Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Madikeri Sipayi is no more. Vishnuvardhan 1950-2009




Today morning, it was a shock to understand that our very own Kannada Superstar Vishnuvardhan was no more. He had died of a cardiac arrest in Mysore at an early age of 59 years. His movies are still etched in my memory right from my childhood and has brought cheer to many a fan in the state. No wonder then that his demise has brought about sudden shock to the state. With him, two superstars including Rajkumar are no more. Hopefully we will be able to educate our children about our great heroes of yesteryears!










You can read all about Vishnu here. Do listen to the song above, I really liked it as its not only great sounding, but also shows Vishnu in traditionality of Coorg in terms of dressing and choreography.


May his soul rest in peace.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ready for some “OYE” treatment in our very own Bengaluru?

Bengaluru has not been called cosmopolitan for no silly reasons. Moreso, the cosmopolitization has further gnawed into Bengaluru's very own IT locality - Koramangala. The locality is already known for some 300 odd good restaurants to eat in, and just when you thought it may not grow further, the Punjabi's decided otherwise!




Enter "OYE Amritsar". The very own Punjabi joint to tickle your palates one step further. We decided to check out on this restaurant for lunch a couple of days ago. It was an office team lunch and time to dig into what OYE had to offer us. After a good long walk, we reached the place. Thinking it would be like any other restaurant, I walked in. And the first thing I notice - is the language. Punjabis are known to misspell English and as far as they put forth the point, they don't really care how the language is used. My apologies to the grammatically correct Punjabi friends, but this misspellings are the things that make OYE an interesting place to eat in.




The food is only half the story. The shiny old Lambretta scooter at the front, the BarBar shop shutters depicting the types of hair cuts offered, the references to bollywood, London, and finally the big bold Sardar with his Kudi depicted on the walls - everything is part of the dining experience. One word - this place is a must go, since its mood changing. It has the potential to uplift even people with the worst of moods to uncover the grin on their faces.




Coming to the food, the customary drink was I think Jaljeera, but it was so intriguingly tangy with twists in every sip. Now a drink must leave you wondering, and thats what it was at OYE. The usual salads later, came the rotis and rajma dal, with butter panneer masala without which its nothing is a complete Punjabi restaurant. Some sweets and ice creams, and after a heavy dose of meals, came the knockout punch for those who dared it - sweet lassi. I would say this lassi alone is enough for lunch. Drinking it along with the buffet means you are either a hardcore punjabi, or you're sure to swoon into a heavenly nap after the lunch.




And for those whose stomachs cant hold more, there is always the TOLET, oops - I mean the toilet for the JENTS and LADISS.




If you guys and gals want something seriously different for the first visit, OYE Amritsar is the place. In short its full paisa vasool. Just ensure someone's around to drive you back home, coz I dont think anyone would want to attend office after something like this as a meal. The charges are reasonable as well, so nothing incomparable with other restaurants. Eat your fill!




And while you are there dont forget to notice the posters, subtly hinting that our current prime minister is also a singh, RELAX SINGH to be precise :-)




Monday, December 14, 2009

Our infrastucture experts lag by a decade - KH road flyover mess solved

Ask a small kid and he would have given the solution. Ask an old man and his wiseness would have manifested as a solution. It took the Bengaluru infrastructure experts a few years to come up with a solution to the (stupid) KH Road flyover. What is wrong with the flyover many people might ask. Well I would ask - what is exactly right?




  • Its the world's only flyover with a signal light at the center

  • Its the world's only flyover where a cop sits managing traffic at this signal light

  • Its the world's only flyover which is mismanaged to such an extent that it has made proper roads crooked just because it exists

  • Its the world's only flyover (perhaps) which can crush an entire road beneath it and the people on it to death in seconds

  • Its the world's only flyover where the span of the column can be considered so huge to cause regular traffic jams

  • Its perhaps the world's only flyover that looks like an X in shape!


Yes we are talking about the great Double Road flyover. Finally atleast the mess it has created has been solved to some extent by keeping things the way they must be. See for yourself: (picture courtesy TOI)




Now for some questions on this way of traffic flow:




  • Isn't one of this enough either mission road to residency road or double road to richmond road, why both ways the traffic now needs to flow on the flyover?

  • Is that design not silly ?

  • The bigger question is whether this flyover is now required at all once you see the traffic flow :) ?

  • If they do decide next to remove this flyover, will it solve any issues if one ways are created accordingly?

  • Must a small stretch of road between richmond circle and VGP junction on double road make life hell ?

  • Will we never see architectural marvels in flyover making at all ?

  • What about the maintenance of such a flyover, what will be its state after say 10 years more ? Would you travel on it or under it ?


The issue is not with building flyovers. The issue is with people designing them and the limited scope of the needs of such a construction, that these people have in their narrow mind. Money flow aside.  Any guesses what the next great architectural marvel would be ? How about an underpass on both sides of this flyover ? Or better still a metro train running under this flyover ? Infrastructure planning is an art. Experience must speak by itself, without even a single question asked. You want an example, see for yourself the better part of Bengaluru infrastucture:




Image courtesy: BMIC - NICE


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Airtel, once fairTel, now unfairTel - shortly finishedTel


Its was winter of 1999. JTM was one of Karnataka's best networks. Outgoing call rates were Rs.10/- per minute and incoming about Rs.3 a minute if I am not wrong. I was one of JTM's customers at that time. Slowly JTM was taken over by Bharti Teleservices. That was the birth of AirTel, a company which would grow to be one of India's most admired telcos over a period of a decade. They were the best when it came to customer services, while the nearest telcos Spice and Hutch (what is Vodafone now) were by no standards near airtel be it in infrastructure or in customer treatment. Airtel pioneered many a revolution down the line and its venture into landline services made it even more popular.


Spice's mismanagement and Hutch's troubled history of having bad networks and bad customer services only made it better and better for Airtel quite inorganically. Over the period of the last couple of years though, India and in particular Karnataka has seen a flurry of entries from many a new telco who are all vying to take a share of Airtel's pie. Airtel's troubles have started very recently, and they are compounding it by not brainstorming on the potential failures that are waiting to happen. Some of the key things about Airtel that are beginning to go wrong include and is not limited to the following:




  • Peak hour call jams rendering the service useless

  • Call drops that occur very often leading to frustration amongst users

  • Caller tunes and the amount of agony it has been able to cause for people not really interested in them

  • Ineffective blocking of Telemarketing calls and SMSes that disturb thousands of people day in and out


Of late some more laurels can rest with Airtel:

  • Airtel's mismanaged and inexperienced customer service centers

  • Don't care attitude that has set in among the franchisees managing these centers

  • Low level executives making a mess out of technical situations which they are unable to understand or explain

  • Higher level managers who do not follow up on these technical problems that people have

  • Erosion of brand value due to the way these executives perform

  • Airtel's arrogance in maintaining the same call rates even when competition is eating into its flesh day by day


So then why are people still putting up with Airtel or for that matter any other operator? The answer is very simple to say the least. Its because they want to retain their mobile number without changing it.


For a moment lets then dwell into the case with other operators. Spice has gone one level up in capturing the youth market with a flurry of dual sim based phones and real low calling values. They are also busy fighting with their nearest and best rival Virgin mobile.  Airtel's arch rival Vodafone is now one level ahead with its famed ZooZoo advertisements addressing the core values of branding in an effective way drawing huge crowds towards the service. Not to forget to mention their Pug ads were also so adorable. Vodafone's prepaid plans now give you full talktime without any rentals or taxes even sometimes. Their low call quality and tower quality are now replenished to cover most of karnataka state.


Most of Vodafone's calls don't drop like before and their connectivity is at an all time high. Vodafone's takeover of Hutch has only fuelled their appetite for competing with anyone coming their way to maintain their customer base.


With Aircel, MTS and Uninor into the picture now along with Tata Docomo, Airtel's chances are only slimmer and slimmer day by day. Already Tata's aggressive pricing plan has forced Airtel to realize its diminishing customer base though very late, and they have also launched the same per second billing plan to save their skin. With MTS being even more aggressive at 1/2 paise per second along with Uninor, Airtel has some serious competition breathing down its neck.


On the CDMA front, Reliance and Tata are ruling the roost and will continue to do so. The only thing then comes back to how to save your mobile number. With number portability in the offing at the year end, from TRAI, at a mere 19 bucks for a switch, its now very easy to retain your number and give your old operator a boot. This only spells more bad news for Airtel who are likely to lose their coveted tag of 10 million customers on India's no more preferred network. Is it time then for Airtel, who were once FairTel, now unFairTel to go into history as a finishedTel ?


Only time will tell. And it will tell well enough.


If you like this post, please give it a rating!






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

30000Km drive report for Swift VDi DDiS



Its been a momentous achievement for me personally with any car I owned. I've cleared 30k kms with a vehicle which I can deem an asset. While most fuel inefficient vehicles and uncomfortable ones end up being liabilities, I can atleast feel proud to say that this car is every Indian's asset for a long time to come. Before I proceed further, thanks FIAT for the wonderful engine, and thanks MARUTI for the great service that you have been known for all this while.


If you have read my earlier 10000 and 15000 kms review, by now you would know what the car is all about. The car still feels like showroom condition after 2.5 years every time I switch on the ignition. Generally the car is rugged to handle roads well as long as the roads are not too undulated. My car has gone through some real rough road patches but handled well, mostly due to the great Michelin tyres I've added onto the car. The car has been scratched on the mirrors and the underside of the bumper a few times. While the mirrors are too large to avoid getting scratched, the visibility issue while we sit within the car is another reason for misjudging a few manoeuvres.


Being a single user, and driving alone most times, sometimes with one or two other people, I must say this car has reasonable amount of power at the tap for a city user. The continuity in the accelerator response and the eagerness to pickup which occurs at all gears uniformly has made this beauty the darling of many a car owner in Benglauru. Just with the help of the torque of this car, I was able to negotiate the car upwards a ramp from the basement to the ground floor of the building, while in first gear with my foot off all pedals. Shows how much we can utilize the car to the best extent in city traffic to give some rest to those weary legs.


The front row comfort is good, cabin feels involving, dashboard soothing, and its generally airy. I would have felt great if the Swift VDi was a two door version. The back row is good so as not to cause too much body roll, but as far as space is concerned, Maruti will have to work quite hard to get to the level where TATA is currently with its Indica and Manza offerings. Generally I would include claustrophobia as one of the features of the Swift :) The boot is good for not-much-luggage drivers and there ends the argument. If you want to transport truck loads worth of baggage, well - then buy yourself a truck! The rattling windows are a gift from Maruti for the Swift and I might just end up spending another 6-7 years more with these rattles. These rattles are like extra noises within the family life. :D Just got to put up with it. There is a lot of dust accumulation over a period of time on the dashboard but hey that's part of growing old of any car isn't it?


The mileage has dipped over time, and each time I service it to change the engine oil, it bounces back to a healthy 16kmpl. So this is a car that satisfies the FE hungry junta of India. I can stretch it upto 19kmpl but with normal tyres and mostly higher gear driving the latter being an impossibility in the city. The tyres seem great even after 30k of driving, and Michelin knows its business better than anyone else out there. It should be good for another 20k to go. I am you customer one more time after that Mich!


To summarize on the drive, the car has been extremely well mannered where required, has displayed enthusiasm required for a rally mood where required. Its agile, easy to manoeuvre in the city, good for two people, sturdy, great engine, FE and service and it will rock the Indian Car Scene for some more time until newer more well designed comfortable cars come up at this price. Till then enjoy the drive!









Sunday, November 15, 2009

Citibank starts its new tantrums in India


Many of you might have noticed an email sent from Citibank very recently where they have increased the minimum account balance for non salary accounts that one has to maintain in order to be receiving the services of the bank. Citibank was known to be the pioneer in India to introduce online banking, and also for utility bill payments among other useful services. The bank's image merged well with the minds of young engineers who adopted Citi as a part of their daily life since a decade.


There was also a point in time when Citibank was the new face of banking as against banks such as Canara Bank, SBI which our parents were accustomed to. While salary accounts of Citibank had the zero balance scheme, non salary accounts started off with a minimum account balance of Rs.1000/- in 1999, and grew to Rs.5000 and Rs.10000 subsequently. The email that most of us received a while ago, gave us nightmares when we saw that the new minimum balance for non salary accounts has now been increased to Rs.25000/-. While this kind of amount is perhaps the salary of many engineers across the country and perhaps the savings of a few wealthier folks, the mail also reflects the way Citibank is headed if they continue such tantrums.


Its about time that nationalized banks have increased their image in front of the public, and at a time when Citibank just came out of crisis in the USA, tantrums like these are bound to make people reject Citibank for banking and move to much more reasonable banks in the near future.


I happened to check out on Bank of Baroda, and was pleasantly left surprised at the kind of service they offered though they were still a bit naive to internet ways of banking. What mattered finally was that I could open an account in no time, and was a happy customer of theirs sooner than later. Canara Bank has lately restyled their logo trying to connect more to people as they continue their dream run forward. IDBI has now introduced banking for all to shed their image of only being a loan disbursement company. ICICI is already in the list of the not so good banks to deal with. HDFC and AXIS Banks have retained their image through tough times due to their consistent policies. SBI and its sister banking divisions have enhanced their images through beneficial loan schemes and exchange rates. ING Vysya is about to launch FD products giving 12% interest even in good economy upswings.


With all these banks vying hard to woo people, one wrong move that Citibank has done can start denting its Indian image pretty seriously. Today's youth connect well with nationalized banks yet again and its only sooner than later that it will be the good old golden period of nationalized banking to the fore yet again.


As for me, I've decided to log off from Citibank for obvious reasons. Your choice is not yet made! Think for the longer term and make a wise choice.







Tuesday, November 10, 2009

YeddyGaddy, ReddySteady goto sush'amma'



The last fortnight of political parleying around Delhi by the BJP has been nothing short of showing off gloriously, the filth inside the party. Money doing the rounds, resorts getting business, MLAs on their 'fitness' regimes and a bullied crying CM on the TV. Well what can I say, its enough to beat the TRPs of any soap on TV. Add to that the decoration, music, lighting and thrill that TV9 adds to all this, and you have a real box office hit.


Give the opponents some reason and they are always available to whine away and bite more of the CMs flesh than they can chew. Also seated on the knife are cool headed, least bothered stalwarts from the chaddi wearing RSS. Throw a brick or a boulder at them and they still do what they do best. Laze around. Citizens always do what they have been doing. Crying hoarse over infrastructure instead of asking for some better governance in the first place. Any development whether literal or metaphorical can happen only when the game is played right. What we have are the politicians from the 50s and 70s era who are experienced at mud slinging rather than any developmental politics.


What did not take a Sadananda Gowda or a Venkiah Naidu or a LK Advani or a Rajnath, took one Sushma to solve?  And must we all believe a mining baron of 5500+ crores of income will listen to a matrushri rather than his own intuition? This has not only shown that no one in the top level of the party is capable of handling a crisis and unless these are all laid off  (corporate management rejig if i may call so), one can say a goodbye to BJP in the next elections as well. This notwithstanding the 'success' they have had locally.


Sobha is out (she deserved to, didn't she?). Why would a revenue minister managing revenues of a mining department owned by his brother take easily a lady of rural development ministry questioning the ongoings between the former two ministries? Not only did she interfere there, but also managed to say 'cheese' in every photo having the CM leading to some ridiculously obvious rumours which were all unwarranted. Whatever the stature of the RSS lady, the final verdict is there on the wall. The IAS officers can never escape a transfer in their lives. It will be news if even one completes the full term in one place.


Now to the speaker (how ironical!). How many times have you heard Shettar actually speak? Or for that matter how many times have you heard about him in the newspapers that otherwise crow about Yeddy and Sobha beside him? Not even once. There is a serious problem in understanding that he actually holds any clout at all in the present scenario. Finished is the turn of the Reddy's in gunning for Yeddy's head. Now common opposition, its your freaking turn! Enjoy.


Who won this game? There is only one answer - the media. They enjoyed making a mockery of everyone including the public (yes us!). All the way upto showing on TV Yeddy and Reddy eating cake after cake shamelessly without any explanation.


Alright now enough of this masala movie. Get back to your favourite soap on TV guys!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Museum road dug up, 220v underground supply provision within city starts off this way

 

Alright, we do understand that the BJP wants to do something useful in the city in the five years they have got, so as to come to power again. One must appreciate they are atleast receptive to what people’s need maybe, whether they are able to fulfill them or not.

So here goes, currently the city is being strategically screwed up in the name of development. And alas, one must bear with this infrastructure torture for some more time until either they run out of any more ideas, or until they come with something more ingenious and decide to undo what they did in the first place.

The entire museum road stretch is now screwed up and this is causing atleast an additional 10 minutes to cross up this stretch by car every morning.

 

I did think, perhaps its atleast easier to come back home via the Palace Road stretch, but thanks to the great Airtel Championship Trophy Cricket, the entire cubbon road, mg road and surrounding stretches are completely screwed up during evenings. Manual signal handling only means more delays, and I now reach home atleast half hour to one hour more than usual. I think seamlessness is still a far fetched goal for Bangalore to achieve. The thought of avoiding a drive inside the city and using the ring road was saner, until the government decided to put a spoke in many a wheel there too. Two new flyovers which must statistically be over in six months from now, are hogging everyone’s time as I found out the hard way round.

Took a bus from North Bangalore at 6:15pm and reached HSR layout at 8pm. Reached koramangala at 9:30pm. Need I speak more? Add to this the entire 27th Main in HSR now serves dust and dirt on your face at any time of the day, with haphazard parking here and there. Makes me wonder why people still dont realize that a good walk for shopping or eating upto 1km does make wonderful sense rather than zipping by your cars. People please stop driving your cars for such small distances. If you think you cannot walk even less than a kilometre, then you perhaps cant eat too much either! Think twice!!

A month of two of ridiculous driving timings, has taken the toll on my free time. Sometimes I think buying a smaller laptop might help me atleast blog more regularly as I can lug it around more than usual! :)

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manyata Embassy Food Court - a good occasional place to be!

 

If you a regular at the Manyata Business Park in north bengaluru, you would know how irritating it can get to have the same food for years together with the fact that it also degrades over time. Once in a while our palates need a different kind of treatment and for those in this business park, they know that the hotels around are hardly worth a mention.

 

This is when the first of them, MTR started up at Esteem Mall a good 4km away from the park. While the food here was really good, it used to come in from the center of the city every day. Also, the thought of traveling 4kms for some good food was not a great proposition on a day to day basis. Also, this is not like other restaurants and its more of a self service type of stuff. Though nowadays they have realized that lazy bums like us need help even to get ourselves food and for some tips, do this for you. MTR is a pretty small place and serves you some hot and nice karnataka dishes such as dosas, idlis, meals, all baths (including yours truly - chowchowbath!) and a variety of juices and ice creams and some sweets. If you are not on time the place could get filled up and leave you embarassed after having traveled 4kms.

  

Today I had the opportunity to visit the food court within Manyata, a really huge place for the 'inmates' of the complex if I may say so! :-) Its a good ten minutes walk away in the scorching sun thanks to no trees around (the crorepati's of SEZs must have thought better). Past the IBM compex on the first floor is a food court that hides it size until you get in. You are greeted by no less than 3 ATM kiosks, some 20 odd shops all around and lets just say thousands of chairs in the large enclosure. No matter what these chairs never get filled at any point!

The lifts are at the middle of the hall and present a nice touch to the whole construction. The AC ducts are by and large bare and visible, but who cares! The food is on the expensive side, but definitely tasty to say the least. Nice Punjabi food, Andhra meals, Baskin Robbins ice creams, Chung wah from china, and Ruchi Sagar from our own city - these in essence act as attraction points within the court.

  

The wash rooms are decent, the cleaners present themselves in uniform, place is kept tidy all the time and at a corner is a feedback book in case you care about telling something to someone. To sum up, a great place to go, say once in a month, and indulge your heart and stomach out :-)

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big 10 Circle - going in a loop!

There was one thing missing in our local transport system, and that was a connectivity throughout the entire outer ring road or PRR or whatever they call it by now. There were buses from Banashankari to Hebbal, or from Hebbal to Mysore road, etc. But there was no Big 10 linking the points where other BIG 10's deviated outside the city.  This is when I noticed the Big 10 Circle.



While I was wondering how different it is from the usual 500 series of buses (volvo and non volvo) that loiter around the ORR, I could only imagine that this Big 10 Circle might actually link all those roads where the other Big 10's would intersect at. So now, I can always take a Big 10 to enter the city, and exit the city with yet another one, and just in case I decide I need a circular detour, can pick up where I left on Big 10 Circle. More information on Big 10 circle is available here.

So the link says 500 series is to go and about 200 odd Big 10 circle buses to operate. Now thats quite a lot, and one can expect a Big 10 circle bus every something like 10 minutes at this case. 200 buses on a 77km road mean something like 1 bus every kilometer at any point? Wow those figures will surely do a great deal of good.

But one last thing. I can get down from a Big 10 at Mayo Hall, but to catch an outgoing Big 10 towards north Bangalore, I would have to catch another at Shivajinagar. And hey people at BMTC dont be dumb to assume everyone can walk that distance. I request BMTC to please please move the buses coming in to shivajinagar further to Mayo Hall to just give that desperately needed connection which would make Big 10 a success Story.

Ok then, looking forward to a Big 10 Circle in front of my office every 10 minutes! :)





Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why I love my webhost . . .

 

Hosting is a tricky business. Especially for people like you and me. Not because we dont know how to host, but because we dont know when the host will run away overnight making you host all over again. Then again this is why there are websites that help you compare a plethora of webhosts who offer webhosting

I read as many reviews as I could and I saw that there were a set of famous five who turned up in every result of webhosting reviews. While all these were more or less of the same cost, it then all boiled down to just the features and reliability of a webhost especially with respect to them sticking around for a long time as well as their techsupport timeline. I found two webhosts who were worth mentioning.

Fat Cow – www.fatcow.com and JustHost – www.justhost.com .

FatCow was a bit more expensive but at that price did not offer the feature set that JustHost was able to manage at 20% lesser price than the former. Unlimited webspace, unlimited FTP, traffic (bandwidth), unlimited emails, subdomains, databases – and if you decided to withdraw from them, they entice you with a 50% off for another year, meaning you pay only for six months to be with them for another year.

Page loading times were fast, their control panel was added with more features than the usual.Tech support was an area where they were lacking. But then so did others. I found FatCow the best in technical support, they went that extra mile in what they offered to the customers. But Justhost was a near second and I have never really had any problems with them either. Offering one year of hosting at about $40 with all these features mentioned above, its then only natural to be with them.

I am loving JustHost and I believe they care for their customers a lot. Keep up the good work JH!

Technorati Tags: ,,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blackberry Curve 8520 smartphone detailed in depth software and hardware video review

As promised, I am here again with an extensive, exclusive half hour Blackberry Curve 8520 smartphone video review. This phone has been recently launched through Airtel in India at a price tag of 15,990. So does this phone deliver on what it promises, are the features worth buying the phone for ? Most of your questions must be answered by this review, which will help you decide whether you would own this smartphone.

The battery life of this phone is about 2 days, which is similar to other smartphones. Extensive Wifi and screen usage, will bring that down to about 1.5 days, but for any normal scenario (you know what I mean, its a 2-day phone!)

So here it is, the full detailed review. Its about 25+ minutes, so don’t tell me I did not warn you :)


Untitled from Srik Eswa on Vimeo.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 21, 2009

the 8520 is finally mine!

I finally own a blackberry 8520 Curve. Its a nice mix of technology and looks. And there is no reason why BB will not make inroads into the low cost high feature mobile market sooner than later.

There is already lot of information on the internet on this new phone and I will cover more details about this in a seperate video review later on. However what is important is the fact that there is finally an affordable blackberry at our reach.

Before I end this small post I will leave you with some pros and cons of this device so that you can make your decisions!

The good points of bb 8520 :

- great screen with very good resolution
- new menu system which is very slick and quick
- all expected business features are nicely packaged in the phone
- sweet pricing this will attract lots of hitherto missed out customers
- very nice trackpad does what it says on the tin
- nicely packaged keys all around the phone
- very loud audio, clear and nice

And now the cons:

- typing not the best experience
- slightly hard keypad nowhere near N97 from nokia
- some options are hidden and only professional users can locate such features.
- wifi and bluetooth connectivity configuration not so straightforward
- camera is nothing to talk much and while its not pathetic its not great either

I hope you liked this small review on the blackberry 8520. If you did, watch out for the more detailed review on video soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

20 winks in 20 seconds

9am, rainy monday morning. Blues in the offing. 3 columns of ten cars in front of me. I drive up behind them and stop. Knowing MG road for the past two and half decades I switch off my car. Closed my eyes. Was thinking about having some personal time for myself in this fast paced world. I could see images flashing past my eyes. My son was playing by me. Wife was all smiles. No phone calls, no office, no one to bother me. The hassles were missing. Beauty abound around me. Serenity manifested all around. Calmness prevailed.

The sun shone into my home. Its rays sifting through the dust particles bringing in energy and freshness into every breath I took and illuminating my home with all brightness. This was THE life. A perfect one minus the daily struggles. :) Oh how nice the feeling.

Cuuuuuuuuttttttttt! Eyes wide open. Realized I am in the middle of traffic. The three columns of cars in front me had vanished. A quick look at the rear view mirror showed no one behind me. Or to the side of me. Or around me. Far away the signal showed green. And the pedestrians were waiting wondering what I was upto and what move I would make next. There was only one thing left. I jammed the accelerator and shot off to the corner to make it on time before signal went red. Made it on time.

Had I slept, or was it a situation of getting deeply carried away by thoughts which contained the stuff I was yearning for even for a single moment? I cannot say for sure. Whatever it was it did not have the daily struggle from the toothbrush to hitting the bed. And it was a good 20 winks in 20 seconds.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

From Orange to Black in one year!

Buy a house, get a mercedes free, Buy a flat stay along with a cricketer all your life (wondering doing what? batting and bowling along with him leaving my daily duties?), Buy a house, get gold jewelry in kilograms absolutely free. Wow. The way they were marketing their properties itself made a person feel Orange properties were upto nothing. Adding fuel to the fire they even started off a furniture mela, and an electronics exchange mela. Again things which were unbelieveable.

Well within a year, the colour has worn off. They are Black (listed) properties with criminal proceedings initiated against them now. Why? Since they did not deliver anything of what they promised but only ran away with investors money! Unbelieveable? well not really so. It was masterminded to absolute predictability. Yet we people never learn to listen to our intuition. Check it out yourself.

 

 

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Living with lethargy or dying with swine flu

Girl has flu. School does not notice. Hospital doesnt care. Wrong diagnosis. Late treatment. Girl dies of swine flu. Media makes merry. Court has its share of authority in suing the hospital atleast surfacially. Some usual blame games. Entire pune city swarms hospitals. Ill equipped hospitals invite more wrath.

Police 'control' crowds coming for irrelevant meical tests. Tv shows ask users to vote against mentality of hospitals. Telcos make rs.7 for each of the millions of sms sent. Next event waits to happen.

India is not a citizen friendly country. It wont be even after 100 years. On the matter of the girls death god give strength to the downtrodden family. Amen.

Posted by Wordmobi

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Real estate is back on a roll, get ready suckers :)

Someone told me the economy would take at least one year to recover. And I believed it to be so, until I saw these advertisements in the papers a few days back. Most of the ads seemed to scream: “Now is the time to buy an apartment, don’t let this chance go away, at just only yours truly 1 crore”. My quesiton is whether even 1/4 of the educated India population know how many zeroes are there to a crore. Yeah obviously only businessmen would buy such properties you and I may think, but there are a few ABCDs who are now ABReturnedDs who are smelling of green bills and some unfortunate mortals who also believe that they are in the same league only with a 75 lakh housing loan which will kill them shortly and eventually.

Look and click at the ads and you know what I am referring to.

While Mantri and Confident were just as usual marketing unaffordable stuff in some unnamed corner of Bengaluru, there are now a new set of new entrants of new offshoots of known big builders who are trying to cater to the “LOW END” :D people of Bengaluru who have now been pushed to being low end, due to their fate rather than anything else.

Our very own DSMax contributed to some newspaper real estate with their mini offerings all over Bengaluru. ND, Nitesh Estates and Salarpuria were showing off their age old offerings in a new colourful photograph. The ozonegroup was marketing its already marketed property “evergreens” for which it has found no takers until now.

Artha money is the new Orange Properties ka Baap trying to help every disoriented developer sell off his assets. I know how life can get when one gets disoriented. Even a small advice can make someone so gullible that he will fall for anything and everything. Its the same logic what some great netas use on the “aaaaaaaam admi”. Barring these Purvankaras new arm provident homes, and CSC led by mphasis ceo jerry rao and others of jaanagraha fame, are perhaps the only affordable stuff around Bengaluru. Note that I said “Around Bengaluru” – not in Bengaluru :D These guys are promising affordable homes at 17 lacs and 7 lacs respectively. We have to wait and see whether a person can enter a 7 lac house in the first place!

One thing is clear. As long as suckers like you and me are there in India, the builders will continue the exploitation and take us to even greater depths of agony, insolvency and bankruptcy. Happy home buying suckers!

 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An evening at the Food Street, Sajjan Rao Circle

Its been a long while that I blogged, and it feels really strange to me that I have actually not blogged so far. So let me get ahead with today’s experience – dinner at Food Street. After a rather long day slogging on a weekend, and many missed chances of being at Food Street, I finally decided to check it out today.

 

Me and my friend reached Sajjan Rao Circle and expected something like a long street full of nice restaurants selling all varieties of food. Also knowing Karnataka I expected all these to be Darshini’s, or the fast food type of eateries. It was similar, but with one obvious difference – we had to eat the food ON the street! Nowhere to sit. In fact the food itself was being cooked ON the street. Now you get the point in the name dont you? – FOOD STREET.

The eateries are very small rooms or sometimes excuses for a room in terms of shape where things are prepared. Mostly the food is prepared right on the street and only raw materials occupy these so called odd shaped rooms. Business starts at about 6pm after sunset and gets brisk around 7:30. The atmosphere is charged up with youngsters and elders alike pouring onto food street. Steam fills the air from freshly prepared mouth watering Rice Rotis, Butter dosas and other items. Chats, juices, are everywhere. The vendors are more than courteous and show off their marketing skills extensively. Even the most disinterested person will finally succumb to the marketing skills exhibited by these vendors!

There are also stalls that sell north indian fare, such as Vada pavs, chats, and Gobi manchurians. Tucked away down the street is also the arya vaisya restaurant (correct me if i may be wrong!) where people buy snacks at all times of the evening.

Each shop feels like it belongs to a more bigger theme – food street! No shops lags behind another in what they sell with respect to time or quality or price. They work in unison to achieve the charged up atmosphere where crowds return each night for savouring some good food.

With just about a hundred bucks, my stomach was full. It was ages since I tasted such good food. It was an evening well spent chatting away with my friend and generally enjoying a cool evening with steamy food preparations! And for those of you who want to go shopping around don’t forget to visit VB Bakery at the end of Food Street. VB has been the dominant bakers since two decades in this area. The sheer stuff they have makes them a superlative bakery in Bangalore. And don’t forget to buy the delicacy they stand for even today – Dumroot – a pumpkin based sweet preparation that is sure to melt in your mouth!

If this article has triggered your taste buds to get more, sprint to Food Street after 6pm every evening. It will be an evening of a different kind and something that stays in your memory for a long while for the uniqueness of the concept.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Update from my new nokia 5800!!

Finally, a small post from my new nokia 5800. After a rather hectic fortnight, its good to be back on the blogging scene again. I would shortly bring some reviews of cool gadgets and news on some general happenings here in bengaluru. Keep watching this spce!!

Posted by Wordmobi

Sunday, June 14, 2009

25000 km review of Swift Diesel Vdi

I clocked a new record, in my ownership of cars. A coveted 25000 kilometres of driving within Bengaluru city. Its been a dream of owning a good vehicle and its exactly two years ago when I took different test drives, and zeroed in on the Swift Vdi. You can read more about it here.

While I wont go into details of the earlier ownership, as you can find it on the link specified, I would speak rather about the car as it stands now or as it drives now compared to two years ago, so that readers can get an idea how good the Swift would be after two years and 25k of run! :)

So without beating around the bush here are the salient points:

First the good ones!

  • Good power and torque, and if used in the right RPM ranges, gives that ultra cool kick which shoots this car out of the traffic in a jiffy. But a word of caution is to use this feature with full knowledge of what you are doing – it may have disastrous consequences if used the wrong way!
  • Easy driving in city – this car stands for this good point. Its very maneuverable, always all the time. With its ultra short turning radius, you can take this car everywhere anytime!
  • The ability to cross places you deem it not doable – This car has not had a single scratch even on rough terrain for quite sometime now. You know when you think this car cant make it, through a ditch or rugged road, it surprises you with its no-nonsense driveability
  • The engine – this is the real gem in this car, and I believe I have completed only about 10% of its real usability. This engine can go on and on for another 2-3 lac kilometers without the slightest sign of weariness! Next to Honda and Toyota, I love FIAT for their engines. Though maruti called it the DDIS, full credit goes to Fiat for its engine technology. They are truly pioneers in this field!
  • Roominess of the front cabin – The cabin is grey/black with orange lighting theme which makes it soothing at any time of the day. The front cabin is also roomy and for a two people kind of usage this car fits the bill perfectly with respect to front cabin space
  • Suspension thrills – I have taken this car through some really glidable humps at 80kmph and taken turns at 65kmph on flyovers and highways and the suspension just keeps up all the time. Kudos to that aspect.
  • Stability – none need to question the stability of this vehicle. In its category its stable even at 150kmph provided one has atleast 195 tread tyres, the more the merrier.
  • Fuel efficiency and cost of services – To put it point blank, I have never got below 16kmph at any time, and the service costs have never been above about Rs.1200 bucks at any time. So that speaks a lot about the car.

And now the bad points: (Surely every car will have its cons too otherwise we are in an ideal world!)

  • Rattles – A product costing a bit over six lakh rupees, cannot have consistent window pane rattles from day one of the purhcase.  I mean its absurd. If you pay about the same amount of money and buy a FIAT Linea or a Honda Jazz, you wont expect window panes to rattle your brains out would you? Even after writing to Maruti on these issues, I have not got any call from them on this either for rectification or for some in depth study of the problem. Shame on a big automotive giant for once again showing their high handedness w.r.t to such customer issues. I am bored/tired of the rattles this car generates and this could be one reason for me to sell this car a bit later, since I cannot live with rattles for 2 lac kms of mileage! Sorry maruti, but you will lose a customer soon.
  • Visibility – time and again I have commented on this aspect and yes this is one of the downsides of this car. Without side view mirrors, you cant but help scraping the car during its lifetime once or twice even if you are an expert driver. You can hardly notice what is standing next to you and this in my opinion is a recipe for some really silly accidents or dents. Well since the car is designed that way, nothing much can be done about it.
  • No safety/luxury options – no airbags, mine doesnt even have ABS, no climate control (only ac), no stereo controls on steering, no tiltable steering, nothing. This is surely a shame in modern times when every other car at this price range comes with all these as default stuff or atleast an option if I am willing to pay more money for it. Negative points to maruti on this count unless they respect safety. Full marks to Honda for thinking in this direction. Even if the Jazz is costiler.

Well, what did you think? The bad points list would continue for ever and ever? You know the best part of this car is its minimal negative points. A hot hatch and a super performer on the roads, with all but praises for its durability and stability will go a long way in winning Maruti another laurel for a close to outstanding product.

For now I leave you with other images of this cool car!

 

Technorati Tags:
  bengaluru, bangalore, blog, karnataka, swift, diesel, vdi, review, 25000, km, kilometer, 25000km, safety, visibility, stability, tyres, alloys, blue, ozone, luxury, airbags, abs, ritz, maruti, udyog, fiat, linea, honda, jazz, engine, shock, absorbers, suspension, driveability, turning, radius, short, fuel, efficiency, mileage, torque, power, bhp, rpm, turbo, kick, speed, overtaking, banashankari, layout, bda, roads, nice, bmic, highway, city, driving, steering, dashboard, cabin, front panel, display driver, orange, backlighting

Friday, June 5, 2009

Victimized! But got a life!

Wondering what this post is about? Hmm … so finally I too fell into the trap, after a cool decade of driving. I am referring to the great petrol pump prank. My dad had a surgery and I was returning from the hospital early one morning. Needed fuel, so drove straight into the pump. Usually there would be one guy to whom I would specify how much fuel I needed and also hand over my credit card for billing purposes. He would fill in the fuel and then do the needful (read that as never give me a bill :) )

So today there were two guys, and I asked one guy to get Rs.700/- worth of fuel filled up. I also gave him my card and he started asking me questions which beyond a point sounded strange to me. He asked me if I needed a bill, he asked me then if I needed the car number on the bill. I must state here that I have never got such a question in my life so far anywhere leave alone a petrol pump! Now who the hell would put in the car number on a bill and for what reasons? Atleast he set me thinking to buy himself some time.

It is then that the other guy told me he had filled the fuel. I looked up and saw that the meter read Rs.100. I told him that I needed Rs.700 and not Rs.100. Another six hundred later he again pointed to the meter which read Rs.600. And told me he had done his job. Its then I realized I was the bakra of the day. I wanted him to realize that I was not a worthless guy! So this time I decided to do gandhigiri on him. I just asked him only one question:

I told him: “I would you ask you only one question, only one time, and I want an honest number from you only one time and nothing more than that. Tell me did you REALLY fill in fuel for the first Rs.100/- or was it just a fake drama of meter fixing ?

He then replied: “ Sorry sir.”  

And then the unthinkable happens. He fills in another Rs.100 worth of fuel and smiles at me. I told him a few more things after that on how not to ruin the name and fame of the IBP petrol pump in Koramangala which has served me so far in life so well. I also told him not to try such tricks on customers who are regulars to the pump and know how things go on. To that to my utter surprise he casually remarked to his friend thus:

“Hey lets not play this trick on regular customers!”

I was pretty tired that day, so I went to meet the manager a few days later. I spoke to him about the incident and he asked me to look around the pump. He had replaced a whole bunch of guys who were into this organized racket and replaced them with new people. The people who he trusted had betrayed him! This is not the only place and time where people like me and you are fleeced. Just spend two minutes to think of all the places where you are conned. And you would be surprised that the list of such places you realized is a pretty huge one!