Sunday, September 17, 2006

Beware when you fuel your vehicle

One needs to be very careful while fueling your verhicle at the bunks. Most of them con you by not filling the right amount of gas as you pay. Here are some tips that can help you.

  1. Avoid using a bunk you are not familiar with. Keep to the ones that are known to be honest. To help this aspect, one most spread news about honest bunks by word of mouth. For example, the petrol bunk on Koramangala 100ft road (just besides Coffee Day, opposite BlueStar office) is definitely one that belongs to the honest category
  2. If the integrity of the bunk is an unknown entity, you need to be double careful. Do not take your eyes of the petrol meter reading for even a second.
  3. If two people are attending you at one of these unknown entity bunks, it is a sure shot indicator that they are trying to con you. The common modus operandi is that one tries to engage your attention by asking for the payment, while other is filling your tank. In this scenario, insist on making the payment after your vehicle is re-fueled. Revert back to point 2: Eyes on the meter reading.
  4. Another common method employed to con is the following. For example, assume you have asked for petrol for Rs. 200/-. The attendant will just fill your vehicle for Rs. 50/-. Then he will feign innocence that he hasn't heard you properly. You need to be alert at this point. If not, he will just continue filling from there until meter reads Rs. 150/- and argues that he has reset the meter to zero before the second re-fill. I would recommend you either insist before hand that he resets it to zero or just leave the bunk by paying off Rs. 50/-.
  5. I found myself in the above situation yesterday. I forgot to check whether he reset the meter to zero once he stopped at Rs. 50/-. So, I was suspicious when he filled Rs. 150/- and said I had to pay Rs. 200/-. I very convicingly said that I saw that he hadn't reset the meter and he needs to put petrol for another Rs. 50/-. My ploy worked and he filled the remaining petrol. This is not a approach that is bound to succeed every time. So, avoid landing in such a situation.
  6. If there are more than one person travelling in a vehicle, it is very easy to follow tip 2. One of them can always have his eyes on the reading.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

I watched the much talked about movie Snakes on a Plane today. There was a lot of discussion in both print and electronic media about this movie. So, I was expecting a great thriller. It turned out to be a bag of cheap humour and thrills.

For starters, the snakes turned out to be sexually oriented. They start of their kill by biting a female on her bare breasts. Then they move on to bite a male on his penis, when he is trying to urinate. A third snake (there were tons of them) gets into a sleeping woman's garments and the woman is aroused, by the movement of the snake on her body. Hats off to the person who came with these brilliant(sic) ideas. There were some really gross moments too, when they show a boy's hand being cut open to clean the poison.

Overall, not a great movie. One can watch for the sheer experience of watching such (I don't know how to describe) movie.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Great Day and Movie at Last

Just had a wonderful day here in US. I have managed to finally watch a movie in US, something I have tried since the first visit here and never succeeded. My friends were always against watching movie in US. They felt there are better things to do here. I came to US alone this time. Luckily, my old friend VA lives nearby. He drove me to San Fernando Valley (just north of LA -- couple of hrs drive from where I stay), and we watched a telugu movie -- Bommarillu -- along with some of his friends.

The hall, though, was not upto the mark. It was very small and apparently there is no numbering system in US. We have to hunt for seats. We entered the theatre just before the movie started, and had a tough time finding seats. We had to sit at different places. To compesate, the movie was very good. Siddharth and Prakash Raj were good. Music was good. Comedy was great. A definite must see for anyone. I bet it will be re-made in other south indian languages.

After the movie, spent some time at VA's friend's place in LA and headed back home. A nice end to a great weekend.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Place That Defined Me

Couple of weeks back, I had been to Pune University Computer Science Department on behalf of my company. Now, this place is very close to my heart. I strongly believe that this place made me, whatever little I am today. The education is by far the best one can get..move over the IITs. Maybe I am attached to this place, because this was the first time I stayed away from any of my nearest kin. Not just education, this place helped me realise about myself.

It was a great moment when I went back after all these years. I reached the place around 4pm on Friday. Some of the professors who taught me are still around. And what else, they remember you. It was fantastic. Our company threw a party to all students (all three batches).

The next day there was the yearly Rajmachi trek. Now, this is a 13km trek to the Rajmachi fort, and back. The trek started greatly.But, it soon took a turn to the miserable. There was continuous downpour throughout the 7hr of trek. We were completely soaked. I was prepared for some rain, but not for this deluge. I had severe cramps on both legs by the time we reached our hotel. Caught a flight and back to Bangalore on Sunday.

A trip that will remain in my memory for a long long time.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Power of Twelve

We finally have the line-ups for finals. Italy and France came through in their battle against Germany and Portugal respectively. It was bag of mixed feelings for me. I loved Italy beating Germany, but France getting through was a bitter pill to swallow. I can only hope now that France will lose in finals.

Germany tried valiantly to defeat Italy. They have the home advantage, but their tide broke against the Great Wall of Italy and The Power of Twelve. Italian defence was great, especially Cannavaro. I became a huge fan of him watching this world cup. Everytime Germany looked dangerous, Cannavaro was there to control the threat. He was simply amazing. He stood like a Wall before the Italian goal. Italian also had Power of Twelve to their advantage. Every twelve years since 1970, they make it to World Cup finals, and this time was no exception. The goal in the end by Grosso was a master-piece. This game was easily the best one in this world cup.

Though, I donot like France's game, they deserved to win the semi-finals. I was surprised by the performance on Portugal. They didn't seem to have confidence that they can score a goal. Everytime they reached the 'D' near France's goal, they just dive and appeal for penalty. It was ridiculous. A player like Ronaldo, who has immense skill, should try to score goals in legitimate ways than using such devious means.

Statistics do not give a clear verdict to either teams in the finals. I can only hope Italy can beat France. If they play anywhere close to what they did against Germany, France has no chance.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Portugal's cup

We are through the quarter-finals of world cup. As I expected, Brazil got knocked out. They appeared complacent most part of the match. They attacked after going a goal down, but it is always going to be a tough task with experienced defenders like Thuram before French goal. England on the other hand, played well and created an array of chances inspite of being 1 man down. I thought it was a strong decision to send away Rooney. He didn't deserve a red for what he did. After all Ronaldo and he were team-mates at their club, and a bit of pushing is acceptable. It was painful to see England knocked out via the penalties. I thought it was a bad decision to start penalties with Lampard. Lampard never came close to the goal in this world cup inspite of a record number of attempts. This should have been a sufficient hint not to try him with penalties.

I have a strong feeling that it is going to be Germany vs Portugal in the final. Luis Scolari is going to be the difference between France and Portugal. This guy is a master tactician and knows how to make the best use of available resources. This could very well be Portugal's first world cup.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Whoa!! What a cup

Another long layoff before I am blogging. And what a time to blog?? We have just entered the quarter-finals of world cup football 2006, and the first match was superb. The match set the tone for the rest of the world cup. I was rooting for Argentina and was disappointed after the loss.

Over the years, I always preferred to watch Latinos play football rather than Europeans. There is a lot of flair in the way South American countries played their game. My favourite team though is Netherlands. This might seem contradictory, but Dutch football is very much like Brazilian way. It is unfortunate that they had to loose in pre-quarters. Another European country that I donot mind rooting for is England. This is due to the EspnStar coverage of Premier League.

We had a great time watching today's match, though. There was a huge screen put up in our office cafeteria today for the match, and it was fun watching it with a large crowd. This looks like a European dominated world cup this time. What else can one expect with world cup in Europe. Brazil is the only Latin country left, but they have a tough match ahead with just peaking France.