than the originals.

Copy of software technologies, UIs among other things too happen, and this is more prevalent in other parts of the world than India. The legal hassles of these are evident in numerous cases. Huawei and Cisco feud is widely known, and the concept of Windows was originally from Xerox, isn’t it?

Books, i don’t need to mention. Be it plagiarism, or making e-books or pirated copies and selling it on streets, easiest of the things to copy.

Finally, we have a whole world of people who are looking to get the best idea or technology or any form of material for no price (or very low price), if not conceived by themselves they’d rather get it by snooping somewhere else. The protection of IPs is well defined in the technology space, but the fashion, book, and music industry do not get their dues.

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Second week of March, on the Mas-Vasco Express, overnight and a little over day journey to cover a distance of about 600 kilometers with prolonged stops in between was a little frustrating. Luckily i decided to board the train at Yeshwantpur junction at 9:30pm, instead as per the earlier plan to board at KR Puram junction at 7:30pm. What’s with the Indian Railways?! The train to Vasco-da-Gama from Chennai takes two hours to reach from KR Puram to Yeshwantpur in Bangalore, and for a train from Chennai to Vasco, there is no pantry!

Train to Goa

Hubli station at 7:30am, a vendor making bread omelettes almost in a flash, surely he didn’t take more than 30 seconds to make one, provided a nice breakfast.

Reached Vasco at 2:15pm, after few tunnels, and spotting Duhdsagar waterfalls which to much of our disappointment was mere a trickle of water flowing unlike the Youtube video showing the falls in its full vigor.

Goa, serene long coast beaches with splendid views. Shacks are thronged all along on popular beaches. You mostly see ugly old Europeans sunbathing, getting massages and more from few locals offering such services. Evening walk along the Calangute beach was mesmerizing with locals playing football, kids building sand castles, and young couples walking hand-in-hand.

Sunset at Calangute beach

The Portuguese left Goa in 1961, but they’ve left a legacy to rule people here. There are many Europeans who get all kinds of services one can imagine from locals, treating them almost like slaves. All this for a very cheap price for a lower class poor European who can not afford even one such thing back home or anywhere else on the planet. The locals have tuned themselves to maximize the opportunity. I could hear at least a couple of women, selling some kind of jewelry and handicrafts on Vagator beach, talking flawless English with impeccable foreign accent.

Late night, Goa’s splendid beaches are mostly thronged by foreigners, shacks are all along the popular beaches serving liquor and ‘whatever’ you want almost all night long. One guy at a shack said ‘we’ll be serving you as long as you are here sir‘. This was at 1am. No wonder Goan beaches are the most preferred. Then there are night clubs that open only by midnight and serve you till wee hours in the morning, which you never see in Bangalore. Also, Riding the rented Honda Activa all day and night is much less stressful than riding in traffic clogged Bangalore road.

On road, Goa

My favorites from the trip:

1. Chapora fort, the view from this place is wonderful. Looking over the Vagator and Chapora beach with cool breeze blowing on the ruins of this fort on Sunday evening was enthralling. Relatively fewer people out here made this my favorite.

2. Four a side Beach Volleyball game on Vagator Beach, that my team won 9-15, 15-12, 17-15. :-)

The return journey was at on the Vasco-Bangalore City ‘express train’ which halted at Londa junction for two and half hours for the bogeys had to be joined to another train in this route to reach Bangalore.

Here are few moments captured on this trip:

Beach Volleyball on Vagator Beach

Beach Volleyball on Vagator beach, Goa

Filling the Vagator

On Chapora fort, Goa

View from Chapora fort

Chapora fort

Hippie on Anjuna Beach, some acrobatics

Hippie on Anjuna beach, Goa

Taming a bull on Anjuna beach

Bull on Anjuna beach, Goa

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