I am writing this at a very sad moment for Mumbai. 7-8 blasts have happened in the local trains here. The trains have stopped running for now and there's chaos on the roads.
I was just walking around to see what's happening and found some crowding on the road. I approached it to find out more. Suddenly a man from among the crowd turns and asks me "Saab aapko kidar jaane ka hey. (Sir, where do you want to go?)" I found a Lancer stopped on the road and this man and others are busy ensuring everyone get's home in the absence of the local trains! Amazing how in an otherwise crowded and tough city, human values shine through.
I am new to Mumbai and had expected it to be a tough experience. I thought I would come here and spent an year or two just because life in India can never be complete without the Mumbai experience. But my short stint here has shown me a totally and unexpected facet of Mumbai.
Just the other day I bought some peanuts from a kid who was frying it besides some road. I gave him Rs. 2/- and walked away. This lad calls me loudly and in a "Sir you need to be more careful" way tells me that he gave me just Rs. 1/- worth of peanuts and hands me back a one-rupee coin.
Some days back, I felt the taxi-wallah who took me from the airport back home had taken me on a longer path and mentioned it to him. He explained to me in detail why this was not the case and I was convinced. I reach home and then pay him and leave. He calls to me loudly and asks "Saab aap naaraz to nahi hena? (Sir, I hope you are not angry at me.) "
Many such small and to a lot people unnoticeable incidents...
It is not that I didn't have any bad experiences at all. But by and large I am awestruck by Mumbai. This could be the beginning of a new life altogether! Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The Emperor is naked
This according to me summarises a lot of the confusion surrounding India on whether we have become a developed nation/superpower or not. There’s this economic theory called Lewis’s Dual Sector growth model which is supposed to take countries from Developing to Developed. This model was the foundation stone of Developmental economics.
Put simply it states that the marginal productivity of labour in a slow growing sector is near zero while in another one is significantly high. This leads to labour mobility and without any reduction in the slow sector, growth in the other sector. The surplus is reinvested leading to capital stock formation. This process leads to GDP growth. We can crudely put agri as the slow sector and mfgr/IT as the second sector.
Long back economists realized that labour mobility is tricky. There is an endowment failure. A farmer cannot become an IT professional that easily. The model doesn’t work at all.
India is facing this issue in a big way. The solution, atleast partly, is to solve the endowment failure problem of the poor through better education and access to cheaper credit. These are problems that can be solved. It is an interesting challenge too. Frankly, it is my life’s ambition to make some reasonable savings and then exit corporate world and work on some such projects. God permit :-) Monday, July 10, 2006
Back to Blogging after a two year sabbatical
I am impressed by the sheer passion of Ravi in writing and in participating in this whole new expression revolution that blogging has now become. It has sufficiently inspired me to return to blogging after 2 years :-) Monday, July 10, 2006