Daughters 2

As much as it is unbelievable, this relates to my previous post that once again I have news of three more daughters born to people I know (or have known). For some of them who are not in touch, I really am glad for them. My unbound blessings fly down on the angels.

All the right things are seem to be happening in their own way, just someone fix that oil leak please – and, like let go of Kyrgyzstan’s problems – and of course, @Americans: can you start saving more than spending something you really CAN-NOT-AFFORD?

Fusion

I finally bought a Ford Fusion (nickname: Musa) over the last weekend, thus ending a long standing quest on which car it would have been. I weighed this car against Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Jetta (comparison chart on cars.com). Fusion has quite a few useful (and quite desirable) features at the same price that the other two cars were missing. Since for the most part, I would be using this car for intra-city driving with bi-monthly long trips, I didn’t see a lot of value into getting  details under the hood.  This is a 175-hp engine (I am not power-crazy). Am pretty happy that I didn’t get the V-6 after all, it’s pretty silly to drive them. I loved the pre-fit Sirius XM, audio controls on the wheel and a Sync feature (which is from M$, but heck, it’s the feature we’re talking about here) – which enables you to receive and make calls right from the steering wheel. For the most part, these are pretty high end model features. The moon roof was something that I just noticed. Nice.

Ford has a maintenance contract (which is probably negotiable) for 6 years or 75K miles – I bought it.  Since Fordies are said to behave not too well,  I liked being backed up on the service bills at least. This was something I debated quite a few times over with Soni (I was against buying it), eventually it turned out worth spending something there.

Looking all around myself, I see fewer Fords on the road than Hondas, Nissans, Toyotas and even Chevys. I guess, not a lot of love for Ford after all – but am loving it pretty much.

For the record, this is my second car. The first one (and people get surprised at that too) was a Indica (petrol) and it was an awesome ride at that price. Go to hell Maruti. Same to you, Toyota.

Moved

After eight years in Bengaluru, I had to move for a newer opportunity in Santa Clara. The last few weeks were crazy with high business that everyone does once in their lifetime. I made two house purchase decisions (one for myself and another one for my parents), financial clean-ups, stuff shifting, selling old stuff, buying new, spending time with my folks, trying to get documents out from Govt. offices and a lot of other crazy ways to drain money. Just for the people who didn’t receive my calls in return for theirs – I was working over time to finish a lot of stuff before moving out, so I deeply apologize for this misbehavior.

On a random note, never travel on Air France. Had problems with a lot of things; food, seats, general cleanliness of the aircraft, schedule and then the staff’s “oh-you-don’t-know-anything” look. Comparing them to Delta, it was a much more pleasurable flight with those folks and that’s what I’ll prefer next time.

On another absolutely random note, Sarnath is a very beautiful place and is a must visit if you are in the vicinity. The place is very tourist friendly, the best thing being that it has a lot of cheap (though pretty nicely setup and clean) places to stay – guest houses and hotels alike. You won’t really have to stay there to see the whole place – but may be this place is a better bet than Varanasi if you also wanted to explore other areas. Sarnath is hardly 10 km away from Varanasi and not a big deal to get there and back. I certainly rate this place as the best find in UP for the year (refreshing to see that there are some places still pretty clean). More photos here.

Kashi

..also known as Benaras, Banaras and Varanasi. The city looks welcoming though it has a capillary capacity to do so. The roads are narrower than they look and the transportation is haphazard – not to mention the jumbled up nature of the modes available. May be it is more of a trend of getting used to the setup that sets in once you are here.

Going to the ghats was a surprising event since all I could see was a train of rickshaws (leg-pulled) carrying a lot of foreigners on them. I looked at the people around in amazement who were unaffected by foreign presence, while I was more than pleasantly surprised. The experiences in other Indian cities (Delhi, Lucknow and Bangalore)  have been very bad – people harass, bother and bug any foreign looking person unnecessarily, but Banaras is a class apart. You may belong to any creed and no one bothers you. In fact, foreigners are treated at par with the locals and given the same rates and bargain offers. So all you visitors to the Taj Mahal, do come to Benaras! :)

The DasAshwamedh ghat is a fabulous site at night. Especially the Aarti there is a treat for both tourists and pilgrims alike. Though it was my first time witnessing an Aarti on a Ganga (Ganges) ghat, I did not feel the novelty – possibly because of my familiarity with the steps performed. The procession following it was quite a sight and a must watch for folks coming here.

Even though my left molar is breaking up due to an irresponsible scaling done by a dentist (do not visit Dr. Sathya’s clinic in Kormangala, Bangalore), I did not stay back from relishing what this city has on offer. Samosas, kachodis, gol-guppe, aloo chat and much more – I tried out everything so far I have come across. All I’ve to do is making sure that my Diclofenac dosage is alive, thanks to my father’s prescription.

The best part about Varanasi are the distances. Any office, bank, institution, apartment – any thing at all, you just spend a ten rupee note and get there. From the farthest corner to the other end, the city is really a sub-urban center with everything close by. Some common-sense for other cities: please keep all your financial institutions in one place, and that’s what Benaras has done. Come to Sigra (a place in Varanasi), and find everything nearby.

I did not arrive into Varanasi for tourism, the purpose could not be any more distant, but as co-incidence would have it, all I have been doing this year around is going to pilgrimage points (earlier in the year to Rameshwaram, though for a solar eclipse viewing). I feel relaxed now for my original goal of coming to Varanasi is nearing fulfillment.

Buying property/house in Varanasi? A word of caution. Please do not engage in any dealing with local brokers. There is a famous broker on the internet: Lalwani properties. These guys are extremely unprofessional, waste a lot of your time and will finally get you to a property that is undervalued and you will have to give out black cash to fill up the gaps. All that money goes black. Do not use Lalwani properties. Also, there’s another dealer: Varanasi propzone – please do not use them either. They are again unprofessional and will take all your time. Do not use Varanasi Propzone either if you want to save time. I don’t know about their service, but can assure you of their unprofessionalism about starting up on the wrong note. The best way is to find out reputed builders and then buy houses and properties directly from them.

Uncorners

I have come to believe, that life isn’t sweet as much as it in the unexpected corners. So let’s “uncorner” those things that get ignored just because they are not perfect. I mean, you can make every thing nice and square, but then what’s the fun?

So see this comment, and if you have a little more time, read the whole post (and the comments). I leave it to you to decide on when you want to stop laughing. No rules. No offenses either, just laugh and forward err, forget. ;)

This is some blog-ham, if you don’t mind. Heh.

Movie: MNIK – 2.5/5 #MNIK

Overly melodramatic fairy tale.

Ingredients of a box-office blow off in Bollywood:

  • controversial topic – Muslims are targeted
  • leading to – controversy before the film gets released by Shiv Sainiks (these dumbos I tell you)
  • leading to – “I wanna watch Papa Khan and Amma Kajol again, puhleez”
  • leading to – an SRK playing a guy affected with Asperger syndrome and a Muslim on screen
  • leading to – rough American customs official with no heart screwing an innocent Asperger syndrome affected guy – and they obviously have a fetish for wriggly humans  so that the audience can start crying their damn tear glands out to the loud background music which goes to hit the dog skull in you
  • leading to – OMFG! THIS IS THE MOST FUC*ING MOVIE I EVER CRIED MY FUC*ING EYES OUT ON! FUC*ING SRK!
  • leading t0 – OMG! OMG! YOU SAW IT AND FUC*ING CRIED! I HAVE TO SEE THE FUC*ING DRAMA TOO..

That’s what it is. Go and FUC*ING change your life. DONT. Please do something more useful if you have to.

Someone tweeted that the character was based on the book Curious Incident of the Dog.. It might be a co-incidence, but if it wasn’t not sure if M. Haddon got credits.

Rajasthan CM Gehlot: The Biggest Dimwit?

This was reported on NewsX with Gehlot blurting out live on camera.

News: Jodhpur blood transfusion scam – children transfused with HIV+ blood

NewsReporter: Mr. Gehlot, what’s the Govt. doing..
CM Gehlot: We’ve sent an inquiry and authorities will be following up.
NewsReporter: How much time before we can see the reports..
CM Gehlot: We just won the Panchayati elections, we’re celebrating that “arre abhi to uski khushi manaiye aap log, Congress ne kitna bhadiya..
…err, cut it…

Seems like this bugger has more to celebrate than the newly HIV positive children.

URL Shorteners

Was looking at all the URL shorteners out there in the world when I found out that there’s even a Firefox plugin that can let you do it with any service available. Here’s the list of services, and clicking around you can install the plugin somehow too I guess.

One very interesting service is this one: smfu.in. Looks nice, though it does the f***ing same thing.

This post also deserves a Raghuism (quote from Raghu – the quote being nearly in the same context):

Women are like good domains – the nice ones have already been taken, and to find the nice ones left, you have to go to a foreign location.

Quite a thought.