Foreign/Home.

The contradictory richness of migrant life, having makan made by a cook from Pindi, comprising of paratha made in Pakistani Punjabi way, while watching India Today TV online while a nonsensical debate on the cross border strike. Human existence is complex and textured, and does not even remotely adhere to the straightjacket binaries the news mill feeds us. In a few years, the mainstream will be cornered and independent voices on low pitch will matter a lot more.

Is the migrant life for me, mainstream as I have been a migrant since I begun recognising life as a child. Then what is home and what is foreign?

Mumbai Floods Each Year

The flooding in Mumbai is a yearly affair, so it is nothing significant of note. Lives will be lost, properties impacted and concocted tales of positivity such as the resilience of the Mumbai played on loop. It is a heartless and soulless city of survivors who will take on anything to keep the meter ticking. From 11th July to 26th July, these dates will be etched in our environmental history as milestones of infamy. Everyone knows the problem, and the solution too. Before making cities smart and digital, cleaning sewers and fixing potholes is the smartest thing to do. And no climate resilience action plan is needed from MIT. The devolution of greater powers to the Mayor with authority to sign the checks is a good measure as a modest start. Climate resilient infrastructure is a multi year effort on various hierarchies as Mumbai is a city of Migrant dreams and a floating population with the ethnic community of the state a minority. Politics is more than roads, and it needs a different policy configuration for the Maximum City. Unbashed Development killed the Mithi River and the various natural eco tones in Thane. The next news cycle on PeeCee and Jonas will wash these thoughts away as well.

#climatechange

Reskilling for the AI era

In the atomised hyper neo liberal AI hypercharged era, every employee has to be a value creator aka bring money on the table. The founder is not the only custodian of the risk arbitrage. Now the problem is- most of the education we get at college makes us risk averse and seeking the public sector gig, which is limited. Folks in West Bengal preparing for NET please note, there is a life outside government exams; May a starting off at a market research company or KPI shall help. YouTube is not for Cat Videos only. The gravity of text is passé in our online streaming MOOC generation.

The nature of the future of work is changing the very foundations of society as we rush through MRT or at the back of our share cab, invested in playing the latest game on our tab. Easy access to data is killing critical thinking which will replace your job by automation. The world is getting dumber by googling it. Privacy, Information bubbles, Information search skills and validation, creeping in on our lazy habits of copy and paste from the mail to writing lines of code to constructing poor arguments is only making the current employment crop very replaceable. The tsunami called future of work is knocking and most are plugged in on their headphones, not able to process the noise.

Coping from failure and relearning are the top skills for the future. Is someone preparing a course, to reskill for the AI era?

India loses talent

Dr Arvind Subramanian changed the terrain of the Economic Survey report. I thoroughly enjoyed the topical essays and the GIS based data collection and Analytics. I sat beside him at a book launch in Delhi 16 months back and he was down to earth and rather communicative. India loses talent one by one.

AAP RIP

The urban politics of AAP as an alternative vision is dead. Revolutions die as usual in internal power games. It elects jokers to the Rajya Sabha where it had the opportunity to send activists to the upper house. YY and Prashant Bhushan where the intellectual consciousness of the movement. Every one knew that NCR is a half state. Now it is the Delhi Kejriwal Sanghathan. I hope it loses all 7 seats in Delhi next year. It is a betrayal of public trust.

The Beautiful Game

World Cup Football 2018 on a projector at a Turkish eatery with coffee and Shwarma, and frenetic Arabic Commentary in Muscat. Takes me two decades back to France ‘98 when as a child I watched the greatest celebration of the Global Game on Rotana. It’s Mexiki versus Al German going on now. Cannot be more at home.

Indian Trader Diaspora

Bania Traders from Kutch (in Muscat) and Chettiars from Tamil Nadu as trade diaspora in the early twentieth century, from ‘A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire’ by Historian and MP Sugata Bose.

I sometimes wonder how much little do we know about the region we live in apart from living in our ghettos and watching vernacular channels or reading news from back home. The world is not growing more intelligent by the democratisation of data in the era of the digital, information needs to be read. Information is not for the search engine.

Faded dreams

Dreams fade

The exuberance to jump at the deep end of the pool wanes

A dawn happens

Of the times lost

While exploring the wild side

May be the jet skiing was worth it

Or the hours spent on the food court

Or the hours writing away

To realise that

Capital wins

And the 16 year old lost

Poetry for Business

Poetry, and other narrative devices are crucial for business. Poetry helps in locating the human condition. The human condition is not all datafied to be plotted on a curve or fitted in to an algorithm. Markets are communities of people. Your consumer is a human. Analytics should be about meeting your consumer need. Tech Bros get derailed by their lack of empathy. Read poetry. Start with Rupi Kaur.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Bourdain

Bourdain’s work is anthropological and food was merely the pretext. Waiting for some grad school rookie to write this thesis proposal on parts unknown. Rest in Swag, Mr. Bourdain. A Vassar dropout, this judoka was as cool while speaking to Mr. Obama in Hanoi as he was asking the tough questions in his trips to conflict zones. Parts Unknown had a profound impact on me. A wide gaping chasm in the discourse on ideas.