Showing posts from January, 2007

# 18

....A word suspended
in thoughtless vacuum,
glazed with a pause of
jarring silence......

Pension Pains Interest Gains

"What would you choose to be if not yourself? Anyone, any object, anything at all.." Thus reads one interesting question HRD often asks prospective employees. If I was at the receiving end of one such, I'd say I want to be the Fin Min's mind.

The move to get rid of pensions in stages is long overdue and kudos to the FM for saying it aloud. Subsidies are another area whose time for the chopping block has to come soon.

The rising pension bills at all levels of the government would be increasingly difficult to finance in future, given the other demands that are there on our resources, particularly for enhancing our expenditures on essential social sectors such as health and education. The pension expenditure of the Centre could reach Rs 35,020 crore by 2009-10. For the states, the projected figure is as high as Rs 65,081 crore.

The much needed Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill is awaiting clearance from Parliament.

Meanwhile, under the New Pens…

India poised?

A small news item in the national daily went unnoticed. The Nithari carnage and election fever takes up all real estate in print these days. The news in that item was worth a headline. I could not let it pass without giving it thought or a mention in these columns.

A farmer in a tiny WB village, yes, the very state simmering with discontent over land acquisitions and anti- SEZ sentiments, has found a simple way to spray fertilizers on this newly sowed crops. It’s very simple, really. But the convenience it has brought the inventor and his family can only be imagined.

It began when he ran out of ‘means’ and ways to fertilize his fields. He hitched three bicycle wheels together (like a rikshaw’s three wheels) and mounted a tank on top. The tank had shower like outlets on both sides. At the backend he attached a bicycle handle with to be able to maneuver the mobile tank. The handle also had brake like devices. And guess what powered this contraption? The wheel movement and pressing of thos…

Quintessential India

Noticed on the road near Junnar ST stand. :) ~

hum ne dekhee hai.....

hum ne dekhee hai, un aakhon kee mahakatee khushaboo
haath se chhuke ise, rishto kaa iljaam naa do
sirf yehasaas hain ye, ruh se mahasoos karo
pyaar ko pyaar hee rahane do koee naam naa do..

pyaar koee bol nahee, pyaar aawaaj naheen
yek khaamoshee hain sunatee hain kahaa karatee hain
n ye buzatee hai, n rukatee hai, n thhaharee hain kahee
noor kee boond hai, sadiyon se bahaa karatee hain ..

muskuraahat see khilee rahatee hain aankho mein kahee
aaur palako pe ujaale se zuke rahate hain
hothh kuchh kahate nahee, kaapate hothhon pe magar
kitane khaamosh se afasaane ruke rahate hain ..

by Gulzar

PS. I listened to Lata croon this song as I stared out from the train on New year's night. The lyrics hit home.