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Showing posts from 2010

KLPD, otherwise known as CWG

They are really getting many of my goats - maybe to make mutton biryani out of them!!! So...we thought it'd be nice if we could go watch one of the sporting events with the kids. Yesterday afternoon, I tried the official CWG site, hoping to be able to book some tickets online, snce, as you know, India is an IT superpower. So I go through the entire process, log in, pick the event ( gymnastics), am all ready with credit card in hand, when the site says, "We are handling the maximum number of customers right now. Please try after some time." Okay, so some of those stadia seats will now have bums that paid for the privilege of sitting there.

I wait half an hour, then try again. same result as above. I wait another hour, then try again...have you ever heard the definition of insanity? That thing about trying the same thing again and again and expecting different results?

So in the afternoon, a friend and I trek to the one mall in Gurgaon that has a live kiosk, manned by some c…

Getting my Goat

For any of you who are my friends on facebook, you may have noticed my less than enthusiastic updates on the commonwealth games, otherwise known as CWG. So...here's why they are getting my goat:

First of all, aren't we, as a country, a little too poor to afford such exhibitions of chauvinism and ego? Yes, I know it's the world's 11th largest economy and growing at the second fastest rate. But the GDP per capita is still $ 1000, barely Rs. 45,000 per year. 850 million Indians are below the poverty line. The money is far better spent on doing something useful to make them part of the India that is shining, rather than on buying a little more spit and polish for shining India. It's the equivalent of me spendingmy money buying my son books rather than on hosting his birthday party at a five-star venue. One is going to have a long term benefit, the other is momentary, for the sake of impressing other people and soon to be forgotten.

Secondly, if at all you insist on holdi…

Roohi (June 1995 – Sep 4th, 2010)

Roohi came into our lives in 1995, by accident or happenstance. Our servant had adopted her from someone, as he had always wanted a dog. She was just a little puppy when she came, about a month or two old, a small ball of fur. The name Roohi suited her, because she looked like a piece of cottonwool. It was later that we realized that the other meaning of Roohi, soulful, was also apt.
Roohi soon made friends with us, as she gambolled through the extensive lawns of our home, and we grew to love the frisky little thing, eager for everyone's affection and so playful. My sister, always an animal lover, famous for having wanted to adopt a 2 day old kitten when she was a little girl of 8, was in love with her, since she had always wanted pets. A neighbour's Spitz, Pepsi, also became a frequent visitor to our house, as his owners used to be away most of the time and the servants used to illtreat the poor guy very badly, beating him and starving him. He used to crave affection and had a…

Vodafone does it again

26th June 2010
Mr. Martin Pieters,
CEO,
Vodafone Essar
Peninsula Corporate Park
Ganpatrao Kadam Marg
Lower Parel
Mumbai - 400013
India
Dear Mr. Pieters,
Re: Terminating Vodafone connection due to terrible service
I realize that one customer terminating the services of your brand may not be very important for a company as large as yours. However, it may still interest you (in case the company is at all interested in actually providing service rather than grief to its customers), to understand why I am terminating a 14 year old relationship with Essar/ Hutch/ Vodafone.
I had written to you in May regarding the problem I was facing. While that elicited an immediate response, for which I thank you, of having my phone connectivity restored, I still did not receive the bill until much after the due date, and then only after I requested for duplicate copies of the same. I was therefore forced to make a blind payment this month, without seeing the detailed bill, which I am sure you would agree is highly …

Breaking up with Vodafone, or…

…Why I am banging my head on a stone wall hoping to numb brain activity so as to make sense of this!

I was away in the US visiting my sister when I got a message from Vodafone that my mobile usage had exceeded my credit limit and that I should immediately pay up a certain amount. I forwarded the message to A who paid up immediately. The day after that payment, I got another message saying that twice the earlier amount was outstanding and that I should pay up immediately.

By that time I was in the middle of a mess caused by the volcano, busy rerouting my flight and making hotel bookings and so on for the return trip, so this was the last thing on my mind. Plus as it happened, after I got that message, my phone stopped receiving any network signals so I couldn’t make calls or send any messages from it.

I landed back last Thursday and at the airport when I tried to call A, I got a message saying that calls were disbarred. I told A but what with the extreme exhaustion after having flown fo…

Caste no bar

So the census people visited my place when I was away. Rather, they were at my parents' place, and A and the kids were there, and by way of bizarre coincidence, I had called in so was part of a telephonic census.

My parents refused to name their caste, of course. Then it was A's turn. So he admits to being Muslim and is asked, "what caste?". Took him a while to convince the censustaker that Muslims don't have a caste.

Then my details were taken. And the census lady says I'll be put down as a Muslim because I'm married to one. Excuse me, I'm married to a man, so does that make me a man too? What rubbish! So I was indignantly frothing at the mouth and gibbering remarks and vituperations to A who was patiently, in his quiet yet forceful way trying to explain to said lady that I remained and would continue to remain a Hindu. And what of our three Mundus? Heaven - or rather the census officials only know.

I have little confidence in the ability of these guys…

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of IIM C

When I began preparing to take the CAT, I was very clear that IIM C was the one I was gunning for. Rusty (PGP 91), a neighbor, had waxed eloquent on his vacation trips home, about nights spent hanging out on Howrah Bridge, music sessions on the jetty by the lake and mishthi in the canteen. Ravi (PGP 91 IIM A), a close friend, had complained miserably about the hyper competitiveness prevalent there, where classmates stashed critical reference books in wrong sections of the library so other classmates would be unable to find them. IIM B sounded very boring, because all my relatives lived near Bangalore and I had nightmare visions of one or other of them wanting me to go home every weekend. Not to mention Bangalore brings on my worst asthma attacks.
Luckily, I got in. When we all trooped into IIM C, I don't know what other people expected but I had had visions of a grand old campus – reminiscent of some of the famous campuses of the world, Oxford, Harvard and so on. I was pretty shock…

Exercise, here I come

I've always had an irregular kind of exercise routine. Back when I was single and living a pampered life chez parents, I would keep starting workout routines - sometimes a Jane Fonda tape, which actually used to show amazing results really fast, sometimes on an exercycle I bought cheap from a friend, and once, after I attended a workshop of yoga and meditation, I did both of those for about a month.
Later, when I was a student in France, I'd go to the gym. I've always loved working out at gyms, and most of all, working out with weights. It gives me a real high to literally be able to test my limits and feel them being pushed week by week. I think, in terms of body structure, I'm a mesomorph so I do better with weights than with pure cardio. In any case, I've never loved pure cardio because I tend to start wheezing when I run. Even way back in school, the most I did was participate in the 80 meter run.
I started exercising properly when Chubbocks was around 2 - I nee…

No man is an island

The Ruchika case is not news to most people anymore. And almost all of us want that smug, self-righteous, pompous smirk wiped off from Rathore's face. But is that enough? does that mean justice is served?
What about all the bureaucrats who failed to act on time to the various investigative reports that were filed? What about the policemen who acted like brainless goons and followed Rathore's instructions to lock up and beat up Ruchika's brother? What about all the politicians - Chief Ministers, Home Ministers and so on - who consistently ignored the case and kept promoting Rathore till he became the DGP of Haryana? What about the stupid, antiquated, inadequate laws that allow the punishment for something like this to be as minimal as six months, and then let the guy off on bail? What about the courts that threw out the complaint of abetting suicide when it was filed by the CBI?
In fact, in general, what about the unholy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, influential/ ri…

Women and their supportive men

I remember watching a TV program recently in which the young woman said her husband is very supportive of her career. 'He says as long as the house and kids are taken care of, he has no problem with my working'. I know Indian men are typically less liberated but even so, I'm appalled that someone would in this day and age consider that statement as supportive.

But I know someone who works in advertising, is very senior, runs a multi-crore business and supervises hundreds of employees. Yet in her house, she is forbidden from hiring a cook and wakes up at five every day to cook food for the family, and never stays overnight when she travels because she has to cook for the next day.

Some of my friends who have made traded careers for being stay-at-home moms find that suddenly their equation with their husband, which used to be that of an equal, has suddenly changed to junior/ silent partner and that the whole relationship revolves around what is convenient for the husband, rat…