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Collateral Damage | Kerala Style!

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Courtesy: Twitpic

Another classic, evergreen gem of an image coming out from Kerala. The poster on TwitPic titled it ‘Collateral Damage’. An apt title and one that just cannot be bettered. Want to try?

I wonder if this image will top the previously posted image from Kerala:  fasten your lungis!

Categories: India: Simply India!

Mumbai Taxi Drivers | Learn Marathi First; Get Permit; Learn to Drive

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently the Maharashtra State Cabinet made a ruling requiring all Mumbai Taxi Drivers to know the local language, Marathi, in order to get Taxi permits. [Times of India Article: To be a Cabbie, Learn Marathi]

This does not bode well for the very high number of Taxi drivers who hail from non-Marathi states of North & South India. The wrangles will continue, no doubt and after a lot of vociferous and volatile discussions, it will be forgotten and life on Mumbai will grind it’s way back to relative normalcy.

On the back of this debate, a cartoonist from Mumbaikar.com (BETA ka baap), Satish Acharya came up with a humourous view in the following cartoon:

Categories: India: Simply India! Tags:

India! Incredibly! India!

November 16, 2009 1 comment

The following ‘real’ images caught on camera, about day-to-day glimpses of India. Glimpses which, to the average Indian, are common and not as amazing or surprising. This is ‘Life’!

Source: Images were part of a fwd: email received.

Categories: India: Simply India! Tags:

Air India | Why I would never fly again

November 6, 2009 2 comments

Recently a family member had to use an Air India flight from the US to India. Their experience was not the best and resulted in Air India being blamed for each every little thing that went wrong. Talking about this led me back to my personal Air India experience, which I had posted on a travel forum soon after I completed my ‘memorable’ travel with Air India. My tale with a big pinch of humor and a tablespoon of sarcasm!

Details:
Airline: Air India
Travel Date:  2005
From: Delhi
via: Bombay, London
To: Chicago

This sort of experience is more a regularity than a rarity with Air India. Only because of the Government backing this airline exists. Take the government backing out and the Maharaja would land with a mighty thud, never to rise again!

Flight was a Delhi-Bombay (change of aircraft)-London-Chicago-(SFO by United – experience in question pertains to airindia).

Due to the fog effect in Delhi, my flight was PREPONED from 130am to previous evening 6pm. Well, its good, Air India is being proactive, you would say, right? NADA NADA! Air India had absolutely no such effect, preponing the flight.

Check-in:
Well, let me say that the check-in person (no way i can call him a man!!) just about finished my check-in process by the time check-in desks for the flight were closed. From the time that the desks opened to time they closed, this gentleman checked in a whopping, hold your breath, (drum rolllllll please….) 2 passengers!!

How can they work so hard, these guys?? Who needs hi-tech computers when you have such super robotically efficient people!

Anyway, onwards we go:
Check-in desks closed right? So that implies just 1/2 hr left for the flight, right? Need to have a bit of rush thing, right?? NADA NADA!! You guessed right. The security check line is as long as the various expletives – a few choice and amusing words, I assure you – that could be heard. Best thing is the total control all the police guys, Air India staff had. Totally calm, collected and absolutely unfazed. Not a hair out of place. Whilst the silly hapless passengers are pulling their hair out worrying about connections, baggage, seats, khaana, movies on the flight, cleanliness of the toilets. But them, Oh no!, not a hair out of place!!

Finally got into the flight at 7pm – for a flight that was to take off at 6pm! Phew. NO NO NO not so soon please! Get back to the edge of your seats please!! We finally took off, after a suspenseful hour and fifteen. Surely you dont need me to detail the onboard experience!! You folks seem sensible enough not to beg for torture!!

Welcome to Mumbai! And thats a gigantic exageration!:
Now whilst checking me in, my super efficient person, (remember the one in Delhi?) did me the honor of NOT checking my luggage thru. For what reason, doubt even HIM upstairs would know. Quite a few passengers caught in the same bemusing dilemma.
No matter, take a deep breath, calm yourself, just wait for the baggage, which should come out of that small square hole with flaps and then onto the conveyors. Should have been that easy. But man proposes, Air India disposes! Only a few cases came through.

Push was coming to shove in the mental calmness department. Shove won hands down. ENOUGH is enuff! 3-4 of us pax, went thru that very hole and to the place (for want of a better word) where they (for want of a better word) load the baggage onto the conveyor belts. Four baggage carts nicely parked (now nearly 3 hrs!) but not a soul to offload them….

Why???
Its between shifts..It will take about 30mins more!! OH puhleeeeaze! Rolled up sleeves, hitched up the belt, unlatched the trolleys, found my cases, offloaded them, carried it to the conveyor belt, put it on the conveyor belt, jumped on the conveyor belt and travelled into the next millenium through that very hole in the wall with flaps!!

I and others actually had to get our own cases from the trolleys!  And not a word of apology or explanation from unruffled, unfazed, not-a-hair-out-of-place Air India staff….’What to do, these things happen’ seems to be the ‘all-solving mantra’!

One consolation from this sordid and sad experience was a stay at a local 5-star hotel, since my connection was not before 6am the next morning, alongwith all the other such pax, with a free dinner thrown in.

Then the journey goes on. But thats for another day.

For now, only time you should buy Air India tickets is when you really want someone suffer and have them travel Air India. Me, I could not wish Air india even to my enemies!

Why I would never fly Air India again!

Sorry Maharaja!

ai

Categories: India: Simply India!

Indian Railways Food Service | From out of the box!

January 22, 2009 7 comments

I wrote about the very ‘Indian’ way of communication via email by Indian Railways. Bharat B had FWDed a powerpoint slide presentation of wierd and wonderful pictures and one of them caught my attention, especially since the Indian Railways context is still pretty fresh.

Those who have traveled on Indian Railways trains will know that  the compartments – the ‘bogies’ – are supposed to be connected. This is supposed to allow passengers free movement through the whole train, thus making use of the ‘Pantry Car’ for a quick snack or a meal. The only time the compartments are intentionally disconnected is when  the two adjoining compartments are of a different ‘class’ [ eg: First Class / Coach Class].

However, it is quite often that this passageway is not safe (when has it ever been safe, you may ask!) or due to ‘technical difficulties’ the passageway is not usable. Even at times such as this, Mr Hungry in a First Class compartment, probably towards either end of the train, wants to have his ‘Chai’ which is available only from the ‘Pantry Car’, usually located around the middle of the train. (This is to allow for ease and speed of food transfer from the kitchens at the stations – which are usually around the middle of platform!)

So the innovative, never-say-die, need-to-get-the-money-for-this-food, waiters have to ‘step up’ & ‘step out’ – practically ‘Step out of the Box’ – and move between the closed off compartments by using the doors. One goes across; Both hang on for dear life, expertly balancing the tray and passing it on, while the train is moving.

Amazing to folks who have not seen this before, but an ‘everyday’ occurrence for people who have traveled Indian Railways.

India! Simply India!

Indian Railways | Food Service

8)

~Rakesh

Indian Railways | ‘Inadequate’ cards not accepted!

January 9, 2009 Leave a comment

What happens when you make a reservation with Indian Railways, pay with a credit card, and the card is found to have insufficient funds?

Read on..

This message was sent out to a customer whose card payment could not be processed. From the ‘western’ point of view the Indian written English can be found to be entertaining at most times. Here the word ‘inadequate’ takes the whole message to another level. In the western world, the word ‘inadequate’ can apply to the lacking or shortfall in certain errrr capacities of a person. Do you see the humor?

Dear Customer,

We regret that the booking of your ticket could not be processed at this time as the transaction with ref. No. xxxxxxxxxx was not authorised by your bankers. The failure may also be due to some sort of inadequacies in your card / bank account.

Or possibly the account holder? 🙂

in.ad.e.quate:

not adequate or sufficient; inept or unsuitable

lacking the capacity for psychological maturity or adequate social adjustment

one who is inadequate especially in terms of social adjustment

Mumbai Terror Attacks | The Dossier

January 9, 2009 4 comments

India being India, important supposedly TOP SECRET documents, find their way into the public domain practically the very minute that they ‘secretly’ exchange hands. The human factor. The evidence collected, collated and presented to the relevant Pakistan authorities, in the form of a dossier, now know popularly as the TERROR DOSSIER has found its way to The Hindu, which has posted and linked it on the web.

The TERROR DOSSIER makes for compelling reading. The way the terrorists used technology and precision in planning and implementing the attacks does make for some surprise and shock on how easy the whole attack from start to finish appeared to be. The ending, of course, did not go as scripted and thankfully so. Making sure further potential attacks on similar lines are curtailed.

The TERROR DOSSIER follows in three parts to make for easier reading.

Part 1 of 3:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Part 2 of 3:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Part 3 of 3:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Source: The Hindu – Dossier