Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here we come a carolling....



A year ago I had posted this:
http://jollyrogerrocks.blogspot.com/2006/12/miracles-happen-miracle-happened-last.html

Today I write about another miracle that happened on similar lines. Those of you living in TN or in the capital Chennai will know the effects of the depression off the coast the last two days. It was pouring cats, dogs, monkeys, donkeys, partridges… er I think you got the general idea. It was pouring so much that it looked like we would have a wet Christmas.













Yesterday was the day when my gang planned to go Carol singing, despite the fact that a minority of us had to report to work today. Anyway the showers were so heavy that the roads were flooded and many houses had the electricity supply suspended to avoid electrocution mishaps. Things looked very bleak with a few parents pulling their kids out of the carol rounds citing the inclement weather.



Gamely we went ahead with faith in God and the experiences of the years past. We were sufficiently shielded from the elements with raincoats and umbrellas but after a short while we realized that we would not have any need for it. The rain stopped and we went caroling without any problems. At 2 Am when we wound up the rounds and as I parked my car in the shed I was drenched by the rains that chose to start up again!!!! Thank you
God!!!!!!






















PS: Some carol cartoons that I found very funny, enjoy!!!!!


Merry Christmas everybody!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wedding wonderings


Had been to a wedding last Friday. It was a mixed Hindu wedding with a Bengali groom and a Tamil bride. So with high expectations of good food, D and I went for the wedding. The auspicious time or muhurat was between 5PM and 7 PM a novelty by itself as it is customary that people get married in the early hours of the day after having a reception the previous evening.

I have always found this puzzling, why have a reception when the couple are yet unwed? Whatever be the reason weddings here are so boring it ends up becoming a chore unless you are actually getting wedded when you have no escape. Here it is a simple meet, greet, eat, beat (it) process where the anxious guests sit on tenterhooks waiting for the usually delayed arrival of the couple. People growing up on a diet of weddings from the Rajshri stable or from the many never- ending “saas bahu” soaps may have different ideas of weddings. But the reality here is harsh. Weddings seem have a big disconnect and very often there is no bonding between the guests and the family. It is often a chore of reciprocity since one would have invited the other earlier. Often gifts are recycled and great care is taken to ensure that the gift will equal in price to what has been gifted earlier by the person inviting. Often loud unsavoury music the kind you would normally see played on the final journeys find place in such weddings.

Coming back to my story this wedding did not deviate from the usual, though the groom looked very interesting in a curious white pointed headgear and the bride looking resplendent in her red sari and with so ornament that kept her face well hidden. The priest fully clothed (a first for me) was having a private discussion with the bridal couple and the crowd having lost track of the proceedings engaged in private gossips. D asked an observer nearby if the actual wedding was over, he replied with a shrug that he was absolutely clueless and it seemed ages since the three got on stage and he was also trying to interpret the goings on. The soft notes of a shenai from a music player added to the mystery. Our Catholic weddings of late (if the wedding rites are in English) tend to dispel the mysteries by printing booklets with the entire script in black and white so that at least people know what is going on. Maybe others can try something like that or at least have a volunteer with cue cards telling us when to smile, clap, bless etc..

Finally we were woken out of our reverie by a sudden noise that sounded like a tribal war cry, we looked up to see the mother of the bride wagging her tongue viciously and making the above mentioned. That was the sign that the wedding was officially over. Then we sat down to await the bridal couple to get onstage after the customary change of clothes. The wait seemed endless and many of the guests ended up handing over the gifts to the mother of the groom and rushed to eat. Many of these guests never returned. Eventually the couple returned to a nearly empty hall. We greeted and made our hasty exit as it was already late. The food was a disappointment as it was neither here nor there (Bengali not Tamil) and tasted equally confusing. The only remote Bengali connection was a dry rosogolla or a look alike.

Weddings are getting more and more ostentatious and more
extravagant but somewhere down the line I believe that
people tend to forget that we meet not to just greet or eat
but to bless the newly weds for the journey ahead.


The situation tends to worsen when there are parties involved where the couple is completely forgotten while the guest have a gala time often drinking and dancing the night away.








They are calling it the people dance

After reading this post you may wonder what I am trying to tell you, if at your next wedding you pause a moment and offer a simple prayer for the newly weds, I am not telling you anything more.

PS: Our evening turned horrific when we realized that 3 out of 4 tyres of my car were deflated by some residents of the street who did not like any visitors parking outside their homes!!!! After a harrowing experience we finally reached home near midnight thanks to TVS service which dispatched mechanics to our aid promptly.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Random thoughts




It’s been awhile since I last posted. Lately it’s been those days when life has been standardized to a robotic routine. Wake up late, hit the washroom, gobble your food and dash to work, run around town hopelessly looking for business, routine boss blasting and boss bashing, meals in between and back home rather late after squeezing in a few choir practices or some extracurricular activity before a late crash into bed. Days pass by with such monotony that weekends and weekdays have blurred into insignificance as on my last sat off my boss hauled me out of home and sent me to office simply because he was bored and had nothing else to do.

With Christmas around the corner add more activities to the list a night mass and carol concert to be prepared for, (one big concert in Fort St. George was successfully completed last night to a tumultuous applause) carol rounds looming ahead (scary since we end our rounds late and work beckons the next day), shopping, more shopping, decoration etc etc.

With this blur of activity I suddenly look back and see that time has just flown by. So much has happened and so much happens every day. I long for those days in school and college when Christmas holidays were longed for after the half yearly or semester exams. Those were the days!!!!

Anyway a few things happened in this blur of activities that kept nagging at the corner of my mind and so I write this post.

Came upon this article when I was reading the news online:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203094823.htm

And when I went to Anna University to pick up D
I happened to see many such simian friends
exploring the university grounds. Made me wonder if they would be better served inside the classrooms than outside?


In a related vein my car is often a cozy siesta spot for many dogs that sleep under it every time I park it near office. But each time I open the door they scamper away knowing that I need to take my car. I never have to wake them up, worse as some morons do search for a stone or stick. The animals understand that if they do not move they are likely to get injured. Cut to a scene outside a bakery in Annanagar. I was about to back my car out when I found an Esteem double parked so I asked the driver to move his car, despite it being so glaringly obvious. Then after checking that the path was clear I was reversing my car when suddenly I heard a thump. I looked back where my previously clear path was blocked by a large woman. She was waiting for her car parked nearby to be backed out and just happens to backpedal into an already reversing car. The other car was driven by an outrageously ugly woman who looked straight out of a horror movie and when she opened her mouth to spew abuses my theory was corrected to being straight out of some corporation sewer.

I wanted to apologize to the victim, though I was not obliged to considering she fell on my car but when this vamp spewed poison I just drove away contemplating a new reason why dogs are considered man’s best friend.

The next time people use brains its not they are smart its because its just an animal instinct.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The ugly Politician


“The pornography of politics gets a new variation as Deve Gowda looms over the ruins of a coalition experiment. The reckless patriarch with his dynastic impulses is not alone. There are a few others who excel in political harlotry in the name of social justice. They are united by the depravity of power.”

The opening lines of an article by the India Today in its latest issue. Unfortunately I could not scan the accompanying image which was a delightful combination of the faces of Deve Gowda, M.Karunanidhi and Devi Lal (I think). There is nothing much to be said about the farce that is played out before us in the political scene. Every politician worth his salt wants his son / daughter to take up the family business. Frankly I think that is a normal paternal attitude and I fully support it. Why would I decline the directorship of a firm my dad runs or a kingdom he rules? (Pity he does neither!)

Hereditary accession to the throne is historical and has been handed down from the early days. When a king dies, his progeny ascend the throne. In ancient Egypt it is said that the royal family married within themselves to retain the pure blood so that the heir is untainted by the blood of lesser mortals. So incest was accepted. (If you are a king you make the rules.)

Businesses are no strangers to this practice how many patriarchs have handed over the batons to their often Ivy League educated sons / daughters before they kicked the bucket or retired into obscurity? Of late however many businesses have found that the heirs are often incompetent to handle the many responsibilities of the job and end up loosing the stake holders money. Professional management is just a glorified exit route for such incompetents who exit gracefully leaving the leadership mantle to those who will not just be efficient administrators of wealth but also set about increasing it. But the invisible remote control will always lie in their hands.

Maybe these political families can do likewise? No matter how much they swindle they still are not as good enough when compared to a true professional. Maybe these politicians can sit back and watch their wealth grow by handing it over to good professional managers; after all hunger for power is just a byproduct of greed for wealth. Good governance that will happen for us poor citizens is of course, incidental.


PS: This is a classical case of diversification going wrong, wish these farmers had stuck to farming. Too many farmers get famous, become heroes and then turn villains.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tagged again!



Was tagged by Chriz, so here goes...

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Steve Martin in Pink Panther

2. What were you doing at 0800?
I was pondering the meaning of life. (just shitting man)

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Began browsing

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Life

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Lisa! (trying to find my dog)

6. How many beverages did you have today?
1, H2O


7. What color is your hairbrush?
1 blue,1 green.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Petrol

9. Where were you last night?
Home

10. What color is your front door?
Brown

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet and often it becomes a pain in the butt.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Cool.


13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Vanilla

14. What excites you?
I aint telling u

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Yup, I was trying to find my face yesterday and failed.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yup.

17. Do you talk a lot?
The day I stop talking I loose my job.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
Nope.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes. He blows his own trumpet loudly. (Really)

20. Do you make up your own words?
Yes. I do.

21. Are you a jealous person?
Not really.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Have a handful, checked my cell to confirm

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Kevin. Had a few Karthik’s in my cell so chose Kevin.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Solomon, Ex-RJ and now producer of Radio City.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
”The dream is not what you see in your sleep. Dream is the thing which does not let you sleep.”

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Nope. I have other uses for it.

27. Do you have curly hair?
Nope.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Maybe back to office. I have no calls anyway.


29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Have seen a few.

30. What was the last thing you ate?

Fryums. Leftovers from lunch.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Lightning seldom strikes the same place twice.


32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Watched a few. None exceptional.


33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Yes.


34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Still thinking


35. Are you currently depressed?
Yup. Just work related so nothing serious.

36. Did you cry today?
Nope. I even cut onions today and I was fine. (Made myself some scrambled eggs)


37. Why did you answer and post this?

Now do u understand the picture at the start of this post.

38. Tag few people who would do this survey.

Since Chriz tagged the usual suspects, here goes:

1)Oxy(Ash)moron

2) D

3) Gem

4) Firewhisky

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The world this week

The fires in Kolkota have consigned two other news articles to the back pages. Two articles that caught my eye before the violence in Kolkota took over. The first article was about the wife of an NRI in the USA who was beaten up and thrown put of a running car due to the lack of dowry. The second was concerning the conviction of the accused in the Uphaar fire tragedy.


If these articles have passed you by here’s a quick read.
Article 1

Dowry or groom price for the unknowns is prevalent in some cultures. I know for a fact (courtesy my classmate from Uganda) that in Uganda the grooms pay a price for their prospective brides. Often this payment was made by giving X heads of cattle. If such a practice was present in India women would not have to suffer thus. From female infanticide to husband abuse the root cause tends to be dowry or rather the lack of it.

Personally I think that a groom who demands dowry is like a prize stud bull. They do nothing and have to do nothing except reproduce and sleep. Surely he must realize that his parents are trying to sell him off to the highest bidder? Having been sold, why does he not realize that he is the property of the buyer as per the terms of a sale? So how can these studs (sic) have the cake and then go on to eat them too? If the existence and sustenance of such a groom depends on the largesse of his buyer then it implies two things that the groom is not worth the money and the bride is getting a raw deal. Coming to the story on hand the Infosys employee is making many hang their heads in shame. If a MBA graduate endured such terror in a progressive country like the US then the plight of so many more here must be horrific.

My take: Guys if you must sell yourselves become henpecked and go and stay with your buyers. If your wife has bought you then remember that she must own you. If you disagree, Good for you! Be a Man for once.



Article 2

The tragedy of Uphaar is a grim reminder of the killer buildings that thrive and multiply in our corrupt and inefficient country. Those of you who are familiar with Chennai would know how potentially dangerous our shopping arcades are. If you have read the article above and if you have visited T. Nagar I’m sure the fear of death will haunt you. I have often wondered how such buildings were built with scant disregard for government rules, all my wondering ceased when The Hindu carried an article that gave a list of all the illegal buildings that have blatantly violated rules and have gone ahead with the construction. Obviously the law does not apply if you can afford to buy it. Such buyers of the law include all the big brands that regularly advertise on the TV channels.

Why are these buildings so unsafe? For starters these buildings are grotesquely ugly and they are all box like structures walled on three sides with a glass front and no windows. Note that there are absolutely no windows because there is often no place for them (as two shops often share a common wall) and also to reduce the air conditioning costs. These buildings have one main staircase, a few lifts and no fire exits. Then these buildings are multistoried and have a minimum of four floors. Lastly in many such buildings that I have visited the only safety devices I could spot are some mandatory portable extinguishers and sand buckets (used as ashtrays).Lastly I can vouch that the employees have never done a fire drill. If a fire starts in such a building can you imagine the potential catastrophe? More people will die from suffocation, stampede and fear than the fire itself because these buildings are death traps.

My take: Avoid such death traps, T.Nagar is a mess anyway. You may save a few rupees by shopping there, but your life is priceless. It may not make a difference to the offenders and lawbreakers but I’m sure that it will make a difference to you.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good memories!

Was just bored sitting in my hotel room in Hyderabad, I had exhausted my call list and my next appointment was a couple of hours ahead, looking through a folder of snaps on my laptop taken last month and voila, I had a new post.

Last month on Gandhi Jayanthi to be precise my gang of friends from church (we actually grew up together for the better part of a decade) decided to go on a picnic on the holiday. Picnics and timeouts are so rare that even a single day outing was a real godsend and so we decided on a single day trip to the Golden Sand resort outside Mahabalipuram.

The van left late as usual and we had the medley of songs and loud jokes spicing up the journey and we hit the venue 2 hours behind schedule. I must digress to mention that D got up early in the morning and made yummy biriyani for us for the trip and we had a good quantity of junk food too.

So when we landed there the first shock that awaited us was that the prices had gone up 50% since our telephone call two days ago, so we had to shell out more money for entry. Anyway we hit the beach (Golden sand for all its moniker is just a normal beach resort, only thing golden are the prices) and as it was the birthday of one of the gang we gave him the Birthday Bums, (the origin of this painful exercise is a mystery to me and I still wonder why should the birthday be such a pain in the ass for the birthday boy / girl) we ditched cricket for a brief while (as the girls complained) and decided to play Kings.

I cant forget the lunch breaks in high school when we would hastily gobble our lunches and rush to play Kings, Knockout and Leg by leg when not succumbing to the charms of cricket. Somehow Kings was my favourite and the mad game wore out our lunches in 20 minutes flat every day. I guess that’s the big reason why I gained weight when I left school.





Anyway after a grueling and exhausting game of Kings we realized that we had a King but it was a girl and since we did not want to dilute the equity of the game we decided not to change the name of the game to Queens (Yuck, perish the thought!).


Then Shock no 2 awaited us as the resort staff informed us that outside food was not allowed and we had t eat at the restaurant. The weight of D’s biriyani played on my mind when we grudgingly agreed. We decided to hit the pool before lunch and as most of us didn’t know swimming including me we had an absolute riot doing everything else but swim in the pool. Shock no. 3 stipulated that we could not be wet when we entered the restaurant nor could we enter with swimsuits though the restaurant was pool side, so we showered quickly and hit the restaurant where the steep prices put us back. We ordered a basic meal and we shock no. (I lost count) saw the yuckiest of food being placed before us, even a thattu kadai serves better food.

After lunch we decided to hit the beach for some mandatory cricket on every trip of ours when the next shock awaited us a big North Indian family was busy munching away home cooked sandwiches under the nose of the resort staff and when we looked back in to the resort yet another north Indian was sitting in wet shorts and naked waist up eating his lunch. Our limited food left a very bitter taste as we decided to make tracks home.

The next shock will be seen in the picture, our van driver who initially did not know the route and I had to be the navigator did not even realize that his fuel was low when the engine chocked. He kept blaming everything else despite me telling him that fuel was down and the nearest pump was 10 kms away in Golden Beach. The driver was disbelieving till the vehicle ground to a complete halt. The driver looked lost till I suggested that we flag oncoming vehicles and buy diesel from them, which we eventually did.

We reached home, late, tired and upset that the resort sucked big time and very very happy, because the trip brought back the joys of friendship, bonding, outdoor games, singing, and all the small joys of life that we give a miss maybe due to work maybe due to studies or maybe because we do not have time for anyone but ourselves.

The bottomline: If you can't remember your last time out, do it right now!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Holy holy holy holy....

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to hurt the religious sensibilities of anyone but just a social comment

Driving down Chennai, I came across a hoarding about a religious discourse by a holy man. Though there are many such hoardings what caught my eye was the title of the holy man. He was addressed a Sri Sri Sri ........ (My attempt to catch a pic failed twice)

How would it be if somebody calls me Mr. Mr.Mr. Jollyroger? I would probably die of laughter. You may have heard of his holiness Sri Sri .... so is this simply a "holier than he" stunt?

I always believe a mark of holiness is humilty and I try to maintain a distance from those spiritual gurus who preach but apparently have a problem in practicing the same.

On a different tangent when i was searching for cartoons on gurus, I came upon some absolutely
hilarious ones. So just enjoy......























Sunday, November 04, 2007

Chennai @ 3:11 PM 03-Nov-07

I was wondering what to shoot for my contri to the 3:11 event. I came out from my house (short break from work) looking around I spotted nothing remarkable till I saw the sky and a profound thought occured

"Good, bad or ugly, we are all under the same sky"

Nature is a great leveller.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm Back!!!!

Unfortunately, I could not find anyone to do my work, let alone blog so I have been out of blogosphere for nearly a fortnight now.

Between extensive travellling, some work, large bouts of laziness, and family commitments my blogging was forgotten. But I'm back!!!!!!!

Missed you all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Fix

Driving down an Indian road, cool wind against your face, a song in your heart, your spirits floating high…… Ouch! You come down to earth after you dive into a pothole. Curses and bad mouthing the civic agencies and every other possible culprit dampens the spirits during the drive ahead.

So what is a pothole and why does it cause such mood swings?

Wiki to the rescue. Potholes (sometimes called kettle and known in parts of the Western United States as a chuckhole) is a type of disruption in the surface of a roadway where a portion of the road material has broken away, leaving a hole. Most potholes are formed due to fatigue of the pavement surface. As fatigue cracks develop they typically interlock in a pattern known as "alligator cracking". The chunks of pavement between fatigue cracks are worked loose and may eventually be picked out of the surface by continued wheel loads, thus forming a pothole. The formation of potholes is exacerbated by cold temperatures, as water expands when it freezes and puts more stress on cracked pavement. Once a pothole forms, it grows through continued removal of broken chunks of pavement. If a pothole fills with water the growth may be accelerated, as the water 'washes away' loose particles of road surface as vehicles pass. In temperate climates, potholes tend to form most often during spring months when the subgrade is weak due to high moisture content. However, potholes are a frequent occurrence anywhere in the world, including in the tropics.

Potholes can grow to feet in width, though they usually only become a few inches deep, at most. If they become large enough, damage to tires and vehicle suspensions can occur.

If you thought that potholes are the calling card of Indian roads check the pic below.

Wiki says that the city of Los Angeles is known for its potholes like the picture above.


Till last week I cursed every time I hit a pothole and then I came upon this http://pothole.pbwiki.com/


And on Saturday with a team of 30+ professionals (mostly techies) including two women, we filled up around 27 potholes with concrete in Adyar and Besant Nagar. Next time you see a pothole or a problem, stop cursing and see if you can fix it. I tried and today I am proud to say that I am a part of I Fix!

WIP on a pothole in Besant Nagar near St. John's School

Inspecting the last pothole filled for the night at 3 AM near the Cancer hospital Adyar

A job well done, the twigs mark the spot where you may not drive over for atleast a day


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Police = Thief

This is a long but true story of the rogue cops of Chennai. Read on only if you are interested…

Yesterday was a day of great lows! It was a good day to start the week and as usual I dropped D off at the university and proceeded to office. On the Gandhi Mandapam road (just a thought, the name is a misnomer since the mandapam is a couple of kilometers away on another road) a cab way ahead in the traffic pulled up suddenly. This caused a sudden application of brakes of the cars following it including me in my third love. In a split second I felt a huge thump and the shattering of glass. As I was securely belted up I got away with no damage but my poor car was damaged very badly. I rushed out to see a sea of confusion; 1) A girl, ostensibly the pillion rider of the bike (A Bajaj Pulsar) that rammed into my car 2) A flustered guy who rushed to the aid of the girl who was by now bleeding and appeared hurt 3) A crowd of irate motorists who found this delay very irritating and 4) The usual good Samaritans who flagged down an auto and bundled No1. and No 2 into it in a flash leaving me behind totally frustrated with a badly damaged Martuthi Wagon R and a mangled Bajaj Pulsar.

My car after the crash
The dark spots are blood from the injured girl

The crowd dispersed almost immediately like magic and I was left wondering as to my next course of action. My despair reached great heights as for the second time in a row, after a long time in a service station and a bill of several thousands my car gets rammed in the back necessitating further repairs and hefty bills. I tried calling ICICI Lombard my insurer to register my claim but after several agonizing minutes on hold I got an executive who after taking down all my data hung up. A second call and the same on hold with painful promotional ads yielded nothing. Finally on the third call I got through and after a call that spanned 12 minutes I got my claim registered. The sheer indifference of these executives considering the fact that claims arise due to some accident rubbed salt into my now simmering wounds.
2nd time the door needs to be changed
The accident happened at 10.15 AM and despite sending word to the traffic cop posted much further down the road I got no response. I managed to locate the police station and logged a complaint; little did I know that my woes had only begun. After an agonizing wait of two hours sitting on the footpath finally a constable came to the spot. The owner of the bike still did not make an appearance. The cop made his notes and asked me to move my car to the other side of the road, and then he flagged an auto and asked the driver to move the bike likewise. I secretly pocketed the bike keys just for security. Then he got hold of another mini truck and asked the drivers to load the auto on the truck. The cop then asked me Rs. 50 to pay the truck driver to cart it to the police station. I asked him incredulously why I should pay for the vehicle when I was the victim, he said that they will settle it at the station and that it is better for me if I pay. Like a moron (actually I was so frustrated that even thinking took an effort) I took out the only note I had a Rs. 500 and looked at him like an idiot. He promptly changed it into smaller notes paid the truck driver Rs. 50 for carting the bike, the other driver Rs. 30 for lifting it and returned Rs. 300 to me saying that he owed me Rs.100.
I paid Rs. 50 for this cart !
In an attempt to pacify me, he kept repeating that he was a Christian too and started quoting the scriptures saying that I should not loose heart in the face of adversity. I saw a glimmer of hope but in a flash it was extinguished, when the constable unashamedly asked me to drop him to Muttukadu, a picnic spot 26 kms away as he had another call which he had to finish before he gives me my FIR. I was fuming and I declined to drop him. Then he instructed me to park the car in the police station and leave it overnight till he completes the investigation. In confusion I called up my dad who after talking to a friends got introduced to a DIG of police who instructed me to go to the station and lodge a complaint and get a copy of the FIR immediately and on no account leave my car behind. Accordingly I left to the station but before leaving the spot I had the presence of mind to take snaps of the vehicles and the spot which was a blessing in itself.

In the police station I had to recount my story and then the cops asked me to wait till their colleague returns from Muttukadu. Then they had a change of heart for whatever reason and asked me to return by 3 after lunch. The time then was around 1.30 PM. So I met a friend for lunch and we returned at 3.30 PM to the station. By that time the officer in charge had gone to sleep, it was his siesta time apparently! We were informed that we had to wait for him to arise. After twenty minutes the others decided to wake the sleeping cop and ask him for the certificate. (The certificate is needed for an insurance claim in the event of a third party damage). The cops proceeded to mouth a lot of administrative jargon which seemed to be an euphemism for “It’s going to cost you money”. Finally I got my report after an eternity and then the “Christian” cop walked in. (As I am a Christian too, I will refrain from calling him that any more and switch to “rogue”) He looked sufficiently dismayed to see me in the station against his advice, the possibility of a big loss in revenue maybe. This idiot had even got the number of the bike wrong, I was so irritated that he could not do a simple thing right. I had to show them the photos to prove my version of the story and the real number of the bike. If not for it, the complaint by itself would have been useless.
Can you read the number? That rogue couldn't!

Finally they wrote my certificate and handed it over to me scratching their heads. I pointedly tried to ignore their signal. As my friend and me stepped out the rogue cornered us and said that his colleagues had done us a favour by releasing the certificate without inspection and completion of legal formalities and we owed them. I tried reasoning that I was the victim and that I have come for redressal but it fell on deaf ears. I had a just Rs. 200 after paying for lunch and I gave it in disgust. The “Christian” cop then said that there were 3 and so it was not enough. I snapped literally and then I asked him what happened to the 100 Rs that he owed me. Without any shame he replied that the money covered his travel expenses to Muttukadu. My friend restrained me and paid another 100 bucks and we walked out of the place by around 5 PM.

I was so filled with revulsion for the police force; they are nothing but the scum of the earth. Worse I hang my head in shame that one should call himself a Christian and act like a rogue. For all my education, having a DIG to support and all my knowledge I had to go down to such lows to get a certificate that was mine by law, I shudder to think what would someone lesser be subjected to?

Template traumas


Hi,

As you can see QuoVadis has taken yet another avatar. Actually every time I try to get a third party template for my blog it somehow contrives to end up doing a lot of damage. Blame it on my lack of html knowledge or just simple bungling. I managed to get some absolutely wonderful templates and finally I end up with a compromise.

A few problems I face:
1) I am not able to back up the widgets from my current template and move them to the proposed one.
2) The proposed template though good still has some scope for improvements and I don't know how to do them
3) I get run time errors when I try to paste third party code and I'm simply clueless to debug.

So all you whizkids out there who can do something about this, lease take your cue from the image at the start of the post.....

P.S. I think this template is good and it brings to mind a great management technique.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gossip?? Turn on the news.










I tend to watch the news channels in the morning after my daily reading of the Hindu. Actually it is more of hearing the news while I go about my daily chores in the process of getting ready for work.

Initially it was NDTV 24/7 for want of choice but when CNN IBN was launched I found it a little more appealing and so I switched royalty. However my liking for the channel stops whenever their cricket programme LOC comes on simply because of my aversion for Kris Shrikanth who is affectionately (sic) called Cheeka (a la the Hutch pug). Shrikanth is simply abominable but I will save that for another story. Anyway of late I started watching TV Today as they tend to have at least two pleasant looking well dressed hostesses dishing out the news. Some of you may have seen TV today and may recollect a third woman who looks like Scary Spice and whose histrionics are a serious turn off for any serious news viewer.



These news bulletins tend to structure their programme into the headlines, then business, entertainment and others. Thankfully I can cut the crap and stick to serious news with this segmentation. I still remember those good old days of Prannoy Roy ending his popular “The World this Week” with the newsmakers segment which was my favourite bit of news programming, simply because newsmakers then did not mean a page 3 starlet pissing on the street or something like it caught on candid camera. Imitations and copy cat formats abound today and even if TWTW may not be an original it was a pioneer in Indian broadcasting then.



Coming back to my story during my breakfast I was surprised to know that the hot news of one particular day was that Bips is single till she marries. I nearly dropped my spoon at this earth shattering revelation. A girl is single till she marries! That calls for a place in the Guiness book of records or in some book of the most profound truths of the world next to the scriptures. In case you don’t know Bips, she is also known as Bipasha Basu, ex model and now actress and supposedly John Abraham’s girlfriend. Bips was living a good life till the Ronaldo kiss happened and was dutifully broadcast on all the media channels and now these TV channels are falling over each other to check if she is still the girlfriend. Almost 10 minutes of serious news programming was spent in analyzing this profound truth mouthed by Bips and its implications, I almost threw up the break fast lovingly cooked by D for me.

Today yet again on TV Today, the scrolling headline reads “Kareena takes a Saif bet”. For all those in the dark including me till I saw this segment, apparently Kareena has broken up with her long term boy friend Shahid Kapur and is now being seen around with Saif Ali Khan. The newscaster (sic) goes on to analyze the dateline of the relationship of Kareena and Shahid and the number of occasions that Kareena was seen with Saif. This time no dropping the spoons or puking, I simply asked D to switch to NDTV money and proceeded to eat my breakfast. So much for food for thought!

It is a sad commentary of our society that news channels have degenerated to such crap and if this is what the public want then the paparazzi hounding Diana to her death will not be an exception. Expect more such incidents. Why must the world (ok, Indians) know who any actor / actress is going around or living or sleeping with? Are we so interested in being peeping toms? Newspapers that have been the custodians of the people’s rights and freedom have degenerated into simple gossip pages. Were it not for Page 3 items I can challenge that many papers would decline in their circulation. I know that you are familiar with the papers I talk of. So it is understandable that these TV channels promoted by these media houses going the same way.

Thankfully there are still some beacons of hope, if not in the TV format atleast in the print format. They may not be always 100% neutral on issues or policies but hey a newspaper is people driven and people are never neutral no matter what they claim to be. Again you may know these papers I talk of, my sincere advice to you is to find one and read it regularly. It will do you a world of good. As for TV news, ignore their names and watch them they may be much better entertainment than the ridiculous soaps on the general entertainment channels. After all how many soaps can give such though provoking, mind blowing, earth shattering, traffic stopping statements like “I am single till I marry”?



Monday, October 01, 2007

Credit card capers



I had a 60K limit on my Visa Silver credit card from the second largest bank in India and very recently de to bad financial planning and a lot of stupidity I had an available cash limit of under a couple of thousands and the interest servicing alone was draining me. So I decided to pay the amount in full from my savings and get rid of this debt trap and based on the bill I did so right down to last paisa. My problems with the card then commenced!

When I call up their 24/7 customer care number for some unknown reason every time the officer understood that I wanted to close my card my line invariably gets disconnected. So after several frustrating disconnected calls I finally managed to get through them from the hotline in their branch. Finally I got an assurance that my card will be closed. Happy and flushed with the success of my mission I rested in peace at home. This peace lasted only for a week when my next statement read that I had a couple of hundreds to pay as interest for the intermittent period and the service charge on the same. The same rigmarole continued and after several more frustrating calls that bloated my mobile bills but yielded no result I decided to do something drastic.

At this moment I must rewind back to the month of June, where the world’s local bank had a tiff with me. Their gold card was paid in full and the card expired in normal course in March 2007. I declined the renewal card sent by courier and I was living a life of contentment and bliss knowing that one noose was less around my neck. Good things end invariably and my bliss ended with the receipt of the bill statements for a card I did not possess. The customer care of this bank is so terrible I sometimes wonder if it should be named customer scare. I was informed that my card was duly returned to them and was also destroyed but I was being billed as my relationship was not terminated!!!! What they were telling me was that I had to pay for something I don’t have because I had it some time back.

Left with no solution I searched the net and chanced upon the Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, based in Chennai. I suppose they may have a chapter in many other cities too. Based on their suggestion I mailed a stinker to the customer care with a copy to the CAG with a mild threat that I would resort to “the available recourse” and waited for a response. Though I had given a deadline of 7 working days in 2 days flat the bank replied with closure formalities and that relationship was formally ended.

So coming back to the first story I decided to call upon the CAG again and guess what? I send a mail in the evening to the bank and by late night I get a SMS that my charges are reversed and my balance is NIL, the next day I get a mail saying that my card relationship has been terminated.

This post is aimed at two things:
1) To place on record my gratitude and appreciation to the Citizen Consumer & Civic Action Group for their wonderful services
2) To tell all those who are stuck with a consumer problem, do approach your nearest cell and watch the results
3) If you have a credit card and believe that it is a smart thing to use the revolving credit, STOP, it is stupid, Trust me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Laugh a little

SMS laughs


Knock! Knock!
Who is it?
Misbah…
Misbah who?
Mis bah 5 runs!


Misbah thought he was sending the ball into no man’s land. Little did he know that there is a Mallu in every corner of the world.



PS: Misbah played very well and thanks to him we won both matches.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Celebrations!!!!!

Hey ppl!!!! Quo Vadis is 1 today!!!!!!!

When I started blogging I called this page Quo Vadis because I wasn't too sure where this blog would go. But over the past one year you have seen it and have been a part of it and have helped it grow to what it is today.
Thank you.

Now for the rest of the post.....


100 (number)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

100 (one hundred) (the Roman numeral is C for centum) is the natural number following 99 and preceding 101.

100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109

List of numbersIntegers

100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190

Cardinal

100
one hundred

Ordinal

100th
one hundredth

Factorization

2^2 \cdot 5^2

Divisors

1, 2, 4, 5, 10,
20, 25, 50, 100

Roman numeral

C

Roman numeral (Unicode)

C, c

prefixes

hecto-/hect- (from Greek)

centi- (from Latin)

Binary

1100100

Octal

144

Duodecimal

84

Hexadecimal

64

Hebrew

ק (Kuf)

In mathematics

One hundred is the square of 10 (in scientific notation it is written as 102). The standard SI prefix for a hundred is "hecto-".

One hundred is the basis of percentages (literally "per hundred"), with 100% being a full amount.

It is the sum of the first nine prime numbers, as well as the sum of two prime numbers (47 + 53), and the sum of the cubes of the first four integers (100 = 13 + 23 + 33 + 43). Also, 26 + 62 = 100, thus 100 is a Leyland number.

One hundred is also an 18-gonal number. It is divisible

by the number of primes below it, 25 in this case. But it can not be expressed as the difference between any integer and the total of coprimes below it, making it a noncototient. However, it can be expressed as a sum of some of its divisors, making it a semiperfect number.

100 is a Harshad number in base 10, and also in base 4, and in that base it is a self-descriptive number.

In science

Astronomy

The Messier object M100, a magnitude 10.5 spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices.

The New General Catalogue object NGC 100, a magnitude 13.3 spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces.

The Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on 264 May 13 and ended on 1526 June 10 with a duration of 1262.1 years and 71 solar eclipses. Further, the number of the lunar eclipse series which began on 403 November 15 and ended on 1864 April 22 with a duration of 1460.4

years, and 82 lunar eclipses.

In other fields

U.S. hundred-dollar bill

U.S. hundred-dollar bill

One hundred is also:



Pssst!: This post is No. 100, FYKI.