Monday, June 30, 2008

Next generation problems

If you have not been following the next generations of dvd, you should know that the Sony's bluray dvds have won the war against the Toshiba's HD-DVDs. And for the real update on the bluray's present problems and what you can do before disposing of your dvd player for the next generation one:

Sorry state of affairs

It is very disheartening for me to hear two pieces of news that I came across.
1. CNN reports that "One in three of the poorest Indians pay bribes."
2. A 5 year old girl dies after a root canal surgery. As for the first, all I have to say is "Well, the other two-third cant even afford the bribe for getting what is rightfully theirs." As for the second story, fyi, it was not like a regular root canal of one or two teeth. It seems that the girl needed root canals on 15 teeth. Phew! And they decided to get 5 of them done in one sitting under general anesthesia. I wonder what on earth did she eat that she had so many rotten eaten? If it were chocolates, then her parents are clearly responsible for this mess. This is a sad story, but the newspapers have no right to highlight as if the death was a result of root canal. ABSURD!!!! COW-DUNG !!!! The headline has been sensationalised and common people who don't read the full article will never know the extreme conditions of this root canal (5RCs in one sitting under general anesthesia) and will be shit scared when the next time the dentist tell them to get an RC done. I want to make this clear that the reason for the death has to be the anesthasia part and not the RC.

P.S:My background: I have been a patient to the dentists from whenever I can remember. More than 14 years atleast. I have even undergone a tooth removal and RC under GA(General Anesthsia). I have so many RCs done and even multiple RCs(on the same tooth. Was that 3 RCs on one tooth or 2 RCs on each on 2 different tooth? I can't remember). I have had caps and crowns fitted (steel and ceramic) and have got a treatment of orthodontics too. My teeth have been worked on by more than a dozen dentists around the country. I am more than just an ordinary patient. I am half a dentist too. One of the reasons I wrote this is to highlight the fact that RC's are not life-threatening procedures at all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Maar dala !!!

Maar dala!! Aur woh bhi bookha maar dala. Ahmedabad is a very different place compared to the various south Indian cities. I had been there for the last three days and came back today to Bhavnagar. It is a 3hr drive from Bhavnagar(where my parents stay). We started off today morning at 10.10 am from the guest house(in Ahmedabad) having planned that we will first go to a restaurant, eat breakfast and then start our 3 hour journey. We went from one restaurant to another and all of them had just opened and were cleaning the places at 10.30 in the morning. It seems all food is served only after 11 am or 11.30 am depending on the restaurant. What non-sense??? I have never seen anything like this anywhere in the south Indian cities. And by the way, there are no "fast-food" restaurants here like in Bangalore. In Bangalore, most of the fast food restaurants are up and start serving by 6.45 am. And in Tamilnadu, it is much earlier depending on the city where you are of course. Had to travel an hour on the highway to get to a daaba/restaurant which is one of the only two eatable places on the highway for us. P.S: I have not got anything against Ahmedabad, but it is just that this wasn't what I expected from an upcoming Major city in the country.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Twin seater

This is the new improved twins seater conceived, designed, developed, implemented and installed successfully by the Indian Railways :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Investment advice

Check out this video about investment advice. I am not trying to say that all the investment managers out there are trying to rip you off, but there are quite a few of them out there. Most of the insurance and mutual fund agents who always tell you to buy the latest products from them without explaining or comparing all the characteristics of the products are the ones trying to rip you off. After they are done with you, you will R.I.P(rest in peace)

Grand theft auto (accident)

One of the strangest places to get robbed off in daylight when you are in a hapless, confused, angry, victimised situation in India is after meeting with an accident on the road. I have been witness to this in both the third person and in the first person. Sad, but true. The first involved a girl on a two-wheeler being hit and run by a guy on a kinetic honda at one of the most accident prone junctions in Bangalore - The Sajjan Rao circle. Thankfully the girl had just got a few bruises and a bit confused, and totally concious. While I was the first person to reach the accident spot and help her and got some ice from the very helpful GangaSagar shop. After all the commotion, when the lady asked where her purse was, it was missing. (Read Stolen)

When I had met with an accident myself hitting a 10th std boy crossing a road busy eating chips without looking at vehicles crossing the road, wise fromn the above experience, wanted to avoid the same situation. As soon as we got up, the first thing I wanted were my bike keys and my earphones. Good, but not great. I had removed my helmet and kept it on my bike while recovering and later when all the dust got settled and the boy's mom came and the next steps decided and I planned to lock my bike with the helmet in the parking lot, the helmet was missing. Wow.....! I couldn't do much as there was a boy crying (due to the pain or the shock, I don't know) and there are always some people thinking that somehow the fault is the two-wheeler's and I did not want to give too much emphasis to the helmet compared to the boy. Helmet Swaahaa.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Exotic fruits cheaper than regular vegetables

Strange are the times in India. Stranger are the costs of the fruits and vegetables in Bhavnagar/Ahmedabad. The costs of a kg of the not so ordinary fruits like peach, litchi, apricot, plum, jamoon are cheaper or equal to cost to that of the cost of a kg of the usual vegetables. My mom is taking some real advantage of this situation. She went to the bazaar the other day and bought more of these exotic fruits (I have never before seen a real peach, apricot, litchi and green badam) than the vegetables. During my childhood days these fruits used to come up only in memory games and scrabble. So I have heard of them and never actually seen them. I started seeing their pictures of these only during the last 3 years in the tetra packs of the fruit juices being sold in the provision stores. And now when I open the fridge for a quick bite, I see peaches and litchis waiting for me. I used to fancy the strawberries and the litchies. But now after eating them, I feel that the ordinary fruits (Mango, grapes, musk melon, chikku) are better than these extra-ordinary fruits. There is a certain sourness about these fruits that I dont seem to like. But these fruits taste great in their flavours in the 1 litre fruit juice packs with a hell of a quantity of sugar added in them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Truth

"The truth" is that we cannot handle the truth. If u do not agree to this statement, then the statement is proved right. The easiest way to handle the truth is to look the other side and just think that this did not happen. The more "mature" way is to ignore it totally. The right way is to accept the reality and address the issue. How many of us have had the guts to sit through and see a half hour program on BBC world about the miseries of people on a distant continent called Africa ? Very few. This is not because we don’t have time to see it or we don’t get the channel but because it pains us in more than one way. It pains us to see the stark reality in itself. The other reason is that we are incapable to do anything to help even after knowing that atrocities are happening there. We would any day rather watch a movie with fake beautiful/gorgeous actors with a happy ending. I don’t know if this is the Indian behaviour or is it human behaviour. But we definitely find it very hard if not impossible to accept the truth. Why else do we find it tough to accept the facts when there are losses staring at our faces? Leave Africa. Take examples even closer to home. We have been conditioned with the fact that watching violence in movies can affect children's thinking and that it is so bad that many adults don’t like violent movies. The truth is we all love violence and preach it knowingly or unknowingly, but the fact is that we don’t know how to handle the effects of violence. Because we feel we may cry thinking about the damage the violence has caused and no one wants to be seen as a crying sissy.

We give a rupee to the small kid on the road who is begging and he immediately moves away and we think we have in effect choosen to ignore the problem in the most effiecient way. I am not telling you that this is right or wrong. It is what your concience says to you. People say that violence, sex on tv desensitises us about all these and make us want to do it. True, but without this desensitivity, how are we suppose it address the issue objectively? Being emotional only adds to the problem. But isn't being non-emotional a real characteristic of machines? Do these emotions make us humans indecisive unlike machines who can decide without the emotion part affecting the decision? Or is it only too human to think with emotions? Or is it the two ways of thinking - with and without emotions that make us human? Or is it thinking itself make us human ? I was at my dentist's place and seeing a photo album of some of his operations(Maxilo-facial). It looked gruesome to say the least. Last fortnight my brother was explaining a surgery for removing a tumour from a nose. The way it was done. The way to reach to the tumour region. Both these had some common features like breaking open the nose bone, jaw bone, etc and that too on an anesthesised living human. Sounds too nasty,huh? But the desensitisation of all these so called gruesome scenes is what makes doctors pursue their goal objectively.

It is very hard to see, hear or watch atrocities, violence, bad experiences. But if we don’t desensitise these things to ourleves and learn it, life is going to throw these at us at some time or another and we may be incapable to handle the truth. The parents, teachers and the society in India does not allow us to get direct information as we may not be able to handle the truth. If only had we learnt to take the harsh realities in the right perspectives. If we are not going to learn it, life has it own hard ways to throw it at us and will handle it poorly to say the least.
P.S: Comments, appreciation and brickbats are most welcome.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Eco driving tips

Try spending 10 minutes to read this. Most of them are just common sense, yet the tips are useful. Do your bit to save fuel and pollution.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bangalore, buck up!

There is something in Ahmedabad which I have not found in Bangalore. Marts. Not food mart or mega-mart brands but hyper marts and mega marts. I had gone to the Star Bazar(Tata's) the other day and spent two hours shopping and looking around the store. It had two floors and contained everything from stationaries to groceries to electronic hair curls, from provisions to bakery to pram to clothes to wine glasses and what not. All under one roof. I was amazed to see the variety of items they possessed. I asked the store manager how many items they had. He replied about 50,000 to 60,000 items. I guess he meant 50,000 to 60,000 different types of items. And coming from a city like Bangalore where I used to shop regularly at Food World, I feel I have come from a small town to a real city.

My new laptop

I saw my brand new lappy(that is what my old colleague used to call it) the day before. It looks KOOL and classy. A widescreen that too. Wow! Nice Altec-Lansing speakers which definitely has the potential to wake up the neighbours at the dorm later this year :P The laptop is the HP Pavilion dv6700. 3Gb RAM and 1.67Ghz x2 processors. The screen has got a very glassy look which I love. I took some time to get used to this new Windows Vista thingy - From finding the mouse movement settings to uninstalling some software. There are quite some pains with the new software. While idle, the memory is 40% occupied already. The defragmentor does not even show the fragmentation picture or a % number unlike the previous ones. What a pain.... Anyways, I will have to live with this for a long time.

Patiala's Pizza

While my parents were in Patiala, Punjab(a year and a half ago), there opened one of the first pizza outlets in the city. I dont remember whether it was a pizza hut or a pizza corner. Never mind. But within a few months of opening the shop, it closed down as there was no brisk business. In Punjab, a kulcha is a thick base of baked maida with a cooked potato topping and 6 pieces cost Rs.10/-. And when a fat (punjabi) lady sang "Kaun iss tandoor ko itna paisa dekhe kareedhega", the business of pizza got over.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodbye, my dear.

After a decently long relationship of 3 years 8 months after buying my bike, I sold it yesterday. During the last three or more years, this has been one of those very few things that has given me a constant peace of mind, nice pleasure and very rarely some anxious times. During the last few years, biking has been a constant stress reliever, inspiration and a thought generator for me. It allowed me to be alone in a crowd and think while listening to good music while riding. Some of my deepest thoughts and ideas have come to my mind while I was riding on my bike. At times, it has been real fun and at times, interesting and challenging. I have some very memorable rides & falls on my bike. The most memorable ride for me was the trip to WonderLa (an amusement park on Mysore road highway). I reached a top speed of 96km/hr and on the way overtook a Mitshubishi Lancer many a time. It was in this car that my friends were travelling and it was one very scary view for them. It seems that the end of my pant was flutttering with a very high frequency. Well, how would I know? I was concentrating on the road. The other memorable rides to me are the rides in the rains, especially heavy rains :-). While most of them are shit-scared of riding a bike in the rain, I used to ride whatever the time, whatever the conditions. I used to see that "Shower and hail dont break my plans for the day". It is really quite a challenge riding in the rain in a safe way. The best part of riding in the rain was that the traffic would subside once it starts raining as almost all the bikes come to a standstill. I love using this contra-logic for my benefit. I have had my share of falls and frankly speaking it has been a very good learning experience each time I fell. Out of the 4 falls I have had, I got a scrathes only once. That is how good my bike was designed for safety. 1 skid while testing the bike's braking power, 1 skid while braking on sand, 1 slip on an oil slick and one fall after colliding with a 10th standard kid(I got hurt in this one - a little skin peeled on my knee and elbow as I fell out of my bike and because of the impact with the ground, thats all). My bike has been my lifeline in Bangalore for these years and I would not have been able to do even one tenth of all I have done in the last 3-4 years without my bike. Life is going to be quite difficult and different without my bike.

Statistics: Bike: Bajaj CT100 DLX, Oct 2004.
Top speed Reached while riding alone: 96km/hr on Bangalore Mysore road.
Top speed Reached (doubles): 81km/hr on Bangalore outer ring road.
Falls from Bike: 4
Number of times injured: 1
Number of times police has towed my bike: 1
Number of times fines paid: 5 (3 times travelling the wrong way on one way roads +1 parking on zebra crossing + 1 parking outside the parking line)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A sincere suggestion for the ladies

An honest & sincere suggestion for the ladies : Please be more careful with your dresses when you are travelling in bikes or cars. The most common scene I have noticed is girls/ladies whose dupatta is flying close (sometimes very close) to the back wheel while being a pillion rider. Today, I almost hit a bike with a lady pillion rider. The lady was wearing a salwar kameez and sitting cross legged. The problem was that her kameez was free flowing and covering the red light of the bike. As a result of this, I could not notice that the bike was in the process of being stopped and had to come to a dead stop after my slow brain processed the information that the object in front of me was getting bigger all the time and that meant I was going closer to it. The unfortunate part about this is unlike case 1, I cannot say anything to the lady about the way she is sitting in the bike. :-( Yesterday, while I was riding my bike, I noticed an Indica with a lady's maroon pallu outside the door and flying very close to the back wheel. When the car stopped at a small traffic jam, I knocked on the window of the car and was trying to get her attention but of no use. Desperate to get her attention, I over took the car, rode in front of it, hit the brakes, made him brake and told the driver to pull over to tell the driver and the lady. So to all you ladies out there: "Please take care of your pallus, kameezes and dupattas, as I am going to stop chasing pallus and dupattas and start chasing skirts" ;-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

End of days

There are only a few more days for me to stay in Banglore. The three things I am going to miss the most are 1. My friends and former colleagues, 2. FM Radio, 3. My bike. Alas, just when I had a steady life going out there with a steady job and same house with no shifting, here comes the biggest change in my life so far.