Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Experience with Air India - 2

The return flight from Delhi to Bangalore, on the evening of Sunday 7th Nov 2010, turned out to be the most horrible flying experience I have ever had, till date.  The flight was AI-622, bound to fly out from T3 at 2010 hours 7th Nov.

When I reached at the airport, the check-in area was a mess in itself.  The Air India staff had invited all the passengers to check-in from all the counters, basically creating a mess of a situation. When they realized what they have done, they scrambled to a fix, and started calling out to the people for whom the flights were about to depart (and these ppl were still stuck in check-in queues).

When these people were taken away, my checkin process suddenly looked easier and faster.  Basically, I was all checked in at around 6:45 and inside the boarding gates area by that time.

The display panel had no mention of my flight but other flights both domestic and international, before and after my flight were listed properly, with whatever status applicable to them.  When inquired, they said, it was ok, not to worry, and told me of my gate no for boarding (also that the flight was on schedule).

By 7:25 pm, the boarding should have begun, but there was no air india official to be seen around the gate till that time, or even later, till 2000 hrs.  I think thats when I begun to think, that something was wrong.  I went to the info desk and asked the person there, he had no information.

Slowly people started assembling around the gate and asking questions. There was nobody to answer them. Slowly the mob mentality was becoming visible. People shouting, grabbing whoever was visible in an air india garb, or with some kind of airport office link.

Initially, someone caught hold of a lady, fairly senior (by age i mean), and started asking her questions. She DID NOT know anything. Someone said that she was the duty manager, and this angered people even more.  

By now, it was well past 2100 hrs and still nobody had appeared on the assigned gate.  Then people caught hold of two air india officials who were just passing by. The mob really got angry and wanted answers.  The two guys were so visibly helpless they couldnt do anything.  Ppl asked them to call up the responsible officials, but none of the officials were picking up their phones.  Then one passenger asked for the officials' number and called from his own mobile. The official did pick up the phone, but, still couldnt offer any answers to the situation.

Slowly a pattern was emerging out of the situation. No flights scheduled to leave after 1900 hrs or so were taking off. Flights to Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Dubai were in this unknown situation. Some people for bangalore flight were waiting since 1100 in the day since their 1300 flight was cancelled and they were bumped up to this 2010 flight.  Effectively they were the worst hit guys, waiting for about 10 hrs already.

Finally, the mob started walking with this official, demanding to be put in touch with the officials face to face, nothing happened, since the passengers are not allowed to leave the boarding area after check-in. People were diverted to another official at another gate, who could not answer any questions anyway.

By now, it was already 2300 hrs, and still no answers. It was pretty chaotic, since nobody knew whats the status of the flight, and whats going to happen.  There was some infants among the passengers. Their parents were the more anxious lot. A Danish national got migraine attack during all this chaos. There were at least 10 people who were over 70 yrs old, and the waiting process was not helping them at all, let alone the uncertainity.
As it turned out, around 2330 there was announcement of the cancellation the bangalore flight.  It just broke some patience barriers. People started shouting at the info desk guy, since he had not been advised about the next steps for the passengers.  

He made a few phone calls and a lady appeared.  This lady tried to offer some hope, but it was a failed attempt. People had realized by now that air india has no intention of flying the people to their destinations and it would be a cancelled flight for good. They are just not announcing it in good time so that they wont have to pay the passengers' hotel stay etc.

They still had no clue around the solution to the problem.  Now a new face appeared, Mr Nalin. He claimed to be in an executive authority and wanted to fix the problem for good. He promised a special flight to Bangalore at 0145 hrs in the night. After making some other promises, he went off. Nowhere to be seen again.

People thought that they have been conned again.  By now, its already 0015.  Suddenly, people caught hold of two female officials in air india garb. The poor girls didnt know anything but were shouted at anyway.  A new face appears now, Mr Pankaj, supposedly GM of Air india.

He was shouted at all possible ways. Everybody was venting his anger on him, but guy showed remarkable patience and didnt react even once. We were thinking, had he reacted even once, god knows how the mob would have acted/reacted.  I would say, he was not physically handled, barring that, all possible ways were used to vent anger at him.

Finally, he started moving some things, the officials started appearing. He found a crew for one of the flights, and then another crew came in.  Some more officials came in, a lot of CISF people showed up. Apprantly to handle the situation if the mob went physical with him.

Already 0100 hrs and no sign of boarding activity. Mob had not let him go anywhere, so he announced that the bangalore flight will leave "if not 0145 perhaps by 0200 or 0215".  Another 30 minutes passed by, and now the mob was on the brink.  A gentleman, father of two young kids, literally charged at him, wanting to know when the flight would actually go.  

Now he says, 0300. And this was genuinely interesting, the guy asked Mr GM, what would you do if the flight does not depart by 3 AM... the GM guy had no answer, literally tense face, sweating brows, no voice. 

Finally, around 0255 there was an announcement for boarding for the bangalore flight.  A decent 7hrs 30 mins delay, and I am sure, had the people not been so vocal and demanding, the flight would never have been arranged and we got home the way we got home.

At the end, the flight, which should have landed bangalore 2240 the previous evening, now landed past 0600 the next morning, spoiling the next day for everybody, more so for the working passengers.

Someone rightly spoke, "this is my last flight with air india, never again". Well, I am with the group who says, "never say never", but for once, for this one I feel like agreeing with him. Never Again with air india, or at least till the wounds are fresh :)

Experience with Air India - 1

It was not my first time flying with air india, perhaps 2nd or 3rd, but its going to be the last one, at least these are the emotions rights now...

I booked this round trip in october last week, attempt to go home for Deepawali utilizing the long weekend.  It was a Bangalore - Delhi - Bangalore round trip, and I was pretty excited to have clinched this deal.

Flying out to Delhi from Bangalore was already giving indications of trouble with Air India.  When I reached airport, they had already cancelled my flight.  Later I got to know that they had in-fact merged my flight with another flight, which was an international flight, coming from somewhere. The fact was, almost nobody was certain whats the situation. On the check-in counter, I was told that my seat was not confirmed yet, was on standby. Luckily, it was confirmed within the next few seconds itself, and I had a seat (which I realized later, was the last available seat on the flight).

The flight was delayed by about half an hour was another fact. During the waiting period, I met a few passengers, who were waiting since 4-5 hours since another afternoon flight was delayed and the passengers were supposed to leave together on this flight.

Inside the aircraft, we were welcomed by two angry air hostesses, and a third one relatively better.  Mis-management was rampant there too. Ground staff had put in some stuff meant for passengers cabin luggage and the air hostesses were having hard time accomodating passengers' luggage.

Once I got to my seat, I found out a few more things. The hand rest of the seat was taped using cello tape, or else it would just come out into your hands. Later during the flight, one of the overhead lights came out into the hands of of the passengers when she was trying to refocus the beam.  All in all, the aircraft looked like from stone age,  not withstanding the fact that they didnt have aircrafts in stone age :) .

Eventually, we reached delhi airport, but were informed that we would land on the newly built-operationalized terminal (known as T3).  While going to the baggage claim area through a bus, we could actually see labour working here and there. Basically, it was evident that construction work is not over.

The baggage claim belt didnt start until about half an hour after our arrival in the lounge. Some passengers had literally shouted out to get some air india officials around there and take some action for that.

At the end, it turned out, the new terminal is really still new for the people also, and they have issues synchronizing everything. 

It turned out that the whole ordeal took about 2 hours extra than the normal.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

आरती कुंजबिहारी की... Aarti Kunj Bihari Ki...

श्री कुंजबिहारी जी की आरती

आरती कुंजबिहारी की, श्री गिरिधर कृष्णमुरारी की ॥
गले में बैजंती माला, बजावै मुरली मधुर बाला ।
श्रवण में कुण्डल झलकाला, नंद के आनंद नंदलाला ।
गगन सम अंग कांति काली, राधिका चमक रही आली ।
लटन में ठाढ़े बनमाली;
भ्रमर सी अलक, कस्तूरी तिलक, चंद्र सी झलक;
ललित छवि श्यामा प्यारी की ॥
आरती कुंजबिहारी की...
श्री गिरिधर कृष्णमुरारी की…


कनकमय मोर मुकुट बिलसै, देवता दरसन को तरसैं ।
गगन सों सुमन रासि बरसै;
बजे मिरदंग, ग्वालिन संग;
अतुल रति गोप कुमारी की ॥
आरती कुंजबिहारी की...
श्री गिरिधर कृष्णमुरारी की…
जहां ते प्रकट भई गंगा, कलुष कलि हारिणि श्रीगंगा ।
स्मरन ते होत मोह भंगा;
बसी सिव सीस, जटा के बीच, हरै अघ कीच;
चरन छवि श्रीबनवारी की ॥
आरती कुंजबिहारी की...
श्री गिरिधर कृष्णमुरारी की…


चमकती उज्ज्वल तट रेनू, बज रही वृंदावन बेनू 
चहूँ दिसि गोपि ग्वाल धेनू;
हंसत मृदु मंद,चांदनी चंद, कटत भव फंद;
टेर सुन दीन भिखारी की ॥
आरती कुंजबिहारी की...
श्री गिरिधर कृष्णमुरारी की…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I also feel like saying, 1984...

This story appears in Economic Times, wherein Apple claims to have developed (or is busy doing that) sensitive info about an iphone user. Subsequently, Apple intends to hold/halt usage of the iphone device from the "unauthorized" user, this unauthorized reportedly includes -

1. an iphone that has been hacked to work outside the contract with which it was sold, read "jailbroken"

2. an iphone that is perhaps being used by someone other than the person who registered the first heartbeat or facial recognition info..

Apple intends to capture the phone location using GPS/other tech and perhaps control the device remotely if they feel its being used "unauthorized"..

i agree with people who remember 1984 after reading apple's intentions...ha.. time does come back...George Orwell.. were u too right ??

in reference to: Apple to make iPhone theft-proof - Hardware - Infotech - The Economic Times (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Use (misuse) of Tax Money in India

Use (or should I say misuse) of my tax money...
Interesting one, Only this morning I was thinking about the damned MPs.

You know, they are protesting in parliament to increase their salaries…

And now, look at the irony, they are the same people who have to vote for their own salary hike, there’s no one above them who has to approve of it…

Think about the group of cheats that we have as MPs who are now going to get a salary hike, which basically means, the amount of expenditure on 534 MPs, approx 855Cr would go still higher.. to where, nobody knows…

The problem is, on no other issue, do these guys show the kind of unity that they are showing here, on salary hike issue…

Read some here…


And some more insights, on the current expenditure -

Monthly Salary : 12,000

Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000

Office expenditure per month : 14,000

Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000
( eg.For a visit from kerala to Delhi & return: 6000 km)

Daily DA TA during parliament meets : 500/day

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times) (All over India )

Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A .)

Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free

Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units

Local phone call charge : Free up to 1 ,70,000 calls.

TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : 32,00,000 [ i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]

TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years : 8,54,40,00,000 (nearly 855 crores)


This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities.......

in reference to: Congress, BJP MPs join hands on salary hike issue - India - DNA (view on Google Sidewiki)

Priceless Words

A husband wakes up at home with a huge hangover.

He forces himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins and a glass of water on the side table.

He sits down and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotless, clean. So is the rest of the house.
He takes the aspirins and notices a note on the table.

"Honey, breakfast is on the table, I left early to go grocery shopping.
Love You!"

Totally shocked with the note , he goes to the kitchen and sure enough there is a hot breakfast and the morning newspaper.
His son is also at the table, eating. He asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

His son says, "Well, you came home around 3 AM, drunk and delirious. Broke some crockery, puked in the hall, and gave yourself a black eye when you stumbled into the door".

Confused, the man asks, "So, why is everything in order and so clean, and
breakfast is on the table waiting for me?
I should expect a big quarrel with her!"
His son replies, "Oh, that! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your clothes n shoes off, you said,


Self-induced hangover - $ 400.00
Broken crockery - $ 800.00
Breakfast - $ 10.00
Saying the Right Thing While Drunk – "PRICELESS”

There are truly some things that both money and MasterCard can't buy

in reference to: Reuters – Search Reuters (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nuclear Weapons : Devices for peace ??

Well, the point is there, just because the other country has nuclear weapons, parties stay within a certain limit lest the fury of nuclear capable country might incinerate them.

The result is either a gorilla war kind of situation, one that is going on in Kashmir, one that is going on in parts of Iraq or a Cold war kind of scenario, where everything happens behind the curtains...

I dont really think they are devices of peace, but yes, they help avoid direct confrontation, acting as a deterrent. Though its needless to point out the continued civilian loss in gorilla warfare...

weapons are evil, anyway, nuclear or napalm or any other type... must be avoided..

in reference to: The bomb, 65 years later - Views - livemint.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Corruption @ Common Wealth Games in Delhi

I guess you have missed out the latest reports in Indian newspapers regarding the corruption scandal that has broken out of the CommonWealth Games Organizing committee. They are renting stuff for 45 days by paying more money than is required to buy that item in first place. Contracts have been given to the relatives of the OC members, and stadium rooftops are falling down hours after inauguration.

All this results in more money being spent, in addition to the insult that the nation carries because of this bunch of "organizers". And who pays the money, the poor taxpayer like me and you (assuming you are a salaried indian). The fact that the budget of the event has come to about 10 times the original estimates is an alarm bell nobody is ready to listen to. At this moment, everybody is in a mood, "ok, so what if some corruption happened, some planning glitches, they happen everywhere. Lets spend some more of tax payer money, and try to fix it."

I read a statement by Mr Aiyyar, where he was wishing for the games to fail. Perhaps its a cost that other nations need not pay (by appearing in a failed games event), but may be thats what this corrupt govt system needs to wake up, and change a few things for good...

I dont even want to start about the level of preparations for the event, and the mismanagement that is rampant in there... Let me just say this much, I've never felt worse on being part of what its they call "India". Its genuinely a shame to be called from the same country as these corrupt organizers and their bosses are...

Just one example to point to the corruption level, they are renting, mark my word, renting, not buying a chair for the event (i.e. about 6 weeks) for about 8000 INR, which would be used by spectators, whereas you can buy a decent chair for a few hundred rupees... Thats the worth of taxpayer's money in this country... and this report was filed by Vigilence committee a while back, nobody took note of it, until someone filed a RTI request...

Shame organizers.. shame..

in reference to: The Commonwealth Games: “Is It Safe?” - India Real Time - WSJ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Should India learn a lesson from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill ??

Not undermining the terrible tragedy of the oil leak in the gulf, this is some ways a more environmental disaster than humanitarian.

If you stop for a moment and give a thought to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 80's (at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster), that tragedy had taken lives of more than 3000 people, in addition to contaminating air and water around the place. The genetic effects of that appear to date. And I am not even counting the wounded/disabled due to that accident.

What happened there, from the point of view of compensation to the affected ? Well, nothing is my feeling, but if you count what was paid to the people, I wont be able to say more than, "peanuts", which is nothing anyway.

Here, you see, in the current context of the oil leak (where only 10-20 people have passed away, but lots more have lost jobs), the US govt is handling BP as if it has committed a genocide.

Well, I am sure the Indian govt and legal system can take a cue from this and start holding the business corporation behind Bhopal tragedy responsible for that too. In case of Bhopal, nobody was held accountable, and the CEO of that company was allowed to leave country hours after he was "formally" arrested. I wonder if bribery of govt officials and/or politicians was playing any role there ??

Seriosly, anybody at Indian govt offices listening ??

in reference to: BBC News - US Congress set to grill BP chief Tony Hayward (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, May 31, 2010

An interesting essat on flyovers [in Indian context]

Forwarded by a friend, couldnt help but sharing -

निम्नलिखित लेख उस छात्र की कॉपी से लिया गया है, जिसे निबंध लेखन
प्रतियोगिता में पहला पुरस्कार मिला है। निबध का विषय था - फ्लाईओवर।

फ्लाईओवर का जीवन में बहुत महत्व है, खास तौर पर इंजीनियरों और ठेकेदारों
के जीवन में तो घणा ही महत्व है। एक फ्लाईओवर से न जाने कितनी कोठियां
निकल आती हैं। पश्चिम जगत के इंजीनियर भले ही इसे न समझें कि भारत में यह
कमाल होता है कि पुल से कोठियां निकल आती हैं और फ्लाईओवर से फार्महाउस।

खैर, फ्लाईओवर से हमें जीवन के कई पाठ मिलते हैं, जैसे बंदा कई बार
घुमावदार फ्लाईओवर पर चले, तो पता चलता है कि जहां से शुरुआत की थी, वहीं
पर पहुंच गए हैं। उदाहरण के लिए ऑल इंडिया इंस्टिट्यूट ऑफ मेडिकल साइंसेज
के पास के फ्लाईओवर में बंदा कई बार जहां से शुरू करे, वहीं पहुंच जाता
है। वैसे, यह लाइफ का सत्य है, कई बार बरसों चलते -चलते यह पता चलता है
कि कहीं पहुंचे ही नहीं।

फ्लाईओवर जब नए-नए बनते हैं, तो एकाध महीने ट्रैफिक स्मूद रहता है, फिर
वही हाल हो लेता है। जैसे आश्रम में अब फ्लाईओवर पर जाम लगता है, यानी अब
फ्लाईओवर पर फ्लाईओवर की जरूरत है। फिर उस फ्लाईओवर के फ्लाईओवर के
फ्लाईओवर पर भी फ्लाईओवर चाहिए होगा। हो सकता है कि कुछ समय बाद फ्लाईओवर
अथॉरिटी ऑफ इंडिया ही बन जाए। इसमें कुछ और अफसरों की पोस्टिंग का जुगाड़
हो जाएगा। तब हम कह सकेंगे कि फ्लाईओवरों का अफसरों के जीवन में भी घणा
महत्व है।

दिल्ली में इन दिनों फ्लाईओवरों की धूम है। इधर से फ्लाईओवर, उधर से
फ्लाईओवर। फ्लाईओवर बनने के चक्कर में विकट जाम हो रहे हैं। दिल्ली
गाजियाबाद अप्सरा बॉर्डर के जाम में फंसकर धैर्य और संयम जैसे गुणों का
विकास हो जाता है, ऑटोमैटिक। व्यग्र और उग्र लोगों का एक ट्रीटमेंट यह है
कि उन्हें अप्सरा बॉर्डर के जाम में छोड़ दिया जाए।

फ्लाईओवर बनने से पहले जाम फ्लाईओवर के नीचे लगते हैं, फिर फ्लाईओवर बनने
के बाद जाम ऊपर लगने शुरू हो जाते हैं। इससे हमें भौतिकी के उस नियम का
पता चलता है कि कहीं कुछ नहीं बदलता, फ्लाईओवर का उद्देश्य इतना भर रहता
है कि वह जाम को नीचे से ऊपर की ओर ले आता है, ताकि नीचे वाले जाम के लिए
रास्ता प्रशस्त किया जा सके।

फ्लाईओवरों का भविष्य उज्जवल है। कुछ समय बाद यह सीन होगा कि जैसे डबल
डेकर बस होती है, वैसे डबल डेकर फ्लाईओवर भी होंगे। डबल ही क्यों,
ट्रिपल, फाइव डेकर फ्लाईओवर भी हो सकते हैं। दिल्ली वाले तब अपना एड्रेस
यूं बताएंगे - आश्रम के पांचवें लेवल के फ्लाईओवर के ठीक सामने जो फ्लैट
पड़ता है, वो मेरा है। कभी जाम में फंस जाएं, तो कॉल कर देना, डोरी में
टांग कर चाय लटका दूंगा। संवाद कुछ इस तरह के होंगे - अबे कहां रहता है
आजकल रोज अपने फ्लैट से पांचवें लेवल का जाम देखता हूं, तेरी कार नहीं
दिखती। सामने वाला बताएगा - आजकल मैं चौथे लेवल के फ्लाईओवर में फंसता
हूं। अबे पांचवें लेवल के जाम में फंसा कर, वहां हवा अच्छी लगती है। अबे,
ले मैं तेरे ऊपर ही था, पांचवें वाले लेवल पर और तू चौथे लेवल पर, कॉल कर
देता, तो झांककर बात कर लेता। आने वाले टाइम में दिल्ली वाले अपने
मेहमानों को फाइव डेकर जाम दिखाने लाएंगे।

Saturday, May 8, 2010

101 Romantic ideas

1. Remember to say "I love you" and "I need you" often.

2. Walk hand in hand in the rain.

3. Write a love poem.

4. Call a radio station and dedicate a favorite song.

5. Write "I Love You" in lipstick or shaving cream on the mirror.

6. Hide love notes in a lunch box, briefcase or purse.

7. Make heart-shaped cinnamon toast for breakfast.

8. Place a love note in the personals section of the newspaper.

9. Take a carriage ride around the city.

10. Plan a surprise getaway.

11. Do your mate's household chores.

12. Write notes on future dates in their date book ("I love you," I miss you," etc.)

13. Make reservations at a favorite restaurant.

14. Let them choose the movie.

15. Give a foot massage.

16. Make a heart-shaped bookmark, and place it in their book.

17. Pop in a romantic music CD and slow dance.

18. Throw a just-because surprise party for two.

19. Buy a stuffed animal for your honey.

20. Read each other's horoscopes.

21. Make a list of the top 10 things you love about your partner.

22. Display it in a prominent place.

23. Tattoo your mate's name on your body.

24. Make an album or scrapbook of your favorite memories together.

25. Go camping together and only take one sleeping bag.

26. Send a mushy message in a bottle...a balloon...a sandwich...

27. Cut out a silly cartoon that you know they'd enjoy.

28. Shower together.

29. Dim the lights, and snuggle together on the couch.

30. Be the first to say "I'm sorry" and kiss and make up.

31. Give each other a full-body massage.

32. Kiss every hour on the hour all day long.

33. Send a gift basket of indulgent items.

34. Write "I'm hot for you" in the steam on the bathroom mirror.

35. Ribbon wrap your bed with a big bow.

36. Fill up the gas tank of your partner's car.

37. Act like teenagers. Maybe even pierce something!

38. Show up with a bouquet of flowers -- for no reason at all.

39. Play Scrabble���� together, using as many "love" words as
you can.

40. Run a warm bubble bath for your partner, with lots of lit

41. Meet in the park for a picnic.

42. Hold hands.

43. Leave a trail of rose petals through the house, leading to a romantic candlelight dinner.

44. Make a donation in your mate's name to a special cause or charity.

45. Pick up their clothes from the floor -- without saying a word about it.

46. Watch an old black and white romantic movie and share a bowl of popcorn.

47. Reenact your first date.

48. Surprise your partner with tickets to a special event.

49. An unexpected hug can brighten any day.

50. Buy a silly, impromptu gift.

51. Send an email just to say "I'm thinking of you."

52. Bring home a balloon bouquet.

53. Serve breakfast in bed.

54. Make an ornament with a picture of both of you for the Christmas tree.

55. Play tag.

56. Wash and wax your partner's car, and leave a little note on the dashboard.

57. Plant a garden together.

58. Leave a mushy message on voicemail.

59. Stay at a hotel for the night, just because.

60. Make angels in the snow.

61. Every time you say "hello" or "goodbye", seal it with a hug and a kiss.

62. Take a drive in the country.

63. Spend the evening looking at the stars -- and make a wish together.

64. Cast a playful wink any time, anywhere.

65. Think up a list of silly little pet names for times when you're alone together.

66. Read poetry to each other.

67. Celebrate your half-birthdays together.

68. Put a picture of both of you in your wallet.

69. Buy that favorite book or CD for no reason at all.

70. Send a care package to work filled with treats like food, photos, candy, a love note, heart-shaped confetti, etc.

71. Go out for the evening and tell people you're on your honeymoon.

72. Take a hike together and carve your initials in a tree.

73. Write a thank you note for all the things you take for granted.

74. Make a fire in the fireplace and roast marshmallows.

75. Tape your favorite TV show and spend the evening talking.

76. Do the dishes together, then apply hand lotion to each other's hands.

77. Write a love letter to your partner and cut it into jigsaw puzzle pieces.

78. Decide on secret signals and use them to communicate with each other in large groups of people.

79. Schedule a regular mid-week "date night" for just the two of you.

80. Do the laundry together.

81. Romance Theater Weekend: reenact each other's favorite love scene - hers on Friday, his on Saturday.

82. Call your partner at work and ask for a date.

83. Pretend you haven't seen each other for a month. Actaccordingly.

84. Send a written invitation to do something special.

85. Take turns reading to each other.

86. Stand outside the window and sing a romantic song.

87. Hide favorite candy in your partner's coat pockets.

88. Put a tape recording of your voice (saying anything) in the
car stereo and turn it on so it plays when the car starts.

89. Go to a drive-in movie.

90. Get up to turn off the last light after you're both
comfy-cozy in bed.

91. Hold each other tight during a thunderstorm.

92. Make a tape recording of favorite love songs.

93. Leave a bunch of bananas on the kitchen table with a note, "I
go bananas over you!"

94. Hide love notes in a magazine.

95. Declare your undying love via a telegram.

96. Make a romantic dinner together, and serve it on your finest

97. Surprise your partner with a big kiss on the neck.

98. Give unexpected compliments.

99. Share an ice cream cone.

100. Have a picnic on the living room floor.

101. Draw a silly picture of the two of you. Frame it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Working of oil wells..

I personally like such diagrams and explanations. not that an accident is required to fetch such information, but its a fact that such incidents bring about a good reason to explain the technology to us non involved people.

This document explains the handling of stopping of oild wells in cases of temporary abandonment. Its quite interesting to understand it.

Further, this page explains what should have happened against what happened at the deepwater horizon oil well which resulted in death of 11 people and loss of investment on the oil rig, not the forget the huge oil spill in Gulf of Mexico...

Its really unfortunate that such incidents happen, perhaps its a price we humans need to pay to tackle mother nature for resources. More than that, when I was reading a page about this on cnn, i had a feeling of, "Oh God, so much oil would be wasted in the spill, and we are already talking about scarcity of oil resources". From an estimate, more than 5000 barrels of oil is|was spilling from this rig into the sea. I dont know whether the spilling has since stopped or not, but its a huge waste nonetheless.

I hope they can find some way to contain the spill and save the environment from destruction of flora/fauna around the place due to oil spill in the sea. This would also save the precious oil.

I wish I could extract the images and post them here, inline, but there might be copyright issues.. Would lookup on wikimedia later and see if there is some information/photos about it...

Quite informative really...

in reference to: oil-cause-050710.pdf - By Nitro PDF Software (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Computerization of Indian Railways...

Has it helped people.. You bet...

Lots of services are provided by Indian Railways to people over internet nowadays, including reservation and tracking a train.

Perhaps its not perfected yet, and there are issues sometimes here and there, but its there and working and working most of the times.

I am particularly fan of these two services, book a ticket and receive it in my mailbox, print it and travel. Simple, no hassles etc.. I think travel cant get simpler than this. All you need is an internet connection and a credit/debit card or a net banking account, and you are all set to plan your travels from the comfort of your xxxtop computer.

Try it here - http://www.irctc.co.in

And then there is this train tracking facility. I think this one rates even better than the previous one. You can actually, to a accuracy level of upto 90% track and see your train's movement. Quite a few times it has helped me plan my journey from my home to station to be just in time. Calling up Railway Station inquiry numbers is a hassle that we all want to avoid, and this site comes like a life saver.

Just find your train, and you are set to track the movement of your train, whether its running on time or late or whatever. The route is also available and is equally handy.

Try it here - http://www.trainenquiry.com

in reference to: Running Time Table of Trains (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taxation of mutual fund returns

Its always tricky to understand exactly how you'd be taxed on various investment returns, especially mutual funds, primarily because not all of us go into detail regarding their portfolio structures. There are different categories of funds and their taxation rules change for each -

a. Equity Funds
b. Debt Funds
c. Hybrid Funds
d. Income Funds

I personally like value research magazine (www.valueresearchonline.com) for their knowledge dissemination around mutual funds. They have a decent article around the taxation of fund returns. This answers quite a lot of questions, if not all..

Further, this article goes into another interesting topic... discussing whether dividend reinvestment is better off, or is it the growth option that is better. As per their analysis, dividend reinvestment option comes off as the winner..read on..


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cricketing Euphoria

I did not had the chance to watch matches from the first two editions of IPL live.

For the first one, I was not in India, and Europe doesnt like Cricket as much as they like Soccer.
For the second, I was working out of a day night schedule. Not enough time to catch up on the favourite sport..

However, luckily this time around, I am here, and probably have life going on a bit easy to be able to watch some matches.

It genuinely is like euphoric atmosphere. People going mad about it. Everyone you speak to, generally this topic shows up. My team.. your team.. that player.. this player.. that shot... that over... ohh.. so much of it..

On the other hand, some people are saying that there is just too much cricket going on. Sometimes their point looks good too.. Now, in the IPL season, there is a match every day.. sometimes two a day. And it goes on like this for quite a while.. I guess 7 weeks or so..

People at home (femalefolk to be precise) are already getting nervous... Everyday the same thing... at least its like that at my place...no big fans of cricket except me.. Other things take backseat, household assignments reserved for me never completed on time, sometimes forgotten too...

And then, its not me only. Almost everyone around the place is getting the same feelings/treatments...

Sometimes I love this, other times not so much...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pune - Amazingly cool...

I happened to stop over in Pune during my trip back to Bangalore. As short as the stay is, I got a chance to go around the city, to some not so famous places and therefore getting the feel of the genuine pune, instead of the famous pune.

Things are cheap, the autowalla will happily go with you on the meter reading instead of haggling on a fixed price. Even then, the price that comes out to be, is lot lower than the comparable fare in the autos in Delhi or Bangalore.

Weather is great, sometimes its a bit humid, but otherwise great.

The list of cultural events is huge, seriously huge. Whatever it is that you like, you'd find it happening in pune.

love the place so far, will write further...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Indian Hocky and the comparison...

Hocky is our national game, something to be proud of, typically. And something at which we are supposed to be good, genuinely good that is.

However, the state of the game in our great country is not hidden from anybody. Hardly spoken of, the game seems to have become a toy in the hands of officials who hardly have any knowledge of the game. The players suffer and the game as well in perspective.

Recently, there was an episode about players' salaries. The poor guys had to go on "strike" to get their share of the money. Whereas the govt allocates crores and crores of rupees to the game, I wonder where does the money go if not on players' salaries or modernisation of the stadia. Or perhaps the officials are pocketing it away in the name of "empowering" the game and "spreading awareness". Well, this can very well happen in India and is no doubt one of the heads on which the money is being spent.

Then there is the general visibility of the game, though I know that its our national game, I am not sure how many others still remember Hocky as India's national sport. The thing is, with presistent poor performances, the game of hocky is almost forgotten, and with more and more media attention, Cricket has taken all the limelight.

Recently, just before the hocky world cup (hosted in india), there were a series of adverts on television wherein famous sportsmen (of other games) e.g. Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore, Virender Sahwag etc were advocating watching hocky matches and cheering for India. Doesnt it show the state of awareness the hocky federation wants to boost up. Pathetic, isnt it, that a sport that has the label of national sport, needs to be reminded to the public. And that too, without featuring any sportsman from that game itself. I wonder how many Indians would know of a few players' names from the team representing India in the world cup.

Then there is the real state of hocky, played by our team. I happen to miss the Pakistan game, which India won 4-1 and I happen to watch glimpses of the Spain match, which we had to win at all costs so that we are still in contention for the semi final spot.

The quality of Indian game was so bad, really bad, that you might confuse them for some school/college team. They couldnt handle passes, their marking of the opposition players was so bad that at times there was no one but the goal keeper to defend the goal (remember the goal by Spain's captain !!!).

At one point in the tv telecast, I caught the Indian coach helplessly shouting "pass...pass", and then bowing his head down in desparation, obviously no one listened to his words. Well, if the coach of the national team has to tell his players something as basic as this (to pass the ball), what can you expect...

The news report on the game by one of the newspapers next day was quite amusing. Apparantly the coach was caught on record saying that the mistakes were "childish". I have a feeling that the "authorities" would not be pleased with this remark from him and he would have to pay the price for this.

Good luck Indian Hocky...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day night cricket matches in India...

India has a billion plus people. We all know about the disparity in the income distribution, in other words, while some have ample surplus, lots others cant afford a decent meal/roof/education for themselves/their families.

I am sure, not many of us would have forgotten the movie "Swades", where an NRI character faces the lack electricity in the villages and does something about it. Well, I am not trying to induce interest in electricity generation using the means shown in the movie, rather trying to showcase the situation in our villages, especially with respect to electricity availability.

There is a huge chunk of indian population that goes without access to electricity every day/night. Though government is doing its bit, there clearly is a gap between the effort and the reality. The reasons to that are manifold, ranging from power distribution network to power generation capacity.

Here I want to point out the fact that if we save enough, be careful in how we spend energy/electricity, we'd be helping the govt efforts to provide electricity to everyone. Remember, every bit saved is bit generated.

On one hand we face situation like this, and on the other hand, we have extravagance like day/night cricket matches where towers of flood lights consume energy enough to light up villages for days and days in a single day. This in my very personal view is a huge waste of energy, given that we have a scarcity of electricity. Thats my view, even though I claim myself to be an ardent fan of cricket myself.

Had we had some surplus energy, or may be if we were at least break even on our energy needs and generation, I would probably be advocating other way round. Look at the more developed countries like UK or for that matter any other country which do not have the energy problem, I dont mind such countries expanding energy on things like this. But something like this, happening in India, I dont feel quite nice about that.

There could probably be a simpler solution, just hold the day matches. I dont really want to be in a advisor role to BCCI or any other body, but there might be other solutions to the problem. A simpler one, thats prevalent in UK County league, hold matches on weekends. Perhaps hold smaller matches and more than one in a single day.

Further, and probably I would find more supporters on this argument, just hold lesser matches. Now a days, there is something or other cricket tournament going on every other week. This, that or the other. Cricket is going on too much these days. Sometimes its hard to follow as well.

If you'd play lower number of matches, you save all the resources, not the least my argument of the day, electricity.

I know that there are going to be voices about my argument....you are welcome. Just leave a comment on the post.

Please take the poll on the top of the page and share your views...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Interest Calculation method changed by RBI

Very interesting article, outlining the benefits of the new interest calculation engine proposed by RBI.

As per the writer, the interest on your savings account would be calculated on a per day basis now, instead of the current method. In the current method, the interest is calculated on the minimum of balance between 10th and the end of month.

A salaried person always loses out in this method, since by the end of the month, the balance is very low and therefore the interest is calculated on that.

I wonder, if and when the banks would start following this methodology ? Also, is it a direction from RBI or an instruction (the other words, is it a suggestion or an order)

Lets see what comes out... April is not far anyway...

Good luck to those who leave idle money in savings bank account...

in reference to: Moneycontrol || Wealth >> Bank deposits >> Get double interest on your savings account! (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wind energy

There is some renewed interest on my part in wind and related non conventional energy. Thanks to a brother of a friend whom I met last month only, I know a bit more about wind mills and the economy around it.

One thing that has come around is that its a entrepreneurial venture best suited for someone who has relatively deeper pockets. Relating to the sheer volatility and the size of investment required for this business, it becomes a hard to get for a normal first generation entrepreneur.

For example, in India, a typical windmill costs around 1.5 crores to set up. Though government provides decent subsidy on taxes and depreciation benefits to make it relatively viable, you still need about 25-30% of the initial investment to be put in. Further, the amount financed by banks needs a separate kind of guarantee, just because the asset is relatively immovable. You know, they cant just get the windmill out of its root and sell it to claim their money, in case the business defaults on the loan.

Further than that, there are open questions on the stability of the returns from the windmill. Though there are devices measuring the wind speed and therein judge the potential of a place to produce wind energy. These devices are put in place by a govt body and data is recorded to be sold to the companies in the business for generating wind energy.

However, there is no certainty that this data will come around. Remember, its a huge investment going to be based on the data produced by these measuring devices.

Some basic economics around windmills in india are found here -

@Agriculture Information

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well, in the intervening absent period, quite a few things have taken place. A new city has been added to my list of "worked at" locations, Bangalore. Yeah, the so called silicon valley of india.

I have taken up a job in the city here and moved with family. Its an interesting place, lot more cosmopolitan than the image it carries, much better climate for adults (why ?) and worse than expected organization.

As I said, its interesting, as in mixed feelings. The culture is truly cosmo, probably second only to Bombay (Mumbai ??). The kind of mix of people you see here is hard to find anywhere else. All sorts of indians are available and in quantity. :) And then there are those handful of foreigners, presumably offshored by their parent companies for different roles. Just try to venture out on a weekend evening around central Bangalore, the kind of mix visible is very interesting.

The climate is great for us adults. Its always a balanced temperature range, you'd be hard pressed to find an occasion to take your sweaters out. And even worse, my air-conditioner is yet to see the light of the opened box. no need of one. Why I keep itererating about weather being nice for adults, is that because its really bad for kids. the kind of temperature variations that the city goes through even a single day (between 20 and 28) is perhaps too much for the body of the children. They fall sick every now and then, and only after a few months does their bodies get used to it. Its not really nice seeing your kid getting fever or some other thing every now and then.

And, the city is developing beyond its managers expectations. There is no planning whatsoever to be seen for a sustained, planned development of the city. Whereever you see, there is a mix of different kind of buildings. Every other plot has turned into an apartment complex, however small, or spared of any amenities. Roads are so narrow, they cant even think of handling the total load of the vehicles of the city. There is a perennial traffic jam on the main arteries of the city. You have to figure out an alternate route which would avoid the main roads and lead you to your office or some other destination. Using the main roads, its impossible to commute, since you'd always be late.

So, the city has its plus and minus and of course I have only seen so much of it, probably 10-15% and I already complaining, you see, typical human psychology.. complain at every chance you get... :)

Having said all the above, life is not that bad as it might sound after the problems I enumerated.

Been long time...

It has been some really long time since I was active on blogging...Frankly, life has started taking its due on me, and there are lots more things to do/take care besides me, myself and technology :)

I'm a family guy now (some proof of that is this -> http://baby.sraghav.in), and therefore with all aspirations in place, wishes as they have been there, its rather difficult to find time. I dont mean this as an excuse, I dont, but thats what has been going on.

Till now, I have attempted a return to blogging on technology and his blog, I intend not to forget this one, which fondly houses one of my best attempts at writings.

Well, as much as I dislike opining, there are only a handful of people (including family and the best of the friends) who would continuously like to have me brag about me, myself and family...

So, here I am, attempting my return to writing days, with relatively lower frequency for sure, but hoping for a steady stream of posts. I also intend to broaden the scope of content this time around... The idea is to post about my experiences (as always), but also include things around me, us...all of us.. so to say...

Its a wide world, and we all come across different things every other moment. Part of those experiences is considered important by a section of world and becomes news. The rest just passes onto oblivion. Perhaps we can capture some of that. Also, the chosen news items are not always the favourites, and then there are interpretations. Lets attempt that too... In short, lets start commenting on whatever we can lay hands on, rather, I can lay my hands on.

See how it goes on...