Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Other Currency

Around 20 years back had shifted to Mumbai suburbs on rent. Here there was this one shop which was like a mini Big Bazaar of that time. Huge for that area. During the same period there was shortage of coins. What the shop did was put a round stamp on a small piece of paper and write the denomination of change due and give to customers. It was like an IOU. Customers were asked to use the same next time they shopped. 

Slowly one was able to use the same at small  businesses, eateries, etc. It was like a private currency being circulated. 

Then one day overnight the shop winded up. Nobody knew what happened. Just disappeared, lock stock and barrel.. and also with the cash the shop owed against the private currency. 

Technically the IOUs should be equal to what the shop owed to its customers, but who had an account of how many such IOUs were actually circulating? There is as such no account of how much the shop owners siphoned off. Some say that other shop keepers were also hand in glove on circulating the fake currency. But in the end it was the general public which was 'short changed'.

The reason for the blog? Without naming any particular app, I see a parallel private banking being promoted after demonitisation. What are supposed to be online payment facilities for shopping sites are now being promoted as online payment app for all business. But are they regulated? Once using this online app, the physical money lies with the app promoters at their disposal and mercy. I am not against this. I am only saying this needs to be regulated. Or the Government should come up with its own app under Jan Dhan umbrella. This way the public money will be with the Government to use for its various projects instead of with Private unregulated app promoters.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mobile Swamiji Ki Mahakatha

Story of Shri Mobile Swamiji

Chapter 1:

Once upon a time while travelling the three worlds, Yogiraj Narad Muni reached Mrityulok(Planet Earth), he saw the human beings suffering immensely. He visited the abode of Lord Vishnu, who alone can relieve the mankind from the sufferings.

There he met the Almighty Lord Vishnu with four arms having Shankha, Chakra, Gadha & Padma, wearing Tulsi Mala (garland) in his neck. He started to pray & requested "Oh Lord!!! You are the supreme power, nothing can touch you, not even wind or mind can get you, your power is limitless, you know everything, you help your devotees to overcome their sufferings & sorrows." Hearing all the pleadings of Sadhu Narad Muni, the Almighty Supreme Lord Vishnu, knowing everything asked Narad Muni "Oh Narad! Why have you come to me & what do you want from me, tell me, I want to hear the same from you."

Yogiraj Narad Muni replied, Oh Lord! I just went to Mrityulok, where I saw all kinds of human beings busy on their mobile phones. They are communicating socially but there is not personal interaction. They are actually lonely.  Oh Lord! the Almighty, is there no way that their suffering becomes less or is it possible that they get complete moksha (relief) from their sufferings. If so, please let us know. The Lord, at once replied "Oh Narad! you have asked a very good question for the benefit of all human kind."

To free man-kind from all sufferings, & to ultimately reach Heaven , there is one virt (fast), & today I will tell you all about it. Anyone who does Shri Mobile’s vrat & Puja (prayer) in the right way; will get all the pleasures on earth & will reach his goal.

Yogiraj NaradMuni then asked, "Oh Lord!, has anyone kept this fast before? This virt is done on which day & how exactly is it done? Please do let us know all the details."

Whosoever does Bhagwan Shri Mobile’s Katha with Brahmin & with his family with full rites will be relieved of his sufferings & sorrows, will be bestowed with increase in wealth & wisdom; will be blessed with children; get overall victory & increased devotion.

For this prayer, one requires to switch off his mobile phone for a day. During and After the prayers, all present must switch off their mobile phones & then take their meals together, & then sing communicate and enjoy the true company of one another. By doing this, their wishes will be fulfilled. This virt in kalyug gives the boon (reward) very quickly.

This chapter of Shri Mobile Swami is over. All chant (say) Shri Mobile Swami Ki Jai.

Chapter 2:

The Lord said "Oh Narad! Now I will tell you about the first person who did this fast. In a place named Sunder Kashipur, there used to live a very innocent Brahmin who was addicted to Candy Crush. His work suffered and he made losses. In hunger & thirst; he used to roam for his daily bread. When the loving Lord saw the Brahmin in sorrow & begging daily; he took disguise of an old Brahmin & asked him, "Oh Dear!, why are you so sad. Please tell me all about your difficulties. Is there any way I could help you out?"

The Brahmin told the Lord, "I am a poor Brahmin & I roam daily for bread. Do you know if there is any way to come out of all this sorrow?"

The Old Brahmin (ie. the Lord ) said "Lord Mobile Swami grants all the wishes of all the people. Dear Brahmin, that is why if you switch off the mobile phone for a day you will overcome all your sorrow & get moksha."

After telling him all the details of the prayer & the fast; the old Brahmin ie. the Lord disappeared.

The brahmin could not sleep that night. He kept thinking of switching off the mobile which the Lord had asked him to do. In the morning, he woke up and switched off his mobile phone. On that day the Brahmin was able to concentrate on his work and  got a lot of money, he called his family & did Lord Mobile Swami Pooja. By doing so, the Brahmin understood the time wasted in mobile and overcame all his sorrows & became rich.

In this way, whoever does Lord Mobile Swami Vrat prayer will get moksha. Anyone on earth who does this prayer will be relieved from all sorrows.

When Narad Muni noticed that the people on earth were eager to know about the other people who kept this fast; he narrated another story.

The same Brahmin now a rich person used to advice about Mobile Vrat to every one every once a month. Once he was doing his prayer, a wood-cutter passed from there. This woodpecker cut pasted more whatsapp jokes than cutting wood. After keeping the bundle of wood outside the brahmin's house, he went in for some water. The thirsty wood-cutter saw the brahmin doing his prayers. He bowed down to the Brahmin & asked him, "Oh Brahmin, what are you doing, please tell me all about it." The Brahmin replied, "To grant all the wishes of human-beings, this fast & prayer is useful. I have acquired all the wealth & fame by doing this prayer of Lord Mobile Swamiji." After hearing about the prayer & drinking the water, the wood-cutter felt happy, he ate the prasad & left for his house.

Thinking of Lord Satyanarayanji in his mind, he said "Whatever today, I get from selling the wood, I will also do this prayer." So thinking, he switched off his mobile phone and cut more wood than he ever had,  he kept the bundle of wood on his head & left home-wards. On the way home he went roaming in Sunder Nagar for selling the wood. On that day, he got four times more money than usual, for the wood. Feeling happy and understanding his mistake, he deleted whatsapp and proceeded home-wards. On reaching his house he called his family & did the prayer with due respect.

The reward of the fast was that, he became rich & had all the pleasures of life on this earth & in the end of his life he went to heaven.

This chapter of Lord Mobile Swami is over. All chant(say) Shri Mobile Swami ki Jai.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Was in Dubai this birthday, with my sister who stays there. She
remembered a little dance jig we used to do when we were small and if any of our
family members birthday was approaching. On her insistence we did that little
dance… I guess after almost more than 25 years. We just used to count the number
of days left for the birthday and dance around each other… like “ its <family
members name> birthday in xyz day” “its <family members name> birthday
in xyz days.”

Now that I think about it, we never used to celebrate birthdays
then. It used to be just chocolates for us. My granny used to make Sheera(sweet
dish) and we used to cut that instead of cake.

Still we carried out that routine dance for every family
members birthday. It was only on reaching college did we actually start having
birthday parties.

Nowadays birthdays are special right from the first one… the
first one has to be massive, even if the little toddler does not understand a
thing. Maximum first birthdays I have visited have always seen the child cranky
because of so much noise and attention around.

Birthdays come and birthdays go, I have celebrated my kids
birthdays with great zeal, only to stop planning once they turned 10. After that
its their choice, how they want to celebrate.

We siblings never had that kind of birthday celebrations, but
come to think of it, don’t even have any regrets or complaints about it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Lets begin with… wanting to write since long… wrote a few drafts…which did not make it here… so here I am … trying my hand on unchartered territory for me… a Travelogue…

Travelled to Dubai, was there for 12 days. Basically stayed in Sharjah, and commuted to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali.

I seriously did not understand why people were telling me, that I had come there in the wrong season…the climate is bad … but I found the climate much much better and comfortable than Mumbai. Ok there is this missing cloud cover…but we were still able to roam around the streets in the afternoon…without sweating it out. People were telling me, yearend is the best time to visit Dubai. But … as I said… we found it very comfortable.

Second we found people in Dubai skeptic of travelling to Sharjah…but… one of the places worth visiting is Al Qasba in Sharjah. It’s a beautiful water front, with a Ferris Wheel – Eye of Emirates, boats, water fountains, nice restaurants with open waterfront seating. I would highly recommend the place if you are travelling to UAE. We visited it twice, and would have loved to spend atleast one more evening there, sadly could not.

The drive to Abu Dhabi is a beauty. UAE’s efforts in greenery has paid off well…and the roads are beautiful. The Grand Mosque – Shaikh Zayed Mosque, is a place to visit atleast once in life. If you don’t see it, its like visiting Agra and not seeing the Taj Mahal. A modern day structure, but a beauty. The wall decorations, the minars, the chandeliers, even the carpet is simply mind blowing. Its one place I would personally recommend to visit.

Jebel Hafeet…. the mountains, the drive along the road… took my breath away… and view from the top was wow!!! We drove there late in the night, and were able to see the night view…but am told that even the morning view has its own charm. A plaque over there informed us that this road has been voted amongst the top ten roads in the world to drive on… am planning to google on the remaining top nine and make a wishlist of seeing them.

Dubai…the land of Gold(though personally I found Sharjah Gold Souk better than Dubai Gold Souk).. there are many places you can visit… The Abra(boats to take you from one end of the creek to another), the Amphi buses, the Metro, the Malls .. all have their own charm. In our little time we had , we visited the Underwater Aquarium in the Dubai Mall, saw Dubai from the 124th floor – “On The Top” from Burj Khalifa. These are things which one should not miss there.

UAE has good infrastructure in terms of Metro and Roads, but like any other country it is plagued with traffic.. a normal 15 mins ride can take you over an hour during the peak time. Parking woes are aplenty, as most buildings were constructed without parking lots(lack of vision before?). One more thing which I did not like is that as a tourist, I am not allowed to use any Bus unless I have their smart cards, which are available at very few bus stops and every Metro Station. The vision to develop malls, buildings, structures to enhance tourism is one thing, but if I want to travel in Buses particularly, I found Dubai lacking a bit.

Shopping- Ok lets not get into that … that’s my wifeys domain Open-mouthed smile

So why havent I mentioned any water parks, snow skiing , Ferrari world… we have our own over here, which we frequent, better to do things which we cant … right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Catch the liars…

Have to deal with many kinds of people in my day to day working. Get to meet many. Today while dealing with one labour, whom I know since past 10 years, I happened to notice him twitching his eyes. This he does everytime he is lying about something. Have always caught him in this act and saved myself some money. We used to have one carpenter who had a similar habit. Whenever he would quote high for anything, his one eye used to start blinking, thereby giving himself up and leading to some good negotiations.

There are many such giveaways. I know of one person, who when lying on the phone, will start coughing, clearing his throat. Everytime this happens, I know I am being lied to.

Then there are some who have particular way of talking… one is like .. Arre Sirji…who kya hai na…

Some I know, have a habit of repeating the same sentence again and again, trying to bang in the lie into your head.

And then there are some, who are experts in lying. Impossible to catch them. But have to beware.

Anyways… had not blogged since long… and this labours act caught my attention and set me thinking…so just collecting the ways to catch liars as much as I could remember Open-mouthed smile