Saturday, December 24, 2011

Too Important to Fail

Dear Tax-payer,

I realise you deserve to know why I seek a bailout from the country for my now bankrupt Social Network company. I understand you feel the pinch when I’ve sought a Rs.5,42,325.25 bailout package from various financial institutions. But my reasons are too many. And too critical to the future of the country’s economy. Let me explain.

Because of my current financial crisis, I haven’t been able to tip the waiter at the local Darshini where I’ve been having my daily plate of Idly-Vada with an extra bowl of Sambar and two Filter Coffees. I know it’s hard for you to imagine this, but it is not a hypothetical scenario, dear Tax-payer. In fact, I’ve only been eating single Idly, and half cup Filter Coffee, at the self-service section of the Darshini, where I stand and eat. It has also helped me avoid the waiter by simply maneuvering into the crowd that’s waiting to collect their orders by the kitchen window. Because of the plummeting tip collections, our man has had to give up on his daily khamba of Old Monk rum, and now settles for a relatively cheaper quarter of Khodays. You do realise that’s a big dip in India’s economy if people were to replace their bottle of Old Monk, one litre pet bottle of Thumbs Up and a full plate of Chicken 65 with just two 90ml glasses of Khodays, a wedge of lime and a bowl of peanuts (not even the Rs. 5 Haldiram’s Masala peanuts, mind you). Good heavens!

And that’s not the only reason why I seek the Rs. 6, 17, 821. 72 bailout. The attentive reader may have noticed that my losses have increased by a full Rs. 75,496 and some change since I began my plea. Well you see, in those few hours, (err, I’m a slow writer, a slower editor, and the slowest thinker in the SEC C category of failed upstarts identified by the Balkampet branch of the LocalTrust Bank), the INR (sounds better than the Indian Rupee, no?) has fallen against the dollar, the Sensex has crashed more often than the fake windows version at the local internet parlour, and petrol prices have temporarily taken an un-Hindu rate of growth with a Rs. 3.14 per litre hike. But we digress.

With all the financial pressures, I’ve given up on my plans of buying Apple’s latest tablet, and instead I’m buying the relatively cheaper ones manufactured by Dr. Tirumalsetti’s Pharma. I’ve stopped buying songs at iTunes, and now only listen to my own tunes. I also made the supreme sacrifice of giving up on Bollywood movies at multiplexes, and instead resort to watching free downloads of movies produced in the Chinatown district of Kolkata. Don’t even get me started on how it would alter the financial fabric of the country if I was to incorporate these changes in my lifestyle in the long-term.

You may now want to know how I managed to lose it all before seeking a Rs. 7, 06, 659. 53 bailout. Well, that’s a fair question. Now let’s start at the very beginning. It all began during those days when the times were better, when people had more money in their pockets, and Orkut was still the most happening technology innovation in town. That is when I decided to make a pioneering foray in the Sports-Entertainment Industry by launching the Indian Book Cricket League. And going by the number of followers I got on the Orkut page, I was convinced that this would be the next financial page turner, and David Fincher would possibly have to buy the movie rights for my autobiography, which was due to release in the holiday season of 2007. Being a bit of an Amay Khurasiya of the Book Cricket world in my playing days, I was as confident as the aforementioned French Cricket legend that it wouldn’t have been too difficult for me to sell the idea to venture capitalists and private equity funds. But then suddenly, I got a legal notice from Cricket Authorities who believed they owned the name Cricket. And another one from another finance company in Mauritius, who believed I was giving the Pakistani Bookies in their employment a bad name, owing to the use of the word Book. And then, after the financial downturn that’s followed ever since, I couldn’t even afford to buy the latest version of MS Office, never mind hiring the services of an accountant, or a lawyer. That's when I decided to wind up operations, and have been surviving on the LIKES of fans on my Facebook page.

I could still go into financial details, but then I strongly believe that while a clever man does solve a problem, it takes a wise one to avoid it. So appealing to your good sense and wisdom, dear Tax-payer, let’s just agree to help me out with my finances with a Rs. 8, 97, 231. 25 bailout and forget this entire episode.

Yours Sincerely,
Failed Social Network Expert, and currently a consultant to owners of pages and communities on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All about Whittling and verse

Never found a better version of a beginners guide to something. Now doesn't it inspire you to pick up a pocket knife yourself?

The Yankee boy, before he’s sent to school,
Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool,
The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye
Turns, while he hears his mother’s lullaby;

His hoarded cents he gladly gives to get it,
Then leaves no stone unturned till he can whet it;
And in the education of the lad
No little part that implement hath had.
His pocket-knife to the young whittler brings
A growing knowledge of material things.

Projectiles, music, and the sculptor’s art,
His chestnut whistle and his shingle dart,
His elder pop-gun with its hickory rod,
Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad,
His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone
That murmurs from his pumpkin-stalk trombone,
Conspire to teach the boy. To these succeed
His bow, his arrow of a feathered reed,
His wind-mill, raised the passing breeze to win,
His water-wheel, that turns upon a pin;
Or, if his father lives upon the shore,
You’ll see his ship, “beam ends upon the floor,”
Full rigged, with raking masts, and timbers stanch,
And waiting, near the wash-tub, for a launch.

Thus, by his genius and his jack-knife driven,
Ere long he’ll solve you any problem given;
Make any jim-crack, musical or mute,
A plow, a couch, an organ, or a flute;
Make you a locomotive or a clock,
Cut a canal, or build a floating-dock,
Or lead forth Beauty from a marble block—
Make any thing, in short, for sea or shore,
From a child’s rattle to a seventy-four;—
Make it, said I?—ay! when he undertakes it,
He’ll make the thing and the machine that makes it.

And when the thing is made—whether it be
To move on earth, in air, or on the sea;
Whether on water, o’er the waves to glide,
Or, upon land to roll, revolve, or slide;
Whether to whirl or jar, to strike or ring,
Whether it be a piston or a spring,
Wheel, pulley, tube sonorous, wood or brass,
The thing designed shall surely come to pass;
For, when his hand’s upon it, you may know
That there’s go in it, and he’ll make it go.

- John Pierpont