SM Krishna Meets Qureshi !!!

Recently Indian external affair minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Mr Qureshi met in a parking lot both waiting for their cars. Thanks to aman ki asha, they started talking..

Krishna said.. Hey buddy ?? how r u ?? what’s happening.. ??

Q said – hi Krishna.. well nothing much.. just water water every where.. not a drop to drink.. water in Punjab, water in Baluchistan and water in Lahore..

You say, how it is going ???

Krish- Same here buddy.. water in delhi, water in Bangalore, water in Odissa.. nothing different.. Did you see, how we shifted the blame of the commonwealth mess on the monsoon ??

Q - Yeh you are right.. god has written the fate of both the countries with the same ink.. For example.. you also have ample corrupts officials.. and for us.. each one is better than the other.. Leave others.. our president himself is known as 10 percent.. J

Krishna quickly said – Ha.. we are ahead of you here also.. we charge more.. let the enquiry happen for common wealth games… then only Kalmadi’s actual percentage will come out..

Anyways.. see we hosted common wealth and before even starting, bridges fell, roofs came down.. (giggle ) but we are fine.. not worried at all.. because we have one thing which even US do not have.. Jugad technology.. and as u may know India’s biggest star has said once.. that like our movies, in our lives also, everything comes to place in the end.. and if they do not.. picture is still not over… (mmmmm .... shahrukh style.. )

But I want to thank you for one thing… for not sending any terrorists to common wealth.. I know they are very much interested in shotput events... ;-)

Q – oh sir.. what r u saying.. we don't send them anywhere anymore… we ourselves have cut down our infra budget and increased the z level security of our ministers.. no body can trust them..

Kris – ya true.. anyways.. hey man what happened when we offered you 90 crores Rs as flood relief.. ?? you seems to be choosy begger.. ha ???

You know in dubai there was a begger.. he won a prize of 10 crore Rs.. when Media asked him what he will do now, he said… nothing.. I will buy a house a big car, get married to a beautiful film actress.. and when they asked no, what will you do for a living now.. he said.. nothing.. till now I begged on feet.. now I will beg in the car…

Q – so what.. u also have beggars who beg in cars.. no ??? your politians.. ????

Krish – hmmm.. true… but they have upgraded now to helicopters.. begging in cars are only for the reality show contestants.. I am very poor.. I have a small bunglow at juhu.. I want another on chowpati.. to see me in the next round, please vote me.. my code is .. Ha ha ha..

And u know we have a totally different class of beggars also.. just because taking bribe is a crime and begging is not, many of our politicians and officials do not take bribe.. instead they beg for help .. saar, I need 200 bricks and 20 bags of cement for my son’s study room.. please saar.. what? Your approval ?? next week.. sure saar.. it’s done… :-D

But Qureshi, trust me.. u know who is the biggest beggar in the world ?? You country..

Baba.. please give few dollars to the UNO.. we will take it from them..(laugh..)

Q – what can I do sir.. u don’t know the people in my country.. they can wear your clothes, they can eat your bread but they won’t take help from you..

Krish – aah... that’s fine. U think we really wanted to help ??? :-D

Actually we were celebrating the joy of giving week that time.. and anyways.. it is a fashion these days to help people… earlier Gandhi and Vinobha bhave lived with the poor to understand their need .. but now it is a fashion to help.. trophy wives of rich men start NGOs, clubs etc to help the poor.. once a month they call for meeting at the farm house.. discuss their sarees and jewelry, have light snacks, set the agenda for the next month’s meeting and go home.

There are very few really genuine helpers… like bill gates.. but in this world, if one man stands to do something .. 5 stand to stop him.. recently, in delhi a club has been chartered to stop Bill Gates from giving away his wealth in charity.. they say that if he does that, many more father, specially in India may follow his footsteps.. and if that happens what will happen to the millions of spoiled and totally useless sons in India.. where they would go, what they would do ??? after wasting the entire youth in driving big cars on the pavements, their fathers are their only hope..

Q- very true Krishna ji.. both our nations are handcuffed with poverty, corruption, illiteracy and lack of infrastructure.. on top of that there are rains and terrorism… still you managed to become the 3rd powerful nation in the world… congrats on that..

Krishna – Thanks Qureshi.. I give you a inside information.. we have our most corrupt official in US govt also.. that’s why our name has appeared in that list… :-D

But you are right that we are gagged with all these problems.. but I can see the mother of all problems right now.. it looks like about to rain.. and we are standing in Delhi, so I suggest you head to your hotel fast.. because if you get washed away in some drain.. you country will blame us for that also...

Disclaimer- The original idea of both of them meeting at a parking lot and discussing flood and flood relief is taken from a Hindi news paper article. The rest of it was my few cents added to it..

Your XBOX Kinect Guide

What is this ?
Inspite of having google,, yahoo answers and thousands of such discussion forums for getting responses for all our technical queries, you must be thinking what is so different in this blog. Friends, in this blog I would like to share my 1st hand experience of buying, setting up and playing my new XBOX 360 S with Kinect. I am trying to put across things as easy as possible and trying to avoid all alien-feeling-techi-lingo.

What is Kinect ?
This info is for the real beginners. Others please don't get offended, if u know this already.
XBOX is a gaming console which plays game DVDs and you can play video games using remote controls (called controllers). Kinect is an accessory to be attached with XBOX console. Kinect consists of few sensors (not going into tech details) which can see your body movements so that you can play a game without remote but just be your body movements like hand for TT, Boxing and Legs for Football.
Sony has a similar thing for their game console and it is called Move.

First Thing First !!
So, if you were thinking of buying a gaming console for a long time and couldn't buy one because of budget constrainsts, I can't help you much because it is a bitter truth that this will cost you a fortune. In such cases you can go for sony PS2 which is just 6k INR but remember, it will be phased out soon and no new games will be launched for PS2.
Now if you want to buy a console and confused between Sony PS3 and Microsoft XBOX here is the comparision -

XBOX 360 + Kinect
Motion Sensing games - ( Plus)
NO Remote for Motion Games - ( Plus )
Response time of hand motions - V Good
Current Motion games - Boxing, TT, Volleyball, Bowling, Dancing, Fitness, adventures etc
All major/popular games (controller based) - Yes
Some popular games are exclusive for XBOX and some are exclusive for PS3.
Media Support - upto DVD
**Region Lock for Movies - yes
**Region Lock for Games - yes
XBOX 250 GB price(console + Kinect + 2 remotes) 35000
XBOX 4 GB price (console + Kinect + 2 remotes) 26000

Sony PS3 + Move
Motion Sensing games - ( Plus)
Remote for Motion Games - ( Minus )
Response time of hand motions - Awesome ( Plus)
Current Motion games - Boxing, TT, Volleyball, Bowling, Dancing, Fitness, adventures etc
All major/popular games (controller based) - Yes
Some popular games are exclusive for XBOX and some are exclusive for PS3.
Media Support - up to Blue Ray DVD
**Region Lock for Movies - yes
**Region Lock for Games - No ( confirm before buying )

Sony PS3 320 GB price (console + Move + 2 Remotes + 2 Move Remotes) 29000/-

** What is region Lock ?
People who were thinking of getting their XBOX from US should get disappointed here.
Region Lock means certain hardware is locked to work in certain region only. XBOX is one of them. So how does an end user is afected by this ?
Simple -
1. XBOX bought in US(NTSC supported) will not work in Indian TVs (PAL supported)
(not going in much details. PAL and NTSC are 2 types of tranmissions for TVs. India has PAL and US has NTSC)

2. If you TV does support both PAL and NTSC, XBOX bought from US will work.
3. XBOX bought in US will not play game DVD bought in INDIA. same NTSC-PAL theory.
4. XBOX bought in US will not play Movie DVDs bought in INDIA. and Vice Versa
BUT !!! India and UK both have same PAL system. So XBOX bought from UK will work in INDIA. Games DVDs bought in UK will work in console bought in India. and vice-versa. (I am not taking any guarantee for this)

Why I choose XBOX over PS3 ??
Apart from the comparision shown above, there are simple personal reasons-
1. I and people like me, are casual gamers. We cannot simple hooked up to a game for hours. Our need is a casual game and entertainment with our family. And Remote games a a real deal breakers when you have your wife, kids, parents etc at home. I bought Kinect because my father, my wife, even my Mother and my 2 year old daughter can play on it.

2. XBOX 4 GB is cheaper than XBOX 250 GB and as I said we are casual gamers. We may not indulge in downloading use less game demos, movie trailers from net, avatar and other useless technological waste. So 4 GB XBOX will be a good deal and anyways you can buy a 16 GB pen drive and connect it to your XBOX via USB. It will cost you just 1000-14000 INR..

Setting it up !!
Ok.. so I have convinced you and you have bought a console finally. What's next.. Well I am not copy-pasting the entire user manual here but I would like to give some suggestions.

1. Setup your console with the help of the manuals inside.
2. Please READ everything thoroughly and DO NOT press YES without reading everything on your TV screen.
3. I formatted my 250 GB hard disk by mistake when I tried connecting it to the console. Reason - I did not read the instructions properly.
4. Similarly, I played around with the Kinect Senser manually, tried to adjust it angle by turning and twisting it and later came to know that it is fitted with a motor which does all this. SO, DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST THE KINECT SENSOR MANUALLY...

Congratulations !! you are ready to play your Kinect now.. after this everything will be a cake walk as you simply have to follow the instructions on your TV screen.

My personal experience !!

1. Place the console in a horizontal positon to avoid the chances of tipping it over.

2. Place Kinect Sensor on TV for best results. It should be near the edge so that it's vision is not blocked. But when you are not playing you should move it back to avoid free fall. You see a white soft padding attached with the Kinect Sensor Base. Remove it. It is just a packing material. It will hamper with Kinect Sensor's Movement.

3. Be patient with the Kinect. Some times it takes time to start and configure. And if you move Kinect Sensor every time after switching off the console, the Sensor will surely adjust the angles when it will be started next time.

4. When Kinect Sensor adjusts for the 1st time after you switch on the console, make sure no body else is standing with you. It will make sensor takes more time.

5. You cannot play pirated games on your console. It will simply not play.

There are techniques(small softwares) which can play Pirated game DVD on the console but it will void your warranty and you will be banned from XBOX LIVE*

XBOX LIVE* is for connecting your console to internet for playing online and buying/downloading games etc.

6. If you feel new games are too expensive then, instead of looking for pirated games, try pre-owned games.

6.1 Try Landmark. They sell pre-owned games. Price ranges from 700 to 1400 per DVD. Minus point is, obviously, the games are old.. i.e. released in 2005 to 2007.. but for the 1st timer on consoles, even they will give you awesome fun.. (this is only for NON-Kinect Games..)

6.2 Try National Market in Bangalore or any Gray market in your city. You will find 2nd hand game DVDs there and wil be cheaper by 50% than landmark. But try at your own risk. Don't buy pirated or scratched DVD.

6.3 Buying from UK/Europe.. if any of your friend is travelling back from UK you can ask him to bring some games. pre-owned games selling in Landmark for price of 1200 INR can be found there in 7-10 GBP.. which will be 500 to 700 INR..

6.4 Sharing among friends... best options.. :-)

7. There is an option to save the entire game on the hard disk of your console. But you cannot simply borrow a DVD from your friend, save it on you console, return the DVD back and play. Saving game on drive gives you an option to play the game from drive, just to avoid wear and tear of your DVD. However, You Have to Put the DVD in the console to play the game from the hard drive.

I will contribute some more to this blog as and when I unfold new secrets of Kinect.. till then Happy Gaming..

Bangalore Auto Menace !!!

FYI Bangaloreans.

You are in a hurry to catch the train. You pack all your stuff and frantically run out in the hope of catching an auto. You come out and see 5 autos standing at the corner. You thank God and ask them - "Majestic chaloge kya??” The Answer is "Rs 200 hoga!!”. "Kya?? It just cost Rs 100 till Majestic". "Bahut rush hai sir!!". You move on to the next auto, to try your luck and surprisingly, you have the same conversation "Bahut rush hai sir!!". Finally you give up and bargain the price to Rs 170 and hope you don't miss your train.

Sounds more than familiar??

You stand on the road and keep on asking the passing autos for a ride to your destination - if it's not your day, the autos will not even bother to stop; if you're a bit lucky they might actually slow down to hear your destination's name and think for a second( i always wonder if they are calculating their net profit) and then speed away. However if you are more lucky, the auto guy might actually quote you an exorbitant price and then speed away. But if it's your extremely lucky hour of the day, you might end up getting an auto which is ready to take you to the destination at meter price.

In my six years of existence in Bengaluru, these experiences have been really instrumental in teaching me great virtues - Patience and Tolerance. But at what price??? exorbitant rates, extremely rude behavior and what not ......
After years of feeling used, i set out to find the answer for this misery - was there no government system that could bring these auto guys to justice? As a citizen, how can i express my concern?

This search took me to the Koramangala RTO office (BDA complex) and to my surprise i found that there did exist a government system which i believe 99.99% of Bengaluru is unaware of !!
The System
Note the vehicle number (KA-XX-YY-ZZZZ) and email the details to Based on the prefix XX (for example KA-01), complaint will be sent to one of the ten RTO offices in Bangalore and adjacent taluk areas.
Alternatively, one can also call these offices at the number given below based on the vehicle number prefix and directly lodge a complaint.

Vehicle Prefix (KA-XX) Bangalore location Phone number

KA-01 Koramangala 080-25533525
KA-02 Rajajinagar 080-23324104
KA-03 Indiranagar 080-25254310
KA-04 Yeshwantpur 080-23376039
KA-05 Jayanagar 080-26630989
KA-41 Gyanabharthi 080-28602833
KA-50 Yelahanka 080-28561366
KA-51 Electronic City 080-25735522
KA-52 NeelaMangala 08234-285598
KA-53 KR Puram 080-25617951
Once the complaint is received at the corresponding office, a notice is issued to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner, requiring him/her to turn up at the RTO office within 7 working days. Every RTO has about 10 IMV’s (Inspector of Motor Vehicles) who seize the vehicles which don’t report to the RTO.

The penalty levied from the auto-waalas is rs.100 under section 200.

The various offences among others for which one can lodge a complaint

Refusal to come to destination (Any destination!!!)
Demanding excess fare
Using rough language
Cheat the public, for e.g. taking longer routes.
Faulty Meter
There is also a helpline number - 080-22353785 available Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm on which one can call to lodge complaints.

The numbers speak for itself
I was shocked when I found that the Koramangala RTO office received only 5 complaints a month. With over 1,00,000 autos plying on Bangalore roads, shouldn’t it be like 5 complaints a minute?
So, will our impatience always have to take a backseat? Can something be done to improve/compliment the system to make it more effective? Will we get a better platform to raise our voices democratically?

Speech # 7 Toastmasters Club

Here is my 7th Speech in crystal talk toastmasters club of Motorola Bangalore.

Arrival – Part 4

I got few warnings about Chicago airport that it is a very (very very… ) big airport and cannot be taken lightly if you have a connecting flight. I estimated its vastness from my aerial view and soon realized that it was an underestimation. There were activities to make it worse. Immigration check was one of them. I almost ran for that entire 1 and a half hour except those 10 minutes I spent in a train which took me from international terminal to the domestic one. I was very ready to experience all three classes in my one way journey and hence gladly accepted the cattle class this time and started waiting anxiously for my final destination.
No, the plane did not crash and I am not writing this sitting in Heaven or Hell.. I am talking about Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

DFW was altogether a different beauty from the top of the world, huge and scenic. Sun was almost at his perish and by the time I collected my luggage it was dark. I quickly spotted a public phone, experimented with calling card and after a couple of hits and misses I got the caller tune. My wife answered and the voice did the same to me what smoke does to an addict. After utilizing a full quota of 15 minutes a day on my calling card, I headed to the exit in search of a cab.

The moment I stepped out I realized had I been here a month before, I would have seen the coldest nights of my life. Chilling breeze hit my face and I felt like having 100s of needles piercing my face. I ran to the taxi stand and jumped into one. It took 20 minutes to reach the hotel. Radisson, as they call it, was no where similar to any hotels in India. No boundary walls and no gate keeper with big moustache on the gate. I quickly completed the check-in procedure and took an overview of the lobby. There I spotted the place where I was going to spend all my evenings. The Cassidys. An in-house night club of Radisson. (wink.. )

Soul was hungry so was the stomach. I was feeling that I had only a day or 2 in this hotel and so I should be better hurry up to catch all the hospitality it was about to offer me. After taking a long and lazy hot bubble bath, it was time for some food. Not to my surprise, when I stepped in the restaurant and took up the menu, I was not able to visualize a single item in that. Somehow I zeroed on one and started waiting for it. In the mean time, the music started growing inside the Cassidys. I got up to take a quick view of the place. Now that was surprising. Cowboy hats, check-shirt clad men in their 50s cluttered the club. A maintaining ratio of women was decorating the club, both in the terms of number and age. But their enthusiasm was strikingly different from the people of my land. Feet on the dance floor, drinks on the tables and country songs in the air were enough to get me interested in this place. I asked a waitress to bring my food here so that I may not miss a moment. As the evening turned into night, younger guests started entering and competing with the veterans.

I gave company to my food and drinks throughout till they played the last song and then I walked up to my room. Welcome to Texas.

Frankfurt – Part 3

It was a cold day at Frankfurt. I desperately wanted to update my parents and wife that I was fine and safe. Although, there was no climate catastrophe, no terror warning or a war in Europe, still unlimited access to communication makes all of us addicted to status updates. It was 3 hours for my connecting flight to Chicago so I became a little relaxed and started searching for public telephones. But again, thanks to unlimited access to communications, everybody has a mobile phone these days which is why public phones are getting harder to be spotted.

To be on safer side, I decided to go the departure gate first and make sure that the information I have is correct and then explore the airport.
I was desperate to go the business lounge again.. : - ).
It looked like a self-managed, strangely disorganized, cluttered and yet amazing airport. It was easy to spot people of all walks of life finding their own space of comfort in that area. Blacks, whites, Asians, kids, olds, youth, rich and poor. There was a girl looking for a power socket to charge her mobile phone. Huge shops were lined up in one section. A plenty of Indian were there who were behaving exceptionally well as compared to black and white kids and young boys and girls.

There were automated moving walkways in the vast lobby which was a thoughtful innovation for old people. However some kids made it into a giant rollercoaster and were trying every possible to and fro travel across that walkway. Soon an old man, in his 50s, wearing roller skates, joined the game of coupling himself with the moving hand rest of the walkway and started rolling besides it.

My destination was near i.e. my departure gate# 65 and the business lounge nearby. It was morning time and breakfast was ready in the lounge. I headed straight to usual section of milk and cereals and suddenly stopped by some unknown force. A really humble idea came in my mind that now if I am on a 1 month journey, why not giving a try to new tastes. I looked at the counters and observed people and finally decided to go with a tuna sandwich. Fishes are always my biggest subject of disinterest when it comes to food. But I gave them another chance to impress me and after having that, I can say, I really can’t express the warmth, tenderness and exotic taste of that sandwich, in words.

Economy in west is in bad shapes. This was proved by the fact that the unlike Namma Bengaluru, Frankfurt airport was charging for wireless internet. : - ) Now that I couldn’t find a phone, I was uncomfortably hyper to talk/communicate to Suman. And what could be better than an email? Thankfully the lounge had few desktop computers, without any charge, which gave me a chance to send a couple of one liners across the continents. After spending some time, it headed back to the lounge and started acting like a busy-frequent-flier-executive. Took a drink for myself, grabbed a news paper and found a spot facing the runway. Exactly when I was about to start my performance of a business man who can make smart decisions based on a financial newspaper, I came to know that the newspaper was a German one. Almost grinning on myself, I got myself another drink.

12:30 was time for the boarding and I was enjoying my last 45 minutes in the lounge when I heard some foreign language announcements containing a word which caught my attention.
Dies ist ein Ankündigung für mr ebbyshaik, wenden Sie sich bitte an der Pforte 65.
It repeated itself in English.
This is an announcement for Mr Abhishek, please contact at the gate 65.

In negative anticipations I ran towards gate 65 and upon reaching, announced my identity. The lady at the counter took me 5 steps away from the counter and those 5 steps were really very heavy on my feet. Thousands of thoughts about passport, visa, tickets, security and what not, started running in my mind. Once she started speaking, my blood pressure started coming to normal. There was a hardware problem, as she said it, with my seat in the plain. The control buttons were not working and hence she offered me to take another plane i.e. FRA-Denver and Denver to DFW. After regaining my normalcy, I started thinking about pros and cons of my could-be-decision. I never travelled for such a long time in an aircraft so I was not able to imagine the level of discomfort I would get.

Without thinking much I opted for my original option and left everything else to my fate. On my extra grateful behavior, the ground staff also came to a different level. One lady escorted me to the craft. Called the technical support guys for the last attempt to make the seat working and guess what, it worked. Till today I suspect that they tried to trick me because they wanted to give that seat to some influential guest. : - )

Then again, started a gala time of eating, drinking, sleeping, stretching and enjoying the plain which ended in 9 long hours.

In-Flight – Part 2

Why I love window seat?
A. I flew for the first time when I was 22.
B. I am a fan of Bill Gates.
C. I don’t know.
D. I think, in case of an emergency I would safely jump out.

The right answer is C.
Yeah, I don’t why but in spite of having numerable instances of disturbing people on the aisle seat for washrooms and regretting of not having an aisle seat in case of Kingfisher airlines, I love to be seated on a window seat.

That day was no exception. My travel agent took my request seriously and arranged a window seat for me. My fellow colleague who recently came from US told me that LH air hostesses do not talk to the people who do not drink. So, with the clear intentions of getting a good customer service, I decided to say yes whenever anybody would ask me for a drink in the next 9 hours.
Interestingly, I had already set my biological clock before even reaching to the other part of the world. It was 3:30 AM and I was wide awake, experimenting with all the luxuries I was expected to use to their fullest. In those 9 hours, I watched a movie, Red Cliff. Revised a movie called Kaminey, slept, had touch-ups with the colon-dipped tissues, had food and explored the washrooms. In total, it was a nice experience to stretch and have a nice flight.

I opened the window panes after 7 hours, in the anticipation of having a look of firangi asmaan. Instead I got a very strange view of white clouds down there. They looked like snow on the vast planes but I knew that we were nowhere close to the land because there were still 2 more hours to reach Frankfurt. Yahan ke toh baadal bhi paraye hein... reminded me of a dialogue from DDLJ ... yahan ke toh kabutar bhi paraye hein.
(bad joke ?? skip this.. oh you have already read it.. :-D another bad joke.. )

Very soon my wait ended and I started seeing some land. Bright and colorful. Full of white color. Endless panorama view of snow and snow. Upon reaching closer to the city, the colors started changing. Streets, trees, cars, highways and mushroom-looking-unorganized-country-houses started cropping out of the snow, showing off.

After desperately waiting for 9 hours, the aircraft took a plunge. The snow region was left way back. Frankfurt was cloudy but snowless. The aircraft, with arms wide open, threw herself upon the dark, tall and handsome runway which cuddled us in himself with love.
I took my 1st step on a foreign land.