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03/08/2012

Maha Shivaratri

The day before the festival of Shiva (on February 20), I came across one of his devotees with his trident (!!) while waiting for my rickshaw:

india,religion,hindusim,shiva,maha shivaratri



In the evening, during dinner, I asked my hosts: “What is Maha Shivatri?”.
Answer of the father: “no idea”.
Answer of the mother (who thought hard): “Once upon a time there was Vishnu who spent much of his time lying down on his snake itself lying on the ocean. One day the ocean was irritated and started to throw up things. The demons and the gods shared them but nobody wanted the poison. Then Shiva sacrificed himself and swallowed the poison. But his wife, refusing him to die, put her hands around his neck so that the poison would not go down. But the gods, refusing the poison to be spelled out, blocked his mouth. Thus the poison remained in Shiva’s head and that it is why he is blue. This is what we celebrate for Maha Shivaratri.”

Apparently it is the right explanation (at least one of the right explanations)!     http://hinduism.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/mahashivratri.htm 

02/15/2012

This post is dedicated to the Indian Telecom companies

"I hate you."   

Nothing new here.   
Vodafone has been my scapegoat for the past 3 years. Whenever I feel the anger rising (for anything), I know I can call them and they will say something to make me lose my cool! I'm exaggerating, but not much. Where I am not exaggerating is that they do have a knack for upsetting me. What's the point of having teleoperators if their only answer is "you have to go to a Vodafone store Madam"?
I managed to get a postpaid connection (after long and painful hours of fights) but failed miserably with the prepaid one. I did try hard ... I started by buying the sim card and giving the papers. After 2 days incoming calls stopped working. I provided other papers at the Vodafone store. After 3 days outgoing calls no longer worked. I went to the Vodafone store again. After 2 days nothing worked. I gave up.   

And here I am, in Delhi!   
You can imagine that there is no number migration between Delhi and Mumbai (for those who don’t know, when you leave a State in India, you go "roaming", and it costs more money)...   
So I decided to try Airtel. Ah well, I was not disappointed. I was already in a horrible mood – so I knew I should avoid telecoms then but... I gave the papers. Including my lease agreement. My lease agreement was not proper: it was not notarized. Nice, that’s a first. But good news: there is a notary in Nehru place! So we made photocopies, we certified the papers, we made new photocopies, we gave the papers. And then I asked the killer question: "And do you do "home verification”"? I saw the face of the guy (whom I already disliked) and I realized it was dead...
That is because, in India, the telecom companies come to you to verify that you live at your place. Useless. Any terrorist can rent a room, sit for three days and then go right? In India, this “home verification” is hardly an issue: they live at fifty in one room. But a girl staying alone, and without a full-time employee, she can sit on her connection. I have asked them to come in the evening. But no, it must be a "surprise", during office hours, and any time over a period of three days.   

I left super angry.   
I called Vodafone. Who offered me a pseudo-solution involving my office address. And above all, an employee would come and see me at the warehouse the next day ...   
And the next day, the guy was no different. He asked me for my company’s bank statement. (???) I explained that it was for me. Then he had to do the "home verification". And there, listen carfelly! I told him that there was nobody at home, if he wanted he could go and talk to my cat. Then he turned to my colleague and asked him, with the utmost seriousness, if my cat could give him a photocopy of my passport. Of course my cat will open the door, serve you a cup coffee and certify that I live here ... It's a grrrreat cat.   

Result: my colleague came to my rescue, gave his address (they will go and check) and I'll know on Friday if my connection is activated.   

Since we are here, I'd like to go back to Reliance, for the Internet connection. It's been two times now that I stopped the line (the first one when I moved in Mumbai, second when I moved to Delhi). Ah well hang on! The guys they never give up. They tell you ok and then they call you every single day to ask you why you want to cut the line?? Ah you are moving? But we can move your line!! You are moving to France?? (Sometimes you have to lie.) Okay then we will stop it. And the next they call you again “why do you want to stop your connection??” I'm not kidding. And everything in Hindi because it's more fun. You end up screaming in the phone to go to hell!

All is well...

01/30/2012

In Bandra, "fancy" neighborhood of Mumbai

The other day I dragged my friend on Reclamation (Bandra West) fly-over to take pictures of the snaps…
I have been on this fly-over God knows how many times (and for how long, since there is always a lot of traffic on that bridge), every time thinking that I wanted to take pictures. So I finally did it…

Please see Survivors of another kind (in reference to: ):

Mumbai, Reclamation slum - Jan 2012