Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mandu Pics ...

I bought a camera. A beginner's SLR. It was a very old dream, and now I own an SLR. Yo! This is my camera Vivitar V3800N (Photo Courtsey -
Today I'm moving out again for couple of weeks. This time I'll have a trip to home also. Ahh.

Meantime I just uploaded my pics of the trip to Mandu, MP.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unsolicited calls

I was in the office. I got a call on my mobile from an unknown number. A young lady was on the opposite side of the phone.
- Sir, may I talk to Mr. Roy?
- Ya, talking.
- Sir I am calling from ... Bank, do you use any credit card, sir?
- Where from did you get my number?
- Sir, I have a database with me.
- Where from did you get the database?
- Sorry sir, what?
- Where from did you get the database with my number?
- I got it from the office, sir. My boss gave it. Do you use any credit card, sir?
- Well, eventually, I do. But tell me some thing. What is your name?
- ...
- Ok, which bank are you representing?
- Sir, ... Bank.
- And what is the name of your boss?
- Sir, but sir, why are you asking these?
- I am just inquisitive about the database with my personal mobile number!
- Sir, I got the database from my boss.
I hear her voice cracking. There was a break. She talks to somebody, another lady's voice replies, 'Cut the phone yaar'. Some more noises come through the earpiece. I talk to mouthpiece, 'Hello!'
- Yes sir?
- Can you tell me the name of your boss, from whom you got the database?
- Sir I got it from my manager.
- Yes, tell me the name of the manager.
- But sir, why are you enquiring all these?
- Because you called me in my personal number. I don't want any unsolicited calls at this number. This supposedly a personal number and that is why I want to know how did you get my number!
- But sir, we have database sir!
- Yes, I know that. That is why I want to know the name of your boss, who gave you the database. Do you know, yesterday the High Court has imposed a fine of Rs. 50 Lakhs for these kind of unsolicited calls from a certain Bank?
I can feel the moisture in her voice. She is about to cry. She, I presume got worried about her job.
- OK, Miss ..., you personally have nothing to do with the fine. But certainly your boss might have to! OK?
- OK sir.
- Please convey this message to your boss. OK?
- OK Sir.
She seems sobbing. I cut the phone.

That lady is a poor call center lady. She has, as a matter of fact, nothing to do with all these unsolicited calls. Only thing is that she is ordered to gather all potential customers. This policy of direct marketing is the culprit. Its irritating. And the judgement from the High Court is very very just. In the judgment a fine of Rs. 50 Lakhs has been imposed on the bank and the cellular service provider. It is a great decision.

But eventually the call I got was from a bank whose credit card I have already applied for and got sanctioned. But due to my absense at station the courier couldn't deliver it. It got returned to the head office of the bank. But I have started recieving my bills! May be the call was regarding any information on that issue! Was I too impulsive? But then why should she ask whether I use any credit card or not?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Running on empty ...

For last couple of months, I'm running and running. Nashik - Bangalore - Goa - Bangalore - Indore - Bangalore ... Allmost alwyas travelling by bus seating for 15 - 16 hours at a stretch. I've been in Pune for hardly seven days in last two months.
After coming back from Bangalore yesterday, I was feeling dead tired. My room is dirty and dusty. I've not cleaned it for two months, Clothes are schattered, the kitchen is full of spiderwebs as it was hardly used for last couple of months. After coming back from a trip I didn't get any enthusiasm to cook, or rather to buy vegetables to cook or to even clean the room as I knew I'll have to move again on the next day! My vegetable stock is now some chilli, onions and potatoes all dried up. Potatoes have started germination. Stock of ready-to-eat dishes are empty.
I may have to move again in a day or two. I am very fatigued now. Only thing I can do now is sleeping. I had a rest today as today was holiday. Makar-Sankranti. As per the traditional rituals, today we are supposed to clean our house dispose off old utensils and start using everything new. But I am not in a state of cleaning now.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A well planned vacation

We have got three days off this weekend! I was planning to have a hike off like last year's Chikhaldara trip. Planning in the sense, I had just chosen few places of overnight distance. Yesterday evening one friend came along and was eager to join me. OK - no problem. He said, lets plan properly, where to go, how to go ...
So we sat down in front of the internet. Searched up and down and shortlisted the same few places I had shortlisted earlier!
  • Toranmal
  • Lonar
  • Matheran
  • Murud-Janjira
  • Aurangabad-Ajanta-Ellora
  • Mandu
  • Daman
Matheran was striked out at the first instance as it is very near and you can go on any weekend! Then a second friend came in. Daman was next to be out. It is too far! Next was Toranmal, Mandu and Lonar as they are slightly off beat! Places like Toranmal and Lonar are not typical crowdpulling. But from my past experience of Chikhaldara, I knew they offer real virgin beauty of nature and great chance of exploration new bounderies. I like these kind of spots. But when you are going as a team, you must consider others' points also. And to be more selfishly precise, I wouldn't like go to these places with someone who doesn't appreciates sight-seeing rather than the spirit of travelling. So let them be my own pleasures.
With all these calculations we finally came down to Murud-Janjira and Aurangabad. This time two more friends came into picture. But one of them had already visited MJ and the other had visited Aurangabad! The first one was soon out of the campaign as he had some other appointments this weekend. So we three again got together started discussing all over. I didn't really prefer Murud-Janjira as I was actually planning for hill or jungle not a beach! So when all the places were again discussed, among three of us, Toranmal suddenly emerged as black horse as the third friend is fond of trekking. Now the battle narrowed down on Toranmal and Aurangabad. I liked all the places, and I don't mind to go to any of them either. So I tried to keep a nutral position!
After a long meeting of almost five hour, when we went to bed, it was still undecided where to go. TOday we were supposed to meet again in the office to finalize. But we couldn't make it and when we got together after office, it was too late for today to start on a trip! I realized they won't be able to make it at all and went back to my original plan of goign alone. May be they'll go for a hike in the nearby Sinhagad or Shivneri and I might go to Mandu or somewhere else through Nasik. It all depends how do I feel tomorrow morning! My vacation is already half spoilt and over planned.
Moral of the story: we plan only when we are afraid of the unknown!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Everyday is a new year's day and every night is new years eve! Why do we celebrate so vigorously on this particular 31st December night? Last night was a restless night. Fireworks and crackers made the night sleepless. I was, I don't know why, in a depressed mood. I tried to sleep off early and the firecrackers kept me awake till one o'-clock in the early morning.
Lying on my bed I was thinking why the hell we celebrate this new year so ecstatically? What is the reason behind 31st December being the last day of the year? I mean to say the year could have been started at any other day - say 1st February!
There must be a reason behind the calenders we follow - a real astronomical or socio-economic reason. Say if the new year starts after the last day of harvest it is well justified. Over a century of evolution that particular last-day-of-harvest could be fixed to be a particular day in a particular calender. Reasonable, isn't it? But to be more authentic, the calender should follow astronomical events, not simple earthly events, which are not so perfectly regular. For example if a calender is based on the Equinoxes and Solstices, it will be a perfectly reasonable calender.
I think every calender is based on astronimcal events. But I was wondering which astronomical events form the basis of the Julian calender that starts on 1st January, 11 days after the Winter Solstice.