The New Roosters In Town

Back in May of this year I had written a post about the various KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken and not Kerala Financial Corporation) style restaurants that had mushroomed around the city of Cochin. Let’s see so other than KFC we have Chick King, which is big established brand in the UAE, a local product called Chicknik, which seems to be a one off restaurant and then Chicken Chicago based out of Qatar. They all seem to share one thing in common – the style of that fried chicken and similar taste. And except for Chick King, all favour the red colour for their logos, boards and stuff.

This morning along with the newspaper there was a large foldable poster ad announcing the latest in this never ending (or so it seems) race to come out with southern fried chicken outlets – Roosters (there appears to be more than one international hotel chain with the same name but this one is unique! Their outlet is located near the High court (which is where my favourite bar is, so that will be convenient) and just near to the busy Marine drive area so I expect that they will find plenty of hungry customers just waiting to taste their wares. Menu wise, it’s pretty much the same with the chicken we love so much, burgers, french fries, chicken strips, chicken lollipops, combo meals, veg burgers and ofcourse the colas.

I don’t think that they have any other outlets in the city or state. But best thing is they deliver, unlike some of the other outlets! Plus they are close to me! It might be a while before I actually order from them but I wish them well. And hey, if they read this plus I might be something free!! Yeah, wishful thinking.

Stargate Universe : Episode 35 ‚ÄúSeizure‚ÄĚ

The 15th episode of the second season sees guest appearances from both Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey and David Hewlett as Dr. Rodney McKay. Meeting up with allies called the Langarans, Woolsey and Col. David Telford are trying to convince Ambassador Ovrida (played by Victor Garber)¬†for use of their Stargate facility as a lifeline for Destiny, since their facility has already been set up to draw energy from the planet’s naquadria core. The Langarans are not convinced that it is safe to do so and their scientists have determined it to be dangerous for their planet. Rodney is brought in to propose a different option but the Langarans are not ready to try it.¬†Ovirda stops him and says that he is not willing to dial Destiny if there’s even the slightest chance it could end in disaster, and will only agree if their scientists can confirm McKay’s findings.

Telford tries to use the possibility of the Lucian Alliance attacking Langara to use the Stargate by force and dial Destiny as possible coercion to agree to Earth’s proposition. However it does not work. Telford takes this as a sign that the Langarans have already been contacted by the Alliance and believes that they are working in agreement. Telford, Woolsey, McKay use the communication stones to discuss this with Col. Young. Telford shows Woolsey and McKay evidence of talks between the Alliance and Langara, collected using listening satellites orbiting the planet. Young has Eli confirm McKay’s method of dialing and is convinced when Eli says he wishes he had thought of the idea. A plan is hatched to convince the Langarans to safely dial the 9th chevron and to determine if they are indeed siding with the Alliance instead of Earth. On Langara, Woolsey comes through the gate unannounced, claiming to have some Ancient relics as gifts for Chief Administrator Halpren and Ambassador Ovirda. The captain of the guard insists on examining the relics, not realizing that the items are two long-range communication stones.

Using the stones, Young switches with Halpern and Scott switched with the captain of the guard. Young as Halpern invites Telford, McKay and some soldiers to Langara, much to the surprise of some of the soldiers on the Langaran side. Woolsey returns from having examined the administrator’s files. He has discovered that Langara was approached by the Alliance on multiple occasions, and steadfastly refused each time to preserve their relationship with Earth. A suspicious guard overhears some of the conversation and alerts Ovrida to the base and before the 9th Chevron can be dialed, his guards apprehend the Earth’s delegation. oung consults with McKay, who believes that the connection would have been successful.

Young and Scott return to Destiny. Young explains that Earth has now agreed to protect Langara from the Alliance, while the Langarans have removed the Stargate from the facility, ending any hopes of dialing Destiny. Noticing that they have moved to the bridge, James explains that she took their guests on a tour in the hopes of garnering some sympathy. Given their performance on Langara, he believes James made the best decision of any of them. Telford, Woolsey & McKay are also allowed to return to earth.

While all of this was going on Dr. Rush was in the chair, in a simulated world created by Amanda Perry’s consciousness (which was downloaded into the ship’s memory) and spending the day with her. In this simulated world it is possible for them to “touch” each other and make love, so they spend they day in bed. However, Perry does not want him to leave and when the time comes for him to go back to reality, she fakes it so he only believes that he is back with the rest of the crew. Eli & TJ are worried that they can’t snap Rush out of his ‘coma’ on the chair and it takes Ginn’s conciousness to give Eli a solution for the same.

Later Rush wakes up in the infirmary, having been unconscious for two days after being disconnected. Eli is there, waiting by the bed. Rush angrily demands an explanation, so Eli reveals that he transferred both Perry and Ginn into a quarantined section of the ship’s memory, totally isolating them from both the ship’s systems and the neural interface. He did so to save Rush, but clearly isn’t happy about it. Eli leaves, ignoring Rush’s further calls. TJ stops Rush from trying to press the issue, as he still needs to rest. Greer tells him to listen to her.

What If…. – Mr. Big

Mr. Big broke up in 2002 but after fan interests & requests came pouring in they reformed in 2009 and did a tour of Japan. The success of that and consequent performances, including two dates in India, convinced them to stick together and in January of 2011 they released their first studio album in 10 years titled What If….. Also this album sees the return of original guitarist Paul Gilbert who had left the band in 1999 to pursue his solo career, which had seen some success and a few albums put out to guitar enthusiasts’ acclaim.

The album was recorded between September‚ÄďOctober 2010 in a¬†Los Angeles-area studio with producer¬†Kevin Shirley¬†(Iron Maiden,¬†Aerosmith,¬†Rush), and was supported by a world tour this year.

The album starts at a fast pace with lead single Undertow, galloping on the strength of drummer Pat Torpey’s boom boom sounds. You are treated to their trademark musicianship (all excellent at their instrument of choice), solid vocals and harmonies. “All dressed up in the red, white & blue” as singer Eric Martin remarks in the intro, American Beauty reminds me a lot of Colorado Bulldog from their 1993 release Bump Ahead. Stranger In My Life is a self reflective song, a ballad done in the style they are best know for. A melodic guitar riff starts off the next song, until the banging drums takes over – Nobody Left To Blame is not their best song but the bass & guitars still shine on this track.

Still Not Enough For Me which sets the album into a pedal to the metal pace, with bassist extraordinaire Billy Sheehan leading the way with his bass lines. The pace doesn’t slow down for Once Upon A Time, which is sure to be a concert favourite and probably the best song on the album. Whoever said that Mr. Big was a ballad band? In As Far As I Can See singer Martin shines all through, flexing his vocal abilities to it’s finest. The band takes the foot of the gas just enough to give us a delightful little number in All The Way Up, very melodic and a crowd pleaser to the crowd. It’s a love song, instantly memorable and one for the ages. A mid tempo break comes up in I Won’t Get In My Way, with harmonizing chorus vocals and thoughtful lyrics and a solid guitar solo. It’s about correcting your flaws and finding what it takes to get stuff done.

Around The World sees the trio of musicians click together like one unit, supporting Eric’s vocals and like much of this record, features a blistering bass line from Sheehan. A melodic rocker is I Get The Feeling – sunshine, top down on the car, riding along the beach sides and the music playing loudly – that’s what this song reminds me of.¬†Kill Me With A Kiss is a bonus track, I think for the Japanese version only, which I have. Gilbert’s guitar shines & shreds, Pat Torpey’s drums are bombastic and Sheehan is awesome as always and Eric does some well done vocals. I missed them when they were gone. All’s well with the world now. Here is the video for Undertow; enjoy!

Kerala’s Mullaperiyar Dam Issue

Some of my readers may have heard of the current topic of discussion in my home state of Kerala. I’ve waited a few days to get opinions and details on this before I filled in my two cents (two paise?) on this – The Mullaperiar Dam controversy.

The 116 year old Mullaperiyar Dam is a dam over the Periyar river with a height of 155 feet and length 1200 feet located in Thekkady in Iddukki district. It was constructed in 1895 by the British Government, over the headwaters of the west-flowing Periyar River and its tributary Mullaiyar, to divert water eastwards to Madras Presidency area (the present-day Tamilnadu). Since 1970, Kerala has argued that the dam having outlived its life of 50 years is unsafe to maintain water at 46.3 metres‚ÄĒthe full reservoir level‚ÄĒand it should be restricted to 41.45 metres. Over the years many studies have been conducted to look into making the water level safer. In 2010 Tamil Nadu once again rejected the idea of constructing the new dam over the Periyar River. Kerala though seemed sure that it has every reason to be successful in its demand for a new dam because in 1979 the proposal had been cleared for approval by the Centre. This, according to them was agreed upon by Tamil Nadu which they claim took a step back later. In March 2010, according to news sources , Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi¬† said that Tamil Nadu would never give up its rights over the Mullaperiyar dam¬† since that would¬† create problems for farmers in that¬† area.

The situation remains, ever more dire than before. The dam has cracks across it, caused by decay and the mild tremors that have rocked the district of Iddukki have only heightened the fears of the people and the administration. To make matters worse it’s been raining when the monsoon should have died down and that causes an increase in the water level. Protests began to rage in Kerala last Saturday over Mullaperiyar Dam issue after four mild tremors struck Idukki district and opinions were aired that recurring tremors were increasing the likelihood of a burst in the already weakened Surki concrete dam. It is said that the dam could break if hit by a tremor of 6.0-plus magnitude on the Richter. On Monday, water levels in Mullaperiyar rose to 136.4 feet, crossing the permissible limit of 136 ft fixed by the Supreme Court. Experts warned that a disaster cannot be ruled out in the dam, especially if there is a strong earthquake.

Idukki district, where the dam is located, witnessed a 12-hour hartal on Monday, with protesters blocking the Kollam-Theni highway that links Kerala to Tamil Nadu. Effigies of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and MDMK chief Vaiko, a vocal opponent of the Kerala plans with regard to the Mullaperiyar Dam, and copies of the lease agreement that gave Tamil Nadu the control over the dam for 999 years were burnt at several places in the district. Lawyers boycotted proceedings at the district court and burned Jayalalithaa‚Äôs effigy. Today it is a wide spread harthal all over the state. Perhaps in a first time in the state’s history, both the Kerala government, the opposition parties & the people of the state are united in the same opinion – in demanding the decommissioning of the Mullaperiyar Dam, which has become a huge threat to the lives of over 30 lakh people in four districts even as the water level in the reservoir climbed further up, escalating panic in the downstream areas.

On top of that an English language movie called Dam 999, directed by Kerala born CEO of Aries Group of Companies Sohan Roy, has just been released. UAE based Roy based the film on¬†the award winning short documentary¬†DAMs – The Lethal Water Bombs, the¬†Banqiao dam¬†disaster of 1975 that claimed the lives of 250,000 people in China and anticipated calamity for¬†Mullaperiyar Dam. The movie faced a lot of issues before & during filming.Veteran Kerala actor was asked by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists to step out from his role in the movie, which he did and a replacement actor. And just a day before the release of the movie, DMK party chief¬†M. Karunanidhi¬†urged the¬†Tamil Nadu¬†chief minister¬†J. Jayalalitha¬†to ban the movie considering “people’s safety”. A day before its scheduled release on 25 November, the film was banned by the State Government of¬†Tamil Nadu¬†on the grounds that the release would disturb the cordial relations between¬†Tamil Nadu¬†and¬†Kerala!

Some politicians have started fasting in protest, all news channels are showcasing the story on the dam 24/7 and people are agitated and angry. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in Kozhikode that the Government had convinced the Prime Minister about the validity of Kerala‚Äôs demands. ‚ÄúI did not go to Delhi because I am confident of getting a fair response from the Prime Minister. I am waiting for his call. But I will go to the capital if that is necessary,‚ÄĚ he said. We await!

On Children

I don’t hate kids, I like them but I like them from a distance. I’m an unmarried & single man of 35 years. I do not have kids (that I know of) and in the next few years there are no plans to have a kid. If I do not father a child by the age of 40, I firmly believe that it’s better not to have any. Assuming, you know, my swimmers are all in peak efficiency and will cause no problems in getting that egg. So if I don’t find a female human who wants to settle down with sweet ole me and get married before I hit the big 4 0 – then the world will never see little Roshans or Roshanis running about on their little feet and causing havoc like their old man did back in the day!

But I have to admit that I do not see myself as a father even if I did get married before that cutoff age that I have given. Even if I had gotten married a few years ago, I still wouldn’t see myself willingly wanting to manufacture a baby or two. Ofcourse the practice is great but the actual end product is not something that I feel I’m cut out for. I do not see myself as a father, a dad, a daddy, a pop – a sugar daddy, yes maybe but not a parent. I’m not close to my nephews and niece; if they come over, I spend maybe 15 minutes with them and then I’m off. I have no overwhelming urge to see them. Heck my niece used to be shit scared of me because when she was very little I scared her wearing a towel on my head! Now at the age of 5, she never even talks to me even if I have tried bribing her a few times with candy.

A bunch of my cousins have kids and most of the time I find that I am eager to see my cousins but not so much their kids. I know their names and perhaps their ages but that’s it. I’m finding it hard to even muster the least interest in kids. I guess that’s also the reason & the result of me avoiding family functions. I wouldn’t be able to spend hours talking about what the kids did and all stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I wish only the best for my cousins and their kids – I just won’t be comfortable around them. I’m like the uncle who stays away.

Some people have told me that if I have kids of my own my feelings would change. Holding your new born baby in your arms for the first time changes every man. I dunno, there’s nothing wrong in choosing not to want to have kids, right? I know several people who feel the same way. This is not an easy world to live in. And plus who knows, I’m waiting for December 2012 to roll by to see if the human race will continue to exist. Who knows what’s in store but I don’t see my feelings change any time soon.

PS – but I go crazy for puppies & dogs, kittens & cats and even some other small ones of animals! I’m weird!!

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Mina & The Count – Pilot Episode

Until a few years ago Cartoon Network actually showed proper cartoons on their channel. But now they suck! I haven’t watched it in many years but when I saw my nephews and niece watching utter nonsense that passes for cartoons these day, I was shocked. Atleast some channels still have the oldies and guess what – the kids enjoy them better than the crap that comes out now.

As I grew out of my kiddie years and into my teens I stopped watching cartoons with the rare exceptions being Garfield & the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The Simpsons are adult cartoons so even though I love them, they don’t count as cartoons). In the late 90s and early 2000s there were a host of good cartoons that most kids and adults loved – Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory & I Am Weasel (voice by Star Trek‘s Worf aka Michael Dorn no less) and the launch pad for many of them the What A Cartoon Show or Cartoon Cartoon. During that time I saw what would be one of my favs, the pilot episode of Mina & The Count which later became a short-lived series, however I only got to watch that first episode. Thanks to Youtube and one Voldy2006, I am now watching all the episodes.

In case you didn’t know what Mina & The Count is, it’s about the friendship between a 7 year old girl named Mina Harper and Count Dracula, who mistakenly comes into her bedroom due to a goof up by his servant Egor. Egor had mixed up a 17 year old Nina Harker’s address with the little girl’s home. Mina loves the Count on sight and the feeling becomes mutual by the end of the first episode. What a cartoon! Enjoy!

RIP Gary Speed

Gary Speed, former Welsh international footballer and captain and recently manager of their national side, was found dead yesterday at his home in Huntington, Cheshire. It’s being ruled a suicide by hanging. He was only 42 years old. No apparent reason for his decision has come out yet. Friends & relatives of Speed are shocked at him having hung himself and are asking themselves what could have led him to take his own life when he had “everything to live for”.

Speed played professionally for¬†Leeds United,¬†Everton,¬†Newcastle United,¬†Bolton Wanderers¬†and¬†Sheffield United. Rarely troubled by injury or suspension, he held the record for the most appearances in the¬†FA Premier League¬†at 535, until it was surpassed by¬†David James. Over the years I’ve seen him play and remember him mostly as a Newcastle player. Born in Mancot, Wales he was an Everton supporter growing up but it was with Leeds United that he signed on as a youth trainee and made his professional debut at the age of 19 in 1988.

He would sign with Everton in 1996 and played for them for two years but left under controversial circumstances that were never publicly revealed. He moved to Newcastle in 1998 for a fee of 5.5 million pounds.¬†¬†Speed featured in the club’s¬†FA Cup Final¬†defeats by¬†Arsenal¬†in 1998 and by¬†Manchester United¬†in 1999. He also played in the¬†UEFA Champions League¬†with Newcastle in the 2002‚Äď03 season.

He then played for Bolton from 2004-08 and it was with them that he became ¬†the first player to make 500¬†Premier League¬†appearances when he played in Bolton’s 4‚Äď0 victory over¬†West Ham United¬†in December 2006. The final year and a half of his career was spent at Sheffield United and in 2010 be agreed to become their manager but left is post to take over the reigns of the Welsh national side. Speed had appeared as a guest on¬†BBC One’s¬†Football Focus¬†only a number of hours before his death. The tributes to the likeable Welshman kept pouring in as the evening went on.

Speed married wife Louise in 1996, the couple having two children, Tommy and Eddie. Speed was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

Rest in peace Gary Andrew Speed,¬†MBE¬†(8 September 1969¬†‚Äď 27 November 2011).

The Last Parade I Attended – Never

The parades that you see in North America – with floats, people in costumes, performing artists, huge designs and constructed shapes – do not happen in India (unless you count Slut Walk). Ever since I started watching tv & movies from way back as a little child, I have seen parades like the one on Thanksgiving (that comes to mind easily) or Mardi Gras or a sports related event (like the winning Stanley Cup team) or, and this is more recently, Gay Pride parades (seems colourful and fun and all that but I would never want to be there).

The closest thing to parades in Kerala are the religious kind that are boring and dull and have the same old crappy costumes and deities that you’d expect year after year. I mean come on, does being religious also mean a total lack of individuality, creativity & talent? I guess so. Temple processions haven’t changed since the turn of the 18th century – they just have better roads and lights now. You’ll never catch me dead attending one of them. My ghost would shun it!

I’d like to see a fun parade, even floats with a message and all that glitter & jazz in India. Hope a few shows up in town.

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Iron Man 2

Iron Man was a truly wonderful movie as far as a superhero comic movie goes. I even remember reading the comics as a young kid back in Kuwait. And that movie hit a chord in me and I’m sure a lot of others. So what about the sequel? Hmmm, not so much. Director Jon Favereau has gone for bigger, in fact much much bigger, on the sequel.¬†I think over the years I’ll probably watch the first one many more times than the sequel but I still think that the movie lacks substance.

So Robert Downey Jr has Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Favereau (who also directed the first one) for company. Gwyneth Paltrow returns in her role as Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts and this time they do get together right towards the end of the movie. We also have a small role for Samuel L. Jackson (there really is a Hollywood rule for having Jackson in almost all big budget action flicks) as Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mickey Rourke is the villain.

So now on to my comments after watching this movie:

  • Bigger but not better, the movie does have an amazing special effects & action sequences. The amount of cars being destroyed is astounding and the F1 scene where Ivan Vanko attacks Stark is great.
  • Speaking of Mickey Rourke, I did not like his role here as Vanko, who is fueled by revenge to kill Stark. His father Anton was a one time partner of Tony’s father Howard who had the Russian deported for trying to scam money & profit out of their work. The father died in poverty and the son seeks revenge against Tony? Rourke rarely spoke in this film but has a macaw as a pet.
  • Sam Rockwell plays Justin Hammer, a rival of Tony Stark and who hires Ivan Vanko to perfect a line of armored combat suits to upstage Stark. He also fakes Vanko’s death in a jail cell. Rockwell is superb as usual.
  • Terrence Howard did not return and so they have Don Cheadle stepping in to the role of¬†¬†Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Stark’s close friend. He takes an earlier version of the suit that Stark created and helps to fight off Vanko’s renegade robots. The two friends also have a battle of their own when Rhodes feels that Stark is self-desructing and not listening to anyone’s advice.
  • Sexy Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent who works undercover for Stark as Natalie Rushmore. Hot, smuldering, sexy and a delight for the eyes, she does her bit and has some kick ass moves.
  • Paltrow & Downey play the same two characters from the first movie and both are awesome. I feel that Paltrow had more to do in this movie compared to the first and by more I mean, character wise Pepper has grown! Downey is tailor-made for the role of Tony Stark – nothing else does his acting justice.
  • Favereau is funny in his role, getting a few laughs in a role made for the comedic relief.

Overall I like the movie but it left me feeling a bit let down. I know it was a huge hit and made a lot of money but I prefer the first one so much more. I’d give it a 7 outta 10.

Cooking With Roshan : Chopsuey

Home alone for 3 days and needing to cook something for myself, so time to try out a little experiment. As I was sitting in the living room having coffee and watching tv last evening I thought that I’d try to make an American Chopsuey. I used to have this dish a lot when I frequented a bar/restaurant called Oberois near my building, just a little way in as you enter M.G. Road. Let me tell you that the Indian version of American Chopsuey, or what we have chosen to call American Chopsuey varies from what is served in American. I have no idea who came up with this version and why they call it “American” but I love it! Obersois serve it up well and it has all the stuff that I love;¬† boiled veggies like cauliflowers, carrots, green peppers, onions and maybe a little bit of potatoes with chopped up chicken, beef & prawns, both crisp & soft noodles, a little gravy, topped with a bull-eye – what more could you possibly ask for.

Now I can’t really do all this at home and plus I can’t really cook. So I bought some packets of Maggi instant noodles at the corner store and also got a couple of duck’s eggs (I prefer them to chicken’s eggs). I had carrots and green peppers in the fridge.

While making the noodles I added a bit of chopped up carrots & green peppers into the pot. Soon I was hungry as the smell hit¬† me right in the nose. I kept the noodles aside and made two eggs sunny side up or bulls-eye as we call it here in India (and wherever else). I didn’t manage to keep the yolk of one from breaking. Anyways, a little salt for seasoning and voila I was done.

Now I add the bulls-eye to the top of the bowl of noodles and you have a simpler but still tasty version of chopsuey. I had waited¬† long time to start preparing my meal and had taken a long time to make it and it was almost 11:15 pm by the time I was done. I was starving and the meal was good. I’m glad the way this came out. Tomorrow after I’ll probably make the same with more veggies and no eggs.

Tata Indicom Does It Yet Again

So I only got my connection back up and running last evening and throughout the night. This morning at around 10:30 am just as I settled down in my seat in front of the laptop post coffee and breakfast – the connection is down again! I waited for a while and then called up their call center to register a complaint. According to the girl who answered my call there is a “planned downtime” in Cochin, or certain parts of the city, and that’s why “you people” are not getting service and it would be up and running as soon as possible. No complaint raised. Ok?

I went about my day but by afternoon I was getting quite pissed off. I called up once again and got yet another girl who claimed the same thing and said that it would be up by 5pm. I said that I didn’t find this acceptable as I wanted to get online now and that their outages were becoming far too frequent – four days running for long hours each day – and I wanted an explanation as to why that was so. She told me that there was a technical problem! What kind of technical problem girlie? Now, clearly flustered, she told me that there was frequent power outages in the city and that’s why the sever goes down. I knew that answer was a load of crap, so I said that it wasn’t true that we have that many power outages so what the hell was she talking about? And any power outages we have are for either 30 minutes or 60! And even if we have power failures, how come a big, rich company like Tata Indicom does not have any backup like a generator or a ups?

She said that it was not available in Cochin. Now, Tata has been running services in Cochin for many years and hence should have adequate backup by now. Now I was angry and said that I needed to speak to a supervisor or someone above her, so please transfer me. “Sir, I cannot transfer you to a supervisor”. Not happening kid, get it done. She went on hold for a while and came back rather frightened to speak to me and said “Sir my supervisors told me that I am to convince you and close the call and not to transfer as it is a known problem”. I lost it – I was laughing inside at the stupid nature of this agent and Tata’s services. I told her a few things – first, do not tell any customer that you have been told to convince him or her by your supervisors. Second, has no one ever taught you to ask permission before you put a customer on hold? She never asked me for permission once, just kept me on hold 3 times without asking properly once and twice without asking.

I finally got her to raise a complaint asking for a supervisor to call me back within a couple of hours and she managed to do so without crying. I dunno how she must have felt after keeping the call but boo hoo hoo girlie! I blame your supervisors and managers; they provide you with such pathetic training. If you ask most of the call center agents anything other than the few prompts & FAQs that they are provided, these kids cannot say anything. Also them buggers are rude and lack adequate manners. Not only have their service quality downhill but their customer service also sucks. Pathetic!

Back After a 2 Day Break

Well I’m back here and back online after a gap of almost 2 days. On Wednesday morning my connection was disconnected as I hadn’t paid the bill and forgot the date. By noon I called up the collection executive from my ISP, Tata Indicom broadband, and he said that he wasn’t able to come to my area that day, but that he would arrange for my connection to get fixed. Late afternoon as I was napping my connection was reconnected. I came online by 6:15 pm after a long cold shower and some coffee. By 7pm the connection was down again – one of Tata Indicom’s frequent “local server down” issues. It doesn’t affect the entire city just certain areas. Usually I fall in that area – come on, why am I so lucky?

I waited for 30 minutes to see if the connection would go back up but as it didn’t I called up the customer care and tried to lodge a complaint. It seems that they were having connectivity issues at their call center as well; my call kept getting dropped and each time I try again, someone would say sorry. Anyway, I almost yelled at one of their reps – apparently the problem is a “known issue” so he cannot raise a complaint! I asked, why did the previous guy say that he was raising a complaint just before the call dropped? “Oh sir, he is new and he must not know that you can’t raise a complaint ticket for a known issue”! WTF? I cut the phone down as I didn’t want to talk to that rude idiot.

Thursday, after I made the payment, I called them up twice and they kept telling me that the problem would be fixed. “When?” “As soon as possible!” OK! By 5pm the problem was fixed but guess what—they had a cable cut near my apartment and hence…. I…. am…. not…. fucking…. getting…. the….. internet! A tech guy called me up after 6:30 pm last evening and said that because of that I would only get my connection up by this morning! Grrr, I called up their call center to lodge another complaint. Then this morning I checked again – no internet! I called up their call center and got this rude, idiotic asshole who couldn’t understand what I was trying to tell him. He kept telling me that the problem was solved and that I am facing a new complaint for which he had to raise a fresh complaint, no matter how many times I kept telling him that sonny boy, I raised a fresh complaint last evening when I came to know about the cable cut. I finally raised my voice quite loudly and almost started swearing. I don’t like using bad words against call center agents but that jerk was asking for it!

Finally by 2pm today my connection is active again! What lousy service!

Update: 80 minutes after I got the connection back, their service went down….again! It came back 2 hours later.

The Best Way To Cure A Cold

As far as I know there isn’t a proper cure for a cold right? You have some medicines that you can purchase at the pharmacy like Coldarin, Avil or Vicks Action 500 (whatever happened to the previous 499 attempts at making it, I shall never know) but they are at best slow acting and I think that the cold kind of goes away on it’s own at the same rate if you don’t take it as when if you take it. Here’s what I do:

If the cold is really bad, i.e blocked nose and running at the same time, I drink lots of hot, black coffee, hot water, do steam inhalation using vicks vapour rub and sleep it off. I also drink a lethal concoction of resum – with lots of garlic, chopped onions and pepper! It can make your breath sting so once you feel better, brushing with tons of toothpaste is a must. Black coffee with a little pepper is great too. Also I have tried brandy, with warm water & pepper – works like a charm especially if you have a cough & flem!

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ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Top 11 Canadian Movies

Canadian movies are harder to find. And I’m talking made & produced by Canadians & starring mainly Canadians. There’s a bunch of stuff that’s made in Canada for Hollywood or movies with a large Canadian cast including the leads but those don’t count. If you give them a chance these movies are great pleasant surprises. Anyway these are ones that I have seen and love.

  • Bad Cop, Bon Cop
  • Good Neighbours
  • Cafe Ole
  • Mambo Italiano
  • One Week
  • Men With Brooms
  • Breakfast With Scott
  • The Snow Walker
  • The Rocket : The Maurice Richard Story
  • Passchendaele
  • Pontypool

Honourable metions : Last Exit & The Baby Formula

On Silence

It kind of depends on the situation doesn’t it. If you are alone and there’s no unusual sounds or sights that make you feel a bit like you are in a Stephen King novel, then the silence is expected and you are grateful for it. I was alone at home for more than 36 hours during the last weekend and it was quite and peaceful and the only sounds were from my laptop and the tv whenever I did put the latter on. On occasion a little sound will distract me, like the sound of a newspaper falling to the ground in the breeze or maybe a plastic bag.

Funny how sometimes little noises can startle you. I heard a “shsss, shsss” like something scratching on a screen or glass. When I investigated it turned out to be a house lizard that had crawled into an empty plastic bag and was making the noise as it dragged on it. Or a metal on metal “clink” sound and I just know that it’s because a crow has landed on and perched on the balcony railing. Noises like that can startle you if you do know what they are but if you are expecting something like that, then it’s normal. You shrug it off and get some more coffee.

I hate it when the power goes off and it’s all silent. It’s all too dark and no sounds make it very creepy. That’s when silence makes me uncomfortable. Cause you just know that all that silence and a sudden loud noise or even an average noise level one can scare the shit outta you. And in the dark you imagine some demon or werewolf lunging at you with fangs & nails ready for the kill. And it’s hungry for some macho Indian male meat!

So anyway I usually don’t mind the silence as long as I know what’s going on.

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