Friday, January 26, 2007


Salaam-e-Ishq can be spelt simply as A-V-O-I-D.
Absolute torture. Especially, when you are forced to watch it, due to the goof-up of the ticket dispenser. We asked for Guru, he gave So-lame it reeks.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

HDFC Service is the horriblest

Of all the banks that I have transacted with (ICICI, Lloyds TSB, HSBC , HDFC), HDFC's service is the most pathetic.

Some major grouses
1. Disallows free money transfer from one account to another - even if the other account is HDFC.

2. No temporary disablement of debit card, in case it's lost. I mean, when the wallet is lost, you may find it somewhere within a couple of days. You don't need to order for a new debit card - just have the old one unblocked. But HDFC doesn't have that facility. You have to permanently kill the debit card and then order a new one - it costs you Rs. 100.

3. Since the last 6 months or so, there is HDFC ATM sign at Kandivli (East), Thakur House, Ashok Nagar. But guess what! No ATM. There is always some work going on and have gone searching for the ATM there. In vain.
Complained twice to HDFC Customer Service. Absolute zero response.

4. Least number of ATMs amongst the leading banks. It was funny. In Accenture, we had a salary account with HDFC and the ATM within the main campus was ... ICICI.

Pledges raised - Mumbai Marathon

Have made a serious effort this time to raise money through pledges for my run. Was able to raise Rs 2650 from guys at Pune office. The email offensive was very strong and then I backed it up with one-o-one with local guys (explaining the concept) and with chat sessions, personal mails, threats of bodily harm etc to onsite folks. Of course, all that would have not worked if my friends were not as generous as they were. Most of the onsite folks donated very promptly, some very liberally. PM donated in 4 figures, sending me in a tizzy.

Onsite guys donated around Rs. 3140, With about Rs. 1000 more promised. That is a total donation about of Rs. 6800, which is just spectacular.

I am truly moved by the generosity and hope good things come out of the donation. I have pledged the money to Apnalaya. I ran in Usha Handicrafts T-shirt (committed to Fair Trade), coz Nainesh gave it to me the marathon morning.

For random acts of kindness, log on to

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mumbai Marathon - 2007

Was hoping to complete the half marathon in sub 2 hours. In 2004, I completed the Half Marathon in 2 hrs 22 min, 32 sec. But the conditions were tough, my preparation was hardly flawless, even though far more rigorous than for 2004 run.

My start was very good - smooth and evenly paced. At about 4 km mark, I hardly broke into a sweat. But it was slower than my expectations. I was hoping to be at the end of Chowpatty in 30 min. I was there in 40. Still, legs were going strong and I was confident of not losing any more speed. Dad and wife were supposed to catch me there, but they got there a bit late.

But then the Babulnath stretch started. It's mostly uphill, with a gentle slope towards Haji Ali junction. The upward gradient saw the first of my 4 walking breaks. I had taken Glucon-D powder in small sachets, in case electrol was hard to come by along the way. And it was. There were stations where I am sure it was available, but the volunteers were tepid in handing it to the runners. At a medical station, I had to shout and then stop to get my first energy drink. It breaks your momentum and also sets some pain-alarms on. Also, taking 5-star as an enery bar was a bad-idea. It tried one bar, but the caramel is so chewy, that you are out of breath and want to spit out the chocolate. But overall, water stations were aplenty. I saw adequate toilet signs as well, though not sure about the state of the loos.

On my way back, I was struggling along Chowpatty stretch. It was probably because I was trying to increase my speed to make it within 2 hours. As soon as you exceed your normal speed, you struggle with your breathing pattern and are quickly breathless. Then your pace drops. At one time, I had a stiffening in the neck and then another, I was feeling so light-headed, that I thought, I would either collapse or just float past the finish line. I was looking at the tall Ambassador Hotel, for an indication of the distance remaining along the Queen's Necklace, but you know how it is with tall buildings. They are actually farther than they seem.

Finally, after some dragging along and last mile burst, I made it past the finish line.

The queue for timing certificate was huge. Waited for about 1.5 hours to get it. My colleague who finished later, had to wait 3 hours. That's ridiculous amount of time just to collect a document. The printer is on the critical path and then can certainly arrange for more printers. I hope the organizers look into it. Not only did I miss the action of dream run (costumes, celebrities, crowds), but was also not able to stretch properly after the run. My knees hurt badly.

Still, in spite of not meeting my expectations, I am glad I participated. I completed the run in 2 hours 5 min, 32 sec - exact 17 minutes off.

A sign on the road said "Make mole-hills out of mountains"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big Brother

Just would like to link to the Daily Mail and Sun, which are the wealthy UK cousins of Navakal. Just goes to show, how big the racism issue has become.

Most of the women really represent only one section of Britian - uncouth and uneducated. It shows - in their squabbles, their ignorance and disdain for things and people alien. Not all of Britian is like that - but yes you would find a lot of people like Jane Goody and Danielle.

I just wish Shilpa would do a full on "Dilwalo ke dil ka karaar lootne" and leave all house mates and whole of Britian jaw dropped.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Firefox problems

I am sure the badwill for Microsoft translates into tremendous goodwill for Firefox. You become so accustomed to diatribe against Microsoft and eternal praise for Firefox/Google etc, that you become one of those causing it.

Here, I am having a major issue with Firefox. The click on the toolbar doesn't work. Say when you click on Bookmarks, you expect a drop down to be activated. It doesn't. It works with keyboard shortcut alright. But the click on the mouse doesn't work.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox, still the problem is not solved.
Another issue I have is the add-ons. I have dictionary, flashgot and BrowserSync (very useful) and some others. I don't know why many of these applications have constant updates. It increases Firefox load time greatly. Already Firefox loads slower than most applications (and there are ways overcome that)

If not anything else, I need to cancel these updates when Firefox loads. But as most are aware, it gives a feeling that you are outdated.

I am sure Amish will prove that I am an idiot to have these problems.

Firefox posts 1,2,3,4 and 5

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gandhi ki kisne vaat lagayi?

When I first heard about the spoof on Gandhi, I was glad. I said, yes, our icons are meant to be lampooned. We can't be putting them on the pedestal all the time, and only accept complete and utter worship of these great people.

So, I downloaded the youtube video. Its cumbersome task - download on remote machine, and then copy from remote machine to local one. But then I saw the video, and trust me, it isn't funny. I mean, the guy just uses a national figure to provoke a few pitiful laughs. The whole act was degrading (far more for Gautham Prasad) and cringe-inducing.

Good to know that Sahara and IBN 7 have apologized. They are perpetrators of the crime and need to be booked themselves. They are far more culpable than Gautham Prasad. His act was not for broadcast and his audience for that act was only to blame if they were offended and sat through the show. I didn't watch the whole thing, coz it was plain disgusting.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gateway of India - girl molestation

I am sure that the cops have rounded up some random rowdies - whom you would probably expect to get into such situations - but were nowhere near the girl when the incident happened.

When any such episode catches media fancy - especially when you have visual proof of the ugly nature of the incident - there is intense pressure on the police to bring the culprits to book. In this case, the couple have not even registered a police complaint. The pictures are grainy, so it's going to be difficult to find the actual perpetrators.

So, I think the police have just rounded off some street side goondas. Once the media abandons the story, the guys will be out.

This reminds me, I had been the Gateway of India some time on new year's eve 2001 (or was it 2002), with family and friends (all girls) and it is extremely rowdy out there. We decided to scoot just a short while before midnight and fortunately didn't get into trouble.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Nutan Varshabhinandan

Wissing everibhone a bhery heyappy and jhoyus noi yaar.

Avoid PDA - Here's to a hug free year. :-)