Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Wedding Answer

It took my mother just a few days after asking me the Wedding Question to actually come up with another shocking revelation. While I was busy checking out the number of "likes" that my new facebook DP fetched, my mother interrupted and handed me a cup full of tea.
She asked me about the work I was doing. I said, "Nothing, just reading something."
She ignored me and continued, "We have found a girl."

I was still busy thinking if posting a new picture fetches more "likes" on weekdays or weekends. Within  seconds I calculated and concluded that posting on weekend is better. Then I took a sip and discovered how a perfect tea tastes like. I looked at my mother out of love. She raised her eyebrows. I realized she is waiting for my response about something she said a few seconds ago.

"What did she say", I tried to recall. "About something... a girl... she found a girl !" Suddenly, I put the cup down on the table.
I asked surprisingly, "You found a girl?"
She smiled and said, "Yes, this is what I just said."
I became nervous, "But you said it takes a lot of time to find a nice girl. Please take your time and find someone nice."
She smiled again and said, "Yes, it takes time. We had several girls in our mind and recently we heard about another girl. Your father and her father were classmates. We have known their family for years. We think she is perfect for you."

She told me about her family and education in detail. All that sounded good but I was not ready for such a news. I reminded her about the promise that they will not force me for marriage anytime soon. To which she replied that even they are not in hurry, it takes at least one year for preparation.

She called my younger brother, "Hamza, show him the pictures which they sent."
"Without my confirmation you even asked for her pictures," I was more surprised.
"You don't know anything, this is how it works. Just have a look. Isn't she beautiful. MashahAllah," her eyes lit up on seeing the pictures.
I looked at the picture with disgust, "Yes, she is. Do you want me to finalize her just by looking at this picture?"
She gave an angry look and added,"Its almost final. What else do you want to say? You know nothing. Actually, boys have no idea what to actually look for in a girl. Still you can tell me if you have any concerns."

In the next few days our parents set up a meeting and as obvious they liked each other. Few more awkward discussions, meetings and events later, everybody happily agreed.

This way I found my answer to the Wedding Question.  :)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Net Neutrality is Necessary

Everybody understands that charging extra money for some of the favorite apps is not just expensive for consumers but also puts free speech, equal access, innovation and equal opportunity in danger. Actually there is limited bandwidth for each network. If providers start charging for specific apps they will give them preferential treatment by providing them more bandwidth. So you will be left with limited bandwidth for the rest of internet. Moreover, they will throttle the speed of all competitive new apps. This way they will control what apps consumer uses.

Now, internet providers in India are coming up with other tricky plans like 'Airtel Zero' in which consumers have access to some websites for FREE. Sounds Good? Think again.

If allowed, plans like Airtel Zero, are going to destroy the internet in India. Here is how:

1) Every telecom operator will offer something similar to Airtel Zero. The companies that are going gaga over Airtel Zero, including Flipkart, won't only have to pay Airtel. They will have to pay all other operators too if they want to reach all web users in India.
2) The companies that don't pay money to telecom operators will see that their service costs consumers money - and possibly a huge amount of money because even general access to internet may become more expensive. In the long run, these services will lose out to the ones that are already paying money. This will decrease competition, stifle innovation, and eventually lead to fewer choices and higher prices in the market.
3) For now, Airtel says that the Zero data plan just gives start-ups some marketing push. But it is almost a certainty that in the future, start-ups will have to pay more for Zero data plans and any service that doesn't  pay the telecom player will be discriminated against. For example, those who pay will be in the fast lane as opposed to those who don't. It is a slippery slope and once we allow companies like Airtel to go down this route, there will be no end to it.

Check out more details in this video:

What we can do?

In India, TRAI has called for comments from all stakeholders (internet users, internet service providers, telcos, industry bodies among others) so that it can make a decision on subjecting internet services to an additional licensing fee and whether these providers should pay telcos for using their internet pipes. You can share your opinion with TRAI before 24th April, 2015 using this website: