Category Archives: Assorted
What a pleasant way to start 2013 - I really felt that our police services are making genuine effort to be more people friendly….
This is what happened today evening - we were in the Cauvery circle near Sadhashiva nager and suddenly a traffic police pops up and gives a card - my first thought was it is some safety advisory …, but when i opened it - BINGO!! NEW YEAR WISHES !!
I felt so thrilled about the whole experience - “Honge kamyab hum Honge Kamyab”
Great start for 2013!!!
Gas booking had been always an elusive chore for me in the past. The Gas distributor use to open his shop by 10 am and promptly shut down by 5.30 pm - Many a days I was so consumed at my work (ok, u saw through the excuse!! ), I will miss the time window for gas booking. So, I use to wait for a Saturday ………..
So, when the Indane Gas announced the streamlined LPG GAS Booking through IVRS around May last year, I was one of those who was relieved. I went through the details on the newspapers (Now Book Indane Gas any hour of the day), promptly understood the process and noted down the relevant new numbers. I started using the Indane gas IVRS and once I got my phone number registered, all I need to do was to press few numbers on the phone pad and I was done. I was thrilled that the technology solved my gas booking challenge!! Happy ……….
Having solved my gas booking challenge, I was living ‘happily ever after’……….Suddenly, one day my maid started complaining that she is not getting her LPG cylinder on time……..As I was busy in the kitchen and with my limited mixed up local language skills, all I understood was - she needs me to book her LPG. I did not even react as I was not sure why she is asking me to do her booking - especially she witnesses my daily morning crazy circus in the kitchen trying to meet my target of school bus…….and how does she think I will have time to do a gas booking?
Then over the weekend (when my mornings are not-so-crazy), she mentioned that she took help from one of her friends for gas booking, but was not successful. I was intrigued now as I thought the IVRS is the most simple way to get the gas booking and why it is tough for my maid and her friend. My maid is definitely a smart lady - she is good in using her mobile phone - she has even suggested me on how to download ring tones!! So, why is this IVRS tough for her? I told her there is also “Kannada“version of IVRS.
For a minute, she looked at me as though I am crazy and said “amma, athunalli matthaduvadhu computer amma……………(Madam, if you call that number, it is computer which is talking to you. If you say something also, it will keep telling, please press this number, please press that number……they have put some computer which can not understand what we are talking…..and it will never take our booking)!!”……….I was completely flabbergasted and then could not control laughing……….
Gas booking - IVRS - Vagaries of it!!!
Last weekend, I was in Chennai Koyambedu Bus Stop (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus). It is more than a decade since I travelled long distances in buses - most of the time we end up in trains or air. Obviously I never had the opportunity to see the Koyambedu Bus Stop so far, though I have heard about it many times in the past. It was an unplanned trip to Chennai (to support my relatives in their sudden bereavement) and I was returning to Bangalore and the state transport bus seem to be the most viable option for unplanned travel.
My first impression when I stepped into the Koyambedu bus stop was “WOW, it is huge”. I was even more impressed when I saw a nice central welcome hall which gave lot of space for passengers and public to wait. I was completely sold on the CMBT when I saw the excellent direction boards which clearly listed the platforms and the corresponding places where buses ply. I saw few wandering foreigners who were looking at the direction boards and making notes.
I was thrilled that I got easy directions from sign boards and started walking towards the platform bay where Bangalore buses start. I was so relaxed that I spent good time on the way in a small shop getting magazines and newspapers. When I reached the bay, I was in for a shock - as I saw buses travelling to some Tamilnadu cities were in the bay. I again went and checked on the sign board which clearly said - platform 5, bay 23. I enquired with couple of bus drivers who were standing and chatting - they were very helpful. Here is the conversation
me: sir, where is Bangalore bus?
conductor 1 : Bangalore busa? antha pakkam sutthi ponga (Bangalore bus? go around to the other side)
me (confused!): board said 5th platform…this is 5th platform
conductor 2 (looking at me as though I am from another planet): idatha mathidanga - board appidiye irruku! (changed the place, but the direction board is not changed!).
Now, I just ran around to find the right platform ……..God, you made my happiness short-lived!! And if you think that the story stops here……it continues ………….
Having used to making advance bookings on trains and air using net (especially, I have mastered the Tatkal booking scheme of Indian railways!!), I fell into the prey of booking the bus travel ticket over net (www.tnstc.in). As it was a hurried trip and it was a sunday morning, I did not get a print out assuming that the handheld I carry can display the ticket to the conductor. I also had my ID card listed in the ticket and thought it should suffice.
When I found the right place of Bangalore buses, I was into the second shock. There was no unique number for the bus which I was supposed to go (may be, I am still not very sure if I have missed it). There were three buses waiting to start to Bangalore and all the three had the same route number. Again, I reach out to the conductor standing near one of the buses
me: I have booking for the bus which starts at 10.45. which bus is that?
conductor 3 (looks very vaguely at me – again it is the look of “which planet did you come from?”): “intha busu pathinoru manniku pogum. eeri seatla okkarunga (this bus will go at 11. get in and sit).
me: (puzzled!): I do not have a print out of the ticket, it is in this phone and you can see it in this. is it ok?”
conductor 3 (completely convinced that I am in no way a passenger who can go by bus): “illa illa, print out venum. (no-no, need print out)”
me (not lost confidence yet!): I have my id card - voters card (with too much of a confidence!) also. you can compare it with your list.
conductor 3 (irritated now!): ”print irrunthathan vandilla eeralam (only if you have print out, you can get into the bus)”
me (bit tensed now!): Is there any office where they can print out here?
conductor 3 (totally lost interest): poi keetu paarunga anga - (go and ask in office)
Now, considering I have less time, I run into the office and ask them if they can print the tickets out (as there were no shops inside the entire CMBT bus stop which can print). While there were two computers and two folks operating it, they were least interested to even hear about my problem. I came back to the bus again and this time there was another conductor 4 who felt it was ok to get into the bus. I just got in and sat - yes, I did come to Bangalore.
So, if you are a first timer in CMBT, remember two basic lessons - ensure you validate the platform numbers with conductors and not just go by those direction boards. And avoid net booking and get the tickets directly from the conductors – considering there are so many buses plying it should be ok to just go and get the tickets on a normal day (may be, the reservation may help on some holidays or festival days where the crowd is too high).
Koyambedu - I know how to handle you now!
Any patriotic individual of any nationality across the globe feels proud about their national days - Independence day, Republic Day, ….. These are days were you feel that pride that you BELONG….
Especially, when I think of all those homeless refugees due to various reasons across the globe, it really makes me realize on how much of a blessing it is to have the feeling of BELONGING to a place……..
And today being India’s 63rd Republic Day, I was very sweetly surprised by the Google Doodle……. Looks like this is visible only to the India Google users and hence reproducing it here again….The represents the parade on Rajpath, New Delhi where the elephants carry the children who won the National Bravery Award - Look at the tricolor on the umbrellas and the nice chakras on the background!!
Nice surprise!! Thank you - Google! Jai Hind!
You may also like: My Place – Always the best! || Passport Seva Kendra, Proud to be an Indian
It was a pleasant surprise when I read the news about Bangalore being ranked as the best city to live in India……it actually surpassed all the four Indian metros - Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai and Chennai!!!…….The news article can be read here
While I know the traffic and infrastructure needs more improvement, the upcoming metro train transport in Bangalore should address it is my sincere hope. Ofcourse, it goes without saying that the state governance should be focussed and committed on this – the live streaming of CM’s office which started with a big bang is facing technical snag and I hope the metro train plans are reviewed for any such snag….
Here is my list of top seven reasons on why I like Bangalore…………..
- Weather………lovely all through the year
- Greenery………you will be surprised by the small green patches in between densely crowded residential and commercial areas – don’t forget Cubbon park and Lal bagh
- People……….Bangaloreans are the best when it comes to making everyone feel at home - they are so polite and love peace
- Cosmopoliton……..the city itself is so mixed that it has its own cosmopolitan culture..From Malleshwaram to Koramangala it has the Mysore Iyengars to the MTV personalities
- IT companies……….gives loads of opportunities
- Darshinis………..the ‘stand-and-eat’ restaurants at every other street with their hot ‘idly-vada’, ‘masala dosa’, ‘chow-chow bath’, ‘rave idly’,etc with the fresh coconut ‘chutney’ and hot ‘sambar’
No wonder, the silicon valley of India is the winner of the year!! Bangalore, the best!!!
There are lots and lots of news on Japan!! But for some five minutes on the first day, I hardly watched any TV on the happenings ain Japan. One of the reasons was that my little one was visibly upset the first day about this news - he had doubts about if Tsunami can come to the first floor (we live in first floor!)…… I later learnt that even AM’s Lil D was extremely upset on this…! So, i consciously avoided watching Japan on TV!
Nevertheless, I read a bit of news on the net….and these two newsitems were indeed very absorbing…….
When i saw this 10 minute video at disastar prediction net - http://disasterpredictions.com/japanese-earthquake-predicted-comet-elenin/, it was very spooky!! So, someone could predict this earthquake so accurately - if you see in youtubue, you can see that this video is uploaded on 9th March itself!!! So, made me get that spooky feeling!!
And later, I was searching for the meaning of the word Stoicism in the net and i hit on this article -
When i finished reading it, many things about Japanese made sense to me - I have always wondered why they are not smiling, why they are not so very democratic, why they are not taking things easy, but then…”That is not the way Japanese people are”!!!
My heart goes to them!! I am confident they will come out of this crisis much more stronger!! God bless!!
Considering that all we hear about are the scandals rocking our Indian Government over 2G , this has been a very refreshing experience - I am talking about the new PASSPORT SEVA KENDRA from our own Indian Government. I witnessed a sea change - how things were in the past and how much the new system has turned around my perception on our Government offices.
I always wonder on how the ‘so-called’ IT manpower producer for the entire world lacks so badly in its IT infrastructure - there is still so much opportunity to streamline many of our government processes and public utility services. So, when I visited the Passport Seva Kendra in Bangalore, it really made me proud.
What I liked
- Online facility to upload our passport application
- Online facility to get our appointment book (no more long waiting at the gates)
- Almost 100% predictability of the start time when we reach the Passport Kendra
- Very well-defined process and streamlined assembly line process,
- smiling support staff – good job!! KEEP IT UP!!
- Clear instructions
- All got done in 1.30 hours!!!!
So, next time if you have any activity in the passport office in Bangalore, you can breathe easily. Things are done in a smooth manner. I am sure the credit also goes to the service provider, Tata Consultancy Services also.
I really feel PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN!! JAI HO!!