Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Bottled Conundrum


Due thanks to my friend Neha for sharing this article on facebook!
It's About TIME! Every Bottled drink seller has been ripping us off, taking away the precious natural resource from right under our feet and selling it back at insane profits! Why else would it be a multi-billion dollar industry.. guess who's bearing all those costs! Thanks for sharing this!

A few months ago I came across a disturbing fact and delivered a speech on it : the groundwater levels in our country are vanishing; and strangely enough, they're vanishing by nearly the same amount as the increase per year in volumes of sales of the various bottled drinks in the country!

Some not-so-common common sense applied:
You cannot create drinking water out of thin air.
(at least not in these volumes!)

The bottled companies - every one of them - coke, pepsi, bisleri, tropicana, frooti, fana, sprite, red bull - yes, EVERY single drink that you can buy off the shelf in liquid form : Where do you think their main ingredient : Drinking water : is coming from? If they were purifying an unpotable resource (like, say, industrial waste), the COST of purification alone would send their costs up way over affordable levels. Even rainwater harvesting cannot account for the total volume that they're selling today. So what, do you think, they do?

It's simple. They suck up all the groundwater. Now finally some research has gone into proving this simple common sense fact - They are sucking out the nation's LIMITED groundwater supply for FREE (no one is charging them on quantity of water taken - they just install a pump on a well and that's it!), bottling it and selling it back to us!

The real cost?
Have you noticed that drinking or even bathing/washing water has been getting scarcer and more and more expensive? Where I stay, we need water tankers delivering it from far, far away. And when do you think this trend started?
Wake up! We're already PAYING for it! And then we're... #$#@$#@$ paying them AGAIN for buying the bottled drinks that they filled by fleecing us in the first place!!! AARHGHGHH!!

And guess who pays the ultimate price in this game: It's the common man, and the lower strata of society. They lost access to naturally available groundwater due to burgeoning middle class India's thirst for soft drinks and bottled water which the poor cannot afford. We are KILLING our own PEOPLE everytime we buy a soft drink! You're not going to like reading his, but this is what it is.

So what can we do? Well, it's simple, isn't it? We must stop buying what these bastards have been pushing into our faces, that too with our top stars endorsing them all the way to the bank! I can live without a soft drink, but my less fortunate brothers and sisters will DIE without drinking water. This much is simple and no SRK or AB or Roshan or Kapoor even Tendulkar can counter it. (now here some people will altogether forget the whole issue, get completely side-tracked and start rattling, "hey! don't attack my fav celebrity!" This is why these companies hired them, silly! To distract you! Think about it!)

The road ahead:
1. Aquaguard, PureIt, Swach, and a host of other water purifiers actually give better water than any bottled drinking water. Check out: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/bottled-water-illusions-of-purity So go get one if you don't have it. They actually work better than you think!

2. Need a tasty drink? Make your own! The flavor ingredients are readily available in powder form - these companies just create the illusion of quality to make you buy only their drinks. Cola, rasna, Tang - it's all there - buy it, mix it with the water you got from point 1 and voila!

3. Make this the law of the land : Declare Potable groundwater as a limited national resource, just as fossil fuels are. Taking the present-day cost of drinking water, put that price on every single profit-making company that extracts groundwater - price them by the Volume that they extract. The data on absolute volume that every bottling plant produces is readily available - these guys cannot hide it - Send them the bill - the REAL cost that they were passing off to the nation's poor! Then you'll see how that pepsi bottle shoots from Rs.20/- to well over Rs.100! Don't crib when this happens - you're not supposed to be wasting your children's future water for your personal leisure anyways.

4. Like that panel in Kerala has done, start taking action against each and every bottling plant in the country - the data of how much water they've sucked out is already available (in their own published reports, that too!). Blow a litigation hole into this multi-billion dollar fleecing project so deep that every MBA and professional worth his/her salt thinks twice before joining their ranks ever again!

We can shift our Indira Nooyi's to other industries that don't suck the nation dry. But the country's talent needs to know that THIS, is just not done. All the best aerated sodas in the world will not quench your thirst when you really get thristy; they will not wash your hair or your body or your clothes nor keep you hygenic. We need our water more than we need this stuff, no matter what your favorite celeb tells you. Make the choice today, or our kids are going to suffer the consequences tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is the world leader in helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience - offering a proven – and enjoyable! – way to practice and hone communication and leadership skills.

Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.

How Does It Work?

Toastmasters makes learning fun!

This non-profit organization offers a proven – and enjoyable – way to practice communication and leadership skills. Here's how it works
  • A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a friendly atmosphere. A typical group has 20 to 40 members who meet weekly or biweekly to practice public speaking techniques. The average meeting lasts one hour.

  • Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking. Participants learn skills related to use of humor, gestures, eye contact, speech organization and overall delivery. When finished with this manual, members can choose from 15 advanced manuals to learn skills related to specific interests.

Why Join?

Survey after survey shows that presentation skills are crucial to success in the workplace. Many people pay high fees for seminars to gain the skill and confidence necessary to face an audience. Toastmasters provides an option that is less expensive and held in high regard in business circles. This organization has been around for more than 84 years and offers a proven – and enjoyable – way to practice and hone communication and leadership skills.

You will…

  • Learn to communicate more effectively
  • Become a better listener.
  • Improve your presentation skills
  • Increase your leadership potential
  • Become more successful in your career
  • Build your ability to motivate and persuade
  • Reach your professional and personal goals
  • Increase your self confidence.

How you do it. . .

  • Build speaking and leadership skills with time-tested methods
  • Focus on areas of interest in our self-paced curriculum
  • Receive suggestions for improvement through constructive evaluations

Toastmasters programs are . . .

  • Inexpensive
  • Interactive
  • Convenient
  • Friendly
  • Supportive


What Toastmasters Can Do For You

Whether you work in a corporate environment or from home, whether you are a student or retiree, Toastmasters is the most efficient, enjoyable and affordable way of gaining communication and leadership skills.

Become a Better Speaker

Toastmasters will give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation. By learning to formulate and convey your ideas, you open a new world of possibilities. You will be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations and you will improve your one-on-one dealings with others.

Become a Leader

Leadership is the art of persuading others to do what you wish. To succeed, you need to communicate, and you need to work as a team. In Toastmasters, you’ll do both. And you’ll find out how to vary your approach to suit the needs of different people, be they the audience for a speech, the committee for a fundraiser or your coworkers and managers.

It Really Works!

Don’t worry! Everyone in a Toastmasters club was once at the level you are now. The environment is friendly and supportive, and the self-paced program allows you to build confidence with each speaking assignment.

And you’ll love the applause! Constructive evaluation is the heart of the Toastmasters program. Each time you give a prepared speech, an evaluator will point out strengths and suggest improvements.

Learn to Lead – Guaranteed!

When you visit a Toastmasters club you’ll see more than people giving speeches. You’ll see members performing various jobs in the meetings that help them develop leadership skills

One of the tools Toastmasters use to learn about and practice leadership skills is the Competent Leadership manual. This manual, which all new Toastmasters receive as part of their New Member Kit, guides you through the learning process and focuses on leadership skills you can learn simply by serving in various meeting roles. Some of the skills you’ll learn as a member include: how to listen effectively, think critically, plan a meeting, manage time, facilitate a contest, motivate listeners, mentor a member and build a team.

The manual offers 10 projects. You will perform several meeting roles to gain experience and complete each of the projects. With each role you carry out, you’ll learn an aspect of the skill covered in that assignment. Most projects let you choose which roles to serve in.

For example, one of a leader’s most important qualities is to be able to listen effectively. Active listening helps you acquire information to identify and clarify issues, make decisions, resolve conflict and be creative. There are several roles you can perform during a meeting to practice and develop your listening skills.

After you’ve served in a meeting role, a supportive evaluator gives you feedback on each role you complete in the manual. The evaluator will point out strengths and offer suggestions for improvement for your next role. And there are no deadlines for working through the manual. You complete the projects at your own pace.

Communication and leadership abilities are only a fraction of the skills you can cultivate in Toastmasters. Other opportunities include experience in marketing, public relations, event-planning and many more! You have to see it to believe it – visit a meeting today!

Sounds Interesting?

If you would like to join a club in your area, give us a call, or send an email. Is your company, university or organization large enough to support a club of its own? We can start one for you - just contact:

Nikhil Sheth
VP Membership
JPKU Toastmasters Club, New Delhi
Website: http://www.wix.com/jpkutoastmasters/home
Blog: http://jpkutoastmasters.wordpress.com
Find our and other TM clubs' address on this map: http://tinyurl.com/delhitm

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why are you getting so offended over a horny old man's scribblings?

See here to get a grasp of the extents of this ferocity - a perfect example of what unending hatred can make normal people do.
And have you actually seen those paintings?
They look like scribblings of a child. I see only sillyness and immaturity in them, no malevolence nor any hidden agenda.

Are we justified in getting worked up over the imagination of a horny 90 year old? I think I have better things to get worked up about.
That old man has absolutely no influence over how I perceive my nation. Then why am I seeing so many otherwise normal people getting crazy about it... it's as if their religion and their patriotism is so flimsy and weak that a simple scribbling can endanger it. Sorry, but I am made of sterner stuff - these things don't have any effect on me.

At most, can you please just equate the 90-yr old to a silly child (we know for a fact that many old people's intelligence becomes like that of a small child), throw away this email, forget about it and move on with your life? Why do you want to either respect or punish the man? Just ignore him, he doesn't deserve your attention!

And why is this email demanding that the artist should paint prophet's daughter also nude... his own mother also nude.. some other countries also nude... already something was wrong, you want to make it more wrong? Is this your way of solving a problem? Are you sure you will be satisfied if someone does that?

I get 10,000 times more offended by the fact that we all turn a blind eye to this REAL painting of Mother INDIA:

Is your Campaign going to ever help these children?? They are your brothers and sisters. It is pure chance that you were not born in  their condition. Will your efforts give them clothing and food and shelter? Do those paintings have any say over these people's lives?

I am an Indian, a Hindu and I am not an extremist. I do not give a bloody crap to what anyone paints - it is the REALITY of our stupidity that offends me the most. My fellow Indians are being raped, exploited everyday and you people want to spend so much time, money and effort on a 90-year old silly old man's scribblings. First solve the REAL problems of my country, after that please go around chasing horny old men and their scribblings.
If you didn't like the paintings, don't look at them, don't attend the galleries exhibiting them. If indeed you are right in your stance, then surely majority of Indians will also do the same, and these things will go into the dustbin. But why spend so much effort in trying to ban them - it's like watching a TV channel because you hate it. Just take the remote and switch to something else! Find something better to do with your life! Make a painting more glorious and beautiful, depicting Mother India in the way YOU want it to be. And if you hate that frail old 90-year old so much, make a Nude painting of him ;). Eye for an eye, right? So painting for a painting! Forget about respect for elders or turning the other cheek - you have already been victorious in chasing a frail old 90-yr old human being out of your country, because you didn't approve of his scribblings. What more do you want? Do you want to kill him now? An old man who can't even fight back? Over some paintings? Is that all your dharma teaches you to do?

Please bring some semblance of PRIORITY of issues back into your life, solve the more pressing ones before getting engrossed in silly paintings!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

We need to find the truth

Watch this : Loose Change 9/11.
It's a 2 hour video - here is the direct download link , i recommend you watch it at leisure with your eyes and ears open.
We will have to explain each and every single anomaly to prove that it wasn't a setup; and so far I'm completely at a loss. It just makes sense. This guy isn't croaking - The physical facts can't have different versions - jetfuel is jetfuel and it CANNOT vaporize titanium, that is it. Those buildings could NOT have fallen that way due to an external blow - it just makes sense. This could be the biggest lie... and if This was a lie, then everything else hence has been too. When you think how many people have died, how many billions wasted... even if wrong, this deserves a thorough investigation. I'm expecting a new war coming up soon to distract us from this revelation, but we need to press on, the truth must be revealed, or our children and the spirits of those killed will never forgive us.

Why am i bringing this up? For the first time a nation's leader has come out and stated that 9/11 was a lie. There are already plenty of intellectuals, NGOs, societies in US itself crying foul since quite some years. Read all about it: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100306/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran

Check out more on : http://www.loosechange911.com/

If this pans out to the worst, then we as Indians have a duty to do something about it, regardless of any economical or political considerations. After all, this is OUR nation's slogan: Satyameva Jayate - "Truth shall always prevail".

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