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The curious case of the dairy farm of Bahalrampur

Bahalrampur is a sleepy little village in Western Uttar Pradesh, India. Before independence the only thing people did there was rear sheep and farm in their fields. The highways connecting Delhi and Kolkata in the early 21st century brought what we call as modernity and development to this place. Now it is bustling (for a village) with people opening up businesses, tractors ploughing the fields and large fertilizer dealerships. There are also large dairy farms, each housing more than 200 cattle and selling milk to the ever increasing demand in the National Capital Region. In the summer of 2020, just after the first hard wave of COVID was reaping its deadly harvest, this little village was coming to terms with a slackening consumer demand. Instead of the hundreds of large tankers of milk that flowed every day from the village to the Noida collection center of Amul, there were barely barely a few. The price of milk increased and the few remaining firms made a lot of money. It was at this

Reaching the peaks of my own stupidity or not

 I have never considered myself to be particularly intelligent. Though I have not had myself clinically diagnosed, anecdotal evidence and day to day activities amply demonstrate how stupid I am. Now wait. This does not mean I am indulging in self pity.  No. Far from it. I have had successes in life. I continue to do well in things that I love to do. I have no complaints there. It is just that I do feel my intelligence lacking. My success is, therefore, despite my stupidity and I take some pride in it. Of course defending the statement - 'I am stupid' is difficult. Especially without a test that ascertains the fact for certain. I will make a more nuanced statement as a result. I have less intelligence than the average person around me. That is a more defensible stance and there are tests (even other than IQ) to confirm it. Aptitude tests are a good example. I do horrible in them.  Okay, there is an exception - I got into IITB. But that was me trying for a third time. In any case

My love affair with ThinkPads

I had never used a ThinkPad in my life till 2018. To be honest, I did not really see the benefit of using them anyway. Consumer series laptops (with plastic bodies) were the ones that I had always used before. Then I was introduced to the rugged looks of the T60 and T61 original IBM ThinkPad designs that came out way back in 2004 or so. And I loved it. Finding a ThinkPad that old did not appeal to me. I was impressed with the smaller compact X series laptops and decided to have either an X230 or an X220. Both of these are fairly similar and were launched about 8 years back. But they still sport good processors, plenty of memory upgradability, provision to add a maximum of three hard disks and a decent battery backup to boot. My reasons to get this were simpler -  They are rugged, I like to use my laptops well Memory is not soldered. There are plenty of options to upgrade. The keyboards are probably the best in the world. Why not get the latest ThinkPad? Again, simple.  They come with a

Thoughts on Money and Life

Money can not buy everything.  But it does make things easier.  Money can't make you feel good. But an AC on a hot day may make you better better than otherwise. It is one of the biggest cliches that you must have come across numerous times in life. It is not necessarily true though. There have been a lot of dramas, stories and philosophers' notes on this topic. But at the end of the day ONLY those who have the luxury of meeting their basic needs in life can ponder over these questions anyway. The poor do not have this luxury. For the vast majority of them, money is actually ALWAYS a good thing. The next higher rung in society is what we know as the Salaried class today. I am one. We work the week (and sometimes beyond) and get paid for it. We are the ones that actually run the factories, drive the cars for businesses, teach kids in school and colleges, report stuff to papers, manage projects for businesses and so on. We differ in two very crucial aspects to the group that sits

A Super Rainy visit to Diamond Harbor

There are not many places you can go to during this lockdown. There are friends' places you can go to. And relatives.  If you wish to go further and visit more distance places (if you are residing in a city) - things become a lot more difficult.  One - there is the threat of the virus. Second - there is a psychological issue that works. Why go so far when we can just chill at home? The point is that there is only so much 'chill' a person can do at home, especially since the virtual house arrests already make sure you are AT HOME most of the time. And it has been months. So on we went to the last stop the river Hooghly makes before meeting the Bay of Bengal. This was the destination. We did not plan to stay a night, it was just going to be a simple visit - spend a couple of hours and come back. It was raining all the way (almost) on our way to the town. Fortunately it had stopped when we reached there.  We could see the rains pouring on the other bank of the river and the ch