Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My wandering mind


I had two options – to go back to sleep or dig out a novel from the huge bag on my lap. It was Monday morning and I was riding the 7.30 bus back to Kolkata after spending the weekend at home. Whenever I travel, I carry couple of novels in my bag. I am not good at smalltalk and find it absurd to strike up a conversation with a stranger. The books are my best friends at these times. When the bus races on the endless monotonous roads, I roam around the battered battlefields of nineteenth century Atlanta or trek the Khyber Pass on the way to Peshawar from Kabul. But today, neither did I bring out the book nor did catch up on the unfinished sleep.  I stared out the window as the vast grey fields hurried towards the opposite direction.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Visit to the Axis Bank

I needed to go to the Axis Bank on Saturday. My DEMAT account is with them. They had a partnership with Geojit BNP Paribas to provide the online trading platform, which I was using. But this partnership will cease to exist from 20th of March. Axis has come up with their own trading platform, called Axis Direct. I was to close the Geojit account and open a new trading account with Axis Direct. In the two hours I required to finish up the account opening formalities, I came to know a few unrelated things as well.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Bamboo Bridge


When everybody was asleep, I woke up. It would have been a few hours past midnight. It was silent except the continuous buzz of the insects in the distant bush.  The sky was clear. The dazzling Venus was already up on the eastern horizon. The Milky Way was faintly visible thanks to the bright moon. I put on the slippers and set out.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Possessions...


Possessions can make life difficult, particularly when you have to move with them. I learnt this firsthand as I shifted to a new apartment yesterday. This was my fifth or sixth move in the last ten years. Earlier, I didn’t have much of a luggage. Changing address was as simple as picking up two trolleys, dumping them in the dickey of a taxi and unpacking them in the new place within twenty minutes! But over the years, one by one my possessions increased - a TV set, a steel almirah, a refrigerator, gas oven and cylinder, mattress, tables and chairs – so on and so forth and accordingly increased the difficulty of changing homes. Now, I need to hire a truck and laborers. I need to pack, load, accompany, unload and unpack so many of my ‘assets’ (or liabilities?). It takes enormous amount of effort and energy. After yesterday’s whole day of toil, my limbs felt numb when I finally managed to go to sleep. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Budget and the Indian IT sector


The Indian IT sector is not very impressed with the budget finance minister presented in the parliament on 28th Feb. IT companies, mainly small and medium ones, are disappointed as the tax incentives under Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme have been withdrawn after 11 years. The tax sops under STPI were intended originally for 10 years. But last year the government had extended it for one more year. It will end in March, 2011. There are 51 STPIs. IT companies’ effective tax rates currently depend on the portion of their units which are under STPI scheme. Discontinuance of the scheme would increase their effective tax rate, unless they move their businesses to Special Economic Zones (SEZs).