Friday, May 30, 2014

Memories from First Bike Trip (Contd..)

Keeping up with tradition, I have yet again taken more than a month to write down the rest of a previous write-up, A Biker In Hibernation, where I was recounting the experience from my first ever Bike Trip.

So, when I stopped last, it was getting dark and being in the middle of the jungle had started giving us the jitters. Also considering the fact that we did not even know where the hell we were, we decided it best to start back to the town. That way, even if we found no one, we could at least be in civilization and hopefully find an accommodation in a lodge or something (on credit of course, since we did not have our wallets). But that was not to be the case. As we started back, we finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel road. Noticing that it was one of the bikes that we had left behind and a TT (Tempo Traveler, known as Force Traveler these days), we felt hopeful that we are at the right place. But as luck would have it, even they were wandering about just like us, albeit a bit slow. The organizers were in on vehicle that was not in sight. Any food that was available in this vehicle had already been consumed. As we were cribbing about being hungry, one guy burped the burp of a man whose tummy is full making us hate him instantaneously. After appraising them of all the time we spent looking for a seemingly non-existent resort, we tried to look for a place to eat something. There were some shops in the vicinity, but the heaviest we could find was potato chips. Utter waste, but when the tummy commands, you just listen. After having whatever we could manage with some black tea, all of us decided that there is no point in waiting any further and that we should head back to town.

After cursing the organizers to glory for such bad coordination, we started moving. It was already past 9 PM by this time. Hardly would we have gone half a kilometer, when another TT arrived. This is the TT which we needed. The first thing to come to our mind was if even this one was lost. But lucky for us, it had not. Not just that, it turns out, we had made the correct decision to head to this road. So we turned again and once again set out on the day we had traversed up and down for the whole evening. We reached the first damn, the Parson's Valley Dam, which is where we had inquired about the resort.From there, this TT took the mud road going down, which we were sure would not lead to a resort. The road had become slippery due to the rain. The fact that it was a mud road after rain and that it was quite steep down gave some of us the chill. Almost all the bikes fell a few times before we finished the descend. Cursing and cribbing we headed for our lodging dormitory and freshened up and got ready for dinner. But, the dinner was not ready. It had to be cooked on old fashioned firewood stoves. After a wait which seemed like eternity, the food was finally served close to midnight. The food was awesome (cannot say if it was because we were terribly hungry, but that was the general consensus). It felt worth the wait. Once the tummy was full, we could now go and end the day in peace. The good times had finally started.

Rest, in a separate post, later. Until then, well nothing special, continue doing what you would do otherwise.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moto G, seems quite impressive

I have recently been discussing phones with a few friends, and there were some who really seemed to like the MotoG. I explored a bit and found that the specifications are quite awesome for the price. Imagine the below, lifted from FlipKart:

In the Box Headset, User Manual, Handset with Inbuilt Battery, Charger, Battery Door
Brand Motorola
Model Name Moto G
Model ID XT1033
Form Bar
SIM Size Micro SIM
SIM Type Dual SIM, GSM + GSM, (Dual Standby)
Touch Screen Yes, Capacitive
Call Features Loudspeaker
Handset Color Black
Operating Freq GSM - 850, 900, 1800, 1900; UMTS - 2100
OS Android v4.3 (Jelly Bean), Upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Processor 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad Core
Graphics Adreno 305, 450 MHz Single Core
Size 4.5 Inches
Resolution HD, 1280 x 720 Pixels
Color 16 M
Other Display Features Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Primary Camera Yes, 5 Megapixel
Secondary Camera Yes, 1.3 Megapixel
Flash LED
Video Recording Yes, 720 x 1280, 30 fps
HD Recording HD
Zoom Digital Zoom - 4x
Other Camera Features Auto Focus, Slow Motion Video, Burst Mode, Auto HDR, Panorama, Tap to Focus
Size 65.9x129.9x11.6 mm
Weight 140 g
Type 2070 mAh
Memory and Storage
Internal 16 GB
Memory 1 GB RAM
Internet & Connectivity
Internet Features Email
Preinstalled Browser Android
3G Yes, 21.1 Mbps HSDPA; 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
Wifi Yes, 802.11 b/g/n
USB Connectivity Yes, micro USB, v2
Tethering Wi-fi Hotspot
Navigation Technology GPS, GLONASS, with Google Maps
Bluetooth Yes, v4
Audio Jack 3.5 mm
Music Player Yes, Supports MP3
Video Player Yes, Supports MP4, VC1, H.264, WMV9, DivX, HD
FM Yes
Other Features
SAR Value At the Head - 1.35 W/Kg, At the Body - 1.06 W/Kg
Call Memory Yes
SMS Memory Yes
Phone Book Memory Yes
Sensors Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor, Hall Effect Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer
Additional Features Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot, Embedded Battery Type, Notification LED
Warranty Summary 1 year manufacturer warranty for Phone and 6 months warranty for in the box accessories

I think that for a price of Rs. 13999, this is a fair deal. They also have an 8 GB version worth Rs. 12499.

I also see some other Motorola versions that are value for money. Check out the MotoE, which is out of stock most of the time. It has very good specifications and even comes with the latest Android version, that is the KitKat.

If you like any of these, please click below. Unfortunately, MotoE is out of stock most of the time.

UPDATE:  Bought a Moto G for my sister. Got it delivered on the third day. So far it is performing quite well. The only sad part is the prices dropped in a week after I ordered it. Right now it is 2K lesser than when I ordered, but I guess Xiomi Mi3 would have caused that.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Oh unfair maiden!! thou needeth to be fair to get the job

This is one of the older ads for Fair and Lovely. The language is primarily Tamil. The basic storyline is of someone whose dream was to be a cricket commentator, who could not get the job just because she did not have fair skin. Well, sounds funny but that is what the ad tries to depict. In comes Fair & Lovely replacing the prince/knight in shiny armor and voila, she is now a fair maiden who is instantly select to provide cricket commentary and is sitting next to Kris Srikkanth. Watch the video below.

That brings me to Shah Rukh Khan, someone who made his career much before the men's fairness creams even came into the market. He now gives credit for his hard-earned success to Fair and Handsome.

So basically, if he had not found Fair and Handsome, his hard work alone would not have got him where he is now. Especially funny considering the fact that he was already a big enough star when this product even came into the market.

The latest from Fair and Lovely these days is of a woman who has just started her career. In the typical Indian way, her father wants to get her married to some guy who is well settled. In this case, well settled is someone who has a job with a handsome pay, who has his own home etc. In the end the lady says that she is ready to marry only after she matches up to that guy in eligibility, i.e., earn a high enough income, buy own home etc. Of course we know she doesn't know much about reality because thinks she can buy a home in India in 3 years of starting her career. Oh okay, models can, I forgot. But that is not the point, the point is that she needed to get from looking human to looking like a polished mannequin before she could tell her dad the she would get married only after she has established herself in her career. Her career was tied to how much unreal her skin tone was. Does it not feel a bit bad that she had to become fair to realize that she can also earn the same level of pay etc. before getting married. Now the question is, is her aim her own ambition, or is this to match up to someone else? Are you trying to tell the young girls that you get to be ambitious only if you look like a polished and painted white mannequins? What about all the natural women who have done wonderfully in their careers? Is this not an insult to them? Be your own judge.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Pune bug is catching on.. Help!!!!!

While some cities like Bangalore have been trying to ape the west and trying to follow traffic rules, Pune has no such inclinations. We, proud of our national heritage care two hoots for the traffic rules the angrez has made. We will go the way we want, when we want, however we want (unless there are cops to stop us). But when the cops themselves don't care, why should we? Stop signals? What are they but bindiya on the forehead of some pillar? Wrong side? There is no wrong side, only the side I want to go. India is a free country and I reserve the right to go the way I want to go.

After spending an eternity of 5 years in Bangalore, I had completely started stopping at signals, avoiding wrong sides and all such stupid western ideals. These kept me from knowing the true value of a Punekar, but in the last 4 years, I have started getting closer home to Pune. Finally I have started ignoring some of the basic traffic rules. In the last 10 years, there has been only one rule that was tough to follow, speed limits on empty roads. After spending a majority of the travel time stuck in heavy traffic in the speed range way below 20 KMPH, a speed limit of 40 KMPH on an empty stretch was really difficult to keep. Other than that, I have been safely following all traffic rules, until a few months back, and all credit goes to the awesome Punekar.

In the last 4 years that I have spent in Pune as a matured adult biker, I have learned that if you want to travel in this city, you have to follow only one rule, which was made famous by Limp Bizkit "Its My Way or the Highway", except that there was no highway option available here. Everyone rode the way they wanted. They did not care that when there is a divider separating the lanes going up and down. They road in the direction they wished to, on the side they wished to. It did not matter that the signal was red for them. They just had to go through. If you are a law abiding citizen waiting at the signal, you were honked till you gave them way. How much longer could I avoid this call to  awakening?

Now I have finally started on a journey to be a pukka Punekar. Today I realized that I have broken traffic rules at least 4 times this week. Considering that this is just the third day, this is no mean feat. I realize that I still have a long way to go before I start going through one ways in the opposite direction, before I start riding through the wrong side, before I ignore all red signals and before I start honking at the slightest delay the person in front causes me, I still have got  a lot closer to that level.

Jai Jai Punekar.