Saturday, May 31, 2008

The difference between stupid and smart

I have spoken before (and here) about the attempts of Reliance Fresh to set up a highly efficient set of retail stores in India and how a bunch of moronic politicians managed to kill off this initiative in certain parts of India. But recently I went to India and actually managed to take some photo's which show up this difference clearly.

The first set is from Lucknow where the lords of stupid rule, it is one of the heartlands where this special genus seems to spring forward with startling regularity. Given the fact that a huge amount of Indian intellectual thought actually emerged from this region makes is so interesting that idiots also come out from there who have, lets be polite, just a passing acquaintance with common sense and economics.

They have even formed suicide squads against Reliance Fresh in Orissa. Well, why not? if you can do suicide bombing for inner struggle objectives or secessionist objectives, why can you not do it for opposing Reliance Fresh Stores? (the mind boggles)

But let us move on.

Just next to my father in law's office, I spotted this door.

Moving closer, it looked a bit sad, with bricks piled up, and the shutters down.

Moving closer to the store, i went down the stairs and peeked through the glass door. Everything was pristine, new, but coated with dust. For some reason, I was feeling a bit like Howard Carter and Lord Carvanon.

The shelves were empty if stacked up, the glass was incredibly dirty and you can see yours truly the hulking fat git shadowed on the glass.

I looked around and even though it was the middle of the day in the middle of a commercial part of town, it was a nice dozy place, no jobs, no activity, no nothing. Even the bloody dogs were spooning!

And now compare it with this Reliance store in Indore. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to get down and take some pictures as we were under severe time pressure (sod's law, we reached the school on time, but there was nobody there, I guess I have forgotten the chalta hai timekeeping system that I grew up with!). It was early morning, about 0845 hours. And you can see the store open, guards outside, well lighted store, all shelves piled high with goods, clean windows and shoppers already making a bee-line to shop.

Sad, very sad. One part of the country is flourishing and another part has dogs snoring. And the tragedy is that both cities are in states which are equally pushing each other aside in the bottom rankings of all Human Development Indicators of States in India. But one is doing something (very little but something!) while the other?

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