Saturday, February 28, 2009

International Baniyadom

From HT, Business, sat, feb 28 2009

'Ryanair may charge for toilet use. London. Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, cheif executive Michel O'Leary said on Friday. "One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is maybe the possibility of putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future" he told BBC television'

Now i'll tell you why this is such a sound business move:

1. You got people by the balls: they don't have a choice

2. It opens up the possibility of additional revenue creation: you can charge for toilet paper by the half foot, for example, or soap by the drop ('petit, medium or grande drop, ma'am?')

3. It creates incentive to use the loo as little as possible, so people will, for example, not drink water in flight

4. If people need less service in-flight (no asking stewardesses for water), then you can also cut in-plane staff salaries

5. If people pay to use the loo, they may think of it as a higher-value place, and perhaps treat it with more care: this means less organizational spend on cleaning supplies

6. On the other hand, people may actually use the toilet even worse than they already do. IF that happens you will need to hire labour for cleaning. You can then probably apply to the government for a tax break as a source of job creation during these bad times

but mostly its point 1. you got people by the balls. Its very easy to make money if you have that.

Who says that it takes centuries of labour division hardening into socio-economic systems to produce a people who can extract the maximum out of what they have:)))

the Really Big Upside-Down Bowl

I have friends in the mountains now, at Binsar. They left on thursday morning and changed buses at Almora and heard about the leopard who kicked the sanyasin on the foot and is dead now (leopard or sanyasin? don't know yet) and walked their feet off.

It was very hard to see them go, i love the mountains. it took upto last year to start going again/ and now i keep wanting to go. Its more than wanting actually, sometimes it gets to be a need/ sometimes you can and sometimes you cant/ but nevermind about that.

City person that i am, mountain nights always seem to be a little unreal/ like i got dropped into a world that has no resemblance at all to the world i know. It sounds, smells, looks, feels/ wraparound unfamiliarity/ and the only response is to just float in it, and fear it wisely/ to stand at the border of light and look out/ into all that you are just too insignificant for the universe to inform you about.

The night sky in the mountains is an extraordinary, humbling, mesmerizing thing. I was sitting here in Delhi and thinking about it, so i sent a message to one of the boys at binsar. It said 'your phones off. i was going to ask you to take it out and describe the sky to me'

He messaged back '...Orion is moving from east to west along with the rest of the galactic arm. Above Almora a solitary wisp of cloud, or vapour hangs like a signature. If you stare long enough at a particular patch of sky you can make out nebulae and star clusters thousands of light years away. And, of course, see shooting stars, the most surreal of things...'

Thank you.
Good Night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arbitrariness: word of the day. It means that those who can, need provide no excuse or justification for behaving the way they do. It is their prerogative to think, act (upon) and speak the way they choose. Apparently, this is like a badge of honor, like a knighthood: ‘arise to the brotherhood of the Arbitrary. You may now do as you please-- to yourself, but, more importantly, to others’
NB: to be strongly distinguished from the kind of behavior that leads you to wander around the house picking up random objects and thinking stray thoughts. That needs no official sanction, thankfully