Nadir Godrej’s Delightful Poetry

Jun 5, 2016

Nadir Godrej comes to SCID (Stanford Center for International Development) India conference every year. As a matter of fact he co-sponsors the conference along with me and Naushad Forbes of Forbes Marshall. It is always fun to have him present his thoughts in verse. As a matter of fact he is a prolific poet. Look at http://www.nadirgodrej.com/ for his works.

Here is a sample:

http://www.nadirgodrej.com/ThemeDetails.aspx?tags=India+(Politics%2fEconomics)

India’s Knowledge Economy

Though India now is on the rise
It was not always so.
Our policies then were unwise
Our growth was very slow.

The Hindu rate it was then called,
A very narrow range.
The liberals were most appalled.
For years there was no change.

Our population grew so fast
That jobs were hard to find.
Of all the students that had passed
Large numbers were assigned

To jobs in other distant lands.
Our nation saw no gain.
And we bemoaned the broken strands
And coined the term brain drain.

When Rajiv Gandhi loosened things
The economy then rose.
But Bofors came and clipped his wings
And we were filled with woes.

And finally our gold was hocked
So money could be loaned.
The nation was extremely shocked,
The people moaned and groaned.

But IMF and World Bank could
Do what no Indian dared,
Cut all the socialist dead wood.
At first, we were quite scared.

As prisoners we celebrated
The loss of chains and balls
And yet perversely we still hated
The fall of protective walls.

The licences had been a pain,
We wanted them to go.
But prison had shown us some gain-
The competition’s low!

The walls came tumbling nonetheless,
We learnt how to compete.
At first it seemed a total mess
But soon we learnt to beat

Our rivals anywhere on earth.
Our quality now soared.
We cut the fat, reduced our girth,
Our fitness was restored.

Brazil relied on its vast land.
Our holdings were quite small.
In agriculture we can’t stand,
Against them we would fall
Now Russia has its ores and oil,

But India has much less.
The Chinese know they have to toil
Our labour law’s a mess.

Our infrastructure’s very weak
Shanghai is way ahead.
But telecom is not so bleak,
It can be safely said.

The hand we’re dealt is not so strong,
But still, has trumps and an ace.
Though there are cards, for which we long,
We still can join the race.

And now’s the time to gratefully thank

The men who made us strong.
Upon their foresight we now bank
And will do so for long.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s socialism
Has been the cause of slumps.
But he saved us from cataclysm
By providing us with trumps.

His vision was of a proud nation
Lead by technology.
He laid great store on education
And started IIT.

Now IIT and IIM

Have earned themselves a name
And we are justly proud of them.
They are trumps in the game.

Though many others made the case
Macaulay wrote the minute
And English proved to be our ace
Our brightest minds think in it.

For all these years, we were left out
But now the earth is flat.
On bumpy fields it was a rout
On a level field we bat.

In IT we are in the lead

We never seem to miss.
Large companies all seem to need
Wipro or Infosys.

Now some observers seem to think
That even TCS
Could someday be at the brink
In a deadly game of chess.

Now foreign firms can play the game
And hire all our brains,
They have deep pockets and a name
And surely they’ll make gains.

But Indian firms can soon strike back

And buy their rivals out.
Of cash reserves, they have no lack
Their market value’s stout.

In BPO as you all know,
India leads the way.
The industry can only grow
As more firms join the fray.

Now IT needs trained engineers,
Which are in short supply.
When other graduates need careers,
It’s BPO they try.

Call Centres were all you could see

In the early days.
Now accounting, radiology
Are amongst the ways.

But of course there are no limits.
The higher up you go
The better we can pit our wits.
The benefits just grow.

The bandwidth costs are coming down
Large files can be transmitted
To every little Indian town
Processed and resubmitted.

But Knowledge is more than IT

Or even BPO.
Our Generic Pharma industry
Puts on the greatest show.

And drug discovery will grow,
As will our Biotech.
And contract R&D will flow.
Some just collect a cheque,

While others go and buy abroad
And spread their wings world wide.
Now many more can well afford
This route that’s true and tried.

Our Ayurveda could be used

To cure the world at large.

With modern science it could be fused
To lead another charge.

Now China’s labour cost is low.
On cost we can’t compete.
But still our industry can grow
We need some other feat.

Our engineers are very good
They help to optimize.
And using them we surely could
Win the industrial prize.

In auto parts we can compete,
In chemicals as well.
In fact in fields which are replete
With knowledge we can sell.

Our private sector’s very large,
In China it’s the State.
Our companies will lead the charge
And storm the global gate.

In services we do excel
But manufacturing too,
Wherever knowledge can propel,
Is something we can do.

So knowledge is the solid base
On which we’ll have to build.
And if that is indeed the case,
The bank must be refilled.

Our institutes are very good
But the world is on the move.
It has to be well understood
They must always improve.

In many parts of our great nation
The teachers have decamped.
Our primary education
Just has to be revamped.

In education we must invest
And build our knowledge base.
And if we pass this final test
We will have won the race.

Old Money

May 11, 2016

King George VI Anna 1 King George VI Anna 2 King George VI Athhani (Half Rupee) 1 King George VI Athhani (Half Rupee) 2 Moriwala Paisa (Paisa with a hole) 1 Moriwala Paisa (Paisa with a hole) 2 Queen Victoria Paisa 1 Queen Victoria Paisa 2 East India Company Half Anna 1 East India Company Half Anna 2 King Edward VIII Paisa 1 King Edward VIII Paisa 2 King George V Paisa 1 King George V Paisa 2After Almost 70 years after Independence, the British in India in an abstraction for most people. I was born in 1945. British money was still in circulation in 1950. New Indian money using decimal system  did not come in to being till 1957. Old Rupee had 16 Annas. Each Anna had four Paisa. All of these coins are from my childhood.

Also listen to a song from 1957: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3oFsT5i4B8

 

 

TiE annual report 1996

Feb 25, 2016

TiE’s first annual report was published in 1996.

Philosophical framework was wordsmithed by Suhas Patil, Roy Prasad​ and yours truly over a bottle of wine at Suhas’s house.

It took several revisions and precise wordsmithing to get it right!

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