Showing posts from November, 2011

Rentfree postpaid - yet another gimmick

The last few days, I have been subjected to the advertisement of the newly launched Rent Free PostPaid cell phone plan from Tata Docomo in the radio.  Sounds too to be true, right?

It was, till I saw a banner ad, in a traffic jam.  As usual an asterix (*) symbol and a fine print at the bottom - rent free when the usage charges exceed Rs.500/-.  No such mention is made in the ad, of course, though even the most gullible person would think there must be a catch.

A look at the plan (applicable only in select states) reveals that it is still an attractive plan (even without the rent-free).  Evidently, mobile operators are waging war with each other to retain their existing customers and migrate other customers to them.

Revolution 2020 - nothing new

The new BestSeller from Chetan Bhagat, Revolution 2020 made for time-pass reading during my Cochin trip a few days back.  300 odd pages - 5 hours. 

The story revolves around 3 childhood classmates - Gopal, Raghav and Aarti.  Raghav is the studious one and Gopal the happy-go-lucky one.  The book traces their life and times in the holiest of Indian cities - Varanasi.   While one gets into a reputed College and tries to carve out a career based on his interest, the other tries in vain to get an Engineering admision, despite attending coaching classes at Kota, the breeding ground for future IIT-ians.  Throughout this, there is Aarti, who dreams of being an air-hostess.

Ultimately, the story is about who gets the girl, but to keep the readers happy (as well as increase page count), the book dwelves into India's education system, and how it is corrupt at all levels - from the setting up of an Engineering College to getting companies in for Campus placement.  It also pokes fun at the Ko…

Braving Bangalore traffic

f you are like me and commute during peak traffic hours in a two wheeler through the busiest roads of Bangalore to reach your office, then you may want to make it a wee bit pleasurable by listening to Radio One

I am usually in the road for 30-40 minutes between 8.15 to 9.30 AM. It is MJ Prithvi, who anchors the program during this time.   He usually gives a word for people to form sentences and picks a winner from amongs the most whacky ones.  The most hilarious ones in recent times has been the one using the word "baby" (coinciding with the birth of Aishwarya's baby).  The winning line was "What you call an instant baby?  Abhi baby".

This is followed by a segment "Prithvi ko hindi kyon nahi athi" (Why does Prithvi not know Hindi).  Here listeners can send in Hindi words with their meanings and Prithvi forms sentences using the words - usually hilarious ones.

Once this is through, there is also a Birthday Bakra (Goat), where Prithvi calls an unsusp…

On cell phone data plans

Until recently, I did not have a Data Plan for my cell phone connection.  Having acquired a Smartphone recently, I thought it is time to take one. Vodafone is my provider and I went to their website to get details of their postpaid data plans.

The first thing which stuck me was, how confusing the information related to data plan is.

For one, I saw three links in their home page - Downloads and More, Online Anywhere and 3G world.  So which do I visit?  Hovering the mouse over each link revealed a host of other links. 

I did not find a single link for GPRS or Data Plan.  As for 3G, it was slightly better, I saw two categories Mobile Internet and Mobile Broadband.

Among the links that I visited was Vodafone Mobile Connect. This one seemed to be what I needed since it talked about browsing the internet directly through the phone.  However, it also talked about  plugging your  phone into your PC or laptop and start browsing which I was not interested in.

It listed some plan charges, wh…

Meru to the rescue

If you are like me, who arrive in Bangalore by train on mornings, you would have experienced the auto menace.  They are akin to street dogs, who flock around you, barking.  In this case, the auto drivers swarm around you, begging you to board their vehicle.  Not out of consideration for you, but to fleece you with their exorbitant rates.  Meters mean nothing here - they know you have no other options.

We pay Rs.150/- or so for a 5 km ride from K R Puram to our place and it was that which came to my mind when we boarded the train to Bangalore.  This time it was going to be tougher - we had quite some luggage and a six-month baby as well.  We had three of our close relatives coming with us as well - two adults and a three year old.  They stayed close to our place.

A thought struck us as the train departed - why not call Meru Cabs?  We have used its services a few times - to go to the Airport or Railway Station.   They charge Rs.50/- extra if we call and book their service, but not if w…

Amma is amma

Sounds confusing?   Looks crazy?  Not if you are like me, taking the Old Airport Road and Inner Ring Road.   Large posters of a smiling caped Amma adorn both sides of the Roads tied to lamp posts and other available structures.  The words Amma is Amma run top to bottom.  You and I know amma cannot be anyone else - but then perhaps certain sections of the population need this emphasised.

Reminds me of the lyrics of a hit Tamil song Ajakku nna Ajakkuthan Kumukkunna kumukkutha. [See more here]   Ajakku cannot be anything else but ajakku; similarly amma.

Anyway, on one hand we have an accused coming to Bangalore to go to a court to be questioned and we have sycophant supporters wasting money on her cut-outs.   And here I am trying not to take a printout of an e-ticket thereby saving a small branch of a tree from being cut.

Beer for Petrol

After yet another petrol price hike, it appears that a litre of petrol and a bottle of beer costs the same.  What if we fueled our vehicles with beer instead of petrol?  Notwithstanding technical issues, it could lead to interesting situations.

You are on a long drive and you are thirsty.  Who needs fuel more - you or the car?  You could attribute petrol-theft from vehicles to economic disparity and financial need, but beer-theft from vehicle?  That could be attributed to thirst. Beer pump owners would have a tough time containing spiriting away of the spirits.

The possibilities are aplenty, save one - drinking petrol instead of beer.

The Metro Ride on Rajyotsava Day

1st of November was a state holiday - Rajyotsava - State Formation Day.  I thought it is as good a day as any to check out Namma Metro - the newly functional Metro train service in Bangalore.

I stay in Basava Nagar. I debated if I should take the Feeder bus service, which comes upto Vignan Nagar about 1.5 km away, but decided against it for two reasons - I still needed to drive upto this place and I was not sure about the frequency of the Feeder service.

It was overcast as I took my two wheeler and set off to Byappanahalli. I was not sure about the Parking facilities and thought two-wheeler parking was easier.  It is a fairly long drive to the Metro Station, especially since I had to take a longer route thanks to road divider.  Those coming from Big Bazaar side cannot take a right onto Metro Station thanks to the divider. I did pass three Metro Feeder buses - two on Suranjan Das Road. 

It was around 10.45 AM. The Metro Station did have fairly big parking facility - both for two and f…