Abhi achche din aye nahin hain Modiji

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a Modi hater. It is the reverse actually. I am such a big supporter of his that I am hugely disappointed when I see a governance failure in his term. If it were Congress who were at the center I’d say that it is fitting that we got such a bad service. But with Modi at helm I want everything to be in order.

This post is my vent on the rotten experience we LPG(Liquified Petroleum Gas) consumers, in Bangalore, had to face due to center’s decision of deciding to transfer our LPG subsidy to our bank accounts directly. This meant that our Aadhaar number had to be linked to the LPG account and to the bank. Here, I have to mention this to Mr.Nilekani: however much noble your intention was behind the Aadhar card it was not done properly. We spent a lot of our precious time to get our Aadhar card made, when it was introduced. And also numerous rounds to our house to get this or that documentation or when we were told that there is no power. We had attached our bank details(with cancelled check) and our LPG account details too at that time. Why didn’t the linking happen at your end, Mr.Nilekani? Good that you didn’t get elected again!

Like always when our LPG cylinder is empty we book the refill on phone. We realised that something was wrong when we didn’t get our cylinder even 10 days after I got an SMS that my cash memo was generated. When we called up the IVR we got a shock that our booking was cancelled. We booked another time and even that was cancelled by our LPG distributor(LPGD). We knew that Aadhar linking to LPG was on. We even saw this in our PG booking SMS “You can handover your AADHAR card Xerox along with Form-2 to Delivery boy”. So, the LPGD had no business cancelling our bookings.

We then went to his office to find out why he is cancelling our bookings without even telling us the reason. There we found a person who was extremely rude who was running the show. He greets you with his rudeness. He shouts at you for no reason at all. We gathered from his shoutings at us that until we do our Aadhar linking to the LPG a/c the bookings will get cancelled. Then he says that get him a cancelled check and he will link our bank a/c to the LPG a/c and he will give us a cylinder. Obviously, we were not carrying our checkbook nor our gas cylinder. We ran home and got both and gave him the cancelled check. Now, when he is entering our details in the system we see that he has got our name wrong in the system. At this point, he throws up his hand and says that I must get a notarized affidavit on a Rs.20 stamp paper to get this corrected. Without that he cannot give us the cylinder. We were trying to reason with him that the error happened, most probably, by their operator, at the time of entering our details and he should correct our name without this long procedure. He gets more rude and more shouting follows. He alleges that we gave him the wrong spelling! These are the kind of monsters who are running the show, Mr.Modi.

We then came home and started doing our investigations online on how we an get this linking done online. On mylpg.in we found a way to do it. And we linked our aadhar card with our LPG account. We then picked a day when we first went to Jayanagar (12kms both ways in bangalore traffic) and for Rs.200 got an affidavit to correct our name in the LPGD system. We then went straight to the LPGD armed with the affidavit and aadhar card photo-copies. On this day, he was extra rude. He says he won’t do any documentation on this day because of the rush of customers at his outlet. We also found out that in his system our Aadhar is still coming as not linked! In his rudeness and shoutings he ranted at us “Why don’t you go and trouble the bank and link your aadhar card there where the employees draw 80K salaries!” Again, we were turned away from his outlet without our LPG refill. We went to an HDFC bank branch and we were pleasantly surprised by the way we were treated by the officer over there. It was like the difference between hell and heaven. It was then, we wondered why we didn’t approach the bank directly, in the first place. We gave the required documentation there very smoothly. We were told to wait for 5 working days for the linking to happen.

At the end of five working days we again picked the nerve to approach our LPGD to give us our refill. This time we were prepared. We even packed our car with a printer and a UPS (pictures below) just in case he again sends us on a wild goose chase of getting this or that document. Remember, he had cancelled two of our bookings in the past. We had made another booking too, just in case he says that we don’t have any booking, just to refuse us the refill again. This time we were pleasantly surprised to know that his system was showing as linking done successfully. And he also was ready to give us the refill. Now, I told him to take the affidavit he had asked us to make to correct my name. He says that it is not required since the linking is done. *facepalm* I spent one half day into getting this made. 😦

IMG_2355                                                   IMG_2356

According to a government notification, no gas agency can stop supplying your refill. Yet, this LPGD is blatantly doing so putting all consumers to hardship. Also when this fact was pointed out to him, he openly challenged us saying, “Go complain.” Today, my wife found a baffled lady in the queue who wanted a refill but he was denying it since she did not have a booking. Well, her booking had been canceled by him without information and now he was using that as an excuse not to give her the refill.
The other day, a Senior citizen came with his LPG book and empty cylinder after making a trip home. When he reached the place at some minutes before 1 pm, the security guard rudely told him to come back at 2.30 pm as it was lunch time.
No one cares for the elderly, the women or the needy who are made to suffer to get the cylinder refills they anyway deserve.
What was despicable was their attitude to yell and make you run around even more instead of trying to help you out.
We also tried complaining on the online portal but no one responded to our queries. The helpline where we tried to complain after taking all our details said that their systems were not working and hence could not register our complaint. The system has been painful beyond compare. It is like no one cares.

Modiji, this is how shabbily your people are implementing the government schemes of subsidy transfers directly to the bank. If well-read people and people who reasonably know our rights are treated like dogs in this way we can only imagine how that outlet guy must be treating lesser people. If you are in any position to take any action on this fellow (Sri Sai Prasanna Gas Service, Arekere, Bangalore) please take it.

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Time to wipe the cobwebs from our marriage

It has been a little over 14 years since our marriage. And we are going strong. Both of us know everything about each other. She knows my vices and I know hers. She knows my strengths and I hers. And we think we can go on like this till the end of our lives. But we have our quarrels too. And those are the times when things like these are said “You were a different person when we were newly married”, “You were not so critical of me then”, “Now, I don’t seem like the one and only princess in your eyes”.

Come on folks, I don’t think any long-term relationship is devoid of these unhappy moments. When it seems like saying hurtful things to your partner is the way to resolve your fights. Then, there are those times when the fight is resolved that you think that your relationship needs careful reflection on our parts. It is during these times when we need to think of ways to recharge our relationship to the levels we were at just after marriage. And, I am in one of those moods today. Hey, it is going to be 14th February pretty soon. What better time than this to rekindle the flame between us.

On this Valentine’s Day, I am thinking of proposing to her in a very wild way which will take me to a space which is totally out of my skin. What else will kick-start our flame back to the original levels? First I must start with the things she likes:

  1. Like all women she too has a weakness for flowers. Since this is our 15th year of marriage, I am planning on giving her 14 bouquets of flowers for each year of marriage! 🙂
  2. She loves food. Especially, sea-food 🙂 And what’s more? Our favourite restaurant in the town is having a seafood festival going on. Yay!
  3. She loves to watch mostly Hindi movies. And she’s saying that she wants to watch “Roy”. And what perfect timing for that too!

What else? Feb 14th is a Saturday. So, the kids too will be at home!

So the plan is like this: In the morning I have arranged for a florist to deliver one bouquet of flower every half an hour. What is the fun in delivering all the bouquets at once? 🙂 And where is the boldness in the idea? Then by 12:30pm when we have worked an appetite after all the rolling on the floor laughing bouts, we will be moving our party to our favourite restaurant. I have already arranged for a cake to be delivered there with the message “I still love you madly”. I have purchased a gold ring with which I plan to propose to her once again in front of all the people who are dining there. This is something which is totally out of my skin, and this is the only part of the plan I am shuddering about. 🙂 Then for 3pm I will book a show for “Roy”. We will be back home by 7pm when I open our favourite wine bottle, and we’ll spend the evening watching the recordings of our favourite TV series which we usually record and keep for the weekends.

So, all in all, if all goes according to my plans it will be a day that my babe will not forget in a long time. Here, I’d like to thank Close Up for giving me this radical idea of rekindling our love by proposing to my one and only crush! 🙂

ASUS All In One PC ET2040 – A PC the time for which has arrived

ASUS ET2040 All-In-One-PC (From:http://www.asus.com/AllinOne_PCs/ET2040INK/)

Finally a PC is here which addresses the eternal problem of unexpected power shutdowns that people face in India. This uncertain power scenario of India has prompted Indian desktop users to chip in extra money into the purchase of an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). For entrepreneurs who are setting up a new office it is an extra burden to put valuable investment into a larger UPS which is more expensive. The indian computer purchaser is always faced with an eternal dilemma of whether to purchase a laptop and save on the UPS investment or purchase a desktop and put that extra money on a UPS. There are pros and cons to each option. A laptop has the benefits of easy portability and power backup. But the cons are that it is more expensive and costs more money than a desktop for the same computing power and has small screens! A desktop is cheaper, has larger monitor and more computing power, but its power usage is more. It also no power backup for those times when the power company pulls out the lights.

I have always felt a need for a hybrid PC which has most features of a desktop but has the benefits of a laptop too like power backup. And ASUS ET2040 addresses this beautifully.

There are other great features in this PC too:

  1. Space is always a constraint in our Indian homes. And, this PC takes care of it perfectly. It is almost like a laptop but with a 19.5 inch screen. On the desk, it occupies lesser space than a laptop!
  2. It can act as a perfect entertainment center allowing for gesture control of the OS without the use of the mouse or keyboard. You can sit far away from the laptop and control when the PC plays a video/music by just waving your hand.
  3. It has got all your multi-media needs taken care of by providing a port for everything USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, 3-in-1 card reader, audio in and out and behold this: a kensington lock port too! So, you can make this a corporate desktop too and secure it to the table for those times when you are off for a tea/coffee.
  4. It comes with great in-built applications like PhotoDirector to edit pictures, PowerDirector to create great videos at home, Music Maker Jam to create great studio like music, Asus WebStorage to provide you with 100GB of online storage space and many other great softwares.
  5. It really has a great 19.5 inch LED screen with backlight to give you more crisp colors. So, you can watch your movies on the computer itself.

You pick up the ASUS All in one ET2040 PC from Amazon.

Asus has come up with another great new product called ASUS EeeBook X205TA. It is like a tablet with super powers. I have always needed a tablet which I could carry on my tours and be able to also type emails or documents effortlessly. This product fills that gap for me. Check it out too. you’ll like its features.

Happiness is health. More particularly healthy children.

I am a father to two boisterous little boys. Boys being boys they are possessed with immense restless energy keeping us parents on the tenterhooks, almost all the time. The only time when we get the peace that we crave is when they go to school or when they are asleep. It almost always makes us wish why we weren’t blessed with at least one daughter to keep the loud energy in the house to manageable limits. And then again we think, immediately, that we wouldn’t have it any other way even if given the choice. 🙂

And there are times in the house when this loud and restless energy abates. When one or both of the kids are down with cold, cough or fever. And it is no time to rejoice. It is unimaginable to see our bundles of energy down with common cold or fever. You pray never to wish again for this kind of peace in the house. You would do anything to have them making the noise that they usually do.

Being the analytical mind that I am I got thinking about the pattern in which they fall ill. And I could put these in a few categories like below:

  1. Infections picked up from school: These infections have no other cause to explain them other than this. It’s possible my boys might be giving infections to other kids at school too.
  2. Change of weather: Bangalore is known to have 2 to 3 seasons in one day. 🙂 The rapid way in which the weather here changes takes its toll on the kids.
  3. Allergy Seasons: There are seasons and there are allergy seasons. An allergy season is characterised by excess pollen in the air. And truth be told, Bangalore is right at the top for having allergens in the air.

We have taken the kids to the doctors and asked them to recommend something that can keep them prepared for these eventualities. We don’t want to go over the same old courses of paracetamols, allegras, etc. We want something more natural and more reliable. And the verdict was unanimous. Fortify them with the age old Indian recipe for such things, the one and only Chyawanprash.

I did some research on Chyawanprash and came up with this: It is a recipe which can be found in the manuscripts of Ayurveda written centuries ago – Ashtangahridayam, Charakasamhita, Sangandharasamhita. Two of the most important ingredients of any Chyawanprash are Triphala and Amla(Indian gooseberry). This makes Chyawanprash very high in Vitamin C. Of course, there are other ingredients in a Chyawanprash which lend it their own benefits. But Vitamin C alone keeps the common ailments like cold, cough and allergies at bay.

It has become a habit at home for us and the kids to have one spoonful of Chyawanprash every day morning along with the breakfast. We have developed a special liking for Dabur Chyawanprash as the kids too like it. And I have noticed that after starting this habit the kids are falling ill less often. This is one of the secrets of our Happiness at our home. 🙂