Saturday, October 30, 2010

Go! get a 3G life!!

The very first mobile phone that I held in my hands was when my father got a Nokia handset way back in 1999. It was as heavy as a brick. And incoming calls were charged at Rs. 5/minute. But, the best thing I liked then on the mobile was the "Snake game". When my father slept off, keeping his phone aside, I used to put the phone in silent mode and tried hard to better my highest record. Back then, it had cost us around Rs 18,000.

Things have changed, and have changed fast. During those days, even Internet(64K dial-up) was a rich man's card. Well, soon enough, broadband internet connections became ubiquitous, along with GPRS services on mobile phones.

As for me, I am always connected. Be it at home, office or even while I am out, my phone beeps virtually every minute. Before, it used to be SMS or WAP messages, but these days, my phone notifies me whenever someone comments on a photo on Facebook, or mentions me on Twitter, not to mention the tens of emails that I receive (I have configured my phone with 4 email accounts, I am not joking).

One of the things that I miss by not having a 3G connection is voice/video chat. I would love to use Skype to call up family and friends, see them live. While on a trip, I could easily watch videos on Youtube. GPRS/Edge aren't fast enough for this. Since I knew the 3G services would be coming soon to India, when I got a chance to replace my phone(lost) with a new one, I bought a 3G phone, even before there was any official announcements about the services. It was stolen within a month. My next buy was also a 3G phone, but I don't have a 3G SIM yet.

Having a 3G would be nice, especially, when my broadband would stop working without any warning, and I have an important mail to send. I can plug-in my phone to my laptop and enjoy uninterrupted access. I can use my laptop while I am traveling. I can update photos as and when I click them without waiting to get back to my wired broadband connection.

While on the move, my phone is my navigator. I don't have to stop and ask for directions now. In the era of smart-phones, we also need a smart network, which is reliable, easily accessible and affordable as well. With BSNL opening up the service first in India, other operators are also gearing up to provide the next generation mobile network, making our lives much more fun and enjoyable.

Movie tickets, Flight tickets, a gift for your girl friend and updating your facebook status will be a breeze. Morning news and your important emails will always reach you on time. You can finally forget your laptop at home while you are out on a date.

3G = I am enjoying it already. Always connected, till my battery lasts :) I am all excited to get a 3G SIM from Tata Docomo for myself.

This post has been submitted for the Indiblogger 3G Life blogger contest. Go get a 3G life.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Teaching kids is tough

I bet you would agree. Well, sometimes, they can be smarter than you at alphabets, arithmetic or whatever you are trying to teach them.

She was a 3 year old girl just beginning to learn alphabets. Kids can get difficult at times, and might also be uninterested, particularly when their favorite cartoon characters are starting out on yet another adventure on TV. Her mother found it too difficult to draw her attention away from the television and make her concentrate on her books. Her uncle offered to help. Her mother was more than happy to hand over the responsibility and go back to the kitchen.

Mr. Uncle seemed confident and determined at the job at hand. "She is just a 3 year old, and I have my ways of teaching", he must have thought. Today's target was to teach her at-least 2 alphabets, A and B.

She was more fond of her uncle. He used to bring her chocolates, take her out on his bike and was never angry at her. She had her reasons. Perhaps, she was bored of the cartoons and thought this was going to be interesting.

Mr. Uncle pulled out a blank sheet of paper. She sat down beside her, with a pencil in her hand, with all the focus and concentration required of her. Mr. Uncle started with 5 DOTS on the paper. She seemed confused. Mr. Uncle explained her, "Look here, the first DOT is your house, the second one is my house, the third DOT is your school, the fourth one is Papa's office and the fifth one is your friend's house. Now, to learn how to write an "A", you start from your house, go to my house, then go to your school, and then Papa's office and finally to your friend's house." He didn't connect the dots, rather he explained it to her(sequence) 2-3 times.

After Mr. Uncle was satisfied that his point was put across, he asked her, "Understood?". With a little smile on her face, she nodded her head. And then Mr. Uncle said, "Now write A with the help of dots".

Without a live demonstration, she looked confused and perplexed. Mr. Uncle tried to help her out. He said, "Ok no problem, I will help you out. How would you go from your house to mine?"

She was now smiling again. That's the hint she was looking for. With the pencil in her hand, she stoop up, and put her foot on the sheet of paper. :D

Filmy Dialogues

We all love Bollywood. I still remember those Saturday and Sunday movies on the National Television for which the whole household would eagerly wait. Everything stopped. Mom would stop cooking, my sister and me would close our books and everyone else would be rushing home to be in front of the TV. No matter what movie would be playing, those 3 hours seemed like a small theatre minus the pop-corn and the Coco Colas.

And those movies also influenced us in everyday life. Especially the dialogues. Some of them are still being played around. And I still remember and sometimes use them as well.

For example, Mr. Dharmedar's all time fav:
"Kutte, Kamine, Me tera khoon pi jaunga".

Well, that was considered as a harsh one those days. We children, for example, were never allowed to call a person or a human as a dog.

Another classy dialogue which was repeated over and over again in almost each and every movie:
Doctor: "I am sorry, Hum kuch nahi kar sakte hain" / "24 ghante tak hosh nahi aaya to hum kuch nahi kar sakte hain"

These days, nobody in the movies consult Indian doctors anymore. Perhaps, they are frustrated of hearing the same dialogs again and again.

And the policemen also had one:
"Kanoon ke haath bahut lambe hote hain".
Mr Suresh Kalmadi knows exactly the length, and thus has been able to keep himself out of reach.

Farmer: "Me iss jameen ko apne khoon se seenchta hoon".
There are no more fields or farms. Instead, there are 5 star hotels and IT companies.

Judge: "Saare saboot aur bayanat ko najar me rakhte hue, ye court is nateeze pe pahunchti hai ki muljim ko dafa 301 ke tehet faasi ki saja sunai jaye"
Nobody takes there cases to the court fearing execution. 

Gabbar Singh had a few super duper hit dialogues:
"Kitne aadmi the"
"Holi kab hai, kab hai holi"
Kalia and Samba have retired now and Gabbar's question go unheard and unanswered.

Satrughan Sinha's all time favorite: "KHAAAAMOSHHHHHHHHHHHH". 
I guess he was paid per character he spoke.

Rich villain Dad to Son: "Me tujhe is jayedaad se bedakhal karta hun"

Hero to villain: "Agar maa ka doodh piya hai to saamne aaa"

Weren't they funny? I miss them. :(

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday night friend

Who doesn't want a few extra bucks for a few clicks! Even I, at some point of time was lured by those paid survey sites that make grand promises of paying you dollars in return of a few clicks. My initial clicks fetched me quite a few dollars, but very soon I realized that this is just a scam. They never actually pay you.  Well, that's not really what I have in mind right now.

I was just killing my time browsing, and watching TV happily. I noticed my gmail window blink with a new chat message. It was 3:00 am in the morning, and I was quite surprised to see someone ping me at this hour. It was from an old friend. It must have been almost about half a year when I had last talked, chatted or seen him. Here's our conversation.

He: Hi
Me: Hey, long time, wassup?
He: Are you free?

Me: Yup, sort of, just enjoying the Friday night.
He: Can you do me a favor?

(Ah, there he goes, I started thinking about what would he ask for. In a split second I knew exactly what he would be asking for)

Me: Hold on, Are you going to ask me to complete one of those damn MBA surveys?
He: Hehehe, LOL, How did you know?
Me: Dude, you MBA guys only contact non-MBA people only when you need these surveys done.
He: Hehehe, please, yaar, I have to submit this tomorrow, and you are the first one who would be helping me out. It's an interesting one and you will actually like it. I have personally prepared it, keeping today's generation in mind. It's about alcohol consumption, and....
Me: Ok Stop, I don't want to know the details. I will do it.
(@#$!$%&@ a good 10 minutes of my already ending Friday up for those MBAs)

I got the questionnaire within a second of typing out that line. He must have already prepared the mail even before he started chatting with me, all prepared to hit the "Send button". Well, the questionnaire was all but interesting. I really don't understand what are they going to make out of it. Anyway, I just skimmed across the questions, and marked my random answers, and sent it back.

He: Thanks dude, I will mention your name in my assignment. Can you do me one more favor?
(Well, I couldn't think of anything else this time. I brain had gone completely dead)
Me: WHAT? I just did it.
He: Can you send out this questionnaire to your friends and ask them to fill it up?

:@ :@ :@ I clicked on the "SIGN OUT" button right after that.

PS: "He" was actually a "She". :D I have just decided that I wouldn't be doing any more such surveys, and I would refuse any such requests right-away. So, the MBAs, beware. I will not do anymore surveys for free. You have to pay up now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today's generation - Kewl

Times have been changing. This change has been so drastic and fast that the older generation find it hard to adapt and accept. I am considering myself the older generation here since I, myself seem to find it difficult at times not too raise my eyebrows.

  • You can get everything on the internet. Anything indeed.
  • Dude or Dood!!! It's the new avataar of "Hi".
  • Guys with long hair are "COOL".
  • Bikes with "loud" silencers are the latest craze. We could call them "Amplifiers instead"
  • You are an outcast if you don't have a profile on Facebook.
  • Your popularity is determined by the number of results on Google.
  • You got to tweet before you sleep, and also tweet about your dreams as you see them.
  • The fashion quotient of your clothes is directly proportional to the number of holes in your pants.
  • You have your father and mother as friends on Facebook.
  • Popcorns are costlier than the movie tickets.
  • Your pets are jealous of your smart-phones these days. They just don't get any kind of attention. You can get your customized e-pets on your phones who seem to be more real.
  • Smileys put through your emotions better.

Ummm, Things change, they will keep on changing. We don't want to be left behind, do we?

Monday, October 4, 2010

My smart phone - Really?

With the influx of numerous smart phones, the average user is all but confused when it comes to choosing a phone for himself. The world has moved ahead, pretty fast. And so has the technology. Today is the time where information travels faster than anything else, perhaps even thoughts. With the Blackberrys, iPhones, Androids and the Nokias all over the place, it's virtually a battleground, and everyone wants a share of the pie. I guess, this sense of competition brings about the best in technology to the consumers. I am quite happy with my so-called "Smart Phone", but I would like to see a few more things that could really make my phone smart. Here are some of them.

  1. I talk on the phone alright. But it would be really cool if I could "TALK TO MY PHONE". I mean, I should be able to control my phone completely by talking to it. No more clicking, no more touching. That would be cool.
  2. Video calling. Yeah yeah, it's available on a few phones, but still, a majority of the phones out there don't yet support video calling.
  3. A better anti-theft solution from what are available right now. When we lose a phone, it's virtually impossible to get it back. May be something like, I would get the details of the person holding my phone delivered to my email. I mean all the details, his photo, his name and address, his location and anything else that is available, and then directions to the nearest police station too :) . That would be really nice. Smartphones are costly, and nobody likes to lose them.
  4. More battery power. How about a solar powered battery, or at-least an in-built charger for the battery that charges your batteries when you are out in the sun. I don't like phones that go dead when I am on an important call.
  5. A really smart keyboard. BlindType is very impressive. Cool.
  6. I would like to remote control my appliances at home. I know it's not too far though. Google's Powermeter and similar technologies would make it a reality someday, for everyone. Even my car, that would be just perfect.
  7. Somehow, allowed me to communicate with my friends and family when I am out of my provider's coverage area. For example, Mt. Everest. It might use satelite communication to push my message through. Well, I expect this service to be costly. and won't mind paying.
  8. Phones that can interact with people with disabilities.
Smart phones have really gone smart today. They helps us navigate, it's a personal diary for some, they tell us time, weather, give us the latest news updates, keep us connected to the whole world. But still, these pretty little devices haven't been able to reach the most needed ones. It would be great if the price of a smartphone comes down to levels that makes them affordable for all. That would make it really really SMART.

Checkout the new phone from Tata Docomo called the OneTouch Net

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fright of a child - Almost lost

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 15; the fifteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
There will always be some stories in your life which you will never forget. And those stories or incidents can also have a deep impact on our personality. I have always believed that events in our early stages of life (childhood) determine who and what we will finally turn out to be. One of such things that still lingers in my mind is from my childhood days. I don't really remember how old I was, but I guess I was in the 5th standard.

This was our first trip outside Orissa. We were going to New Delhi. Since I was a child, I was not really a travel freak. My father loves traveling, and he still does. Perhaps, because that was our first such trip, I was excited and thrilled. My little sister was still being carried around in somebody's arms, always, and I considered myself a grown-up, ready to take care of myself, and "walked" along with them. Ah!! What a trip that was. We covered almost the whole of North India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

Well, the story is about our journey to New Delhi. It was my first journey by train, and my sister's as well. I guess, she was still too young to know what was going around. And I was very very excited. That was the trip which ingrained in my mind, the fact that "New Delhi" was the capital of India. Being an inquisitive mind, as I have always been, I was expecting this trip to be the most memorable one, and it finally turned out to be one of them. After 2 days of traveling by train, we reached the New Delhi railway station. I was told that my uncle who worked in the Army would come to pick us up.

As soon as the train halted, the whole compartment went berserk. I thought the train would be leaving soon after stopping for a few minutes, as I had been noticing for the countless stations that went past. At every station, people were always in a hurry to either get down or board the train. I sensed emergency. My father started collecting our luggage, my mom picked up my sister. I thought they needed my help. I scanned my eyes over all the boxes, and tried picking up one. It was heavy, but I managed to load it on my arms. My father started moving towards the exit. I followed him. The bag was heavy, but I still carried it with all my strength. My mom was walking besides me. My sister had just woke up amidst all the noise.

I kept following my father, never looking back to check my mother and sister. He was walking, rather pacing away. I didn't have the time to look back else I would lose him, I thought. Suddenly, I heard someone shout out my name from behind. "Bini, Bini". It sounded familiar, I turned back to see my uncle running towards me. He came running to me, and asked, "Where are you going?". I said, "Papa is looking for you", pointing in the other direction. He smiled and took my hand. We started walking the other way, away from my father. I was wondering if I should remind him again that we should be walking the other way. But I was confused. "Where's Mom, and my sister?" I thought. After sometime, I could see them, all of them together. My mother was crying, father looked really worried and my sister trying to assess and understand the situation, still in Mom's arms.

Father bent down and put his hand on my head, and asked, "Where were you going?" I said,"I was following you". Only then I realized that I was following the brown jacket that my father had put on. I might have been half asleep, and sleep walking then. I don't really remember.

Being a child, I didn't know how to react then. But whenever I remember that day, I always feel lucky. I would have been lost that day. At the railway station. The vivid memories of the brown jacket, my mom's tears and my uncle running towards me still come to my mind whenever I am at the railway station. I feel lonely and sad, whenever I am at the railway station. Whenever I visit the railway station, either to see off someone, or to go on yet another journey myself, a feeling of sadness and loneliness gets over me. The fright of a child of getting lost, the fear of going away from dear ones and the feeling of being among the unknowns still haunts me, and perhaps always will, till my last journey.
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