Why Do Fellow Indians Post The Dumbest Questions On Quora?

I love social media and I am very active on Facebook & Youtube but a little less on Twitter. Recently, I think mainly in the last 2 months or so, I have been very active on Quora. Quora – if you didn’t know – s a place to gain and share knowledge. It’s a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers. So if you had some questions on a particular subject on anything, you can ask about it. Be it literature, politics, science, medicine, science fiction, sports, religion, atheism, festivals, mythology, etc etc.

What I have noticed is that there are some really bad questions out there. They assume so much and ask the stupid questions that we have heard a lot and have shown it to be silly many times over – but they are still out there. If it comes from a place of genuine unawareness and ignorance and they want to learn I guess it’s a good thing but a lot of them aren’t and it is really bad. And Indians in particular are so bad at it. Why are a lot of my fellow Indians asking the most obvious questions that are so obviously just to increase the number of questions that is asked from them? It is so obvious when an Indian is asking what is the reason for a religious festival that is so huge in India and everyone knows what is is about?

Or things that are easily answered via google? Like on what date will Christmas or Diwali be in a particular year? Or the reason for this or that – Google this stuff? If you have access to the internet you have access to Google. And everyone who has access to internet is aware of Google, especially in India (just in case Bing or something else like Yahoo is more popular in another country). But no – they just want to increase the number of questions their account has asked. I respect the genuine ones not the ones I am seeing on a regular basis.

How To Rent Out Your Apartment In India

Decide the rent : Find out the prevailing rental rates in your area before you set the rent amount. You can charge a higher amount your property is furnished.

Advertise: Like all sellers and service providers, you, too, have to advertise to find takers. Online portals can be of great help here. Those who are not tech-savvy can post an advertisement with local newspapers. Another simple method to advertise your property is by approach a local broker.

Draft a rent agreement : A rent agreement is a must when you let out your property. Make sure your rent agreement has all the details, including term of lease, monthly rent, tenant’s permanent address and security deposit. It should also specify all the terms and conditions about other expenses like water and electricity bills and other maintenance charges and repair costs. The date of expiry of the lease should also be mentioned in the agreement, including a clause for extension of the lease.

Register the agreement: If you want your lease agreement to be valid and not void, get it registered. A registered agreement is considered an evidence in court in case of any legal dispute among landlord and tenant.

Get the tenant’s police verification done : Police verification tenants is not only a legal obligation but also required for your own safety. This can simply be done by filling an online form on the portals of the state police departments. You should also check your premises from time to time to ensure it is not being misused.

Ask for security deposit: A security deposit is an important mean to protect your property. It offers an assurance that your property is left in a good condition when your tenant vacates it. The amount can be used as an arrear rent or for required repairs. It is also a security in case your tenant absconds without informing you.

Discuss dos and don’ts: Do discuss your terms and conditions with your prospective tenant. For instance, you may not like your tenant to keep a pet or play loud music late in the night. Such open and clear discussions in advance will not lead to any disagreements at a later stage.

How Do Atheists Celebrate Diwali?

We don’t. This is what I did this Diwali; the same thing I do most Diwalis. I have the day off, so I slept in a little. Woke up and had coffee and then made breakfast. Watched a lot of Youtube and played music. Sang along with some of my rock n metal favourites. I check for any good deals on Flipkart/Amazon. I then watched movies and relaxed at home.

It’s another day for us on the calender like any other day, only with a lot of noise outside due to various crackers and fireworks (although it has been less this year) being set off. No God in mind, no Ramayana  or Mahabharata to be believed in. Just another day perhaps with a lot more light around you. How do other atheists in India mark this day? By spending good quality time with the family. Eating a dangerous amounts of sweets. And doing rest of the deewali stuff.

It’s just another day. But I am glad that we get the day off from work. We can always use more days off. Let’s get more holidays on the calendar people. Let’s not pick religion for that – Star Trek Day, Stargate Day, Superman/Batman/The Flash/Deadpool day? Let’s give the day off for everyone.

Does India Celebrate Halloween?

Although this fascinating festival is mostly celebrated in countries like the United States, Ireland, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Australia it hasn’t found a big imprint on the Indian sub-continent for so long. Even as the craze of the festival is now quickly rising in various regions of India, it is still a very, very minor event when compared to the major festivals of the nation. Still now, a huge section of the population thinks it is something that was created from horror movies.

Globalization & multi-national companies/BPOs in India have made some changes to that thought. Just like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, Halloween is now also gaining special attention in India. Especially the people of the metro cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai celebrate Halloween with much enthusiasm. In these cities, pubs and hotels offer scary theme parties to attract customers. Here, its craze is high, especially among the youth. In my city Kochi, there are a few BPOs that do conduct small events with face painting and costume wearing at the offices.

Due to the association of violent and horror images of this festival India also faced criticism about celebrating this festival. A couple of reasons given against celebrating Halloween in India are:

  • According to the Indian mindset, it is not a tradition to indulge in the celebration of the departed souls and saints by highlighting horror and ghosts. Even if it is done on a lighter note and fun way, as in Halloween.
  • Indian traditions perceive remembrance by fasting or prayer and charity in the specific period. The tradition to commemorate the departed souls with festivity doesn’t go well with them.

Some year down the line, Halloween will hook the Indian public and we will celebrate it with the pomp and splendor that this awesome festival deserves. Until, then the small pockets of society will continue to dress up and don face paint in their offices and select pubs.

McDonald’s Chunky Chipotle American Chicken Burger

McDonald’s India turns 25 this year and the brand is giving its consumers, one more reason to celebrate this milestone! After 25 years of serving favourites like McAloo Tikki, Maharaja Mac, McSpicy, Mc Veggie & McChicken, Westlife Development Ltd led McDonald’s (West & South India), has unveiled a new range of indulgent Gourmet Burgers. This Chef’s special range consists of unique and generously sized, scrumptious burgers with signature McDonald’s touches to add some more favorites to your list.

The Chunky Chipotle American Chicken Burger: Double flame-grilled chunky Chicken patties, smeared with a Roasted Chipotle sauce, Cheese, Red Onions, Jalapeno and a delish salad layered between freshly toasted Quarter Pound Buns. This is the one that I have tried so far. It’s actually better than their usual menu items, especially their patties tasted & looked more delicious. I really liked this burger and would hope they continue to keep it on their menu.

Zomato & Tamil Nadu : A Language Lesson Needed For The Ignorant

This country has gotten itself into another language related incident. Food delivery company Zomato landed in a soup after one of its employees told a customer, during a grievance redressal conversation, that everyone should know Hindi as it is the national language. The exchange soon triggered a Twitter storm with many slamming the company for imposing the language on customers. Zomato later issued a public apology for the incident in Tamil and English, and informed the customer that they have “terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture”.

On Monday, a Zomato customer identified as Vikash tweeted screenshots of his conversation with the company executive. The screenshots indicate that Vikash was having an issue with his order and had asked the executive to check with the restaurant. The Zomato employee informed Vikash that they had tried calling the restaurant five times but wasn’t able to communicate with the staff due to the “language barrier”.

The customer then said that if Zomato is available in Tamil Nadu, they should hire a Tamil-speaking person to understand the language and went on to ask the executive to contact the outlet to initiate the refund. In reply, the executive said, “For your kind information Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi little bit.” She was ofcourse very wrong – Hindi & English are recognized official languages but we do not have a national language. As his tweets were shared online, even a local MP took to Twitter to ask Zomato about this.

The company later insisted that the employee’s remarks did not represent Zomato’s stance on language and diversity and called the incident “unacceptable”. A Tamil version of the app is also in the works, it added. The company needs to get the agent in question a lesson on India and how diverse we are and also she should learn some etiquette.

RIP Nedumudi Venu

Versatile Malayalam film actor Nedumudi Venu passed away earlier today. He died on 11 October 2021, at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram due to post-COVID-19 complications. He was also battling stomach-related ailments for the past few months. He was aged 73.

Kesavan Venugopal (22 May 1948 – 11 October 2021), known popularly by his stage name Nedumudi Venu, was an Indian film actor from Kerala, who predominantly worked in the Malayalam Cinema. He acted in more than 500 films, primarily in Malayalam and also in Tamil. He wrote screenplays and directed one film. He won three National Film Awards and six Kerala State Film Awards for his various performances.

Venu started his career in theater and went on to act in films. He was a member of Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s dramas. He debuted in the film Thambu (1978), by director G Aravindan. His acting skills were showcased in the Bharathan film Aaravam. Padmarajan’s Oridathoru Phayalwan and Kallan Pavithran set a milestone for him. It marked his start in Karanavar (head of the family) roles, which included most of his memorable performances.

Venu wrote scripts for movies. He wrote the stories for the films Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Theertham, Sruthi, Ambada Njaane!, Oru Katha Oru Nunnakkatha, Savidham and Angane Oru Avadhikkalathu. He also tried his hand in direction with Pooram. He acted in a few Tamil films with director Shankar, such as Kamal Hasan’s Indian and Vikram’s Anniyan.

McDonald’s India Tries To Get Fancy Gourmet

How did I miss this? McDonald’s India has recently launched a new line of gourmet burgers. Yes you read that right! This unique collection features not one or two but 11 exclusive rich, filling, indulgent, generously sized, and temptingly delicious burgers, with signature McDonald’s touches. Gourmet Burger offerings from the McDonald’s India menu pack comes in with plenty of extras—think more veggies, more sauces, new buns, and in some cases, two patties. Choices can be made between their flaming-hot spicy burgers and the very sinful cheesy burgers, based on what your taste buds prefer or what your mood dictates.

Here’s the lust-list of our excellent 11 from the McDonald’s Gourmet Burger menu. A mere look at their names, and you can say they’re a treat like no other!

  • Triple Cheese American Veg Burger
  • Triple Cheese American Chicken Burger
  • Cheese Lava American Veg Burger
  • Cheese Lava American Chicken Burger
  • Chunky Chipotle American Chicken Burger
  • Jalapeno Rush Paneer Burger
  • Jalapeno Rush Chicken Burger
  • McSpicy Premium Veg Burger
  • McSpicy Premium Chicken Burger
  • Piri Piri Spiced Veg Burger
  • Piri Piri Spiced Chicken Burger

Guess I have to try all of them soon.

Family Favourite Fast Food Chain : Chicking

So it’s the weekend and you have your family & you feeling hungry. You wanna watch a football match on tv or a movie with the family and you don’t want to waste time in cooking. What do you do? You order in food from Chicking. What is Chicking?

Chicking is a fast food restuarant chain very similar to KFC and that was launched in the year 2000 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  since then, the brand has grown to become extremely popular in 23+ countries with more than 180+ outlets.  In India First outlet opened in MG Road and now spread more than 56 outlets including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Mumbai & Delhi, serving families and alternate to KFC and other Southern Fried Chicken outlets.

While their main flagship item is the southern fried or batter fried chicken buckets and the sandwiches or chicken burgers, they do have a lot of other options on their menu. They also have chicken wraps and subs and recently introduced tacos. The Mexita is a good sub sandwich. They have chicken nuggets & popcorn chicken as well as chicken strips. They have a decent veggie section which are mostly based on their chicken counterparts.

Along with their batter fried chicken they also have flame grilled chicken though it isn’t as good as it used to be. They have rice bowls with chicken in them and they also have some decent pizzas. I think I will do a separate post on their pizzas as I am planning a pizza series for various options in Cochin. But they they do have a few. And they mostly have Coke & 7Up as well as a couple of virgin mojitos. Overall, something for the whole family.

It’s Oreo Cookies In A 5 Star Bar

What is this – two of my favourites in one? A 5Star Oreo bar? Mondelez India, the makers and bakers of some of India’s favourite snacking brands – Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Bournvita, and Oreo among others, had launched in March a chocolate bar called Cadbury 5Star Oreo, strengthening their premium snacking portfolio and empowering consumers with more choice, yet again.

This stellar combination of the creaminess and crunchiness of OREO and the chocolatey caramel zest of Cadbury 5Star is a sandwich in a sandwich, which aims to entice and tantalize the taste buds of the consumers who are constantly exploring newer eat experiences. Layered with chocolate, caramel, Oreo cream and biscuit chunks, each bite of this decadent duo is sure to leave you with a scrumptious lingering taste. The launch of the multi-textured Cadbury 5Star Oreo will be supported by a 360-degree integrated marketing communication, which includes strong digital, innovative outdoor, solid in-store visibility and engagement building influencer activity. Priced at Rs. 35, Cadbury 5Star Oreo is sure to bring the most delicious and crunchy indulgence experience ever and I can’t wait to try one.

RIP Milkha Singh

Captain Milkha Singh also known as The Flying Sikh, died yesterday. He was an Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army.  At the age of 91, he succumbed to post covid-19 complications Friday night after a month-long battle with the virus. He is the only athlete to win gold in 400 metres race at the Asian Games as well the Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements.

The race for which Singh was best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games, which he had entered as one of the favourites. Various records were broken in the race, which required a photo-finish and saw American Otis Davis being declared the winner by one-hundredth of a second over German Carl Kaufmann. Singh’s fourth-place time of 45.73 seconds was the Indian national record for almost 40 years. From beginnings that saw him orphaned and displaced during the Partition of India, Singh has become a sporting icon in his country. In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”.

Singh’s autobiography, The Race of My Life (cowritten with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka), was published in 2013.  The book inspired Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a 2013 biographical film of Singh’s life. The film is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and stars Farhan Akhtar in the lead role, and Divya Dutta and Sonam Kapoor in pivotal roles.

Kerala Pandemic Lockdown Eased

Ah it’s some good news! Kerala will get to see more relaxations starting today as the state government decided to ease lockdown restrictions that were placed to check the spread of Covid-19. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there would be relaxation on curbs in the state, based on the average weekly Test Positivity Rate in Local Self Government bodies. He also said that strict restrictions will continue in the state during the weekend.

  • Shops selling essential goods to open every day from 7 AM to 7 PM
  • State-run beverages outlets will reopen in a restricted manner.
  • Activities in the industrial and agricultural sectors will be allowed in all local bodies. Transportation will be provided to workers in these areas.
  • Akshaya Kendras will be open from Monday to Friday.
  • Central and state government offices, Public Sector Undertakings, government companies, Commissions, corporations and autonomous institutions will be allowed to operate with 25 per cent staff on a rotation basis
  • Private companies will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent of employees.
  • The Secretariat would function with up to 50 per cent of the staff on a rotation basis.
  • Public transport would be allowed on a limited basis
  • Banks would continue to operate only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The number of those participating in weddings and funeral services will continue to be limited to 20.
  • No social gatherings or public events will be allowed.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to offer only home deliveries and takeaways.
  • Tourism, recreation and indoor activities in crowded areas, including malls, would not be allowed.
  • BEVCO outlets and bars can open from 9 AM to 7 PM and slots should be booked through the app.

Lockdown Extended Till 16th June

The lockdown in Kerala, which was to have ended on June 9, has been extended by a week till June 16. There will be a complete lockdown with no movement allowed on June 12 and 13, an order by the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office said. Stores selling essential commodities, raw materials for industries (including packaging), construction materials and banks will continue to function as they are doing now, it added.

The Covid death toll in the state crossed the 10,000 mark on Monday. In a statement issued here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 9,313 people turned positive after 70,569 samples were sent for testing in the past 24 hours, taking the total active cases to 1,47,830. The day saw 221 Covid deaths, taking the total death toll to 10,157. Vijayan had, last month, warned that the death rate has every chance to go up as the number of daily cases last month had crossed 40,000. The lockdown extension came though last week indicating that the stringent restrictions would be withdrawn if the test positivity rate for three successive days comes below 15 per cent and the total number of active case drops below two lakh.

But despite the two parameters being accomplished and Monday’s TPR at 13.20 per cent, the high-level official meeting here decided to extend the lockdown till June 16. The day, however, saw 21,921 people turn negative, taking the total cured to 24,83,992. Across the state there were 6,32,868 people under observation which included 39,061 people in hospitals, while the state had 889 hotspots.

Vanilla Lattes From CCD

Vanilla lattes are one of my favourite coffees to drink. Ofcourse now because of Covid I mostly order in my coffees, be it hot lattes or cappuccinos or cold frappes from one of the coffeeshops. Today’s brew is from Cafe Coffee Day. My once favourite place to go for a cold or hot coffee. They haven’t seemed to improve on their menu much but some of their coffees sure do hit the spot.

Vanilla lattes are made with 1?¼ cups 2% milk, 2 tablespoons vanilla flavored syrup & 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger brewed espresso. Pour milk into a steaming pitcher and heat to 145 degrees F to 165 degrees F (65 to 70 degrees C) using the steaming wand. Measure the vanilla syrup into a large coffee mug. Brew espresso, then add to mug. Pour the steamed milk into the mug, using a spoon to hold back the foam. Spoon foam over the top.

These are best enjoyed hot and with a biscotti or some cookies on the side. Or maybe a muffin. Or even a sandwich. Hmmm I could go for a nice sandwich right about now.

Living On McDonald’s For A Day

So since the recent lockdown started on May 8th I have been staying in alone at home. Most of my meals have been delivered from restaurants and cafes. Breakfast I can manage with a bit of bread but I am not good at cooking so I order in for lunch and dinner.

It’s usually a wrap or some rice and veggie gravy but yesterday I got stuck on getting some McDonalds’s as I felt like getting one. So for lunch I bought a McSpicy Paneer burger (yeah yeah, I know a veggie burger) with fries and a Coke. When I got it the burger went down well but for some reason I didn’t like the fries. I usually eat my fries first before I unwrap the burgers but I just couldn’t wait to be done with the fries. And I usually love fries. For some reason I didn’t like them.

In the evening I wanted to get some sub or wraps from Subway and also get a cookie or two. However due to the lockdown, the delivery services like Zomato & Swiggy are only allowed to deliver till 7:30 pm and hence most of the restaurants stop accepting orders by 6:15 pm or 6:30 pm and I completely forgot to order them because I was in the shower. I tried but I couldn’t get any of the Subways (6) in the city. I checked and saw that McDonald’s was available. Two orders from McD’s in the same day? Well I got a double McSpicy chicken with 6 piece nuggets and a large Oreo McFlurry. No fries this time.

So for a day I was like millions of people in a Western country who perhaps have had all their meals for a day from McDonald’s. Like maybe in America, where as far as I know, some people who are below the poverty level do get a lot of their food from the Golden Arches as they are cheaper. And it was ok!

Heavy Rainfall In Kerala Due To Cyclone Tauktae

We been having continuous rain, heavy rain for the most part, non-stop since yesterday evening. It’s been 24 hours now since the rain started. We are experiencing this following cyclonic storm prediction by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The storm is expected to hit Kerala in the next 18-22 hours. For Kerala, the department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places on May 14-15 and heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places on May 16 and 17.  

Sea conditions will be rough to very rough over Comorin area and along and off Kerala coast on 14th and 15th, very rough to High over east central Arabian Sea along and off Karnataka coast on 15th May and Maharashtra – Goa coasts on 15th & 16th May. It is very likely to be very rough to High over northeast Arabian Sea along & off south Gujarat coast from 17th May morning. The IMD has also issued a red alert in five other districts for Saturday– Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod. Located near Lakshadweep, the low pressure will move in a north-westerly direction gaining enough speed by Sunday.

Many areas in south Kerala have been witnessing heavy rainfall and strong winds since morning and high tide has been reported in several coastal areas. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority has also advised people to remain indoors and take enough safeguard against lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy downpour. Many low-lying areas in Thiruvananthapuram have been submerged due to incessant rain, revenue authorities said.