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Wishing to read a simple novel over an evening, I picked up Maharani by Ruskin Bond, and it was an enjoyable read. At 180 pages, this is a small book with large margins, making it ideal for light reading.  The story is about an old Queen (Maharani) living in Mussoorie of Independent India, told from the view of her friend (Ruskin Bond as himself). The novel is not a biography of the Queen nor an Autobiography of the author too, it travels between the two seamlessly. We feel like we have been invited to the palace a few times for dinner…

It’s incredible what Mr Mukesh Ambani has been able to achieve with Jio (and Reliance Industries). You may dislike him or his practices, but you have to admire his vision and business acumen to raise well over $30 Billion during a pandemic and world recession.   In my view, this also burst several well-entrenched myths: 1) Indian conglomerates can never scale and can’t compete with China in terms of their capital appetite. 2) TELCO business, especially in a low ARPU country like India with extremely high spectrum cost, doesn’t have any money-making opportunity. This myth is made popular by the…

I don’t know what’s with my family and losing stuff in convention centres and airports. A couple of years back (in 2016), while attending a Microsoft Conference in Atlanta, USA I lost my valuable iPad, the next day I found it thanks to the helpful event staff onsite. The next year (in 2017), my son lost his Phone and Kindle reader at the Chennai Domestic Airport, thanks to good samaritans of my city (Chennai) we got back the items the next day. Almost two decades back (around 2001-02) I used to travel between Chennai and Bangalore weekly twice, and, they…

In the current scare with #COVID19, every one should be watching this Malayalam film, Virus (2019), on how the state of Kerala handled the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak swiftly and effectively. The film directed by Aashiq Abu, can be described as a documentary on the deadly episode. Under normal circumstance I may not have liked this film as much as I did now, but I did and it eased my current anxiety a bit. It is available in Amazon Prime Video. What starts with a single case of a young male, dying under mysterious conditions, quickly snowballing into an outbreak…

This was expected! In the last many years, the Government of India has taken advantage of falling Oil prices by continuously increasing excise duty, helping its coffers. It is conventional wisdom that taxes once raised will never come down, as subsequent budgets use it as the baseline for their revenue planning. Given the “said to be” poor tax collections due to slowed economy, this excise-duty hike was expected. Yet, I feel this is the time for Government to slash the taxes, spur the spending, and boost the economy which is starting to feel the added pain of Coronavirus as well.…