Showing posts from 2022

Charles Ponzi - Father of Ponzi Schemes

 Have you ever heard of the phrase "Ponzi Schemes" ? If you have ever heard these words, you should know about Charles Ponzi , on whose name this phrase was coined.  Who is Charles Ponzi? — The Phoenix (@3011_ajit) December 20, 2022 Charles Ponzi was an Italian by birth. His birth name was Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi. Carlo Ponzi became Charles Ponzi after migrating to the US in 1903. He did some small jobs till 1907 and moved to Montreal, Canada.  He started working with a bank in Montreal, Canada and forged the signatures of customers in the bank. He got caught in 1909 and spent two years in jail. In 1911, after being released from jail he indulged in smuggling illegal Italian immigrants from Canada to the US. He was caught again, this time by the US authorities, and spent another two years in jail.  After his release from jail, he moved to Boston where he got married to an Italian-American in 1918. In Boston, he did several small works and eventually fail

Review: War of Lanka

War of Lanka by Amish Tripathi My rating: 2 of 5 stars The book is not at par with the previous books of Amish. Creative liberty, especially when you claim to be an Indic author, shouldn't ruin the sanctity of the epic. There are many ghastly deviations from the basic premise of Ramayana. This could have been avoided. At times, the book resembled Devdutt Pattnaik style. If you want to spend some serious time reading Ramayana related books, better avoid this book. If you didn't read the Valmiki Ramayana, I suggest not to make any opinions on any characters based on the narrative in this book. Take this as a pure fiction not related to Ramayana except the names. View all my reviews

Mareecha and Ravana - A lesson for us.

I am always fascinated with some specific slokas from our scriptures and epics. They are not only wise from the context of that particular epic situation but also make relevance to our regular lives. Below sloka is one such sloka. सुलभाः पुरुषा राजन्, सततं प्रियवादिनः । अप्रियस्य तु पथ्यस्य, वक्ता श्रोता च दुर्लभः ॥ Transliteration: sulabhaa.h puru.shaa raajan, satata.m priyavaadina.h | apriyasya tu pathyasya, vaktaa "srotaa ca durlabha.h || Meaning: Oh, King (Ravana)! It is easy to find people who speak pleasantly. It is hard to find a speaker or a listener who is unpleasant but honest. सुलभाः पुरुषा राजन्, सततं प्रियवादिनः । अप्रियस्य तु पथ्यस्य, वक्ता श्रोता च दुर्लभः ॥ Who said this to whom? — The Phoenix (@AS_2103) Tweet The above wise words were spoken by Mareecha with Ravana. But why would this wise discussion happen between two vicious people like Ravana and Mareecha? The context is as interesting as the sloka. Ravana wan

Review: The Idol Thief

The Idol Thief by S. Vijay Kumar My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is an eye opener about the scale of art being smuggled from India. The book is about one of the notorious smugglers of Indian art who went rampant looting the Indian heritage and selling it to the western museums and art collectors until he was chased down by a group of art enthusiasts and a stringent law enforcer. As the author noted at the end, many of us are well aware of the financial fraudsters. But the heritage being looted and the money involved in the smuggling of rich and exquisite Indian art is no less than a money laundering racket. View all my reviews

Review: The King Within by Nandini Sengupta

The King Within by Nandini Sengupta My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the first book of "The Gupta Empire Trilogy". It is about a king and his friend's journey through the twists and turns of the destiny. The story goes through three generations, their emotions and aspirations. Though the plot is open and future story is revealed at many points in the book, the gripping narration of the scenes hold us till the end. This gives a fresh perspective as the author focuses not just on the lavish lifestyle of the royal families, but also on the hardships behind the royal alliances and actions. There are a few errors by the editor at places where the names of the characters are changed (for ex, there is a character Vishnu Vardhan which was spelt as Vishnu Varman in few places) and spelling mistakes. Overall, the book gives a good opening for a trilogy that can make readers go for the next parts. View all my reviews

Review: Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex Von Tunzelmann

Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex von Tunzelmann My rating: 4 of 5 stars A very intriguing book. It touches many corners of the last phase of the British Raj in India and the early 3-4 decades of Independent India. It will be a shock for many who look at Nehru or Jinnah from only one perspective. The author though mainly relied on the British Royal Archives for many references didn't miss the keynotes from other sources like the letters between Jinnah, Churchill, Atlee, Mountbatten, Nehru, Edwina, and others, and tried to stay neutral in narration to a larger extent. I feel this is one interesting history book that can be helpful in giving deep insights into where the partition of India went wrong, how the political differences between individuals can result in catastrophic communal clashes, and how leaders are perceived in a revolution. How the perceptions of mobs override the ideological standards of the leaders in a revolution making the leader

Social Media - How much you are into it.

Even without our knowledge, social media has become an inseparable part of modern society. Being an inseparable part brings some pros and cons with it. Here is a form designed to ascertain how much time you are using social media. This form is designed to provide insight into your usage patterns when you attempt to fill the form honestly.  Loading…

Professional Skill Set - A distant dream for a common man.

 In continuation to my earlier article on the gap between the market demand and supply of the skill sets in India, I am going to analyze the reasons why India is lagging behind in acquiring the skill sets required for the industry.  Despite 1.5 million engineers, 28000 doctors, 0.273 million arts graduates, and 0.267 million commerce graduates coming out of college every year, the industry in India has not shown much progress in the last decade (2010-2020).  As highlighted in my last article , the lack of skills required for the industry is the major reason for unemployability. If we observe carefully, the industry and the education sector though present in the same country, were not able to connect the dots and fill the gaps in the demand and supply of skill sets.  So, where is the problem? To be fair, the problem cannot be attributed to any party in specific, like the present and past governments, industry, or educational institutions. It is indeed a collective failure to coordinate

Indian Job Market - Emerging need for skills

In the initial days of 2020, the COVID19 pandemic has thrown a tumultuous challenge to the world's economy and to the leadership of every nation on the planet.  Along with many other countries, India also went into a lockdown to reduce the spread of the pandemic. At this point, along with the shortage of medical infrastructure, India faced another major challenge - the impact on the job market by the end of April 2020.  People were losing jobs as the domestic and international markets reeled under severe pressure due to the decline in production and demand. Along with this, the global lockdowns seized the opportunities for new jobs. Unemployment shot to unprecedented levels. India being the second-most populous country in the world is often viewed as an asset as India has nurtured abundant human resources for global manufacturing and service industries over the decades. But this asset turned into a liability with indefinite lockdowns and declining global demand. The unemployment r

A Fraud Call

  We all might have received at least one call from a random number introducing themselves as bank employee and asking us about any loan requirement. Today morning, I received a similar call. Generally, I don't pick such calls. But as I am looking at some funding options, I picked the call, and after the initial pleasantries, the tele-caller asked for the loan requirement and I informed her about my personal loan requirement. I am a bit skeptical about my loan eligibility as it was only two and a half months I joined my present company and I don't even have a standard address proof as I recently relocated to my present address. Given all these uncertainties, I am aware that my chances are bleak.  But the tele-caller confidently reassured me that I am eligible even with the payslips for the two and half months of service. Then I enquired about the address proof. She simply said that AADHAR is not mandatory and I can provide my wi-fi bill as address proof. At this point, my doubt

A Nightmare

 It was 3.30 AM and I woke up terrified, panicked and drenched in sweat as usual whenever I encounter that ghastly figure in my dreams(surreality). My shirt was soaked in sweat as if I ran for kilometres without a break. Who would run for kilometres at 3.30 AM on a chilling winter morning in November!! And yes, I didn't run without break, but I ran from a chilling experience. That ten-foot-tall figure that hovered around me the last time, came with yet another terrifying experience.  The spooky figure that encounters me is a muscular and shiny figure with a complexion that is indescribably grey and darker than the pyroclastic fumes. The signs of its coming are very clear.  It all starts with the distant howls of the street dogs. Then, black, brawny and growling street dogs with scars on their faces, appear from nowhere followed by that spooky personality of nearly ten feet. Those red shining eyes resemble fresh volcanic fumes. The strands of hair pitch black, untidy, unbraided, coi