Technology

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an English-language proverb. We are living across the continents, connected via technology and fighting against hunger, health, poverty, and illiteracy.

Internet is no less than Renaissance or the Bhakti movement. We are all on the same rocketship. An individual sitting in a remote part of the world know the power of togetherness. Technological revolutions have overthrown dictators and changed regimes. It has bough the world together during a pandemic or other natural calamities.

How many innovations of Ramanujan or their predecessors or someone in a small town in India or remote Africa would have died because there was no easy way to share, collaborate?

Technology is a great equalizer: a developed or developing world are all on the same pipe, interacting, learning, and sharing.

The technology should flow free without any interventions or ban.

Makhan

Makhan was village mukhiya’s son. A tall, lean kid full of anger. He was the only kid for his parents and, It gave him the power to act like an asshole among his peers. People would call him junior Mukhiya Ji and, it will make his head high with pride. He was an eccentric and would go mad over petty things. He beat the village grocer because he denied giving free chocolate to him. On another occasion, he forced the entire marriage party to take another route for the trip.

I was with my grandmother in our village to enjoy summer vacation. The daily routine was simple: eat, play, roam. Grandma would make some breakfast, mostly aloo paratha(my favorite), and with my cousins, I would be out, stealing mangoes, playing Gilli danda, lattu, or participating in buffalo race.

We kids were playing cricket at the school compound one day. Madhav appeared from nowhere and asked us to bowl him. We said, join us for a game, to which he declined. All he wanted was to bat. We continued bowling with him for over half an hour and, he cheerfully made the best of it. When my patience went for a toss, I shouted at him and made him leave the ground. He resisted in the beginning but gave up later and left the playground politely.

The next day morning, we found our playground dug up. We got to know later on that the same night he created a big uproar at home. He forced Banshi, his helper, to take his tracker for this act.

I still wonder can someone be so stupid?

Raju

Raju was seven years old when his father got remarried. He had lost his mother a few years back due to tuberculosis. She was the only person who took care of him. Raju was born without legs. Polio was at its peak, and children with deformed bodies were a common sight.

As fate has it, a few months after the remarriage, his father passed away. Raju’s stepmother sold all the properties leaving nothing for Raju. She moved back to her parents and made Raju penniless. He had no option but to pick up begging.

Raju has been in this business for almost a decade. He says most people have been empathetic to him. He finds schoolkids among the ones taking most care of him. Some would feed him their lunch or others some chocolates.

Raju speaks in broken English, and his confidence can be addictive for some. I remember him telling me one day: Atul Babu, Bhikari aur Baniye me koi farak thore he hai. Dono dusre se paisa he to mangte hai. I spilled my chai and laughed uncontrollably. Another day I met, he was unhappy over the alcohol ban in Bihar.

Aamiro ko hamesa Daru mileage, garibo ko das guna Dena padega, said Raju. I felt pity for him. Alcohol has been his best friend; he would call it god’s nectar to sideline the world’s misery. I always thought Raju is a Khabri(secret police eye on the street), feeding all the news. Raju’s negotiation skills have won him many friends. He would be the go-to guy to settle any vendor’s fight at the sabzi market.

Last week I heard Raju passed away. Many say COVID made him isolated from the rest, as most of us stayed indoors. There was no one around to talk, fight and share chutkulas, gaalis with him. He had lost weight and could not survive the winter. I think it was isolation, not COVID, which could have killed him.

The police found 12 lakhs of cash from his hut[old and new notes], a lot of many coins, and a family photo of Raju with his parents. A letter written in broken English said: Anathalaya ka paisa.

RIP Raju, you had a post-death plan: Making life better for the poverty-stricken with your saved money.

done

I keep hearing what it takes to run a startup. Reading the success of oldies like Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and, a dozen others makes me realize: there is no secret sauce. There was a problem to be solved and, the founders worked hard to solve it. They were opinionated, visionary. Nobody asked for a car from Henry Ford; nobody asked for an electric bulb from Edison. And everyone made fun of Wrights’ brothers’ crazy dream of flying like a bird. Japan emerged into an Industrial hub after the war. It was perseverance and hard work that played along with government policies.

I always remember AB‘s advice a few years back: Companies die when founders give up also Jeff Bezos’s famous quote: it is always day zero.

The world of startups we are living in now celebrates fundraising and building in public. A very few know what goes behind the social network.

I was going through these tweets and, it made me write today’s post.

job

In a democratic society, we have all have our roles to play. Media is considered a pillar of democracy. When it comes to startup, the same rule applies. We should public, discuss talk about all aspects of building a company. As a media, one should cheer for the success of the ecosystem and at the same time present the facts. A founder accepts all reporting, good or bad, with hard-hitting facts.

Amazon, Tesla, or Walmart, and others took a lot of sweat and hard work. They were not an overnight success. Their founders had dreams, and they went against the default. It is like sailing to uncharted territory. It is not easy; it is day zero every day.

We are all working in this ecosystem to see success overall. We should accept and encourage it.

deception

We are living in a world where deception sells. It is not limited to relationships, humans. Our consumerism era thrives in disguise and deception.

I was at a grocery store, and this is what happened.



Another evening in the name of security, HotStar was harvesting the phone numbers of Indian users.

A friend of mine who thought he is caffeine-free was sipping glasses and glasses of green tea. (yes, green tea has caffeine)

We heal ourselves with time when it comes to relationships. In the case of consumerism, we get deeper inside the rabbit hole.

We have to be more aware of our choices; else, we will keep screwing ourselves.

Badi ma

Kids call her Badi maa; she is in her nineties. She had long white hair like a snow-covered mountain. She has been active, all senses in control. On top of this, she would cook daal roti for herself and consume it twice. Sometimes one of the son’s wife would get her some milk. Badi maa liked her independence, so she divided all her wealth, house to her kids and lived all by herself.

People who did not like her would call her Dayan budhiya. Mukesh, the sweeper boy, says Badi ma is a blood-sucking witch. My head hurts over six years old’s imagination. Many others in the village blamed her for many misdeeds and ill luck.

The granddaughter, Radha, says she is unmarried because of Badi maa, who will do her sewa once he is gone to her husband’s place.

Badi maa is big on bidi and paan. Her price possession, silver case finds a place in her sari’s pallu. It has some bidi, paan, chuna, and katha. My mother told me I should avoid eating anything Badi maa had to offer. Another evening she gave me a laung to chew; I kept it in my pocket till I was there and then threw it in nala.

Muniya, the cook’s daughter, says she made many boys mute just with a little gaze at them. At one wedding entire baraat ended up on a puking trail and got sick. People say it happened because Badi Ma was uninvited.

The village oldies join at piple tree during summers and play cards, sip chai. Their version says Badi ma killed her husband to learn witchcraft. And others, she is so old and active because she is a witch. She feasts on blood and what other nonsense. Other stories like Badi ma travels on a tree to many other countries. She needs no bus, train, or airplane.

I asked my mom this time about Badi Ma, and she went silent. On further inquiry, she whispered: Badi ma gayab ho gaye. Nobody knows where she went.

Is she alive, turned ghost, or became the witchcraft leader? I could not imagine while trying to catch up over my sleep.

founders

It is easy to give advice to a founder or criticize them when things go south. As long as he/she takes care of stakeholders’ interests, everything acts as a utopia.

As an employee, consultant, investor, or press, it is easy to get annoyed over the founder’s action. I am not saying all founders are perfect.

As a funded or bootstrap or side project journey, founders have their challenges. Media shows half-truth. Founders get laughed at their ideas by folks who have no skin in the game. Early believers, teammates move on low notes. Personal life and time get submerged into work.

Most successful founders are bitter not by choice but because of the shit they went through the journey. An entrepreneur’s life is not Page3; one has to live and die every moment of it, and it is not for a weak heart or those who give up easily.

control

Leadership is not about control or being right. It is about having beliefs and allowing peers to work independently. It will energize a team to go at any length and succeed.

I am seeing a trend where leadership has ended up in micro-managing peers. Being always right has taken over working together. It also means picking the right people and grooming them. Not always they succeed but, this is the best path.

I am at receiving end sometimes, where friends will crib how bad companies culture is. They are staying only for money.

Does that mean as a leader, one can throw money at anyone and have them as your slave? Does that mean that the style of leadership also changes with wealth?

Village

The next wave of India’s technological development is poised to happen in tier 3-4 cities. The infrastructure has gotten better and, most importantly, the connection among founders, team.

People who go to IIT/IIM talks about networking. Imagine half a dozen school friends ending up building small Micro-SaaS, apps development, software testing, and turning entrepreneur eating, playing at same grounds and fields.

The internet is a treasure trove with loads of knowledgeable tutorials, videos, and classes (MOOC). Anyone can become anything as long as they are dedicating enough time to it.

I have been very vocal about the emergence of cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Surat, Bhopal, Madurai, and a few as the next tech hub on a world map.