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I am Shashi Tharoor’s Sole Speaking January 16, 2014

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This post was originally done by me for MyIndia section of Mapsofindia.com. Mapsofindia team has taken a conscious call to remove this post as it doesn’t go well with Mapsofindia.com’s editorial guidelines. I respect Mapsofindia.com’s decision and hence have moved this post here.

This post is my work of fiction. The article is a light banter and meant to be taken in that spirit. This post is not endorsed by any of the businesses or business interests I am involved with. 

I am Shashi Tharoor’s sole, I have been to hundreds of cities and my mentor has met thousands of beautiful women. Women get attracted to my mentor without any effort from his side. That is the magic of my mentor, he is smart, successful and perceived to be an intellectual, that is what he keeps on repeating that women look for. Once we were at his stylist and she told him that his left shoulder was stooping. The genius that my mentor is, he told the stylist, “I know, I also know how you can help me stop it from stooping”. I am the sole, so I don’t know what happened after I was removed. Usually, I am removed and all action happens without my line of sight. When I was worn back, I heard that the shoulder had stopped stooping. Brilliant stylist.

I remember once when we walked into this palatial room, there were lots of hugs and kisses and of course some Miss-es. There was one particular Miss who walked across to my mentor and declared herself to be his biggest fan. My mentor, in all his sincerity, gently lifted her hand and bowed down to kiss her hand and said, “I am so humbled, you made my day. Of course, my mentor doesn’t flirt, looking at legs below the hem of skirt is not flirting and neither is telling your “biggest fan”  and “I have never seen more shapely legs.” Of course when legs meet, soles have no role and can’t do any status update.

My mentor enjoys dual nationality and multiple spouses, he is very proud of his diverse work experience and especially the one involving refugees towards beginning of his career. He developed a soft corner for all forms of refugees and internally and externally displaced people. That soft corner has stayed with him and he is always open in all ways possible for displaced people, irrespective of their nationality and their current country of refuge or his current marital status. Dubai and Pakistan are no special, and I can say my mentor doesn’t wait at all when it comes to separating from his sole and ensuring comfort to a refugee seeking his solace. He has never let anyone down even if it meant leaving his trousers crumpled over me while he discharged his duties. My challenge is that I am the sole and I can’t definitely and authoritatively see or comment on the whole thing which unfolds once I am off. Whenever I hear my mentor saying, “this was the best I have had in a very long time,” I know it is time for me to be ready to walk.

Today, my mentor has been restless since morning, he has been stomping a lot, and he has also been saying “why do I misread women every time”. He has me, his sole with him 100% today, I don’t think he would be removing me in a hurry. Of course, I hate being worn for long, and here is my dirty little secret on why I hate. I am never alone when I am removed and the sole accompanying me always has equally interesting stories about places it has been to.

So long…

The Great Indian Economy Melt of 2013 August 20, 2013

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Indian Rupee continues its downward slide, all measures taken by the Government are proving to be ineffective to stem its fall. Would this fall lead to a free fall of Re? Is this the beginning of the end of the dream run Indian economy enjoyed for almost 20 years? All this while, we thought India had sound fiscal policies, we thought our policies were sound enough to insulate us from global economic collapse, what happened? What triggered this economic earthquake?  Is it now threatening to put a country of over 1 Billion to an economic mess of magnitudes not seen before?

To me, it is all very simple. As a nation we didn’t behave in a prudent manner and control our extravagant corruption and channelize our resources productively when the global economy was experiencing rough weather.

Although 7 years of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s 9 plus at the helm of the country were “economy positive” years, last 17 months have wiped away faith and trust in his and his teams abilities to steer us out of this. How can collapse of Indian Currency be controlled? Is it possible to control it? Is it possible for IMF to induct over $500 Billion which maybe required to stabilize India Rupee? Even if IMF decides would it have that kind of will and resources to pull this through? Does this precarious state of Indian economy make India vulnerable to fiscal policy mutilation/ manipulation by powers that be? Would a crumbling Indian economy lead to negative outlook for other economies in the region? Would that composite negative outlook be bad enough to trigger next wave of global economic downturn?

These all are no longer devil speak things, they are a distinct possibility. With little to stabilize economy in the offing, it is time for residents of this tumbling economy to look at their family and business stability. It is time for them to work towards putting in place their Plan B. What could be Plan B for a family or a small business enterprise?

In my humble opinion:

  1. Convert savings to multi-currency deposits from pure Indian Rupee deposits if they are that much and it is possible to do that.
  2. Convert them to gold deposits to the extent possible.
  3. Stop lifestyle spending.
  4. Reduce necessary expenditure by 10 to 15 percent.
  5. Take an additional revenue generating activity if your spare time permits.
  6. For small business, defer all expansion and focus on maintenance and sustenance of existing income. Rework strategies to the extent they lead to less cash burnout.

Situation is bad enough continued fall of Indian Rupee can lead to a sudden drastic devaluation of the currency by 100%/ 200% overnight leading to socioeconomic rioting and widespread panic.  Even if this crisis is contained, it is very likely that its repercussions would linger on for 4-5 years. This would lead to growth of economy going negative or at best dropping to zero. We have millions of students getting ready for job market, with this as the state of our economy they are unlikely to bag jobs which map with their qualifications and meet their aspirations. This would lead to increase in number of patients of depression and cases of self-immolation. The more I look at the scenario, more serious and hopeless the situation looks.

My suggestion, strap-up, this is the time to do a quick reality check and chalk out your plan for your family and business to sail through these troubled waters.

Turned 48 yesterday August 19, 2013

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I rewrote my bio and friends contributed to “strengthen” it even more. So here it goes…

Ladies & Gentleman reintroducing Simarprit Singh – 48 years; male; Punjabi; Sikh; Indian; brother to Mr. Magnanimous Soul; more than 20 friends with friendship of more than 20 years; married for 18 + years; father to a sweet 16 teenager; happily & hopelessly obese; avid traveler; 48 years of domestic traveling; 20 years + of international traveling; 24 countries; 53 international cities + 100 Indian cities; loves camera; tech entrepreneur; loves history; lives maps; documenting life since 1979.

My fiends add: Inspiration & guide to a few; amateur humorist; hard-worker; grounded; fit for marathon sessions; possesses culinary skills; balances relationships;  crazy; visionary adventurer; no regrets; never looking back.

American Airlines is not an option June 19, 2013

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Let my miles and status go to hell.

American Airlines is not an option, anymore.

This airline doesn’t value its guests. it doesn’t value commitment of even its Executive Platinum guests.

It has no regard for your priorities.

It is not about an incident, it is about an airlines attitude.

American Airlines is a big fail, and I am the one who would ensure that my voice is heard loud and clear.


Fun is in reali… June 18, 2013

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Fun is in realizing that “Life” is teaching you all the time, challenge is to ensure that you learn and absorb all those teachings.

There are times… June 18, 2013

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There are times when people are bound to undermine your sincerity. During those times it is important to tell yourself that they are just trying to equate their own sincerity with yours. Those who doubt your sincerity do that at their own cost and peril. Sincerity must prevail. Always.

The Great Infosys Succession Drama June 2, 2013

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Hmm… “Mr Murthy will replace current chairman K V Kamath, who will become lead independent director, effective June 1. The current executive co-chairman S. Gopalakrishnan will be re-designated executive vice chairman, while current chief executive officer S.D. Shibulal will remain in his position, Infosys said in a statement on Saturday.” “Mr Murthy has requested the board to appoint his Harvard-educated son, Dr. Rohan Murthy, as his executive assistant for the next five years.” – I am sorry but this sounds hilarious, looks like some people have been working extra hard to accommodate all, sundry and their baggage.

So much for business ethics and leading by example. On record Mr. Murthy (and family) has considerably en-cashed their holdings in Infosys at right time. If only they would have given Mr. Kamath a free hand, Infosys would have been back in the forefront.

You Are My Love June 1, 2013

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Do you know who you are?

You are my love

You are my life

You are my moon

You are my star

You are my Goddess of Day

You are my Goddess of Night

You are my direction

You are my support

You are the nectar of my life

You are the call I am always awaiting

You are my heart

You are my mind

You are My Love

You are the mornings I wake up to…

You are the evenings I unwind too

You are the bird whose music I hear while asleep

You are the flower I have been seeking

You are the petals I have been keeping on my eyes

You are the life who has changed my life

You are the one who has taken my life by storm

I don’t want this storm to ever ebb

I don’t want these petals to dry

I don’t want this fragrance to ever evaporate

I don’t want your memories to ever fade

I don’t want your thoughts to ever cease in my mind

I don’t want any other God in my life

I don’t want to wake up from this dream called you

I don’t want my addiction for you to ever go

I don’t want my hunger for you to ever subside

I don’t want these paths to be ever covered by me

I don’t want this fire inside me for you to ever extinguish

I don’t ever want to know secrets of my love for you

I don’t ever want to know why I love you so madly

I don’t want a sound sleep, I need you in my dreams

I don’t want this world, I just want you

I don’t want any possessions, I just want you

You give me a place in your heart, that is the only possession I seek

You are my song of life, I just want to keep singing it

You are my love

You are my life.

Can I negotiate… May 31, 2013

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Can I negotiate with death, can it be mutually done, can it be other than grabbing me and dragging me along, against my wish. It is one of those days when death is on top of my mind. Am I going to die, or is it HIS way of telling me to close my ends, or is it that someone close to me won’t be around after a while?

Life is always … May 31, 2013

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Life is always a string of open ended issues. When I know I am going to die, it would be wise enough to close all open ends. There has to be a ring of comfort surrounding my body when I am put to rest, that one final time. Wise folks plan their exits as carefully as they plan anything else about their life. It is their final event. Am I wise enough?