07 June, 2006

Something is cooking!

Have not been able to get back to blogging for a long time. Had intended this article to be about cooking, but let us see.
Happened across an email with a video from my college. Felt really nice to see images - some things have changed a lot and some have not at all. Realised from the video that there should be many more, and found this and this! A little more digging and I came up with a thriving blogging community, present residents of the strange beast called NITK now, KREC then... it was surprisingly easy to relate to some of the things. You can find it here.

Some things, though, were completely new.
- Insame amounts of technology - Laptops, wifi, you name it
- New departments - IS(?), IT(?) and the like
- Many more women, or maybe a small increase in numbers, topped up by a larger increase in their involvement/presence/noise created
- New hostel blocks - there are a total of ten now (7 for boys and 3 for girls!!)

The rains, the buildings, the madness, the heat, the sweat and the bad food seem to have persisted. I know that Krishna (the cigarette and chai shop near the gate number 2 still exists, and I am sure the people at the final block gate still cook roaring delicacies. God I want to go back!
I have always wanted to go back and today has been a definite fillip in planning for that.

The previous weeks have been spent planning for a trip to the fatherland and doing the necessary documentation for the visa. I always end up angry with myself - misplaced papers, more than requried xeroxes, last minute panic attacks and checking of papers. This time, thanks to a printer which was printing on both sides, I ended up with three copies of my bank statement, because every copy seemed incomplete. Anyway, every stress attack was worthwhile as I managed to get a ten year permit.

I am off to Newcastle this weekend. I will meet friends - some old and some new and hope to have some good fun and old fashioned spending the day on the beach for both the days. To save on the fare, I am travelling early afternoon and coming back late on Sunday night. This reminds me of news articles about the Utilities here in UK and how they earn so much money. I know they should, but so much!?!.

Last year, Royal Mail did more than a million sterling a day. Another example is Thames Water, who increased prices by 25% last year, has innumerable leaks all over the city and still pays over £6 mn each to its CEO and CFO. Its profits, just under a million sterling a day, stood at £347 million for 2005. Sometimes, I wonder if salaries in the wired world have grown as fast as those in the Utility industry. In 1995, the head honcho at Thames Water was taking home £260K. The office has not done bad for itself, fattening its paycheck by about 50 times in 10 years. I am sure the the London Underground will have a similar love affair between profits, salaries and sure enough, consumer prices.
The issue at stake is this and I do not have an opinion yet - Private ownership of utilities does inspire cost cutting and overall efficiencies, but would not the line between "economic rates of return" and above-normal profits be an easy one to cross. The Regulator needs to be clued onto all that is going on - but surely they could have done something...some cleaning up after smelling a fish, a large one at that.

1 comment:

Shahid said...

Muku, Old Blighty's surely thinking about what you write in your last paragraph and there are 'fat cat' rules in place.

The honcho-pack you talk of may pale in comparison to the 370K of this 1991 corporateur:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/21/newsid_2518000/2518297.stm

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