Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seasons greetings

Its time to bid adieu to the old year and usher in the new once more. Lets hope that in the next year all of this years losses are made good for, all the lessons learnt this year are practised more efficiently and that the new year 2009 generates the same joy and enthusiasm that the recession of 2008 has subdued; all once more again.







Wish you all my dear readers, a very happy and fun filled prosperous year 2009!



 

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NICE: the toll; threat; legal recourse; violence; and finally an eyewash!

So it all started off with NICE introducing a toll for their private BMIC-P perhipheral ring road south of Bengaluru. There was absolutely no intimation given to anyone among the citizens in anyway and drivers were caught unawares to pay money on that day. It would have still been fine, if not for the high toll collection which further raised the anger in people.

Now these were the rates in comparison with those elsewhere in the country and also showing a map of the NICE road in Bengaluru and their different rates for different sections within Bengaluru.

This obviously did not go so well with anyone in the city, though Ashok Kheny was stressing that he was going according to the law and rules signed with Deve Gowda who had then initiated this whole shit on himself. BJP obviously kept quiet, becuase it never was responsible for this mess. And to top it all Ashok Kheny said he had done this for the people! Ridiculous. So Mr.Kheny, did you atleast consult your Abhimanigala Sangha before you did this? or everyone else who liked your road and would patiently listen to you? Or were you in other terms just aiming that no one must be using your road at all in a way by making the toll so high. Your hard work, dedication and honesty is appreciated, but just come to think of it, why is your toll so high compared to so many other states in this country? Privatisation does not mean you can do whatever you want beyond whats permissible isnt it ?

So what would you expect next? All parties slamming this decision and ofcourse public violence, which was inevitable!

You brought this on to yourself Mr.Kheny. And when you saw your prized properties being destroyed and vandalized did some sense return to your mind and you then decided to 'revise' the toll to make it lesser by 25% as though you were considerate on the people of this city. The real fact was that you could not be prepared to lose your creation and had to listen to the people on the other side. Citizens matter always remember! So you then had to succumb to public pressure and reduce the toll finally:

Think again Kheny, was this all necessary for a man of your stature? How many governments and how many people will you go against to achieve what you want? Its good to some extent but beyone some extent it will backfire on you the way it did. Now if you raise the toll again in January, you know what you can expect again. Hopefully you will think and think for your own profit. Rather than for our loss.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nokia 5800 shock pricing in India - is this really an Apple i-Phone killer?

The Nokia 5800 is now officially launched and the pricing has come as a shock to me. Before I dwell into the details, lets have a look at the phone itself and its features.



(Picture courtesy: blog.wired.com)

The main features of this one of a kind new nokia launch are:


  • Full touchscreen based input

  • Standard 3.5mm headphone jack

  • upto 16GB of storage

  • upto 3.6mbps of browsing speed

  • bluetooth and tv out functionality

  • GPS and WiFi

  • Full email support

  • 3.2MP carl ziess camera + twin camera for video call recordings

  • FM radio and N-Series music player and music management





 Click the PDF icon, to know the full specifications


Now for the shocking part - the PRICING. I prebooked this phone just for the dealer in Koramangala, to call me up when this would be available, and sure he did give me a call. He also gave me a shocker. He said this phone would cost 21,500/- bucks. All along all media had been suggesting a price of 16,000 to 18,000 bucks for this piece to make it a true APPLE i-Phone killer. Though the pricing is slightly higher (call it preferential pricing in world markets), it still is juicy for the features it has to offer. And for a limited time, you also get a Sennheiser portable headphones worth .Rs.2,500 bucks free and also a VIP pass to an event in Palace grounds with this phone purchase. Arguably Sennheiser is one of the best brands of headphones and that must make listening to music only even better with this phone.


I was really hoping that this phone would fall in the price range suggested by the various media and I guess I will have to wait for more time to dispose of my MotoMing which does most of what Nokia does for half the price! Of course the polyphonics are a class apart, but then so is the price :)


If you want to prebook this phone, click here. I am sure you have comments and opinions about this phone. Use the comments column to voice your opinions!


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Thursday, December 25, 2008

the Nilgiris consumer & cake exhibition - not enthusiastic

Today I got some time to go out with my cousin to see the Nilgiris Cake and Consumer exhibition. So I set off to St.Joseph's Indian high school to have a glimpse of the same. Twenty bucks for car parking, thirty for the entry fee and we were directly straight into the biggest cake exhibit of all - the buckingham palace. I think the behaviour of people managing the place was next to audacious. They were herding the crowds like pigs, and pushing them more and more further, announcing that the cake exhibits must not be photographed. I have one question to you organizers, pardon me for that - but - WHAT THE FUCK? This is free india, and you are not allowing me into some military base or Vidhan Soudha, its just for heaven's sake a cake exhibition and that too a hot furnace. So why must I then not take pictures of a cake? I am not eating the cake am I?

Now this happens even at the airports where pictures are not allowed in India. May I ask why so? Are you flying stealth bombers in and out that I must not take pictures of the so called carriers? This kind of ridicuous provocation for paying thirty bucks of my money is unacceptable by any standards. You seem to be giving knee jerk reactions rather than planned thoughtfulness. And remember the cakes are for people to see and appreciate, which I shall come to discussing just further. You are not displaying something so sensitive and emotional that I must not take photos. And the foul language spoken by the security to visitors - again cheap and dumb. Agree you are under job pressure, but we are under recession and the last thing we need is YOU SHOUTING AT US. So having said that, I was pushed and shoved around until I reached the end of the cake exhibition, with so much gusto that it felt more horrible than the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams.

That said, there was the Buckingham palace (a rather simple structure to make out of cake in my opinion), and the new 7 wonders of the world. Note however that the enthusiasm shown in making the cakes is not as much as the last few years and is steadily on the decline. I had high hopes out of the colosseum but it turned out to be a damp squib. The fact that these are new 7 wonders might have made it difficult to design, but then atleast more intricate details could have been laid out. If you want to know more about the new seven wonders of the world, read here. The other cakes were nothing much to talk about. However the biggest gamble from the organizers side seemed to be the even larger consumer durables exhibition much like the society exhibition I had written about earlier. The usual magic stoves, the usual hose pipes, really quick water heaters (without any care for power consumption) and the vegetable processors (of which I too was a victim today) were all there in the exhibition. The unbreakable vegetable cutter just broke when I tried it at home and not there in the stall! So much for entrepreneurship!

This aside, more and more of plastics, furnitures, paintings, clothings, american diamond jewelry (dont get misled, I m just referring to fakes here), appliances, home loans (that one seemed odd), health foods, digestive mouth fresheners, lucky throw games, and a large variety of food stalls - they were all there. So by the time I came out I forgot the fact that this was meant to be a cake exhibition. Nilgiris, the business take over from your old owners if at all has happened, is really showing in this exhibition and the way it was conducted. I miss you - Original Nilgiris.

TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THIS EXHIBITION CLICK HERE.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TOI - Bad to worse, DH - Good to better!

Its strange how a newspaper tries to capture attention of its readers to convey simple news. Today I observed an article on a green initiative in Bengaluru city, which will enable more and more buildings achieve green certification and monetary incentives upon building more ecologically. The ministry is providing encouragement and support for conservation of natural resources.So what would one expect that will be the headline for such an article?

'Ministry to encourage green initiatives' or 'Green initiatives launched in Bengaluru city' or 'Greener buildings to be the future of Benagluru city'? Ok, so I picked up Deccan Herald, which reported the news as given below (click for the entire story)

Perfect. Just what everyone expects. To the point. Of late we do know many other newspapers shout more than they should just to get extra attention. So I took out one of my favourites on this list, the Times Of India and knew what to expect about this article there. See for yourself. (Click for entire article)

I wonder wherefrom TOI came to the conclusion that someones going to pay architects for going green. These days its the job of architects to inculcate green concepts in their designs. Is TOI now acting like a preferred newspaper for architects or something? And next they will launch advert blitzes which will proclaim that timesjobs.com has seen 25,679 architect ad postings after which they will say TOI outsells any other paper in the entire world.

Now you make your own conclusions on other stories, notably the polio rumour! :)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Chevrolet Spark detailed review - pricing, engine, interiors and ride.

I had written a lengthy review about the new Kodak C1093 IS that I purchased recently. I got a chance to use it to review my friend's Chevrolet Spark car. I present to you the review and if you are a future owner of this car, then this review will help you decide on the car. I shall try and make this review as objective as possible and as specific as possible.


 



Looks


 

Looks of a car can be very subjective. However I do want the Aam Junta to come out of the notion of buying a car for its looks. Did you realize that what matters is the comfort the insides provide, the ease of driveability of the car and certain other considerations such as power, fuel efficiency and service costs. So if you ask me about the Spark honestly - I like its looks. Its cute, has a certain chubbiness that other small cars don't have, and this makes the car adorable. Its kind of bulged out at the center from bottom to top, but other than that I cannot exactly say that the shape is anywhere near aerodynamic in nature.




 



Cosmetic uniqueness


 

If you ask me, this section is yet another way of talking about looks, but about some subtle things that make this car look cute. Firstly its small in form. What then strikes you from the front are the glaring headlights with sharp projected indicators much like our canine teeth and a rather subdued Chevy logo right on the middle of the bonnet. While I think the front was just about perfect the backside of this car slightly stumped me with respect to the design.




The backside of this car had three noticeable artifacts. Unmistakably huge were the watermelon sized rear lamps which kind of looked extremely odd, but the light it generates at night is enough to blind any driver behind this car. The worst ones I've seen until date are those of the Santro, which cause a headache on constant view at traffic signals. I pray to god that the car in front of mine is not a Santro. Now I guess I will have to add Spark to that list as well.


That was not all. There was a nice metallic strip named 'Spark' in chrome. I particularly like the font. And finally the reverse lamps or the fog lamps, I fail to understand - were nicely placed below the boot. They looked awesome and the Chevy feel could be understood while looking at them.


 




 



Interiors


 

The interiors were not a let down. Chevy has done a decent job. Particularly to note were the center console (which might be annoying to certain old age drivers) and neat A/C vents dotting the dashboard at four points. The steering itself looked very flimsy, but then so did it on my own Swift D, before I actually leather wrapped it. I suggested Shankar to leather wrap it because I know for sure that the grippy feel you get after that is done is far better compared to the original slippery feel. The center bottom portion was as usual, three dials, one for heat, one for direction and one for speed of the A/c with one slider to control where the air came in from.Add a dummy button to finish up with the symmetry!


 




Just to complete the discusson on interiors, I particularly liked the blue dials with white font on it. It was so subdued yet elegant and very readable. The console box was - well - just a console box. Nothing much to be elegant about, but just was there as thought it felt happy enough to co-exist with the other zillion parts of the car. Next onto a drivers most necessary module - the gearshift - or the stick as some people call it. The gearshift on the Spark felt like I was holding a lollipop. One would tend to argue that Swift's gearshift is no better, but then hey - atleast its a bigger lollipop :)


 




GM has had lots of issues with gearshifts even on Aveo UVA and Aveo Sedans, but they have overcome it with customer feedback. But whether the gearshift on the Spark will see some improvements when GM itself is going bankrupt is a 14 Billion dollar question precisely speaking, and its wise for you to know that the Federal aid of this magnitude has been denied recently making GM all the more vulnerable to closure and bankrupcy. I know who will be having the last laugh - actually two people would - A. Maruti Udyog Ltd, B. Daewoo Ltd - if they still exist that is in some form of a lesser god.



Finally the door handles and window levers - they are mediocre but still do the job and are well placed on the door. This was unfortunately not the power window version, so I cannot comment on this feature here. The side rear view mirror was cute and in proportion with the overall car body, unlike the swift where they are the most important aid while on the road, the purpose of whom is not even satisfied by a large rear view mirror.


The boot is good and mildly large enough. I would say on par with Swift (its a shame that such a big car like swift has to share honours with Spark, but thats how it is and one needs to accept it). The boot can store a great deal of things as long as they are flexible and can be shoved into it. Large suitcases rectangular or square would be a tough to fit scenario in Spark. The stuff under the bonnet is all well placed. The engine makes a presence within the bonnet with neat warning signs not to touch it. This is where Americanism is at its heights.


 




Engine, space and ride


The Chevy engine is a 1000cc engine which outputs 63bhp of power and 90Nm of torque. Crank start the car and the first feeling you get is one of sitting in heaven. The silence is overwhelmingly deceptive. The feeling of calm this car gives is truly chevy style. And this is what chevy is all about. The smoothness in the revv, the purr of the engine, the comfort of the drive and extremely low NVH levels.


I must say I am 5'11" tall but I did fit myself rather snugly into the rear of this car. No space worries, just snug and perfect. Good amount of thigh and back support. But strictly for four people. You know what, dont you think the fifth person is always the unwanted guest in any car? Think about it and you will tend to agree! :)


 




 


The ride - is it powerful? Is it truly driver oriented? Its purely based on perspectives of each individual. For 1000cc the pull seems a bit underpowered, but nothing to cry home about after buying the car. Step on the gas and the car surges forward under the challenge to do quite well. I have driven this car with four passengers including me, and with the airconditioner on. There was a noticeable drop in power but the car still seems to weave its magic around you in other aspects, so you are not totally disheartened about it on the power part. The aircon - it cools very fast, just to keep your head and heart cool - just like in the ad.


I would still give the award to the old, aged, and historical Maruti 800 for its nimbleness in being just 800cc and in this department Spark does suffer a bit. But thats just where the comparison must honestly end. The upmarket feel, the refined engine, the space - these are areas where the M800 is put to shame.


 



and finally, the Price point and Fuel Effeciency


 

My friend Shankar got the car for an OTR of 3.6 lacs and the current price of this variant stands at 4.2 lacs with huge discounts, which brings the OTR price round about the same place once more. And forget the tall claims of the world's most fuel efficient car at 18kmpl and all that. Be happy if you can get about 16kmpl without A/c. My friend gets 13-14kmpl with A/c always ON. Thats not bad for a car such as Spark because you must understand that the engine is a 1000cc and 63bhp power. The higher end variants of Spark almost touch five lacs, but for this you get ABS and Airbags. If you have the money and value your life, go for this variant. Having ABS + airbags is no more deemed a luxury but a dire necessity in a country like ours. And the Sparks safety systems are one of the best and do their job as guaranteed on purchase. If you still have doubts you must see this article. It speaks volumes about the car's safety capabilities.


I leave you with a detailed impression of Chevy Spark that you have read until now. If you would like to share your sentiments about this car, I would like to hear from you. Click on the comments section and leave me your note! I ll be glad to know you more! Adieu!


 


 


 


 


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

IDBI bank lowers interest rates

I have an ongoing loan with IDBI at 11% floating interest rate. Sometime two months ago, they sent me a letter home saying the interest rates have gone up and its now 12%. I had anticipated that they would resort to such a thing. But what no bank expected is the liquidity crunch that caused the current global recession. This has now brought down the prices of everything - groceries, fuel, automobiles, clothes, what not! Can the banks be left far behind? How long will private banks analyse the moves made by RBI & SBI? Is it not logical that it cant and wont be for long?! Precisely. I got another letter from IDBI who have now lowered the interest rate from the current 12% to 11.25% (somewhere near my original figure). And I would not be surprised if it does go down further all the way upto 10%. But that might take some time.

For now its cheerful to get such a letter in difficult times. I keep my fingers crossed!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Banks can sieze your property if its value is lower than than the loan you have on it!

I found an interesting article in the DNA paper Bangalore edition today that says banks are liable to label you as defaulter if there is a situation that your property's current value falls below your loan outstanding amount. They are liable to ask you for more guarantee in terms of mortgages or for that matter sieze your house and put it up for auction. This is a thin line clause in the agreement you sign when you take the loan which we dont notice. More details from the paper given below!

If you are yet to buy a house, you should rejoice. If you have borrowed to buy one, you shouldn't, and not only because the value of your investment is going down. Reason: Even if you have been assiduously paying your equated monthly installments (EMIs), your house is potentially under threat.Most home loan lenders put in a clause in the mortgage agreement which empowers them to seize the property or ask you to bring in extra collateral if house prices fall dramatically.

If you are not able to do so, you can be termed a defaulter, giving the bank the right to seize and sell the flat or house bought on the home loan. Typically, a default happens when the borrower of the home loan cannot carry on paying the EMIs to repay the loan. Trouble comes from an innocuous sounding "Depreciation of Security" clause, one of the 15-and-odd clauses that constitute an "event of default" in case of a home loan. A typical "Depreciation of Security" clause reads: "If any property on which the security for the loan is created depreciates in value to such an extent that, in the opinion of the bank, further security should be given and such security is not given…."

What does this legalese mean? Any bank gives out a home loan against the house as security. In case the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank can recover the loan by simply selling the flat or house. For this to happen, the market value of the flat at any point of time should be greater than or equal to the home loan that is still outstanding. To protect itself, the bank can ask for some extra security or collateral from the borrower.

If the borrower cannot come up with any extra security, the bank can term him a defaulter. On being termed a defaulter, the loan outstanding becomes due and immediately payable and the bank can take possession of the house or flat and sell it to recover the balance.

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Remembering "Subbu" - A legend of his era. [ 3.9.1920 - 7.12.2007 ]

Life has indeed been tough. Coping with the loss. The loss of my beloved grandpa. I miss the pat I gave on his back everytime I saw him. I miss his fond questions on my well being. I miss the blessings he used to shower on me for each of my achievements. A man of grit and determination, he used to really head the big family, much like a sarpanch for a village. One year has passed, time has passed quickly and many things have progressed further as though his existence or his non existence did not really matter.

He had many children, grand children (like me) and even great grandchildren (like my son). He was the trunk of the large banyan tree that spread far and wide providing shade, and shelter and care to everyone under it. He yearned for all of his children to do well in life and be well settled too. While most of his sons would silently admire him, without speaking out much, I was surprised to get this email from my uncle (his youngest son) a while ago. In his own words he described his father thus:

A year has passed, too soon, since the legend 'my father' left for his heavenly abode.A man who reigned through "sheer courage" and "will power" till his end, fought all 'odds'that challenged him, through 'determination'. Attached to him, in and out of my life span so far, I cry in silence, on this day, when we all miss him so much.Nostalgically speaking, I like to recall my younger days, when he groomed all of us by giving us the best affordable education in the most difficult days, to see us grow in our respective disciplines.His love as a father, knew no bounds, since he would always share with me, that he lost his father when he was only three, hence would see his father in us.

I personally learnt from him many management principles and skills, which no 'B' schools would teach today, that "experience" alone could make one learn for oneself.He shared with me his style of 'deft handling of situations while serving under his British bosses' who are known for their "arrogant culture" and "abusive behaviour".His way of handling them, got him a 'pat on his back', that made even the last British boss whom he reported, give him an "exemplary" conduct certificate, which he treasured till his last breath. I owe my gratitude to him even today, for having given me the best early education in a 'Convent school' at KGF even with his meager monthly salary of Rs. 400 p/month. [I'm sure his kith and kin would agree today that with Rs. 400 in hand, they can't even step into a ' Mall'.]This educational background has made and moulded me into what I am today, to be of some use to the society and my family.His mastery over mental arithmetic always fascinated me and made me believe that experience and expertise is the 'Mantra' for success.

Spreading a huge size ' muster roll' ledger of those days, he would simply work out the salary details of nearly 10K labour work force under his control as a "PAYMASTER" of his organisation, within a few hours. Dashing his pencil up and down to do the magic total of an entire month's salary calculation. [Today I wonder what we're up to using "Excel" worksheets and fighting with all types of noisy printers! ] . On dot, the 7th of each month, his promptness in distributing the entire salary for his work force would be over without any " cash difference" at the end of the day, tallying so neatly up to the last pie.[ Ironically, even the Almighty decided to call him to his Abode on the date he loved-the 7th]."Subbu", as he was fondly called by his pals in his office, used to admire him for his qualities and abilities as a "Crisis Consultant" and a helping friend in need and deed.

He almost spent his last decade being sightless after losing both his vision after a "GLAUCOMA" surgery in his eyes. His sheer " Memory power" helped him to cope up even with a lost vision till the last. He selflessly managed his daily chores by himself much to the astonishment of everybody.As a loving and caring husband to his wife, loving father to his sons and daughters, loving grandpa to his grandsons, granddaughters and great-grandchildren, he had the rare distinction of participating and witnessing every ceremonial event including the naming ceremony of little Ved, his great grandson who had the golden oppurtunity to listen to his last swansong, lying on his lap.

This great occasion also marked his "Kanakabishekam" which he could fulfill in his lifetime. Today, as a year passes by, let us all pray for his soul to rest in peace and pray that he continues to live with us and be a guiding beacon to all of us in our lives. Tears roll down my eyes each day and moment when I miss him so dearly.

The fact that my uncle who wrote this is the most silent of all sons, surprised me even further upon reading this mail. All I can say is - HE STOLE MY THOUGHTS & WORDS about my grandpa.

Dear Gran, You will continue to live in my eyes, and in all those people whom you fondly brought up as your own. And someday when my son grows up, I shall show him this mail and the only photo of you holding him in your lap to tell him more about you and your life.

This is a private and personal blog post. If you share similar sentiments on people you love and care within your family, I would like to hear about it, please use the comments section to give your thoughts.

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Tulsi habba and Karthigai Deepam - back to festivities

It was about a year now that all festivities were stopped in our house due to the demise of my grandpa. But a year has passed and we celebrated Karthigai Deepam along with friends who celebrated the Tulsi Habba this time yet again.

Simple, elegant beautiful lamps were lit all over our house and the illumination it provided made the house shine in a brilliance of its own. The mythological significance of the Karthigai festival goes thus:

Mythological aspect of Karthigai Festival

Lord Siva appeared as a huge flame of light before Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma (hindu gods), who each considered Himself supreme and said that the matter could be tested if the two could search for their Lord Siva`s Head and feet. Lord Vishnu took the form of a (varagar)boar and delved deep into the earth, Lord Brahma that of a (Annam)swan and flew into the top, Lord Vishnu failed in His search and returned. But Lord Brahma, chancing upon a piece of `thazhambu`, a flower learnt from it that it had been floating down for thirty thousand years from Lord Siva`s head. He seized upon this and claimed to Lord Siva that he had seen the other`s top. Lord Siva realized the falsehood and pronounced that there would never be a temple for Lord Brahma in this world. He also interdicted the use of the flower thazhambu in His worship. Lord eswaran(siva) appeard as a flame, this day is called Maha Dheepam

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

The society collection exhibition national games village indoor stadium - an overview.

My wife was back from office early on Saturday (its been two decades since I believed others work on saturdays :) ) and asked me to come along to the Society collection exhibition in the indoor stadium at NGV. Her hopes of having a free entry was shortlived when the counter guys charged us 100 bucks to enter the place. Its advertised as india's biggest handicrafts exhibition, so you have to expect such nuisances as entry fees and the likes. I would like to call it Indias biggest exhibition in India's smallest enclosure :) Thats perhaps more fitting.

The exhbition did have good amount of fashion fabrics, paintings, knicknacks, all ladies fashion accessories, bathroom items, wooden furtniture and antiques, a lot of jewelry, and some interesting stuff which I ll talk about later. For now here are some snaps of the place

There were only two things that impressed me in this exhibition, one was the hose pipe that had innumerable amount of fittings with different threadings for fitting different taps, different spray types, easy portability - this costed 1900 and though I was very much inclined to buy it for my dad, I decided not to go for it right now (yes the recession bug has bitten me too :) ).

So then what was the other thing that impressed me: - an electromagnetic induction based gas stove based on Eddy currents. It had no heat, no shocks, no smoke, no fire principle. Awesome. Just to prove the point, the guy there put a 10-buck note inbetween the pan and the stove. And nothing happened to it even though the water in the pan was boiling and steaming. Just to cross check I even put my hand on the stove and nothing happened as promised!

The stove comes in different varieties and typically based on weight that be loaded onto it, 30kg, 20kg, 10kg, 5kg, etc. The prices varied between 3,500 bucks to 9000 bucks for a double stove. And there was another caveat. He would sell only to corporates or to those who had orders of three and above units. No single units except when booked at the exhibition. Having said that, I was not in the mood to buy, (recession!), so I took down their contact details and walked out of the place. I am leaving it here in case you are interested.

If you need the numbers, here they are:

Bilwaa marketing inc, 2334 6440/1, 99164 24880, 99866 22106, 99803 68612, & 99028 77075. Their address is 133, 11 cross, sampige road, malleshwaram, bangalore 03.

Finally to sum up on the exhibition: It had some good food stalls at the end much better than what I have seen before in the same stadium. But for paying 50 bucks, I ended up buying some earrings for my wife, if not anything costiler (again the recession :) ). My suggestion : if you really want to see the two items I mentioned by paying 50 bucks, go there, else go only if you want to seriously end up buying something. The entry cost is pretty exhorbidant and is in other terms called daylight robbery!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Sun DTH 499 plan - is it really a special offer or its an eyewash?

The advertisement in question that caught my eye is this: (source: TOI)

I immediately jumped at the thought of having a SUN DTH at home by disposing the earlier hathway connection, considering I am getting this offer at just Rs.499/-. One look at the asterisk (*) next to it prompted me to go right down to the ad again, where I was expecting a Conditions Apply, which indeed was there too!

I was further expecting they would ask me to sign up for atleast a year, but what I actually found was quite contrary to my expectations! Installation charges Rs. 1000 extra, + taxes (@ 12% of 499 bucks, which is almost another 50 bucks!

So there you go Sun Direct DTH is yours now for "just" 499 + 1000 + 50 = Rs.1550/-. Sun, who do you think you are hoodwinking? We are smart for all this guys. Try something else more genuine. Like adding Worldspace might sound like a better bet now that Airtel is giving us that!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Mobile DTH or Rain Water Harvesting

The recent spate of rains is attributed to North East monsoons and to cyclone Nisha (I wonder what's with the Indian people to nomenclate cyclones just as with USA, but it sure does sound really funny sometimes - cyclone Narakasura, cyclone Ravana, cyclone Anajaneya - it gets funnier the more I think of it!).

The rains have only added to more gloom during the great recession of 2008 and the chilly weather has made it so dull to dampen spirits of attending office at all. The only gloom left is a pink slip with this kind of weather pattern :D

I was driving rather slowly today to office thanks to an early start and empty roads what with schools delcaring a holiday in memory of late VP Singh (yes he died today after a prolonged cancer battle). I am dreading the last day of our own homegrown prime minister - Irrelevant people would block the entire Bengaluru traffic for days, and make us all walk all over the city just to make those memories worse.

Having said that, near Hebbal flyover I saw this contraption otherwise called an umbrella, but when used in wrong situations could very well serve to harvest rain water, or even function as a mobile DTH service when fitted with the right LNB material! It was quite funny that this umbrella was still serving its purpose in some way or rather in many ways!

And finally every gloomy day has something to cheer about at the end of it, so I leave you with a rainbow over my terrace that made the gloom turn into a bit of cheer!

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