Quora: Why are Indian girls crazy about pani puri?

That’s one way to answer such a question.

Answer by Jaganathan Abhinav, Mediocre. Wants to marry Arya Stark (Follow up question to him would be: Does Arya Stark like pani puri?):

In the Mahabharata, as soon as Draupadi was married to the Pandava brothers, she was taken to their house. Kunti was worried that her daughter-in-law might create a rift amongst her sons by showing extra affection to one over the other. It was tough times and she also wanted to see whether this new bride would be able to successfully manage resources. So she decided to test her

Kunti gave her just enough dough (atta)  to make one puri and told her to satisfy the hunger of all five of her sons. There was also some left over potato masala from last night. It was then that the ingenious Draupadi invented Pani Puri. This also goes on to explain why every standard plate has 5 pieces. Kunti was so amazed with her daughter-in-law’s creativity that she blessed her dish with immortality.

Thus every Indian girl eating pani puri secretly wishes for a good husband and wants to show to the 5 men ogling her at a pani puri wala that she is more than capable of being a good wife..

Hope your intellect is satisfied. And on a more serious note, your intellect needs to get a life.

Quora: What are some of the best rare natural phenomena that occur on Earth?

Some very interesting visuals for sure

Answer by Mayank Singh Shishodia:

Here are some of the best natural phenomena that occur on Earth.

Gippsland Lakes

The spooky light is created by a chemical reaction called “bioluminescence”, which happens when tiny organisms in the water are disturbed. The photographer put his camera on a very slow shutter speed and threw sand and stones into the water to cause the reaction and capture as much of the blue haze as possible
Source: Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes


Light Poles

This phenomenon is known as ‘light poles’ and it can be seen at nights ower the large cities with different colored lights. They can only be seen during very cold weather (the temperature of -20 Celsius degrees or lower is required). Also the wind must not blow fast and there has to be a plenty of tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere. That is why you don’t see this so often.
Source: http://www.babaloud.com/2011/06/…

Finnish Lapland

The picture was taken last winter in Finnish Lapland where weather can include sub-freezing temperatures and driving snow. Surreal landscapes sometimes result, where common trees become cloaked in white and so appear, to some, as watchful aliens or bizarre statues. Image Credit & Copyright: Niccolò Bonfadini
Source: APOD: 2012 May 29

Lenticular Clouds

They are stationary lens-shaped and sometimes multilayered clouds that form at high altitudes. They are formed when moist air is forced to flow upward around mountain tops. Due to their shape, they have been offered as an explanation for some UFO sightings.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len…


Aurora or polar light are mesmerizing natural light display in the skies of high latitude regions. They are caused when energetic electrically charged particles from solar wind accelerate along the magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere, where they collide with gas atoms, causing the atoms to give off light. The auroral zone is typically 10° to 20° from the magnetic poles.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aur…


A fallstreak hole, also known as a hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud,skypunch, canal cloud or cloud hole, is a large circular or elliptical gap, that can appear in cirrocumulous or altocumulous clouds. Such holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the lack of icenucleation particles. When ice crystals do form it will set off a domino effect, due to the Bergeon process, causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud
Source: Fallstreak hole


Morning Glory Clouds

Morning Glory clouds are very rare types of clouds. They can stretch 1,000 kilometers long and occur at altitudes of up to 2 km. Although similar clouds are seen in many places worldwide, the ones over Burketown, Queensland in Australia occur predictably every spring. These tubes and the surrounding air can cause dangerous turbulence for airplanes when clear. They can achieve wind speeds up to 60 kmph.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mor…

Condo Effect Fog

This photo was taken in Panama City, Florida. Fog is seen rising off the Gulf and over the buildings along the beach, giving it a tsunami effect. According to a meteorologist this was due to “highly localized orographic lifting.” The fog formed in spots where the onshore breeze was forced to rise up and over the tall buildings. The ascending air cooled and the water vapor condensed, forming fog.
Source: http://theweatherguru.com/2012/0…
Spectacular ‘cloud tsunami’ rolls over Florida high-rise condos

The Brocken spectre

Brocken spectre, also known as Brocken bow or mountain spectre, it is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer or object, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. The ‘head’ or point of the shadow is often surrounded by rings of coloured light – the rainbow halo – caused by light diffraction.
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/…
Brocken spectre

Fire Rainbows

The fire rainbow is the rarest of all naturally occurring phenomena. The clouds must be cirrus and at an altitude of 20,000 feet at least. There must be just the right amount of ice crystals present, as well.
Source: Circumhorizontal arc

The Hessdalen Light

Hessdalen Light is an unexplained light phenomenon that occurs in Hessdalen valley of Norway. They were observed over 15 to 20 times per week from 1982 until 1984. Since then, the activity has decreased and now the lights are observed about 10 to 20 times per year.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hes…


Upward Lightning

Upward lightning is rare. Most lightning streams either between clouds or from a cloud to the ground. In this special case, electrons stream earthward, producing an electrical current and a bright streak of light like a tree branching out.
Source: Upward Lightning , http://www.sciencedaily.com/rele…

Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus clouds or mammatocumulus are cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. They are formed in sinking air contrary to any other form of clouds that are formed in rising air. There are various hypotheses offered behind the mechanism of its formation.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mam…

Earthquake Lights

Earthquake lights are unusual luminous atmospheric phenomenon. They are usually reportedly in areas of high seismic activity or volcanic eruptions. They were believed to be myths until they were photographed in 1965 during the Matsushiro earthquake of Japan. It was then that seismologists worldwide accepted of their existence. Earthquake lights are caused by an unknown mechanism. They are either white, blue or multi-spectrum.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear…


Blue Jets and Red Sprites

Red sprites and blue jets are very high altitude upper atmospheric phenomena associated with thunderstorms. They have only recently been documented on camera. Red sprites are massive (as big as 20 km in size), but faint luminous flashes that appear directly above an active thunderstorm and coincide with powerful lightning strikes. Blue jets too are a high altitude optical phenomenon, but are different from sprites. They were first documented in 1994. Blue jets are optical ejections from the top of the core regions of electrically active thunderstorms, but are not directly associated with ground lightning strikes.
Source: Upper-atmospheric lightning

Ball Lightning

“Ball lightning is an unexplained atmospheric electrical phenomenon. The term refers to reports of luminous, usually spherical objects which vary from pea-sized to several meters in diameter. It is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt. Many of the early reports say that the ball eventually explodes, sometimes with fatal consequences, leaving behind the odor of sulfur.”
Source: Ball lightning

Austria’s Green Lake

A park that becomes a lake for the summer
Source: Rest your weary sea legs: Divers explore pristine alpine park that turns into a lake for half the year

Fire Whirls

The fire whirls, fire devil or fire tornado, is a rare natural phenomenon. It occurs when a fire, combined by certain air temperature and currents, forms a whirl that rises into the air like a tornado. They can be actual whirlwinds that disengage from the flames, or else can become a vortex of flame. The fire whirl usually occurs during bush fires.
Source: Fire whirl

Sun Dogs

The natural phenomena commonly known as sun dogs has beguiled philosophical greats from Aristotle all the way to Descartes. It was the sun dog sighting, after all, that caused Descartes to take a break from his metaphysical studies and write his book on natural philosophy aptly called “The World”.
Source: Sun dog

Catatumbo Lightning

The Catatumbo Lighting occurs on the mouth of the Catatumbo River at Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. It is an atmospheric delight, which creates incessant, powerful flashes of lightning. The phenomenon occurs because of a mass of storm clouds that form a voltage arc more than three miles high.
Source: Catatumbo lightning

The Blue Tunnel, Antarctica

5 m high 150 m long ice tunnel formed by melt water and pressure ridges on the ice shelf near the Schirmacher Oasis. The Schirmacher Oasis (also Schirmacher Lake Plateau) is a 25 km long and up to 3 km wide ice-free plateau with more than 100 fresh water lakes. It is situated in the Schirmacher Hills on the Princess Astrid Coast in Queen Maud Land in East Antarctica, and is on average 100 metres above sea level. With an area of 34 km², the Schirmacher Oasis ranks among the smallest Antarctic oases and is a typical polar desert.
Source: The Blue Tunnel, Antarctica

Rare Algae bloom turns water near Sydney’s Bondi Beach blood red

The natural phenomenon is caused when algae, a plant-like organism flourishes and large groups of the miniscule plants, which can appear in various colours, gather together often with spectacular results.
Source: Crimson tides: Tourists flee from Bondi Beach ‘Red Sea’ as rare algae bloom turns water the colour of blood

Red Rain in Kerala

On July 21, 2001, there was a meteor airburst event near Changanacherry in the Kottayam district. Many people recall the loud sonic boom during early morning of that day. Just a few hours later, rain the color of blood began to fall. For two months, red rain fell sporadically around the state of Kerala in southern India. Scientists first attributed the strange crimson rain to particles swept from the desert or other dust-like material that was carried off by winds and then was dispersed during precipitation.
Source: http://sciencehistorylover.wordp…

Naga Fireballs (Not sure whether Naga Fireballs are natural or not. Many people say that they are tracer bullets fired by soldiers; this possible explanation has also been provided in the Wikipedia article of Naga fireball). But there’s also an alternate explanation involving spontaneous ignition of gasses from the river. So I have added Naga Fireballs to the answer.

The Naga fireballs are an unexplained phenomenon witnessed along the Mekong River, in Thailand and Laos. They refer to the glowing, reddish balls, which vary in size and rise from the water into the air, before disappearing. The bizarre event takes place every October during the full moon. It is estimated between tens and thousands of fireballs shoot from the river, some reaching a hundred meters in height. Though many scientists have attempted to explain the phenomenon (commonly as a spontaneous ignition of gases from the river), there is no substantial evidence to back their theories. Instead, the legend by locals – involving a river-haunting serpent, Naga, who shoots fireballs to celebrate the end of Buddhist lent – is given more credence. An annual festival is held to celebrate the Naga fireballs.
Source: Naga fireball

Bonus Content:

I didn’t include an image for this as it might be a bit ‘scary’ for some people 🙂 Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC) refers to when a person bursts into flame for no apparent reason and burns down into charcoal. Interestingly, the confusion isn’t really about how this happens–scientists have a provable method in something called the Wick Effect, which has been successfully demonstrated on pigs. It shows that if someone a bit lardy catches on fire, their skin and clothing act like the wick of a candle, collecting fat as it melts and allowing it to burn at a constant high temperature for an extended period in a localized area.

Quora: What are some things that you can do in India but not in the US?

Some of the other answers are pretty good as well, but this one is probably the most feel good.

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

1. I can go to a doctor with no insurance, no paperwork, get treated, buy  medicines and come back in an hour with a total expenditure of just  $1-$2. (This is a private practitioner who was educated almost for free by the government. Typically, a GP sees 50-100 patients everyday and makes $200/day.) And some of these doctors are the best in the business. This is  one of the things where India knocks most countries hands down[1]. It is not just cheap, it is also also as uncomplicated as going to a grocery store. In fact, our doctors become good family friends and act as everything from a notary to a life consultant 😉

2. I can go and buy healthy stuff cheaper than unhealthy stuff. A kilo of  fresh mango costs about Rs. 20 ($0.35) during season while a 1 liter bottle of Coke  costs Rs. 40 ($0.70). Same with idli vs. pizza or roti vs. Big Mac. In India, you  have to pay big bucks to eat unhealthy. In the US, it is the other way  around.

3. Weddings, festivals and family events. India again wins hands down. Try spending Holi in Delhi, Ganpathy Pooja in Bombay, Durga pooja in Calcutta and Pongal near Madurai and you will see what is incredible about India. In US, except for July 4 and to some extent Christmas, most festivals are low key. I’m surprised that most people don’t even come out to the streets to celebrate Christmas or New Year in most US cities.

4. Drop in randomly to relatives/friends homes. Although in some Indian metros, people are acting “Western” and requiring appointments to go to their home, in most normal Indian homes you can drop in without an appointment. My wife and I always go to our inlaws place without notice to surprise them. This element of chance & surprise adds to further excitement. In the US, I find things too formal.

5. Get stuff repaired instead of throwing to landfill. Indians are very efficient in repairing/reusing stuff. In the US, people throw out their gadgets and appliances as soon as they reach the first failure. In India, you can go to a mechanic/electrician and get stuff repaired. The amount of waste generated per person is extremely low.

6. Low cost education. We can spend weeks on finding what is at fault with our education system, but the fact of the matter is that we are very efficient at what we are doing. Most of us went to private schools where it costs less than $500/year (although, this is changing as more parents want trophy schools now). Our colleges are only a little more expensive than that. This is despite the government spending almost nothing on our education. Most students in the US are overburdened with debt just after their college. It is not just cheap, it is also safe. Whether it is rapes, murders or shootings, our colleges do far better in managing crimes than do US campuses. Even during major riots, you will never see a major campus of IIT/IIM/NIT affected in any way.

7. Public Transportation. In almost all Indian cities there is viable public transportation. If there is no bus or train, there will always be a ubiquitous autorickshaw costing about $0.2/km. In the US, I had terrible problems going from one city to an another before I bought my car.

8. Affordable entertainment and communication. In India, almost anybody (even a slumdweller) can afford cable TV. A full service cost about $2-$8/month. Same for mobile phones where incoming calls are mostly free and one can have an usuable phone plan for about $5/month. However, in the US even many upper middle class families have to think twice before going for full cable service.

9. Walkable cities and towns. India has not yet moved to a US style suburbian sprawl. That means in most towns & cities we can walk/bike to most essential amenities – grocery shops (h/t Niranjan Uma Shankar), medical clinics, restaurants.

10. Political system. We sure have got plenty of troubles in our democratic setup, but ours is the only democratic setup where a minority can rise up to the top with no background. When Abdul Kalam became the third Muslim President in 32 years, India’s right wingers didn’t howl. This is in sharp contrast to how US right wingers reacted to Obama’s little bit of black lineage. The President was born to a white mother, raised in white neighborhoods, went to Ivy leagues, but still was trashed by the right wing. President Kalam had no political background, no strong network and no money, just lots of brains to get him up there. Although our population is 85% Hindu, we have had Sikh Prime Ministers and Presidents, Muslim Presidents, Zorastrian business leaders… Can a Hindu/Muslim immigrant realistically become a premier in Italy or Germany or Australia? We are not perfectly secular, but this is one aspect where we beat every other nation in the world.

11. Finally, good food. I live in a nation where a Samosa costs Rs 4 ($ 0.08). In Mumbai, we used to have a great dinner at roadside shops for $1 (for 2 of us). Whether it is Idly, Papdi chat or Samosa, it is a luxury in the US. I miss the chats of Delhi & Mumbai, Saravana Bhavan of Chennai and Rosgollas of Calcutta.


[1] Our medical system is so direct & simple, if you are not dirt poor. One of my close friends had a mild bout of fever as soon as he came to the  US. In India, this is a pretty simple thing. Here, the doctors made him take so many stupid tests that the bill finally ran to $800. Good that his insurance coverage started the previous day. Still, he had to run around filling up papers for a whole week.

Endnote: I  can also name 11 or more things where you can do in the US but not in  India. So, it is not about jingoism or one nation better than the other.  It is just a discussion about relative merits of one nation vs. the  other. Every nation is great in its own way, and there are some stuff that one nation beats the other, while in other stuff gets beaten.

Quora: Given our current technology and with the proper training, would it be possible for someone to become Batman?

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na! Batman!

Answer by Mark Hughes:

I know everyone hates having a question answered with “it depends,” but…

It depends. WHICH Batman, the one in the current film franchise, the one from the current monthlies, the one from the Justice League, etc etc?

I am going to make an assumption here, in order to best answer your question.  We’ll put aside the issue of Batman trained by ninjas in the films, or the question of whether in the comics Batman operates with sort-of-superpowers when interacting in stories alongside Superman and other such characters.  By “become Batman” you mean the basic concept of Batman that we all could agree upon — a master of martial arts, of forensic and detective skills, of gymnastics, of science and chemistry, of history and geography, of the workings of organized crime, of criminal psychology and physiology, and a man with a suit offering protection against bullets and knives and electrocution but which allows him to move as fast as an Olympian runner and acrobat.

The simple answer is, no.  Unless you really boil Batman down to a very diluted level as just a really strong, fast, good fighter who can jump far and with good street smarts plus an education in crime and psychology, and who wears a lot of armor and a mask.

The genius of Batman is that it pretends to be realistic, it lets us convince ourselves that with enough money and training, we could become Batman, too. But it’s still fantasy, it’s just a fantasy that is more compelling and convincing and thus more fun.

If you joined the military and became something like a Delta Force commando of the highest quality, while studying nights to get a double-major in criminal justice and psychology (with a minor in chemistry), then you might also have time to take weekend courses in detective work and get a P.I. license. Then, after probably 10 years to reach all of those levels combined, you might be 28 (if you started right out of high school) and would then need to maintain your physical level while getting a job as a police officer in order to learn real crime solving and detective work on the streets and at crime scenes, to get the experience it would really take to be a master.  Let’s say you are so good it only takes you perhaps three years to become a top detective and expert in these regards — now you are 31, and just finished the most basic level of preparation you need to be an expert in just some of the most obvious fields required to match Batman.

Now you have to quit the force, and develop a good cover story for yourself so nobody suspects that Batman might be the guy who is an expert in all of those fields Batman is a master at.  You have to have made sure you lived your life never revealing your true feelings about crime and vigilantism etc, and in fact covering it up unless you want to be arrested as a suspect the first time Batman has been around town. You need to spend some time doing dry runs around town to find your way around rooftops and fire escapes, practice running around at night in the shadows and not being seen, and presumably start practicing using your ropes and grappling hooks and other equipment you need for nightly patrols. Do some dry runs, make final preparations in case of emergencies, etc.

And you need to have been investing money and amassing a fortune the entire time, because the technology you’ll need to even get close to a real-world version of Batman will cost millions of dollars.  So you’ve done that, and now you start spending the money to get an armored suit full of electronics to communicate with assistants and have night vision and so on.  You need a base of operations, so you buy one of those old used missile silos the military sells (yeah, they really do that, and it’s pretty cool inside them) and turn it into a secret headquarters for the computers and monitoring equipment and car and bike and other equipment you need for your vigilante life.

Conservatively, you should probably be about 32 at this point. And you are only about to go out on your first night as Batman.  Okay, it’s taken longer than expected and been pretty hard, and honestly you are not quite as much a master of all fields as Batman, but at least you got the basics and are pretty well trained and smart and equipped.  So off you go, looking to stop crime…

…and you’re looking.  And looking. Oh, wait, you hear police sirens or you get a transmission from picking up the police radio calls, there’s a domestic disturbance in progress… well, that’s not really what Batman does, so you let that one go to the cops.  Then you get another call about a robbery, ah ha!  Finally Batman is going into action!  You run across those rooftops, swing across to another roof — whoa crap, that was a lot more dangerous than it looks in the comics!  But you’re booking it, running flat out and probably hitting, what, a good 10 miles per hour? Maybe less actually because of having to dodge things and stop at the edge of the roof to swing down again.

Anyway, there you are, rooftop to rooftop, and it occurs to you that the cop cars are so far gone now that you barely hear the sirens. So you think “Hmm, no wonder the real Batman has a car, this rooftop thing looks cool but I’ll never make it in time to stop a crime that isn’t happening within a block or two.”

And you don’t — make it in time, that is.  The first few nights, you keep showing up and the robberies or shootings or whatever are already over, and you realize that this makes sense because most reports about crimes are only after it happens, not while it’s taking place.  And you also remember that as a cop, you almost never just walked up or drove up accidentally right where a crime happened to taking place. In fact, you were just one of several thousand cops in your city, and most of you never just stumbled right across a significant crime in progress.

By your second week, you are getting unhappy that 90% of the crimes you’ve even seen up-close are just pathetic junkies buying crack from another pathetic junkie selling drugs to support his/her own habit. And nothing makes you feel LESS like Batman than scaring sad homeless crackheads.  You tried to chase down a kid who you saw punch a lady and take her purse, but you can’t really pursue that kind of thing by running on rooftops, you gotta do it the hard way by chasing him on foot down the sidewalk… in your full Batman costume, where everybody can see you. People are taking photos on cell-phones, and yep there’s a cop car at the intersection and he saw you, and now he has his lights on and it’s YOU he’s after. Great, you have to let the kid go so you can run down an alley and climb up a fire escape to the roof to get away.

At last, week three, you get lucky — an armed robbery, right there across the street!  You leap down onto the hood of their car, cape over the windshield just like in The Dark Knight Returns. And a teenage kid in the passenger seat fires a shotgun though the windshield in panic, blasting your torso.

You are wearing armor, though, haha!  So it merely shreds your costume and knocks you off the car onto the street, but man that hurts!  And it takes your breath away just long enough for the car to speed off. You get up, angry and just in time to see everyone taking your photo again and staring at your shredded outfit.  Then the police come around the corner, and you run off again but this time you are injured because although the armor stopped the slug it still bruised you and broke a rib.  You are fast, but not fast enough this time.  The police draw their guns and order you to stop.  You turn and grab for the smoke pellet on your belt to help hide your getaway, but unfortunately for you the cops see you reaching for something and open fire… and you suit’s armor is already a mess from the shotgun blast earlier. Uh oh.

When you wake up in the ICU, your mask and costume are gone, you’re in a lot of pain, but the doctors successfully removed the bullets and re-inflated your lung.  The downside is the set of handcuffs trapping you in the bed.  As a master detective, you can of course easily pick the lock on the cuffs to escape, but on the other hand the staph infection you caught after surgery is pretty bad and you feel like s**t. So you wait until night to sneak out — except you fall asleep on your pain meds, and wake up the next morning to the police coming to pick you up and take you to the infirmary at the state prison. Where you will spend a month recuperating until they can transfer you to the county jail for your first court appearance. During which your only comment to the judge is, “I guess it’s not really possible to become Batman.”

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na! Batman!


Quora: What made Mahesh Murthy start his crusade against IIPM and Arindam Chaudhury?

Straight from the horse’s mouth…

Answer by Mahesh Murthy:

I have answered this elsewhere on Facebook, but it may be tough to make out a timeline from the fragmented posts there. So here’s some sort of general progression of events. This will be long, so brace for the ride:

  • 2005 – yes that long ago – JAM magazine writes about IIPM’s tall claims. See their redacted articles @

    @ and

    and @


  • IIPM does the nasty – it sues the publisher of JAM in Assam – where she chooses not to contest because it’s too much of a pain to go there and fight a case – and a court order comes from there essentially asking her to remove said articles from the net. She does. Thankfully, others put it up so you can still see it.
  • At the same time IIPM runs a rather disgusting bad-mouthing campaign against the publisher of this piece, saying she was expelled from IIMA for lesbian sex and/or failing to get good grades etc.
  • Then a few months later, Gaurav Sabnis blogged about the lies that IIPM used in their ads. IIPM responded by blackmailing Gaurav’s employer IBM who it had bought laptops from – and this ended with Gaurav leaving / losing his job. More details are @Vantage point: An Update.
  • This pattern of publication followed by threats followed by deletion followed.
  • Then Maheshwar Peri of Outlook Group / Careers360 stepped in. He was quite aware of the JAM and Sabnis issues and went ahead and published an enormously damning expose of IIPM as a fake education company in @Best only in claims?.
  • The IIPM response was prompt. Peri got sued in Guwahati. But unlike JAM he went and fought there. IIPM got a stay order, convincing a judge that Careers 360 could not publish more articles on it till the defamation case was resolved. Once the stay order was obtained, IIPM then promptly never followed up in Guwahati and deliberately has avoided any further court dates since 2009. So it’s a stalemate there.
  • Unfazed, Peri continued. This time IIPM sued him in Uttarkhand. But Peri fought and won. The judge, in fact, asked for IIPM to be banned. @Think higher education! IIPM: Uttarakhand Registrar recommends a ban.
  • Meanwhile, every single claim IIPM made in its ads was falling apart. It’s apparent European b-school degree granter was found to be a fraud. It’s apparent collaborations with universities in UK and US were found to be non-existent. In fact, everything stated in IIPM ads was a lie. And as my friends at The Times of India tell me, IIPM has a contract with all print papers saying, in effect, “if we give you ads, then you can’t write about us without our permission” so they had ensured censorship there too. For a few years, IIPM was the largest print advertiser in India.
  • Other journalists tried to piece together a story. Siddhartha Deb wrote a balanced piece in Caravan. It also served as an intro to his book on modern Indian business. A lawsuit was filed against them. The book – actually the IIPM excerpt of the book was banned via legal wranglings. As was his piece. It is mirrored here: @Sweet Smell of Success- How Arindam Chaudhuri made a fortune – Pastebin.com.
  • Other found that in contrast to the apparent world-class education IIPM claimed to offer its students for their Rs. 15 lakhs, what they actually offered was a correspondence degree from MS University in Thirunelveli that one could get direct for Rs. 17,000
  • A host of “Delete” requests went from IIPM and its legal efforts to Google, various web sites (including Facebook) to get this content to stop coming up. Google said no way. Facebook complied.
  • Through all this, I just wanted to keep the content in one place. So I published a bitly bundle of links @Dare to think beyond IIPM’s lies & daylight robbery. Its distance learning 2-yr MBA costs Rs. 17,000 if taken direct from the same MS Univ in Tirunelveli. Why pay more to these scamsters? See documents below. to make sure the content wasn’t lost through the legal wranglings and the harassment.
  • Then all was quiet for a few years. I suddenly am told that this bundle of links is #2 in a list of links ordered to be blocked by the DoT after it received a court order from Gwalior based on a petition filed by some IIPMtard there. Medianama has a comprehensive listing of IIPM censorship attempts @3-7% Paid Users in India, Close to Global Standards – Linda Kozlowski on Evernote in India. The #1 link was the UGC Govt Of India link that called IIPM a non-degree granting body.
  • This pisses me off. IIPM gets a court to block what I wrote – and I wasn’t called to defend it? And it was done ex-parte? So I decide to engage.
  • I have a few Twitter followers now, so I start tweeting: Search – maheshmurthy iipm
  • I also engage on Facebook. Facebook sucks at content search and I yet don’t have its graph search so I can’t leave a robust set of links for this. But here are two https://www.facebook.com/maheshm… and I understand… | Facebook
  • By now this thing starts to go viral – and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people re-tweet, re-share and a significant chunk of India online figures out the man is just a scamster.
  • IIPM responds by hiring people who write on the posts under fake names and fake profiles. Allegations that Pinstorm didn’t get his digital marketing business so we’re retaliating (ha ha, bloody ha). I out the fake people, including one Krishanu Bhattacharjee writing as some Rohina Dubey.
  • He comes back with a “Happy 75th birthday Daddy” campaign across all print media to try re-instate his reputation. So I responded with evidence that his dad’s qualifications were also likely fake.
  • That was 6 weeks ago. There was a full-page Economic Times story How IIPM’s Arindam Chaudhuri built the Rs 533 crore business that did further damage.
  • And hey, things have been quiet since! I’m waiting for more news to break.
  • I have no particular grouse with this man – and didn’t have any for many years. I got after him only when he had me banned.
  • And now I do think he deserves to be outed. The world of education in India is full of scamsters and thieves. But none are as loud and loutish as this one.
  • I hope students stop enrolling with him, and I hope his business collapses – for all the lies he’s said so far.

Hope this helps,

My $0.02

Mahesh 🙂

Gandhigiri redefined

From the Quora question – What were the biggest mistakes of Mahatma Gandhi?

Top voted answer that takes a very different view point from the popular notions, by Tejasvita Apte (The other answers are interesting as well):

This is my opinion. This may be a bit harsh. But before you downvote, please give it a thought.

I have been a critic of Gandhi but even I admit that there are many wonderful things about his personality. Since this question is not about that, I will refrain from speaking about it.

Following are the reasons why I am his critic.

1) Gandhi’s core ideal was Ahimsa (Non Violence). I agree with the ideology. But he took it to extreme. So much so that according to Gandhi, Self Defence too was a form of Himsa (Violence). Now this philosophy is stupid. Let me quote him –

“Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. I believe in hara-kiri. I do not believe in its militaristic connotations, but it is a heroic method. That would have been heroism. It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to the evils of Hitler’s violence, especially in 1938, before the war. As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

You see, what he thought? Apparently, by committing suicide, the Jews would have died a heroic death. So, Jews should have neither fought back nor tried to escape, because then there wouldn’t be any difference between them and Hitler.

In my opinion, he completely misunderstood Ahimsa. Non violence should be preached to the Aggressor and not the victim. A victim has a complete and moral right to self defence.

Now let me quote George Orwell whose thoughts speak volumes about Gandhi –

“Gandhi has been regarded for twenty years by the Government of India as one of its right hand men. I know what I’m talking about-I used to be an officer in the Indian police. It was always admitted in the most cynical way that Gandhi made it easier for the British to rule India, because his influ­ence was always against taking any action that would make any difference.
The reason why Gandhi in prison is always treated with such lenience and small concessions sometimes made when he has prolonged one of his fasts to a dangerous extent, is that the British officials are in terror that he may die and be replaced by someone who believes less in “soul force ” and more in bombs.”[1]

It is very important to understand this. George Orwell had served once and therefore was in a position to judge Gandhi. If your enemy likes you, you are seriously going wrong.

2) Gandhi’s non-violence was selective.

In 1930, two platoons of Hindu troops refused to fire on Muslim rioters, instead breaking ranks and fraternizing with them.

Rather than supporting this non-violence, Gandhi said “A soldier who disobeys an order to fire breaks that oath which he has taken and renders himself guilty of criminal disobedience. I cannot ask officials and soldiers to disobey; for when I am in power I shall in all likelihood make use of the same officials and those same soldiers. If I taught them to disobey I should be afraid that they might do the same when I am in power.” – Reply to French journalist Charles Petrasch on the question of the Gahrwali Soldiers, Le Monde, 20 February 1932.

3) Now let us look at his views on technology and modernization He is far from what is claimed. He is a mere reactionary.

“It is not the British people who are ruling India, but it is modern civilization  through its railways, telegraphs, telephone, and almost every other invention has been claimed to be a triumph of civilization … Medical science is the concentrated essence of black magic … Hospitals are the instruments that the Devil has been using for his own purpose, in order to keep his hold on his kingdom … If there were no hospitals for venereal diseases or even for consumptives, we would have less consumption, and less sexual vice amongst us. India’s salvation consists in unlearning what she has learnt during the past fifty years or so. The railways, telegraphs, hospitals, lawyers, doctors and such like all have to go.” [2)

4) There is another reason why I criticize his actions. He spent too much time fighting over different paths to achieving freedom. Why he never embraced revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Bose is beyond me. End of the day, they too were fighting for the same cause. He may not have agreed with their means, but he should have lauded them for their goals as they gave their lives for it.

This further lead to a great divide among intellectuals even after independence.

Having said this, in conclusion, I feel that he lead people into believing extremely wrong and delusional notions like passivity and inaction which he camouflaged as Non violence.

In my opinion, his extreme Non Violence was more Violent than Violence.

[1] The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Vol 2, p. 136

[2] M.K. Gandhi, Hind Swaraj (1909)

Quora: Why do ATMs return cards so slowly?

So, it’s not to annoy you, but to annoy the fraudsters

Answer by Rahul Keerthi:

It’s intentional: not slow, but jittery. The jitter is to reduce the probability of simple ATM skimming.

Firstly, it’s useful to understand how simple ATM skimming works.

  1. Skimmers are after two things: the data on your card’s magnetic stripe (magstripe – it’s like cassette tape fastened to the back of your card) and your personal identification number (PIN)
  2. They use gadgets that can be attached to or placed over the ATM card reader slot that will read and copy the magstripe data as the card is ejected from the machine
  3. They may also use hidden cameras or other ploys (shoulder surfing, for example) to see your PIN as you enter it
  4. They can then replicate your card and using your PIN, withdraw money from your account

[Image credit: Baltimore Sun]

Mind you, this is simple ATM skimming. More advanced techniques exist, some that aren’t yet figured out even.

What jitter does is foil the process of reading the magstripe data. ATM skimming devices typically prefer ejection to insertion as the card is machine-rolled out (as opposed to hand-fed in) and so, smoothly, evenly passed through the slot.

Jitter provides a simple physical solution to this potential problem: it introduces jitter into the ejection of the card from the reader.

This stop-start motion distorts any data read from the magnetic stripe on the card, making the copied information unusable.

Unfortunately this technology isn’t fool-proof, but it is a first deterrent that almost every major ATM vendor (i.e. NCR Corp., Diebold, Fujitsu and Wincor Nixdorf AG) employs – hence the ubiquitous “slow” returning of ATM cards that we all experience.

[Quora] The Dark Knight Rises through the plot holes

Time for a revisit to the concluding part

Q: What was the biggest problem with The Dark Knight Rises?

Answer by Rohan Pawale:

Lack of attention to detail!

When bane leaves Gotham stock exchange it is broad daylight…

I mean BROAD daylight..

It is consistent until the bikes are about to enter the tunnel…

…and when the bikes come out on the other side of the tunnel it is pitch dark, like midnight.

There’s no way in hell that is possible unless the tunnel was 100 miles in length and it took them at least a couple of hours to traverse it, even if we assume that broad daylight could be maybe (5:30 pm) to give Nolan some creative solace.

TL;DR : It is day when you drive in the tunnel, and night when you drive out a few moments later, really? what is that, an eclipse or something?

Now consider this one :

When they receive information about miscreants living in the sewer they send the entire police force down the sewers (Excuse the pun) Which sane police administrator sends down the entire force to tackle one issue? aren’t there other issues to tackle in the city?

Now consider this one :

The police are trapped underground for 3 months. It would be fair to assume that they might have barely managed to survive by sharing whatever meager resources they had (specifically referring to food). When they finally come out of the trap, NONE of them looks frail physically or psychologically. They all bounce out like happy jumpy telly tubbies who have been well fed and given a spa treatment. Try working a 9-to-5 job and you will be walking like a zombie at the end of just one day. These policemen sat there, with no exercise for 3 months straight, and their limbs seem very supple and motor responses are crisp. The best part? None of them has grown a beard!

Yo, ssup bro? glad we made it out. Pleasant weather too. Wonder if my Netflix subscription has expired? Scars of captivity? Pffff..what’s that? We’re always defcon delta bro, come what may..

None of them seem to be fazed, concerned, affected by the fact that they had been captive for three months without sunlight, food or exercise.

That’s not all. The very next day they are fully rejuvenated to charge towards bane’s army as if they’re just out of the gym and have been rejuvenated by a nice protein shake. (also note that they run like hooligans, no formations no strategy nothing)

Yeaaa..run bro run, fuck all logic and run, we are getting paid to run…

Now consider this one :

When Gordon was awarded death by exile and the blokes were shivering and taking calculated steps so as to be careful not to step on thin ice and fall into the water, while our dude Batman just walks by *on it*, *towards them*, *from the other (unsafer) side of the ice* like it’s a cozy marathon walk. Then he proceeds to have a nice chat with Gordon while standing on the same ice.

Now consider this one :

Although he had found a successor in Robin, it seems counterproductive for Bruce to advertise to the people that ‘Batman’ had died with the explosion, because the core concept on which the inception of batman is based, and as repeatedly mentioned by Bruce in all the movies himself “Batman can be anyone, it is a symbol”, so why ‘kill’ the symbol and make a memorial to officially remind the people that Batman, who had been a symbol of hope until then, is officially gone?

Had the people not been made to believe that the persona ‘Batman’ had died in the explosion, they would have had a Robin AND a (new) Batman guarding Gotham in the future.

Now consider this one :

Bruce is officially declared dead with a memorial at a very public place (his mansion which was going to serve as an orphanage) and yet he sits in Italy with no attempt to conceal his identity. Plus, both Bruce and Batman are declared dead at the same time with public memorials, which is counterproductive to their mission to hide the identity of Batman. Although this does not directly link Batman to Bruce, but it makes the disguise less discreet.

I call BS on that one!

Now why do these seemingly minor details matter despite the fact that they don’t taint the core plot the way a plot inconsistency does? because these discrepancies get registered in the sub-conscious mind while watching the movie and make the plot seem less authentic. This hurts the overall movie experience more than an actual plot inconsistency which is subject to creative freedom.

This is a very big flaw in narration, movie or otherwise. The more of them you have the more the narration (plot) becomes difficult to believe on a sub-conscious level especially if you intend to narrate a fictional story where the audience already has a burdened obligation to assume a lot of conventions the way the director wants them to believe, which makes it all the more important to avoid the avoidable inconsistencies so as to not overburden the viewer’s mind with variables that don’t synchronize with each other. Otherwise the viewer comes out of the movie theater harboring a debate between his conscious and sub-conscious mind which looks like this :

Dafuq did we just see bro? Not sure bro…

As Bane would have put it : Once you have upvoted my answer, THEN you have my permission to mock Nolan!