Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kolad - Outbound Training Experience

Recently, my company decided to have an outbound training for its employees. I was lucky to get included in the list of the selected few for the first batch. It was a great experience and I also got to re-live my NDA - SSB days. This post is going to be a image-blog, with minimum comments, mostly to describe the images.

Venue: Empower Adventure Capms, Kolad, Maharashtra, India.

Sprawling lawns in front of the campus:

View from Gazebo (common dining area):

Greenery galore - A rare site in Mumbai:
Taking time out between the hectic schedule:


Monday, February 11, 2013

My Bronze Beauty - I-gen i20 Sportz (P)

I am an automobile enthusiast and always try to stay updated with the development in the Indian automobile industry.




My current favorite Indian car is the i-Gen i20; i might be a bit biased as I am a proud owner of one. Even though the new Swift gives it a tough competition, I feel Hyundai has understood the Indian buyers' needs and has delivered it to the T.


 i20 comes (over)loaded with gadgets and gizmos. Its got all the bells and whistles required to attract the Indian consumers. It has brought so many first in the class features like auto headlights, DRLs, rain sensing wipers, rear parking camera assist, electrically retracting ORVMs etc. 

The build quality of this Korean make is much superior to the Swifts, Figos, Indicas et al. The dual- tone interior with a generous helping of chrome gives it the feel of a luxury sedan. The 1.2 litre dual VTVT engine though might be a bit underpowered but when the turbo kicks in, its a beast on prowl.

The second gear has a noticeable lag, but you can still overtake other cars easily. The steering wheel has been criticized by one and all for being light and non- responsive, but it feels just fine in my hands and I love the fact that I can steer the car with the touch of a finger. Steer- mounted controls and a sporty 3 - spoke steering wheels are also a big plus as they lend a sporting look to the car. 

The suspension is the only negative that I can think of. It being very soft is good for low speed driving but on high speed, there's a risk of the car bottoming out on big potholes. The mileage is comparable to the best in the category and even the ASS is light on the wallet. 

All in all, its a luxury sedan meant for comfortable driving and I am loving it!!!

All Is Not Lost Yet...



Since the last couple of years, I have noticed that I have stopped helping people. Even my wife has been complaining about my behavior and I don’t know why but have been unable to bring myself to helping others. In other words, I have changed, changed for worse. But all this changed last night; a small incident made me realize that all is not lost yet. There still are some good Samaritans left in this world and irrespective of their age, they never fail to lend a helping hand to those in need.
It all started last night when after coming back from a short ride I was putting cover on my car. Since I was alone, I put the car keys, papers and my ID card on the Alto parked next to my car. While I was in the act, a lady came, sat in the Alto and drove off. Since I was busy completing my task at the earliest, I didn’t notice the lady getting into the Alto. Just when she left, I realized all my papers and car keys were still on the roof of her car. She didn’t bother to see if anything was kept on the roof and had taken off. I ran after her car shouting at the top of my lungs, making hand gestures, trying to stop her. To my utter dismay, she kept driving and got out through the OUT door of our society. I even tried to shout at the guard to stop the car but he was in his own sweet world.
Now the car was on the road with me running at max speed possible for me and waving my hands frantically and shouting words like “STOP”, “STOP THE CARRRR”, but oblivious of the situation she continued driving. All the pedestrians were enjoying the chase and I was feeling like James Bond giving chase to some goons escaping in a car. Soon after a couple of minutes I was jolted back to reality with the feeling of hammering in my chest and breathlessness. I was out of my breath after running for about 150 meters and was about to give up when suddenly I saw someone running past me, at double my speed trying to chase the car. I paused to look at my knight in shining armor to find a kid of around 12 who had been returning home and had taken pity at me and was trying to help me.
Just when I was about to give up hope, the car went over a bump and mercifully all the documents and keys fell off. I felt as if I had won a lottery of a million rupees. The kid picked them up and came back running to me. With an innocent smile on his face he gave them back to me and asked if there was anything else that was still missing. I thanked him profusely and went on to buy him loads of chocolates. His friends gave him a hero’s welcome and carried him around on their shoulders chanting slogans.
I dragged my exhausted self back to my flat, but with a smile on my face. This incident made me realize that there still are some good people around and I should not lose hope.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Why India Works

*Why India Works - written by internationally-acclaimed film director
Shekhar Kapoor.*****

 ****

A greater ‘hole in the wall’ you cannot imagine. A small fading sign on the
top saying “Cellphoon reapars” barely visible through the street vendors
crowding the Juhu Market in Mumbai. On my way to buy a new Blackberry, my
innate sense of adventure made me stop my car and investigate. A shop not
more than 6 feet by 6 feet. Grimy and uncleaned.****

‘Can you fix a Blackberry ?”****

‘Of course, show me”****

”How old are you” ‘Sixteen’****

Bullshit. He was no more than 10. Not handing my precious blackberry to a 10
year old in unwashed and torn T shirt and pyjamas! At least if I buy a new
one, they would extract the data for me. Something I have been meaning to do
for a year now.****

‘What’s wrong with it?”****

‘Well, the roller track ball does not respond. It’s kind of stuck and I
cannot operate it”****

He grabs it from my hand and looks at it****

“You should wash your hands. Many customers have same problem. Roller ball
get greasy and dirty, then no working’****

Look who was telling me to wash my hands. He probably has not bathed for 10
days, I leaned out to snatch my useless blackberry back..****

” You come back in one hour and I fix it’.****

I am not leaving all my precious data in this unwashed kid’s hands for an
hour. No way.****

“Who will fix it?”****

‘Big brother’****

‘How big is ‘big brother?’****

‘big …. Umm ..thirty’****

Then suddenly big brother walks in. 30 ??? He is no more than 19.****

‘What problem?’ He says grabbing the phone from my greasy hand into his
greasier hand. Obviously not trained in etiquette by an upmarket retail
store manager.****

‘Normal blackberry problem. I replace with original part now. You must wash
your hand before you use this’. What is this about me washing my hands
suddenly??****

19 year old big brother rummages through a dubious drawer full of junk and
fishes out a spare roller ball packed in cheap cellophane wrapper. Original
part? I doubt it. But by now I am in the lap of the real India and there is
no escape as he fishes out a couple of screwdrivers and sets about opening
my Blackberry.****

“How long will this take?”****

”Six minutes”****

This I have to see. After spending the whole morning trying to find a
Blackberry service centre and getting vague answers about sending the phone
in for an assessment that might take a week, I settle down next to his
grubby cramped work space. At least I am going to be able to watch all my
stored data vanish into virtual space. People crowd around to see what’s
happening. I am not breathing easy anyway. I tell myself this is an
adventure and literally have to stop myself grabbing my precious Blackberry
back and making a quick escape. But in exactly six minutes this kid handed
my Blackberry back. He had changed the part and cleaned and serviced the
whole phone. Taken it apart, and put it together. As I turned the phone on
there was a horrific 2 minutes where the phone would not come on. I looked
at him with such hostility that he stepped back.****

‘you have more than thousand phone numbers ?”****

‘yes’.****

‘backed up?’****

‘no’****

‘Must back up. I do it for you. Never open phone before backing up’****

‘You tell me that now?’****

But then the phone came on and my data was still there. Everyone watching
laughed and clapped. This was becoming a show. A six minute show. I asked
him how much.****

‘500 rupees’ He ventured uncertainly. People around watched in glee
expecting a negotiation.****

That’s $10 dollars as against the Rs 30,000 ($ 600) I was about to spend on
a new Blackberry or a couple of weeks without my phone. I looked suitably
shocked at his ‘high price’ but calmly paid him. Much to the disappointment
of the expectant crowd****

‘do you have an I-Phone ? Even the new ‘4D one ?****

‘no, why”****

‘I break the code for you and load any ‘app’ or film you want. I give you 10
film on your memory stick on this one, and change every week for small fee’*
***

I went home having discovered the true entrepreneurship that lies at what we
call the ‘bottom of the pyramid’. Some may call it piracy, which of course
it is, but what can you say about two uneducated and untrained brothers aged
10 and 19 that set up a ‘hole in the wall’ shop and can fix any technology
that the greatest technologists in the world can throw at them. I smiled at
the future of our country. If only we could learn to harness this potential.
****

‘Please wash your hands before use’ were his last words to me. *Now I am
feeling seriously unclean.***** 

Disclaimer: Its a fwd I got from someone and any law violation should be aimed at that person and not him. In case anyone has any problem with this article, he/she should email me his/ her protest.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Destitutus Ventis, Remos Adhibe!

Is just accepting a "Causes" invitation to support Anna Hazare on some social networking site enough? Does our responsibility end there? Is it enough to click a "like" button or post a support message as our status message? Mission accomplished? Is our patriotism limited to celebrating a world cup victory after 28 years? What about this decades old cliche' problem called "Corruption"? Is our yearning for a -free society any way lesser than the yearning for the cricket world cup victory? If we can come out on the streets at midnight waiving giant indian flags, isn't it time we come out of our comfort zones and really do something about this problem also? Shouldn't we do something so that we can celebrate our victory against corruption in much more grandeur than the way we celebrated the world cup victory recently? Everyone is showing his/her support to Anna today, which is great and heart-warming, but my question is, why should we limit our support to the passing of Lokpal bill only? Do we think that by punishing our 'corrupt' babus & Netas we'll be able to live in a corruption-free society? Are you and I any less corrupt than them? Can't the "small adjsutments we make" for our convenience be termed as 'corruption'? Is there a defined rule that says that for a wrong-doing to be termed as corruption, the amount needs to run into lacs or crores? Isn't giving a few bucks to a T.T.E. to buy a seat on a train also a form of corruption? The point I am trying to make is that let's not limit our fight/passion/support to the passing of Lokpal bill only, but rather we should have the bigger objective in our mind of defeating "Corruption" from each and every walk of our lives and for that, we may take the Lokpal bill as a small step towards achieving our ultimate objective. Let's not aim to change the whole world by oneself and let's not expect it all to happen overnight. Instead, let's start with something very small and banal; and when we'll view the results of our small acts collectively, we'll be able to see how our small contribution helped in filling up a lot of pieces of the giant jigsaw puzzle placed infront of us!

Hoping against hope that maybe this time we would come out of our comfy couches in our respective homes and offices and actually do something about it! As the famous latin proverb goes:

"Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe",

meaning:

"when the winds don't serve you, take to the oars"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Smartphone User Profiles

This is one of the best forwards I have received till date. In the on-going fight for leadership in the smartphone market, the consumers are also divided into groups as per the technology being used by them. They are hardcore brand loyalist, leaving no chance of intimidating the other user groups. This cartoon by http://www.androidandme.com/ depicts the midset of the consumers in a very witty manner.
Hope you people also enjoy it as I did ;p


Note: All copyright rights remain with the image owner. Kindly excuse my ignorance if any of the laws are being broken by reproducing this image!