International Package Rant

I gotta rant here. I find Indian postal service to be heavy handed and highly bureaucratic. Earlier I only used to make online purchases from seller in India, not having a a credit card or an International usage enable debit card from websites like ebay India or Indian websites like Snapdeal, Myntra and Jabong. I also lived in a country where PayPal usage is also allowed for transferring money to and fro (currently India only allows you to receive money, which automatically is withdrawn towards your bank account) which makes it a pain in the ass when making payments. I only got my credit card in February and have made good usage of it.

I’ve been buying a few Star Trek ship models which are all from sellers abroad and hence I need to make them payments in dollars or pounds and it is done by the credit card via PayPal. Now this is fine, although there is a charge for doing so, which I don’t understand, but it’s like Rs.64 and I am not complaining. My complaint is on the Indian postal service & customs department, which only seems to be affecting packages from Hong Kong for some reason. I have made 3 purchases from Hong Kong, 3 from the US (all from one seller) and 1 from Germany. The second purchase from Hong Kong had 3 ships in it. The 2 packages from the US and the one from Germany, I received in10 days – 10 from the date that the seller ships it, which is usually the same day I make the transaction or the very next day.

10 days from the USA or Germany is totally fine and reasonable. But from Hong Kong – it takes so long. The seller ships it on the same day or the next and it reaches India in 3 – 5 days! Then it goes to the Customs office nearest me, which is about 25 minutes away, and it just sits there. Take this purchase for example; I made the purchase on the 14th of April, seller ships it to Hong Kong post on the 15th, it goes on a plane on the 17th and reached India on the 18th of April. It goes to the Customs office on the same day, in Cochin, and it just sits there! It is the 4th of May today and I still haven’t received it. This is ridiculous! The German seller used his IPS (Indian Postal Service) equivalent Deutsche Post and it reached me in 10 days. The US seller sends the packages via USPS and reaches me in 10 days. Hong Kong is closer to me than the US or Germany – and still!

Ugh, rant over!

Fuck; These Morons Are At It Again

Here we go again:-

A division bench of Kerala High Court Tuesday ratified the new liquor policy of the Congress-led government, which had envisaged the closure of all liquor bars except those in the five-start category. The division bench also nullified the single bench order which allowed liquor licence for four-star and heritage hotels.

However, the court ratified the government decision to amend its liquor policy to allow beer and wine parlours in closed bars. The beer and wine parlours were allowed in the closed 418 bars to address the loss of jobs and cushion the impact of the new liquor policy on tourism and hospitality sectors. With today’s decision, the 312 three and four star hotels now operating can apply for only beer and wine parlour licences. Bar hotel owners association said they would challenge the verdict in the Supreme court.

What is wrong with these idiots in politics? Democracy is not for you to abuse your power and make decisions based on your own biases and agendas. Let people decide if they want to drink or not or eat a certain food or not. If you don’t like them don’t eat or drink them.

It’s time to get rid of these bastards who are dragging India back to the 13th century!

Common Courtesy When Taking The Bus

One of the many things I have noticed while riding in the buses in the city. People, most people do not care about what sort of bother they do to others in the bus. From leaning hard with their backs on your hand when you are holding onto the post, to squeezing in to their “preferred” position at your expense so that now you have to move or stand awkwardly close to them (which they may not have an issue with but you will) to putting their arms or upper body as well too close to you. Again, being inconsiderate seems to be the norm here.

When moving away from the door towards the middle of the bus which has a lot of room might make sense to you and me, it seems to escape most of these morons. Standing near the door to get the maximum view and air and proving a nuisance to anyone who is trying to get into the bus at the next stops, is so common over here. As is talking loudly to their friend in the bus or on their mobiles. Another irritant is knocking your hand that is holding the bar above while you are standing and they want to move forward – what manners did their parents teach them? None, apparently!

Though falling asleep in their seats and becoming a bother to you as they move about involuntarily can be forgiven, a little consideration for the stranger next to you is not too much to ask. And keeping you hand up as you sit too close – none of us want to smell the stench of your armpit buddy! I know they won’t change, having grown up without a thought about other people cannot be untaught as easily as it is to raise ignorant and disrespectful people. But if you read this perhaps you will think about it the next time you take the bus.

……And The Power Goes Out, Again!!!

It was a frustrating morning. From 3:45 am the power has gone out 6 times today. Leaving me a hot and sweaty mess on the bed. I haven’t gotten much sleep since and I’ve been whining on Facebook, Twitter & whatsapp left, right & center. After the beef ban, perhaps electricity is the next to go on the chopping block! Here are some of my rants:

“Wonderful. Power goes out twice in the early hours of the morning. Once at 3:45 am and comes back at 5am and then again 30 mins later. Just got the power back on again. Haven’t been able to go back to sleep. Hot and sweaty and my sheets are sticking to my legs. My pillow is wet as is my head. Fucking humidity. Fucking KSEB morons! Fucking everything. And I am tired and sleep deprived!”

“Power goes out for the 4th or 5th time this morning and it’s only 9:05 am! FANFUCKINGTASTIC!”

“Waiting for the fucking power to come back on!” – on Foursquare!

“And the power goes out again! For the 6th time this morning!
Did the Indian government ban electricity too? I mean, electricity is not as per Indian culture right?”

“Pretty soon we will ban Western style toilets – #Breaking News, Indian government declares proper toilets are anti-Indian! “We only need a hole in the ground and a large leaf! Just like ancient Indians did!” was the statement.”

Night Sky Fireball Update

Here is an update on the ‘fireball’ spotted in the night sky on the 27th of February:

A suspected depression or an impact crater, believed to be caused by a ‘fireball’ spotted on Friday night in several districts of Kerala, has been located in Karimalloor village in Ernakulam district today. The disaster management team which rushed to the spot suspects the crater could be caused due to a meteorite fall. “The samples collected by the revenue department have been sent for further verifications to GSI”, said Sekhar Kuriakose, heading the disaster management team.

Residents of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Kollam tweeted seeing the ‘huge fireball’ between 10 pm to 10.30 pm. According to the residents, a flash was seen across the sky and few cents of land in 2 different locations of Ernakulam district where the crater was noticed were also found charred. The locals said they felt tremors and witnessed sounds with the passing of the ‘object’. However, authorities of the Disaster Management team dismissed speculation that the ‘fireball’ could be celestial debris, as the consortium of space agencies closely monitors any space related activities and would have notified the management of any such appearance.

Mr Kuriakose even dismissed the ‘object’ as anything related to ‘metal’ as Air Traffic Control radar system would have recorded it. Meanwhile, science author and cosmology researcher, Rajagopal Kamath, said that the ‘fireball’ could be “a rocket or satellite debris. It also could be stony chondrite meteorites as in many places people have claimed that they have seen a bluish flame, which is peculiar to any meteorites.”

Latest update : IT WAS a fragment of a meteor!!

Fireball Seen In The Kerala Nightsky

It was a scene from a science-fiction movie last night. As I left my apartment building at 9:45 pm last night to get to Kacheripady junction and make my way over to the office, I saw a bright light, mostly white light, in the sky. I looked up as it faded away and couldn’t figure out what the heck it was. There are a couple of automobile garages / workshops near my building and I just figured that it was some work going on in there with torches and stuff. Even though it shouldn’t have light up the night sky like that. But using that as an explanation and because I wanted to hurry to the junction, I shrugged it outta my mind.

However it wasn’t just me who saw it and there was panic across the city and state. The sighting of suspected fireball-like phenomenon, reportedly accompanied with booming sound in some cases, triggered panic across the city and its suburbs on Friday night. As news spread like wildfire, people came out of their homes in droves in many places with their eyes cast towards the sky. Similar sightings were reported from many parts of the city such as Vyttila, Kakkanad, Vypeen, Palarivattom, and Kathrikkadavu and even from suburbs such as Paravur, Kizhakkambalam, Mazhuvannoor, Kolancherry and Fort Kochi. It was by around 10: 30 pm that the various media houses, police and the fire stations in the city started receiving calls from in and around Ernakulam informing them about some outlandish activity in the sky. Social media too was abuzz with reports about the sighting.

People who witnessed the unnatural event were gripped in fear as they thought it to have hit the ground. The fireball left behind an orange trail as it descended. According to reports it must be debris of meteor disintegrating as it entered the earth’s atmosphere. Another possible explanation is junk debris from an old Chinese rocket.

But we all know that it is a cover up – it is the beginning to the first wave of an alien invasion! Save yourselves

12 Days Of Christmas (Indian Version)

I cannot believe that I’ve never seen this before this morning. It’s awesome. Here are the lyrics:

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
2 mobile home park financing nosy in-laws,
unsecured credit loan and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
4 Hare Krishna, (is that Indian?)
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 5th personal loan rate uk day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
5 Indian games, (I want to be the cowboy)
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
6 unsecured payday loans IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
8 Bollywood films,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
9 telemarketers,
8 Bollywood films,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
10 minute yoga,
9 telemarketers,
8 Bollywood films,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
11 syllable names (P Sarvan Muthu Double Decker Bus)
10 minute yoga,
9 telemarketers,
8 Bollywood films,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 Indian games,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
12 cricket ball tamperers,
11 syllable names
10 minute yoga,
9 telemarketers,
8 Bollywood films,
7 eleven workers,
6 IT graduates,
5 minutes of fame,
4 Hare Krishna,
3 butter chickens,
2 nosy in-laws,
and a totally insufficient dowry.

Burger King Launches In India This Sunday

US based global hambuger/fast food restaurant chain giants Burger King will be launching in India this Sunday (9-11-2014) when they opens their doors at noon , on November 9 at New Delhi’s Select City Walk mall. And they found the most original way to launch by cashing in on three crazes of young India – pre-ordering, online shopping and fast food – by having some customers order their burgers, fries and drink via ebay. 1,200 Indians have already pre-ordered the chicken, mutton or veg versions of its signature Whopper sandwich for 128 rupees (just over $2) each. Just like other fast food chains, beef is not on the menu!

According to eBay, 540 chicken, 380 mutton and 240 vegetarian ‘Whoppers’ have been sold. Burger King India on Thursday said that there will be a separate queue for customers who ordered their burgers online through eBay. Florida based Burger King is the world’s second largest burger chain, after McDonald’s, with over 13,000 stores in 79 countries but is making a late entry into India where rivals like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Subway are already well entrenched (atleast in major cities). For instance, category rival McDonald’s has been in India for nearly two decades. Burger King chain plans to have a dozen outlets across the country in the coming months. In keeping with religious sentiments of India’s majority Hindus, beef is off the menu and so is pork which is shunned by Muslims (damn it). Like its rivals, Burger King will Indianize its menu to include items like Paneer King Melt, its sandwich filled with local cottage cheese.

After Delhi, Mumbai will be up next and you can be sure that Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta and Hyderabad will be on the radar in the coming months. Their plan is to to open a few hundred stores here over the next ten years. I hope my city is on the list sooner rather than later. And though I can understand “no beef” why not offer pork / bacon as an option? Don’t eat it if you don’t want to!

The “Kiss Of Love” Movement

It all started in the city of Calicut (Kozhikode in the local language). The “kiss of love” protest was planned after Hindu activists vandalised a cafe in Calicut city last week saying students were using the place to date. A disgusting report on a local News channel (who should be ashamed of themselves for creating a sensational type report) deploring the newer coffeeshops that have opened up near the beach area, a popular hangout for the youth of that city, secretly recorded young lovers (I assume that these are college age and perhaps just out of college kids) meeting in the private area behind the cafe “Down Town” and engaged in kissing and hugging. After the report was aired on tv, goondas from the Yuva Morcha group assaulted the cafe and it’s owners, causing damage to property as well.

Just days after that activists formed a small group and gathered massive support online via Twitter and their Facebook page. Their plan was to gather at the Marine Drive in Kochi (formerly Cochin) city on Sunday and kiss in protest. Dating and public displays of affection are still largely taboo in India. People of all ages, income brackets and ideologies soon joined in and supported the cause and made plans to meet up at Marine Drive. However, organizers failed to reach the proposed protest site after being taken into police custody as a preventive measure to ensure violence didn’t break out between them and hardline Hindus and Muslims. They were bundled into police vans about a kilometer away from Marine Drive, the proposed protest site. K.G. James, Kochi’s police commissioner, said 32 protesters were taken into police custody as a preventative measure and released a couple of hours later. They were not charged with any offence. Protests inspired by the event in Kerala were also held in other parts of India including Mumbai and Hyderabad on Sunday.

Meanwhile, organizers said their personal Facebook accounts were temporarily suspended and a page created to garner support was removed for several hours on Monday. The page has amassed over 74,000 likes since it was created last week. By late afternoon on Monday, it was accessible again. Soon after the original page disappeared, a replacement page was created and included a post containing a line by Chile’s Nobel-Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda that read, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” Facebook said the page received a large number of reports for spam and that’s why it was taken down. Users can report any page created on Facebook and can select options including “It’s harassing me or someone I know”, “I just don’t like it” or “Something else” when lodging a complaint. The page was restored back in a few hours.

This event may have had met with a “failure” in reaching it’s meeting point and having the organizers taken in by the cops (while the violent activists were roaming freely) but it succeeded in lighting a fire in the belly of most free thinking people in the state and elsewhere. Similar protests and actions are being organized in solidarity and we will see a sea change in the nation. No one has the right to beat up people who express their affection by kissing or hugging and no groups have the right to enforce their so called “morals” on the rest of us. Disgusting comments by backward thinking people – “If it was my sister seen kissing in the cafe then we would kill her” – screamed on comment on Youtube! The rights of the girls/women in her own life be damned! What do these people expect – that their sisters are only to be kept at home, learn cooking and then marry & have sex & later babies with the guy that their parents choose? She is to have no say in the matter at all? Thinking like this should be left in the 16th century where it belongs. I can’t believe this nation came up with the Kamasutra!

The Merry-Go-Round Of Kerala Politics

In Kerala we have this wonderful situation : When one party is in power, the opposition accuses them of illegal activities, crimes and corruption and will files cases, demand investigations and hold dharnas & harthals against it. In a few years the roles are reversed and the same two political goondas are at it again – the opposition is now in power and has to deflect the alleagations of illegalities, criminal & corrupt activities. And more cases filed, investigations, harthals and strikes.

All this causes unnecessary tension, strife and a whole lot of money and time wasted. And in the end WE the public are the big losers.Again and again and again!

Isn’t it high time Kerala did something about this? We know they are corrupt and greedy and liars – why do we keep electing them?

Mask Off / Mask On

We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

Unfortunately we in India do not have this tradition of celebrating Halloween and dressing up in various costumes to go trick or treat. In some MNC companies they have adopted this as part of the office culture and encourage people to participate. Personally I think we could do with some of that fun that everyone who does follow the tradition seems to enjoy. Kids & adult dressed in various costumes, going to parties or even to work and having a blast. And then the “trick or treat” – ah what fun that would have been as a kid! I’d still enjoy seeing kids here do that and keep some chocolate bars/candy for the kids who would happen to pop by.

So what would I dress up as. Now costumes as you see them in Western countries would be very expensive here and you don’t have good store or companies that would make the stuff that I’d want them to make. I would like to be a Starfleet officer or Klingon / Vulcan/ Cardassian officer or maybe a Jedi Knight. A comic book superhero – The Phantom or The Flash or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle etc. A Vampire, Zombie, Werewolf or Mummy. Maybe Captain Jack Sparrow? Or A Ghostbuster! The options are endless.

So I’d do different stuff each year and have fun with it.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

“Where Are My Grandbabies?”

I find it strange that a couple who raised their daughter under close watch & scrutinized her every move and never let her be friends with guys, let alone allow her to have a boyfriend, and ensuring that she went from home to school/college and straight back home and have almost a nil social life, is now upset that almost a year has passed since the daughter got married but she hasn’t become pregnant yet!

Maybe if you just let her have some practice she might know what to do

Some Indian parents treat their daughters mostly like “garba pathrams” (wombs) for their grand children to be conceived in! LIke her only purpose in life is to get married to the guy that they find for her, a perfect stranger, then get into bed with said perfect stranger and start making babies for her parents to play with.

“Hey, I just met you and call me crazy / but here’s my daughter / fuck her and start making babies” – ditty of those Indian parents!

2014 Indian Super League Launches

This is it. This is the trophy for which 8 newly formed teams in the inaugural Indian Super League will be fighting for. October 12th 2014 sees the start of the Indian Super League, a top tier league in Indian which features some of the best Indian loan low income players along with international stars, most though in the twilight of their careers. The league will run from October to December, with a finals series determining the champion. The formation of the league is an effort to bring some big money sponsorship to the beautiful game in India, where it stays on the sidelines both in glamour, achievements and financial benefits to cricket.

Indian football hopes that the big names and the hype will inspire more Indian footballers to spring forth from academies across the nation and also bring foreign talent, investment and investment to the next generation of footballers for us. The kind of investment that cricket has seen and hogged the limelights for so long! Unlike the majority of football leagues around the world, the ISL will not use the promotion and relegation system. Instead, the ISL will use a franchise system in which eight teams will be created to participate in the league. During the regular season, each team will play each other twice on a home and away basis. The top four teams at the end of the season will qualify for the finals series. The semi-finals will be played in a two-legged format with the winners moving onto the one-legged final. The Indian Super League will also consist of controlled rosters. Each team must sign at least one marquee player while they must also sign seven other foreigners. Of these seven foreigners, only two can be signed directly by the club with the other five coming from the foreign player draft. Each team must also have 14 Indian domestic players, four of which being local players to the city.

Above are the logos of the 8 teams. Below are some details like stadium, cities and marquee players plus coaches. I just hope this won’t become a Bollywood production and a hyped up bauble of a shame gimmick. This is India after all and with a lot of focus and news print given to the celebrity owners and stuff! The players seem almost lost in the midst of all this.

Corrupt Political Leader Found Guilty & Sentenced

Just felt that I had to add my 2 cents worth about the stunning news that seems to be on every news channel in India at the moment (mum & I have seen news reports on 6 to 7 ourselves). The news is that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was sentenced today to four years in prison after being convicted in an Rs. 66-crore disproportionate assets case by a special sessions court in Bangalore. The alleged illegal wealth includes 2,000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and 12,000 saris.  Three others were also convicted in case. Jayalalithaa, chief of the AIADMK, was also asked to pay a fine of Rs.100 crore. Jayalalithaa ceases to be MLA and CM and goes to jail tonight.

Her conviction has triggered massive protests across the state, with AIADMK workers targeting DMK supporters. Tension prevails as protesters burn effigies of DMK President M Karunanidhi, MK Stalin and MK Alagiri. AIADMK workers tear DMK party posters in various places including in Chennai and Madurai and pelt stones in Ambattur, salem, Cuddalore, Srirangam which is Jayalalithaa’s assembly constituency. Shops and commercial establishments down shutters in various parts of the state as protesters damage vehicles parked alongside roads, stoning and then burning buses. Theatres closed, malls shut in Tamil Nadu and one of her supporters tries to set herself on fire.  Normal life disrupted and the state has declared a holiday for a week. The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to the Tamil Nadu government asking it to maintain law and order. Kerala has suspended bus routes to Tamil Nadu (which is usually a heavy route).

This has been a long time coming; the case against her is 18 years old and almost everyone knows she is guilty of corruption from even before that. This just shows how corrupt our nation is – it has taken this long to ensure that justice prevails and the idiots who support her and destroying property & causing damage & nuisance are imbeciles and should be arrested and fined themselves. Sheesh!

Frogs In A Well

It’s 2014 – and yet there are people here who still judging others on different hair styles that they think look weird and ‘against the culture’ because they choose to not look like everybody else and actually have their own personality. I’m talking about afros and dreadlocks. Are these backward thinking idiots frogs in a well? It’s disheartening to know that our people haven’t grown up at all that they criticize and poke fun of someone who is remotely different.

My parents watch this Malayalam talk show that has, in the past, had some really good topics. However they also have episodes that drive me bat shit crazy. Like this one they were watching this morning – the host had several people brought in who have “alternative hairstyles”; alternative to the regular norm that is seen in Kerala & India. There were guys into rock/metal, reggae etc and they had long hair, afros and dreadlocks. The host was teasing and making fun of these hair styles and their outfits and comparing them to mythical creatures! Really? The audience was mostly filled with old, narrow minded people who looked upon these men and a couple of young boys, as if they feared that they would catch some disease from them.

And the old ladies would say stuff like “in my time we wouldn’t have allowed them to walk on the streets like this blah blah blah” and all. “This is not our culture and/or against our culture” Well I guess that’s what people said when they introduced shirts, trousers and proper hygienic toilets to us as well! They think they are still in the 16th century. Well throw away your tvs and computers, throw away your clothes and houses and go and live in huts with holes in the ground for toilets and wear single white sheets around your waists for clothes. Get sold to a guy your father chooses for you in exchange for 2 cows or goats, or get married at the age of 8 to your spouse who is 9! Whatever! Fuck off!

Internet Hoaxes – Best National Anthem

As one more friend shared this stupid silly hoax message on their Facebook page I just must jot down my 2 cents about this issue. Since 2008 there was an email being shared around the net among Indians and on Orkut, Facebook & Twitter once Social media took off. On a design-less simple white background it says congratulations to all of us Indians as UNESCO has declared the Indian national anthem, Ja Na Ga Na Mana, to be the best national anthem in the world. It then says “proud to be an Indian” and to share this message.

First of all – what???!! What the fuck! And normally smart people have fallen for this hoax! It’s not real and yet this shit hasn’t died out since 2008!!! Alarmingly silly and shows just how easy it is to spread a hoax as long as it sounds pleasing and appeals to your ego. Nationalistic ego I might add. A little research will show you that the statement is not true and it is in fact a hoax.

India Today magazine, even wrote UNESCO about these stories and got a confirmation message from UNESCO that these messages are simply hoax, and that they did not select Indian or for that matter any national anthem as the best in the world.