Fortune at the top of the pyramid

I should make a product a lot of people will use, or better still, everyone will use “, answered the would be Entrepreneur.   This got me thinking and wondering.

As a person starting up , should you go broad or go narrow ?

When you are trying to please all, are you able to please all or disappoint all?

The biggest fortunes on earth have been made by people selling to top of pyramid or bottom ?

Apple, the most successful company ( Market cap U$ 826 Bn on 13 Feb 18)  is selling to 0.1% of top population  or to the bottom ?

Those frying Pakodas which serve the bottom 10% of population, are they likely to grow BIG?

Is Nike which makes shoes for the richest on top of pyramid  a more successful company or a Sri leather creating cheap footwear for masses at the bottom?

Its often misguiding to look at Facebook and say, here is one example where a product has been made for all. However, if you dig into history, you find that even Facebook was built only for Harvard campus male students at inception to let them ogle and lech at pretty faces  of girls on campus.

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What are the challenges of starting up and looking for a large, diverse audience in the beginning  ?

  • Heterogeneous acceptance : For the same need, different humans have different quality, shape, color, experience, price at which people will accept
  • Very low HCF for positioning :  Different positioning of product appeal to different people and its impossible to create a  marketing message which appeals universally at start to everyone.
  • Huge customer acquisition cost and low profits:  When you are aiming wide, the messaging needs to travel very very wide and there is huge cost to just reaching an audience. Then comes the cardinal law that a normal user must hear good things about your product/ service from 7 different sources before she decides to give your service a try.  Its impossible to have a high NPS ( Net Promoter Score) in early stages. Being a mass product, the margins have to be kept low.

These principles can be well understood if you look at the philanthropic cause Ratan Tata took up to make Nano.  He target the bottom of pyramid, kept the margins low, thought a multitude of people will pick up this car for various reasons and did multiple bets on it ( Singoor, Gandhi nagar, integrated plant etc) .

Think about this. When a product backed by enormous financial muscle of Tata, despite a large market failed Nano as a product,  how far can a  mass aimed product from an entrepreneur travel?

So what should an entrepreneur do ?

Who am I to sermon the brilliant ?  Andrew Chen , the early investor of Facebook had once shared a hack.  If you are creating a digital product, do just this one thing :

a) Create a Google Adwords account and  run a search keyword tool. Now,  try to find the search volume using sentences normal people use to find your offering in the geography you are targeting.

If  ( Search volume is < Few millions )

Either the need for your offering doesnt exist or its too small to make your business viable.

One of the  better strategy is to look at a niche but rich homogeneous segment who are in a state of dislocation/ disturbance and are concentrated in one physical or digital location. Examples : New mothers in Grade X hospital, Fresh batch of students at College, Tourists arriving in peak season, Youth flocking to Game of Thrones 😉

 

What are the exceptions to this hypothesis where people targeting at bottom through fair means have survived and won the startup battle ?

Nation of stupids

Who do you have your national rivalry with ? ” I asked the tall Dutch man at our first dinner outing in Amsterdam. He almost looked like Tom Cruise ( Somewhat like this image)

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I was expecting something to the tune of our angst against Pakistanis, but the reason he gave, shocked me. ” Belgians“, he immediately responded.
Belgians are stupid ” he said and gave no further elaboration.

Next afternoon, I met Mabeen, a 5’11” Dutch project manager who was wearing almost 4″  stiletto.  She, I heard was a fencing pro. A modern version of this lady

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I do not remember the context
but I do remember she telling a joke . It ended with she lolling ” Belgians are stupid. ”

I recall that later in the night, our customer had arrived.  He was a Belgian. He didn’t have demeanor of a a suave person.  Our conversations veered over Amstel beer and cheese and there was a point where he exclaimed , ” The Dutch think , we are stupids

I was still wondering if a nation can be collectively stupid.

Few months passed. I was at SAP campus for a meeting of Ux( User Experience) leaders in Bangalore. The conversation was on – ” What can be a particular India Ux strategy? What is it which works no where in world but works in India?”

I heard something very interesting and here it is –

Indians are stupid. You ask them their cell phone number for anything and they provide it without even thinking “.

On the way back, I stepped into a general store More. I saw a man , approx 25, buying a chocolate. The counter guy asked for his mobile number.

98*** ***** “,  was the sound I heard.

The melting of right thumb

 On either side of Indo -Pak border nowadays is being  cooked propaganda . The one that makes the respective govt look sexier..On India side, the factory of lies is made to make Modi ji look like a Rambo PM (which he is not) , on the Paki side its designed to make General Raheel Sharif look like Napoleon ( Which he cant be).
Let dissect the state, find its genesis and take the gas out of uber blown intestines of propaganda spreaders.
In my objective view, both may be  compulsively lying or telling half truths or exaggerating facts to further vested interests..

The truth is : Somewhere in between..

Media (Both electronic and print) is a whore. Its fueled by massive ad budgets of Govts ( 1000s of Crores of front page ads) but I am sad to see that Army  Officers ( Holi cows) are being used as tool to spread falsehood. Lets look at the philosophical angle to understand it and what else can be a better reference than the biggest epic of war- Mahabharata..
In the middle of the battle, Pandavs realized that they cant get better of their own warrior Guru Dronacharya. He was inflicting heavy damage to Pandavs after Duryodhan insulted him of lacking motivation to fight  his favorite pupil Arjun.
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 Krishna ran out of ethical ideas to rein in Drona whose battle focus was immaculate.. The only way to get better of him was .. not to attack him physically but attack his brain.. Krishna was big schemer.. and here is the wicked plot he cooked:
“Drona loves his son Ashwatthama.  He is currently in jungle. If somehow we can fool Drona and convince him that his son is dead,  he will be heart broken and mentally upset . His inability to focus on war thereafter will break his defense. Thats the time Arjun’s arrows will find him. I suggest going to forest, finding an elephant, naming it Ashwatthama and then killing it. A convoluted announcement from a person Drona finds credible will do the trick.”
Why do all this ?  
Everyone in Pandav camp because of jumlas and lies had lost their credibility. The only compulsively truthful person was Yudhisthir and the belief was that he wont lie under any circumstances. Krishna approached him with a proposal of not telling a lie but this half truth. The announcement he was expected to make was
अश्वथामा हथो वा नरो कुंजरो ( Ahwathama has died, it may be an elephant or a human) .// Something like, we crossed the border and inflicted significant casualties, they may be terrorists or soldiers
Yudhisthir had objection to this also. He didnt want to be perceived clearly as a liar even in retrospect. So Krishna offered to get 100s of nagaadabajs to play  loud BANG – BANG when the twisty elephant/human words get spoken. The only thing Drona would hear is : Ashwatthama dead. This was the first honesty- integrity compromise by Yudhisthira.  The trick worked and next day Dronacharya was arrowed to death by Arjun.
Now coming back to claim of Surgical strikes jingoism, the nagaadas are our paid media.  The ministers of Modi ji are Jumlebaaz Pandavs whose pronouncements Indian citizens  do not trust. The forest is border across LoC  and the Ashwatthama killed may not be the terrorists claimed to be killed but monkeys or mosquitoes.
 We the citizens are Dronas and the literal “killing” here is killing our aversion to the distrust in govt.. ..  The drums being played may be the Bhaktards, moles or paid agents on social media.
 Apart from the desired outcome of killing Drona, the Dharmaraj who spoke fabricated  truth  figured out later that the thumb on his right hand had melted away.
The DGMO guy from army and the MEA guy  and who claimed the “Surgical Strike” during press conference, should in my view, should have a take care of their RIGHT thumb.
Many gullible Dronas amongst us may have already succumb..

I didnt chant भारत माता and I dont

11  years after I hung my uniform as an air force officer. I am trying to remember if I ever chanted “Bharat mata ki jai” when in military. 6 years across 6+ military bases I served, how many times did I chant “Bharat mata jai “?  I  can for sure say I said “Jai Hind” a million times( Average 50+ times a day). But ” भारत माता की जय ” ?  I think  ” ZERO “. This surprises me and may be it will shock 1000s of chaddi nationalists a lot more. At epitome of national service, you do not need to chant this mantra.  I am hopeful, this is not giving an idea to some jerk in Sangh HQ to wake up and destroy the beautiful salutation culture of our glorious armed forces.

Looking back on the day when I was to take oath to defend India with all my vigour even to peril of my life, I had 2 choices

  1. Take oath on Gita or
  2. Just affirm as an individual.

I chose to do affirmation. I didnt swear putting my right hand on Gita or Sita. 22 of my 24 course mates did but I believed that the commitment I make as an individual, in my full conscience and wisdom doesnt need crutch of any religion or book. I was questioned why I wont take oath on Gita though I am a Hindu? I answered that my flavor/vision of Hinduism is not congruent to everything that Gita preaches. My argument was accepted. Imagine doing this in any other religious or theocratic nation, I will be labelled blasphemist and bled to death. To me, this is the most solid idea of India Hinduism and its grandiose सहिष्णुता

Growing up, I thought the God factory in heaven(ऊपर) stopped producing Devis+ Devtas+ Maatas+ Baaps in 560 BC ( After Buddha) but reality is quite different. Today, as I see a lot of irritating jingoism on “Mata” chant. A quick search on  Bharat mata  reveals that it was first conceived in a fictitious play , Bhārat Mātā by Kiran Chandra Bannerjee . It was first performed in 1873. So, in reality is it not just another figment of imagination of this Bhodro (Baangali) playwright during British rule?. Whats so sacred about it?

The story on Bharat mata can be read here

Surprisingly, anyone can add few additional pairs of limbs, put a lion/tiger+ sun halo behind, add one  weapon in each hand, top it up with a mukut and lo, a new deviji / maataji, baapji is created. Practically there is nothing stopping imaginative folks from creating Maratha maata, Patna Maiya, Guntoor Tanni or say JhoomariTalaiya maa. All it takes in this digital age is Photoshop.  Blockheads can claim that not bowing to it is against Nationalism / Regionalism or city / Mohallaism

I agree, “Mata/Mataram” did become a battle cry for some freedom fighters but so did ” Bole so Nihal, Allah u akbar or Har Har mahadev or, Joi ma kaali or Jai Gorkhali or Chak de fatte. Everyone had a choice to pick the battle cry which galvanized folks around to fight a common battle. It was the pluralism of battle cries which allowed folks to win multiple battles and ultimately the war. Every chant served some purpose just as every color contributes to make a rainbow beautiful. Pick your own indigo or orange but dont try to shove your choice of color up somebody’s…. you know what.

I had always been critical of deification of objects in Hinduism. From पाताल (Core of earth) to पेड़(tree) to पृथ्वी(earth) to penis does everything need to be a devta? This 33 Karod devi devta concept never appealed to me but I often liked एकेश्वरवाद  –  एक साधे सब सधे , सब साधे सब जाय.

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What do these mata chants have to do with a diverse, multifaith, multi ethnic pluralistic nation like India? What does it have to do with Hinduism other than its crudest form? What objective does this kind of deification handle other than

  1. Oversimplification of some objective to align the  low intellect junta around it?
  2. Create another non taxable revenue stream (Read temples) to help Birlas / Bajajs and other wealthies to run trusts around it to convert black into white and white into silvers?
  3. Celebrate a day with some silly rituals, extort money, eat up calorie bombs, create traffic nuisance and strew the rivers and oceans with a lot of garbage ?

I am not from a religion which prohibits me to bow in front of anybody other than Allah. I am not prohibited to say Jai to anyone.  As a free thinking man, my intellect revolts at mindless and reckless devification. Its utterly obnoxious to have a devata of every kind popping in front of me randomly from anywhere/ anyday expecting genuflection. I just wont do it. If a person like Javed Akhtar transgresses his religious bounds and chants Bharat mata, its his conviction and freedom to do it. If Owaisi doesnt want to say it, shouldnt he have the liberty to do it? Why should someone call him a a pig for it?

Why we debase the profound vedic shloka – जननी, जन्म भूमिश्च , स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ( Heaven is found in the lap of mother and land of birth). Please note the usage of जन्मभूमि not मातृभूमि

We need to create more robust belief and value system around Nationalism and Hinduism in particular which can stand the onslaught of any critique or rational inquiry. Continuing to believe in ugly dogmas, stupid rituals and irrational beliefs or practicing them makes a mockery of your own intellect and our highly evolved religion.

Advantage Hinduism is: Its not driven by the communication someone received secretly in a cave. It does not shut down free constructive thought(शास्त्रार्थ) . Its not constrained or limited. The buck does not stop at any book. Not even Gita or Ramayana or Vedas can claim to be all encompassive of what Hinduism stands for. Its beautifully non prescriptive religion. It encourages you to be a contemplative and free thinking human. Empathy is what has kept this faith relevant.

आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषाम न समाचरेत.

If you wont like someone else’s ideology/faith thrust on you, do not thrust yours on them. If Hinduism could survive 600 yrs of murderous Islamic rule and 200 yrs of missionary lure, it can very well withstand ugliness emerging from within, in form of Sakshi maharajs, Amit Shahs or Muttaliks. We can evolve, we can mutate, we can create new releases, versions of our faiths, we need not create more gods, more maatas and baapas.

Recently, I was evaluating a very large enterprise software (U$ 100 Mn+ type )  for redesign with a project sponsor.  She told me – “ Everybody added a lot of crap on this software whenever they felt like but no one bothered to clean it up ever. So what you see is a lot of junk all around which makes little sense “ .. Same I believe is the case with Hinduism as a religion. Everybody when they felt like added their bit of crap, no body ever cleaned it up. So here we are with a lot of junk.

If you wish to start on some introspection of Hinduism as a faith, a good point to begin may be here :

 

 

 

5 Virtues of intolerance

Probably this is the only period in history of India when the self esteem of Indians and particularly Hindus is at all time high. They shouldn’t go apologetic about it  ” – The Benjamin Netanyahu,  PM of Israel observing  the mood of India in 2015

The demagogues however have been drumming up despair on the growing assertiveness of Indian citizens and also the government. The self denigration of centuries leading to massive leakages out of faith, out of admiration of Christians ( During and after British rule to get closer to Saahebs) and fear of Islamic rulers ( Sword or oppressive Jazia) have been arrested.  Its at this time, the Commies, the casteists and Congis are becoming increasingly irrelevant and their masters have begun painting ” Intolerance” as an ugly word. Their only resort to relevance is nuisance.  I did a deeper gaze on the word and realized that the word or philosophy of  ” Intolerance” is as neutral as fire we fear and worship. We use fire to keep house warm,  we use it to cook food and we can also use it for destruction. Just  as fire is what you make out of it, so is intolerance. Lets see 5 examples :

  1. Steve Jobs : The biggest entrepreneur of all time was highly intolerant of incompetence and inadequateness of compelling User experience. It was his intolerance of anything but the perfect product design which created superlight Mac book Air, a superb music storing iPod, a highly intuitive iPhone and a ubiquitous alternative to laptop in form of iPad. Just imagine how ugly the world would have been if Steve had not been intolerant.stevejobsadobe

 

  1. 2. Defense forces : The militaries across the world ( Except Pakistan off course) are extremely intolerant of indiscipline. You break the discipline and you get more than commensurate punishment. The punishment of treachery is “Death” . Offensive behaviour is immediately dealt with by Courts of Inquiry, charge sheeting, Summary trial and Court martial if required.  Conviction  or exoneration is swift and time bound. The judges in military courts are not as tolerant of stupid arguments as civil judges.   They do not let Salman Khans  litigate for decades and  shake their asses while justice weeps indefinitely.   Its this intolerance for inefficiency which makes military highly efficient not only in war but also in floods, earthquakes or  even rescuing a little Prince from a borewell.130834315

 

  1. Aviation industry : Recently, I tried to reach Bangalore airport for an evening flight. Owing to peak traffic, the looters Olas, Ubers were quoting 3.8x surge fares . This meant I would pay Rs 4800/= for a taxi to airport when my flight ticket to Pune cost only 2100/= . I was intolerant of this loot and took a private cab. He drove like Schumaaker to try to help me catch flight in time. The checkin was supposed to close at 1745 and I reached the airline counter at 1747( 2 minutes late) . The staff tried to help me out . She spoke to the captain of the aircraft but he was intolerant. He said , ” Manifest has already been prepared, I wil not accommodate“. I was disappointed and sad but then, thought about the intolerance to breaking rule which is integral to the field of aviation. If they become tolerant to lapses and violation of aviation standards , only by luck, millions of passengers would land on earth alive. Aviation industry whether civil or military is extremely intolerant even of excess body weight of air crew. Even a few glasses of beer by pilots, the night before may debar her from flying.  Its this intolerance to transgress  that makes flying trustable.

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  1. USA on terrorism : The strongest nation on earth ( Economically and militarily) is extremely intolerant of possibilities of terrorism.  It has learned its lessons from one of the ghastliest attack of 911. Now, if you enter US, whether you are a sucky Bollywood Badshah or a  glorious former President of any other country , if the safety of country is to be ensured, you have to stand naked for inspection. Diplomacy be damned, there is no tolerance on safety procedures.  Its this philosophy of intolerance which has ensured that not a single terrorist attack has happened in US in last 14 years after 2002.  Tolerant nations kept on having 2611, parliament attacks and Pathankots.

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  1. Human body : Try infesting your body of rotten food, excessive alcohol or over eating , your stomach will immediately tell you how intolerant it is. It will make you vomit. Check how the whiteblood cells of your body are intolerant of  bad microbes. They  show no sympathy or tolerance to harmful bacteria who enter it and chant slogans of its barbadi. It kills them and ejects them as pus.  Its the intolerance which the human body shows to ill intentioned constituents which keeps it alive. The only time, the human body becomes tolerant to harmful elements is when it contracts AIDS.  Its immune system collapses, the microbes can rejoice ” Body ke tukde tukde honge Insa allah, insa Allah” .  The body is on death march then. If life has to sustain, body has to be extremely intolerant of such elements

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Conclusion :   The world ‘ intolerance’ has got a lot of bad press courtesy #Presstitutes funded by Shaikhs of mid east and and also commies/congis putting their entire weight behind it. Vedic philosophy tell about the genesis of action : Manasa ( Thoughts) -> Vacha (Speech) -> Karmana ( Actions) .  Offensive actions, ugly actions do not appear out of thin air. They have their roots in Thoughts, it takes existence in forms of speech and manifests in form of action. If you have to eradicate Bad Karma ( Actions) ,you need to eliminate bad speech and ugly thoughts.  The “Right” folks in the country are turning apologetic,  in face of barrage of media onslaught. They  are trying to establish that there is no ” Intolerance” or trying to confront folks who call India intolerant . This, I  think is retrograde and defensive. I urge each one of us to be assertive , enunciate what we are intolerant about.  Before that , lets base our intolerance on very sound benign principles. Garv se kaho – ” Hum intolerant hain

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Dear Omar Abdullah, no more diapers for you now.

Ëither Article 370 stays or Kashimir will not be part of India“- tweeted Omar Abdullah and it got me into recollecting Nawabjadas born into a ancestral property and too spoilt to see reason. To me he appears like another pappu ( A Kashmiri one) who has been pampered a lot. A baby in infancy is given a lot of cool things. Some examples are:

  • Umblical chord in womb (Direct delivery of nutrients to stomach, no need to masticate),
  • Breast feed (Optimally warm, sweet milk from uber soft nipples),
  • Diapers ( Freely do potty and susu whenever and wherever kid wants), and
  • A milk bottle ( Kid still gets almost same pleasure as sucking on to a human nipple) etc.

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All these baby stuff are good, pleasure some and are needed in those specific periods. Kids body, with this support,happiness and pleasure grows faster to soon become independent of them.
 There are however, some abnormal kids who get addicted and continue using them till they are 6 -7 years or even 12 years old. Is it not embarrassing for parents that their kid still drinks milk from poopsee , wets his pants, needs diapers or sucks thumb?
Why despite the physical age, the addiction and dependence with some kids just doesnt go away?  Is  it not the right time, for the parents to play hardball in the best interest of the kid and tell him NO means NO?
We all know this but why is it important today?
Doesnt Bhai Omar Abdullah appears to have physically grown beyond puberty?  At ripe age of 44 does he not have hairs in arm pits and elsewhere? Some grey streaks are visible on his head but has he grown mentally? He says that the only link between him and his mom (the mother India) is article 370.  Either this chord stays, or he is not son of his mother. It ends every thing for him ( and Kashmir).Image
  Is  this not exactly how a baby out of mother’s womb feels ? The umblical chord is what he thinks keeps him alive should just stay forever.He is crying, threatening, throwing tantrums, rolling on the floor, sucking his thumb all the while like Auro in Paa .
Is this article 370 not like diaper he thinks he  just cant live without. Baby Mehbooba too has joined the chorus. No body should take away their diapers, no body should cut the chords, no body should take away the poopsee bottle. Omar bhai! you and Kashmir have physically been out of womb for 40 and 54 years respectively. Has he  not grown beyond those susu in chaddi days?
Believe  us you dont need this diaper. We understand that you will cry and be angry with us when we cut it. You will rant when we make you wear pants. You will curse us when we ask you to drink milk from glass but bear with us we have to do this now.
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Did the Dhais ( Congressis and Sonia Mayya)  not let you suck thumb for ages because they always knew you are not their real son?  Were they not getting paid ( Looting the nation) while you reveled in infancy.The longer your infancy, the higher was their meter down  and hence better their career earning(Votebank)
You are not used to live without diaper, it will hurt, it will feel unusual for few days, it will make you uncomfortable but do not worry, you will get used to it and grow up for your own sake. We all have given them up at some stage of life.

 

Kundali and other creeps infesting our society

Personal horoscopes or predictions generate some of the most expensive toilet paper I’ve ever seen.”-  Tatiana Estévez , Quora Site Admin:

Tatiana tells why woman love horoscopes in   on Quora – Why-do-women-like-horoscopes .    She says, the primary reason why people go for horoscopes is because people want to lean on hopes and not on their actions. In general, the people who are dissatisfied and unsuccessful in life take a recourse to this .   A    Wikipedia Horoscope article gives a factual treatise on what horoscopes mean.  It furthers  tells the following :  No studies have shown any scientific support for the accuracy of horoscopes, and the methods used to make interpretations are generally considered pseudo-scientific.

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Matters of faith and belief cannot be debated or rationalized, however   horoscopes  are fast turning in to a major social evil. When I was in school,  I remember going to a Pandit who for a  prospective couple said -” Kundalis ( horoscopes ) do  not match. There is no possibility “. The elderly person, who I was accompanying, flashed a small bundle of Rs 100 notes. The pandit pocketed them, had a relook on the horoscopes and said “13 gunas ( characteristics) match“. The person flashed another bundle of Rs 100 notes. This time the Pandit looked at the horoscopes, with some calculations  he said – “24 gunas match “. This was enough to make the matrimony work. Had he pushed few bundles more probably, 34 gunas out of 34 could have matched.  Its now a common knowledge that astrology is an imprecise practice, amenable to multiple interpretations and that 100s of practitioners can have 100 different interpretations ( Each for a different fee 😉 )

In 90s and early 2000s the size of population doing kundali milaan ( Horoscope matching) was very small.  People looked at family compatibility, ability of groom, beauty of bride, dowry giving capacity of girl’s parents, education, absence of vices, career stability etc to decide matrimonial alliances. King Vikramaditya is said to have married a lot of princesses to increase his kingdom and eliminate hostilities with a lot of kingdoms. He supposedly didn’t consult any kundali kaandu before any of his marriages.  There is no mention of either Rama, Krishna or Shiva ever looking at kundalis of Sita, Rukhmini or Parvati before marriage. I was wondering when and how this practice, myth or misconception took roots in society, especially the Hindus.

I was listening to a conversation in one family where the Groom’s side had gone ahead with basic alliance, exchanged some expensive gifts but later didn’t want to go ahead with the relationship. They were confused, what reasonable excuse should they give for calling off the alliance. It was then, one crooked lady ( The Lalita Pawar kind ) came with a brilliant idea – “Keh do Kundali nahi milee kaam khatam( Horoscopes didn’t match, deal over) “.

Incidentally, I have seen 40+ marriages in my community and in none of them horoscopes were matched.  These marriages have lasted decades and have had necessary harmony a marriage demands.  Primary defendants of this horoscope practice claim that planetary positions at the time and place of birth affect the lives due to gravity and fields. It appears to me  the same horse shit as saying that  magnetic or electric fields can determine whether  you will have a comfortable shit next morning.  Gravity attracts by virtue of  matter contained in masses , electric particles attract due to accumulation of charges, magnetic dipoles attract because of polarization of fields and that what is there to it.  Fields do not decide whether two creatures are going to have  great sex with each other or their other behaviors.

Its unfortunate that this evil is proliferating in  our contemporary society . Yes its that horrible “H” in the BHP ( Biodata Horoscope and photo) which hoards  of educated illiterates ask for when they are considering a matrimonial alliance.  When I or my sister were of marriageable age , we used to get  requests from people asking for  horoscopes. Our straight answer used to be – “We do not believe  in such arcane stuff and have no such thing ready. Please make it yourself  if you wish to. Talk to us only with credentials of the person only when you have none of this  stuff blocking“.

Interestingly, it was reported in media that Aishwarya Rai ( Former Miss world) was married off to a tree before marrying Abhishek Bachchan ( Pappu of Amitabh Bachchan) to ward off Kundali dangers. Beyond public figures, closer in my life, I came across a creature who claims to be educated as an engineer and works in a software company. His family processed the horoscopes for 2 months and found that 33 out of 36 characteristics matched perfectly ( Extremely rare incidence ). They went ahead and did the engagement . The ensuing rituals cost the girl’s side, a few lakh rupees. The date for marriage was fixed 11 months from engagement.   The  bride side spent sizeable amount doing bookings and gifting the boy’s side.  For six months, everything was all right. Suddenly, the guy found that he was not getting  enough  ‘Feeling‘ ( read free and easy sex ) and started pestering the girl . He was insisting to his parents that they call off the engagement. The parents of groom were finding it embarrassing to tell the girl’s family. So much of water had been under the bridge. They still were interested in – ‘How can they do a ‘Saanp bhi marey laathi bhi na tootey‘ ( Kill a snake without breaking the stick ) to exit. There seemed no honorable or justifiable exit route but they desperately wanted one. How did the boy’s side find a clever exit ?

This is pretty interesting. They told the bride side that their Pandit now opines that as per horoscope no marriage is possible on the eariler mutually agreed date. They will have to wait for next 12 months to see if some dates can be found. They were not keen on any remedial measures. When asked if they can still commit to some future date, they said, they were not sure their son could wait for so long and they should reconsider other options…

The questions in this case, then are :

  1. What should be done with people like this ?
  2. How much of exploitation can be done using kundali and Ponga pandits as shields ?
  3. What impact has education and civilization done on such creeps. ?
  4. Do  horoscopes and planetary positions only affect Hindus and have no effect on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis or Jews ?
  5. If they do affect then why not every one is riding the horoscope bandwagon ?