Thursday, November 27, 2008

~ Dehumanization ~

As a country, India has been invaded by many a times and also ruled by many. The land witnessed the armies of the Great Alexander, the Mughals and the Europeans. It has sustained all the invasions & domination for centuries to achieve its freedom. Today, as billion plus people, we are trying to make in roads at various sectors of business across globe and stand tall. Few souls are being misguided by false ideology of fight/sturggle for justice, oppression, freedom, etc; in the name of religion and spreading mindless terror against humanity. Don't think this will last forever.

I feel this song 'Dehumanization' from Arch Enemy, depicts my current state of mind

Thursday, November 13, 2008

~ Gmail supporting voice & video ~

That's impressive. Will post a review later in the day. Yet another reason to use GMail :)

Update: Garett Rogers already has a post on it. Check it out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

~ Awaiting Nordic Xperience ~

It is reality to witness Norwegian black metal bands perfoming in various cities across India. Gives me a pleasant feeling, to see Heavy/Death metal having been accepted in a country which has rich history in classical music, be it Hindustani or Carnatic. There has been a steady increase in the number of people listening to the metal-core. 

After the high octane gig from Machine Head, who opened the night @ 'Rock in India' concert along with Megadeth. It's now time for 'The Great India Rock Festival' along with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to present Satyricon, SAHG & Freak Kitchen, from Sweden. 

Awaiting for my first live experience of the Nordic Metal bands. Sadly, Freak Kitchen is not on the line-up for the Bangalore gig. 

Catch u @ palace grounds in the evening.

Friday, October 24, 2008

~ Quote on Happiness ~

"The state of happiness is directly proportional to the agility factor you have towards the circumstances life throws up @ U"

Monday, October 20, 2008

~ Spokeo: Uncovers your life on the web ~

It has been a month since I posted something here. Have lots to share, but 24 hrs seems to be too less these days. 

Coming back to rationale behind the post, Spokeo, as we need to carry out an integration for an upcoming project. Here is their profile on Crunchbase & they sound an interesting little company.   

~ ~

What do they do?

Spokeo is a friend finder/tracker that automatically brings you friends’ updates across the Web. In technical terms, they are Yet another Social Network Aggregator (YSNA). For more, read this. They do an awesome job of aggregating some of the acclaimed Social Networking sites.

~ Aggregator ~

I happened to sign up with my regular Gmail account and I was surprised @ the number of contacts it aggregated. 

~ Spoked myself ~

The downside is that, it exposes a lot of information about yourself to the others. Even though their privacy policy states,"...finds only publicly available information by default.  In other words, everything on Spokeo could have been seen by you and others all these times."

I still feel it provides an easy access to your vast social activities on the web. Is a potential gold mine, if they share the information to marketing agencies for a throw away price. The invisible guy has been uncovered by Spokeo. 

Sunday, September 07, 2008

~ Dark Divas ~

I have always enjoyed them from my childhood. But back then I loved the milky ones, now I love the dark ones. I used to have them regularly while I was living in UK, now that am back at home don't seem to have the luxury to indulge in them anymore. I am not sure why they aren't available here in India, may be there are few people who like them. The pleasure of having a dark one is completely different from the milky ones. The darker the better the pleasure; very sinful indeed. Indulging in them regularly keeps you in good shape & is also good for your health.

Thanks Manish, for the wonderful Dark Divas which I have been enjoying over two weeks.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

~ Fiat Palio: The saga to own my first car ~

I always wanted my first car to be from the FIAT stable. I just love their engines, the build  and the drive quality. After waiting for 2 years for the launch of Punto, being disappointed, finally decided to go with Palio. 

Believe me buying a FIAT car in India isn't easy at all. Any car sales person anywhere in the world would be very happy if the customer walks into the showroom and tells I would like to buy this car, does the booking & walks out without asking any questions. That would be so easy for the sales person without having to explain, impress or up-sell anything. However, the reality is that FIAT is stuck with the partner TATA Motors for doing the sales via their dealer network.

Guess, what the sales person tells me when I go for booking Palio. Sir, why don't you look at Indica, Indigo or other TATA vehicles? My response, no offence to TATA vehicles, sorry am not interested in them. I came here for booking FIAT Palio1.3 MJD  & let's do the formalities. They didn't even have a test drive car, but I still booked it.

Booking was just one step away into insanity of FIAT/TATA sales lifecycle. The next couple of months have not been so pleasant dealing with the sales executives. Here is how the chronology of events:  

21 June 2008. I booked my car with Mainpal Motors, Sankey Road. The Sales Executive promised me it will take 35-40 days for the car to be delivered. 

Regularly followed with the sales' executive on the delivery date. In the mean time, got all the formalities sorted out and got the car loan approved.

4 August 2008: Sales executive stated that I needed to make the full payment to raise the invoice for production & transit. Since, it was my first car and didn't get any advice/caution from anyone else, like a fool I gave them the loan amount. At the time of full payment, I was told that the vehicle would be delivered to me on 13th Aug 2008.

13 August 2008: After successive follow-ups to the D day, nothing happened & the car didn't materialise. Then they sought additional 10 days. I was like fine, let me give another chance.

23 August 2008: 10 days have passed and still none from Manipal Motors called me. I had to follow up and ask what has happened. Again some vague replies on delay in dispatch from the factory, lack of production, demand, etc. I went to the showroom and spoke with the GM Sales Mr Kulkarni. Told him that I have lost patience & interest in even owning a car and feel very miserable at this whole process. Really disappointed that despite giving adequate time & money, I still don't have the car. Mr Kulkarni, requests time till Monday for me to give a confirmation on the delivery dates. I said this time you can either deliver me the car by 30 August or else cancel the booking and kindly return me full loan amount along with booking amount. 

I walked out of the showroom without any confidence nor trust on the entire sales team at Manipal Motors. I felt that they would probably not deliver it on 30th.

Came home & gave a thought about what I could do. Finally, thought that it would be good to bring up the whole matter to Fiat India leadership, so that they can take the necessary steps on their part. Wrote to them about the whole sales experience that I had to go through. My question to them was, "How could Fiat which has such good cars to offer & have such bad sales via their partner. It is hurting their BRAND image and loosing their enthusiasts more than adding new customers." I posted the content to customer support across various FIAT websites in the world, hoping that someone would eventually get back to me.

26 August 2008: Voila! I get an email acknowledgement from FIAT Customer Care International.

27 August 2008: Somewhere around 11:00 hrs I receive a call from Rahul from FIAT Pune office about my complaint & tell me that they are working to get a car delivered. Someone from TATA Motors will get in touch with me. I said am tired of dealing with the sales folks from TATA Motors. He assured me that people from FIAT have taken up my case.

14:00 hrs I receive another call from the South Head of TATA Motors. He finally promised me the good news that my vehicle would be delivered on 30th August. I validated with him twice, he said 100% they would deliver and someone from Concorde Motors (Subsidiary of TATA Motors) reach out to me in the evening.

17:30 hrs I receive the call from Javed, Concorde Motors. He said that they would be delivering the vehicle on 30 August via Manipal Motors since I had done the payment to them.

More than being joyful and excited. I was relieved that the dream of owing a FIAT is not that easy, at least in India.

By the way, FIAT Palio isn't the hottest hatch in the market even with 1.3 MJD engine. The hottest hatch in the country is Maruti SWIFT. The diesel edition of Swift has the same 1.3 MJD engine under the hood made by none other than FIAT. However, Maruti has great sales & wider dealer network. It is selling them like hot cakes & running away with success. Swift apparently has 6 months of waiting period & the dealers tell that upfront at the time of booking.

It's HIGH time that FIAT to debut in India on its own than with joint venture or partnership. It is doing more damage to their BRAND & sales than anything else. Hope, the FIAT leadership is listening to few loyal customers who would like to buy FIAT cars. 

Thank you for reading the rant. Here are the pictures of the red stallion ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

~ G1 Vs iPhone? ~

Its good to have healthy competition, which will eventually benefit the customer. If you aren't a gadget freak & don't know what G1 is, then G1 is the first Google powered phone to debut on the market sometime in Sep/Oct through T-mobile in the US.

Have been following it for quite few weeks and here are the G1 features. Does have an impressive features list, which could compete with iPhone. And there is a first peak into the G1 design.

I also happened to stumble upon the phase I winners of Android Developer Challenge, which are decent set of apps. Innovative ideas for mobile user.

I liked the following,

I'm not sure when we would get to see G1 in India. Just hope that they would be affordable in India, unlike the pricey iPhone.

And do you think G1 can compete against iPhone?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

~ 61st Independence Day ~

Of all the Independence Day's that I have celebrated, 61st Independence Day has been most satisfying & worthy. It started when Venky told me about his friend, Lokapriya's plan of afforestation on Thursday night. The plan was to plant 250 saplings in the region of Savandurga.

15 adults along with 4 children met @ 7:30hrs near Malleshwaram & ventured out to Savandurga via Mysore Road by 8:30hrs. After a brief pit-stop for breakfast in Bidadi for some special 'Tattee Idli' (a variation of Idli), we continued our journey towards Magadi.

We arrived @ Savandurga by 11:00hrs and few folks visited the Narashima Temple. Then entered the forest region of Savandurga, that's where the plot was chosen by Lokapriya for the plantation. We did ask for the school boys who were in the region to join us in our mission, but they didn't seem to be keen. 250 pits were dug couple of days prior to our arrival.

Finally, 13 of us with 3 locals started off our task of planting 250 saplings. The team was divided into groups - movers, uncoverers, planters - for better optimization. 6 movers, including me, who moved the saplings to the designated pits; 3 uncoverers, helped in uncovering the plastic bags which held the saplings; 4 planters, finally performed the last task of the plantation.

After the initial enthusiasm of moving the saplings, my forearms began to ache. The saplings had soaked in the rain from previous night, making it heavier to carry. But, that didn't deter our focus & goal, we finished planting by 15:00hrs.

Had our lunch & bhel-puri enjoying the back drop of the Savandurga. We left Savandurga @ 16:30hrs towards Bangalore en route Manchinbele reservoir (the same place where KRV/Police busted a Rave party on Friday night). The kids had good time playing in the water.

We departed Manchinbele to the city @ 18:25hrs, with another pit-stop for some hot tea & aloo bonda @ the Big Banyan Tree.

On our way home we saw two huge dish antennas near-by to the big banyan tree. Me & Venky were discussing about what project could this part of, in an isolated place off Mysore Road. We finally concluded that this could be a part of ISRO, tracking something. To my surprise in the morning it turned out to be part of ISRO for the upcoming Chandrayaan, which appeared in TOI.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

~ Cheers to friends ~

"You and I can share the silence
Finding comfort together

The way old friends do

And after fights and words of violence

We make up with each other

The way old friends do

Times of joy and times of sorrow

We will always see it through

Oh I don't care what comes tomorrow

We can face it together

The way old friends do

Nita sent me this today evening with the following message, "Very simple lyrics but I found it to be very powerful. True for any relationship that you want to maintain on a long term. -NEETS"

I admired the beauty of the song/poem. Thanks Nita for sharing & the unknown author

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

~ iPhone in Airtel stores by 20th August ~

Just back from the Airtel outlet located on SanjayNagar, paying my bill for the last month. I happened to inquire about the iPhone, when is it actually hitting the stores. The lady said it will debut on 20th of August.

My next question was bout the service options, she mentioned I could use it with my existing connection. I'm sure there will be some restrictions @ the hardware level, which would restrict you from changing your network providers.

Price, tentative range is 13,000-15,000 INR. I am guessing this would be for the 4GB model.

Update 6 Aug: Finally its official, that iPhone will be available through Airtel in India by 22nd Aug. More here. But, there aren't any significant announcements on Airtel's iPhone website.

Update 21 Aug: Disappointed with insane pricing of iPhone. 31,000/- INR for a 8GB model & 36,000/- for a 16GB model. Why would you pay so much, when none of the current mobile operators in the country still don't have a 3G infrastructure ready.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

~ Pretty Soon...~

There will be a new member to my family. After having spent much time & thoughts about her, I finally happened to share the news about my love with few of nearest & dearest few weeks ago. Although I wanted to surprise my friends & family, I couldn't keep that under wraps. So, I made the decision to speak about the matter to them before going ahead with my plans.

Even though not everyone gave a positive vibe about her, am sure things will go well for both of us in the coming years (considering the fact that the system we are in changes so rapidly every day). At the end of the day, all that matters is me being happy with her.

Keep a eye for more updates on this shortly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

~iPhone: To debut in India ~

All apple fanatics in India who want to own iPhone, don't have to invest in jailbreak iPhones anymore. As Vodafone and Airtel are bringing in the iPhone sooner/later this year. Even though the official dates of iPhone debut isn't announced, the tentative timeline should be Aug/Sep of this year.

The 3G version of iPhone in the US is slated for release on July 11th at $199 for 8Gb version. Need to see how the pricing would be for the same in India. I would consider their rate plans before switching from W880i to iPhone.

26 June 08 Update: Airtel has their own subscribe page now.

More info: | Apple & Airtel PR

Monday, June 16, 2008

~ Firefox Download Day: 17 June 2008 ~

Download Day - English

Be a part of it and make a difference. For more information click here.

20 June 2008: 8 million downloads, those r the magical numbers which should help Firefox to enter the record books.

Update 3 July 2008: Here is the official mail received from Firefox team

"We set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in 24 hours. With your help we reached 8,002,530 downloads.

You are now part of a World Record and the proud owner of the best version of Firefox yet!"

Here is the certificate for participation in the World Record.

Friday, June 13, 2008

~ Brahma sings Bomb the B@$t@rD$ ~

These guys are good, check them out. Rags thanx 4 the share.

Official website.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

~ Euro 2008 ~

European Championship is the second biggest football event after the world cup. Austria & Switzerland are hosting the 13th edition of the championship. The origins & the legacy of this famous event can be read here.

~ Euro 2008: Team Lineup ~

Following are the teams for 2008 championship. Looking at the teams Group C has been rightly called the 'Group of Death' where 3 of the 4 are in FIFA top 10 teams. I'm supporting the French this time. The favorites being the Germans and the underdogs being the Russians.

My next 22 days would be treat watching the best in Europe play for their country. Lets see who will win the battle of Europe. I hope Mr Wenger finds some new faces for Gunners for the next season & want to see where will Ronaldo play, EPL or La Liga.

Whom are you supporting & who do you think will win Euro 2008?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

~ Help firefox create history ~

The team behind Firefox3 wants to create history for the most software downloaded in 24 hours. They want to achieve this during the Download Day, although the date is yet to be announced. If you want to be a part of this record and wish to make a difference then all you need to do is take a pledge here.

Looking forward for FF3.

Download Day 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

~ Soha is So-hot ~

Soha Ali Khan the daughter of the Mansoor Ali Khan, the 9th Nawab of Pataudi, definitely looks Sexy & Hot as the cover girl on the May edition of Maxim India.

Why 'm I writing about Soha? I was wondering how come there hasn't been any voice or objection towards her or the publication in general from the orthodox quarters of her community. These people caused so much of hue & cry over Sania, sometime last year when she wore skirt & T while playing Tennis. One group even went to an extent of issuing a fatwa against Sania.

I feel the few news channels are responsible to a certain extent for creating controversies our trivial stuff in the country to keep their TRP ratings high.

Image courtesy: Maxim India

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

~ Get a Mac ~

Apple has just released new commercial for Get a Mac titled 'Sad Song'. The commercial takes a dig @ PC's state of affairs after using Vista.

To watch more ads visit here.

Note: Open this blog in Firefox & you need to have Quicktime installed to view the ads.

Monday, May 12, 2008

~ Run Maadi Run ~

Even though I had a lot of enthusiasm to take part in the current edition of World10K event, was very lazy to go out there and register. That changed yesterday afternoon when Karma, manager & friend, called up and asked if I was interested in taking part. I didn't have to think twice, I just said Yes!

Thanks! Karma for doing the needful.

Am gonna run for Bangalore Cares and above else for myself, to kick in the lazy factor within me. I am taking in the majja run. Hope it will be fun, catch you all @ the event on Sunday.

Links: Official website | Majja Run | Run Maadi Run |

Saturday, May 10, 2008

~ Dry Day ~

~ On a DRY day: Tender berry, Water and Green Tea ~

Normally fridays just pass by, you hardly witness the time. But yesterday was very different form the usual fridays; it seemed as though time was frozen.

After a boring day, decided to unwind with Rags @ Le Rock Cafe, off Brigade Road, Rest House Road. Half-way through my journey I realise today is a Dry Day or rather it has been Dry Day for the past two days, due to elections/polls. It didn't strike me or rags earlier, then we decided to do some shopping.

We decided to have our dinner and Rags was very keen on having Thai food, as he wanted to keep track of his chopstick skills. The nearest restaurant we could find was Bamboo Shoots, on Museum Rd. While we walked from Brigade Rd to Shoots, we noticed most of the drinking holes and restaurants were closed; very unusual for a friday evening in Bangalore.

Here you go with our Dry Day evening experience. Finally, we when reached our destination @ 21:25hrs, there were so many people in the lobby of Museum Inn, as it has 2 restaurants - Bamboo Shoot & Angiti - and the pub Tavern attached to the lodging facility. When we spoke to the manager & reserved a table for 2, he promised us one in 45 mins. Under normal circumstances I would have negated the idea of waiting for 45 mins to have dinner, but today was an exception as Rags wanted to taste some spicy Thai food & keep tab on his chopstick skills.

While I killed my time speaking with friends on phone, listening to Katatonia on my pod, watching expressions of various ppl in the lobby, admiring beauty @ times; Rags was busy sitting and solving Sudoku. It was 22:15hrs, when my patience was running out. I called upon Rags to find out if the Manager is even aware of us waiting. He checks with him once again and tells me that he has promised us a table in another 10 mins. I was like WTF, we have to wait an hour to just a get a table. Yes, it was our fault, we didn't have any plans to be here in the first instance & so we didn't have our reservations.

Rags was trying to pacify me, saying he is keeping himself busy with doing Sudoku. I was like dude, if I wanted to keep myself busy then why would I come to a restaurant and be occupied with something? Then we managed to solve his Sudoku, which he was trying for the past 20 mins :P. Still no sign of tasting our Thai delicacy, then I decided to talk to the manager myself and he assured me a table would be given in 5 mins. We thought it would be wise to place our orders, before we occupy our table as they take time to serve us. At last @ 22:35hrs after an hour & something we managed to get a table. The food was great, enjoyed it. Rags was happy with his chopstick experience, except that he would have preferred wooden chops for plastics :).

Overall the day for me has been boring and very DRY. Thanks to the polls which is 7 hrs from now. I am gonna definitely cast my vote and hope the rest of you do.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

~ Trilogy: Arsenal Vs Liverpool ~

Its not that often that you witness Trilogy in football. It has been one of the rare things that just happen between football clubs. Arsenal face Liverpool @ Anfield in an hour from now. The previous two sequels have ended in draw. Even though Arsenal played their natural attacking game, the Reds never looked dangerous for the Gunners.

Rafael has already begun playing mind games by saying "by saying the Champions League is the only trophy the Gunners can win this season", more here. I know its gonna be a difficult for Gunners to play against Liverpool @ Anfield, because its an away game & u don't have the numbers of fans behind. But we have proved time and again this season that we can win our away matches as well, except for the recent defeat to Chelsea though ;). If Rafael's team is gonna play defensive game, am sure they are gonna have a tough time in their further matches even if they do manage to win on away goals. I am sure Wenger's team would go for the kill right from the word go. They just need to concentrate on their sloppy defending, which seem to be their weakness in their last few matches giving away goals cheaply.

I don't want to see the match going to penalties. It is such a shame to see a game end in penalties. Go Gunners Go!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

~ I call it a day ~

Hi Everyone,

I have decided to call it a day in my life. I am sorry to inform you so late it all happened so fast, I have quit my current job and have decided to move to GOA. I also wish to share you that i found my dream girl while I was in Scotland & we both will be starting our new beginning.

Keep in touch.

Update: Those who didn't happen to notice the date of the post, it was
Avril de Poisson :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

~ Rock in India ~

The day has finally arrived where I get to witness the first performance of an international thrash metal band in Bangalore, India. Didn't fancy any of the international bands performing in India or Bangalore in particular, couple of years ago. The stage seems to have changed after Iron Maiden's initial gig in Bangalore last year and as paved way to the entry of Megadeth - 'Big Four of Thrash'. Billed as the first rock festival of its kind in India, 'Rock in India' has a line up of 9 bands featuring Megadeth, Machine Head and more local bands.

I am not sure of how much of a festival atmosphere I can find over there. But I hope Megadeth's performance would be a good, despite Chris Broderick replacing Glen Drover on the guitars two months ago.

We owe a lot to DNA Networks for bringing these bands and holding the performances in namma Bengaluru.

My reviews shall follow.....lets meet @ the fest!

Image: Screen grab from DNA Networks.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

~ Guinness in Bangalore ~

Last friday when I joined rags @ Haze, Kormangala, I was pleasantly surprised to see Rags consuming Guinness. Atleast the last time while I was there, a year ago, I could get only lager. When we managed to settled down, I ordered a can as well. Both of us are big on Ale & Guinness; I got to taste whole family of Ale and Guinness was my favorite beer for the time spent in the UK. We were wishing that one day, Guinness would be served chilled from a tap. Rags wasn't too optimistic about that idea.

After a while, couple of my colleagues from the company happened to drop. One of them said, "You must be crazy enough to be having Guinness here as well". I said am very surprised & excited to see it available here. Then he mentioned the price, my jaws just dropped. Rags hadn't bothered to look at the price before ordering his can, neither did I when I joined him. Guess what would be the price for a 330 ml can of Guinness?................450 Rupees/$11.25/£5.62.......when i mentioned the same to Rags, he couldn't believe it either. We thot it was astronomical price for a 330ml can of Guinness. I could have brought a 5 cans of Guinness in the UK. Rags echoed the same, that he could buy the same quantity in the US. Well after gulping a can each, we weren't crazy to repeat another one.

So next time if you plan to buy Guinness in Bangalore, drink responsibly :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

~ Go Tsonga Go ~

The first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, has been interesting so far with the major upsets of top seeds. The young players have shown lot of variety in their games, which untill few years have been just power play.

Even though I didn't follow the initial rounds of the Aussie Open, have been regular watching from the Quarters of Mens, Womens & Doubles. The matches which I enjoyed were the epic battle between Federer fand Tipsarevic in the third round, which lasted for four hours & twenty one minute; Tsonga Vs Nadal; Federer Vs Djokovic; Henin Vs Sherapova; Ana Ivanovic Vs Venus Williams. Am eagerly awaiting for the Men's finals which is to begin @ 14:00 IST. I am supporting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whose looks are very much alike the boxing legend Muhammad Ali in his younger days.

The above clips is Tsonga's performance against the World #2, Rafael Nadal in the Semi-finals. The Spaniard just couldn't match Tsonga on that day. I wanted Federer in the finals, to know how he would play against the young gun from France. Unfortunately, Djokovic proved to be too good for the World #1.

Enjoy the next video which has been brilliantly edited by Watts, capturing the emotions of the newly crowned women's champion, Ms Sharapova and the current World #1, Roger Federer & composing them according to the James Blunt classic, You Are Beautiful.