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30th November 2007 :: Elvis is in the house

The deputy chief minister of Maharashtra R.R. Patil forced the closure of all dance bars because he felt they were not good for the people. With the cigarettes and other tobacco products still on sale in the same state, am I supposed to believe they are good for us? Oh! Wait a second, there is a warning on the pack saying it is injurious to health. I guess the dance bars would not have gone out of business if they had also put in a sign like saying “Watching our dancers is injurious to you”. Or may be the dance bars are closed because some dance bar failed to treat Mr. Patil well...or maybe because some bar dancer refused a favour...

28th November 2007 :: ...Since 1853

If you have not noticed so far, the thing that I find interesting in these sandals is that they are not identical. One says Levi's and the other says since 1853 which made it quite easy for me to pick these over the Lee Cooper sandals I also liked. Reminds me of the Amitabh Bachchan movie where one character used to wear shoes of different size on different feet.

You have told me your opinion about paying extra because of a brand name, now let me know what you think about buying something for an oddity like this.

27th November 2007 :: Levi's...

In the comments to previous image of the same sandals, people have commented on brands and how we associate with them. Those comments made me think why I bought these sandals? The brand did help in making the decision, not because I felt cool wearing Levi's sandals but the assurance of quality one gets with any established brand. I might have not bought these, especially at the price I paid for them, had there been no brand associated. But I definitely would have bought if there was any other respected brand. How about you? Would you still have bought your favorite pair of Levi's if it was a Lee or a Wrangler or a Pepe?

26th November 2007 :: Cold Drink!!!

Milk is good but a cola is even better. The first time he tried cola out of curiosity, Manu made a face that gave an indication that he is not very fond of the taste. Inspite of that he took another face and made a similar face but he looked determined to acquire a taste for it and now when he sees a bottle of cola, he gets so excited. If we are eating out, we have to take an ice tea along with cola because he won't let us touch the cola. Ice tea is a different story. Just like cola, I have tried giving other things to Manu like Milk shakes but he sees them with a great deal of suspicion.

24th November 2007 :: Godess Laxmi and Rangoli

As I have mentioned, people decorate their houses on Diwali and they worship the godess of wealth Laxmi. My neighbour has done both in this rangoli of Laxmi. It took her quite a long time to make it but she sat there patiently painting it for hours. A lot of people may find it hard to imagine spending so much time on something that is this temporary but I guess it is all about your faith and passion.

21st November 2007 :: A good pair of sandals

Buying a good pair of sandals is a challenge especially because of my mental block. Whenever I go to buy sandals, I see things that I don't like, some of them have soles that are too big, some have very little open space, some are not designed for feet like mine and when I do like something I see the price and the first reaction is "For this much I can get a decent pair of shoes." Finally I decided to stop thinking that way and picked up a pair some time ago. I quite like them and since they didn't come cheap, I felt the value coming out of them should be more than just wearing them so they will be featured here again too and as you can see. There is a good reason why I have not tried to hide the lable and you will find out soon.

20th November 2007 :: I have been here before too!

Mira said that we never go out to treat ourselves. The only time we go out to have a dinner is when we have some visitors so we decided to go out for a dinner. We went to a place that is very close to our home. We have been there before too, with my landlord and his family. As we got there, Manu said “I have come here before with Ritam.” He seems to remember where he has been as only a few hours earlier that day he said “I have come here to buy sandals” when we went to a shoe-store from where we indeed picked up a pair of sandals for him a couple of months ago. I think I need to ask my parents if at Manu's age I could remember where I had been.

If you have noticed, I have added a new functionality to the site . Now you can digg it right from this page itself (you can see a link right below the image) so go ahead and let others know you love this image by digging it or by submitting it ti

19th November 2007 :: Are you sure you know what you are doing

“...I mean taking a razor and shaving my head was one thing but giving me a hair cut is a completely different thing. I just hope you are good at it I won't end up looking like an idiot after I get off this chair. This is what Manu seems to be be saying to the barber who gave his his second ever haircut.” Last time I forgot to take my camera with with me but this time I made sure I capture it. Surprisingly Manu was very calm and sat there all the time very quietly and kept moving and tilting his head as asked by the barber

I have posted some more pics of the hair cut on Flickr. Do check them out.

16th November 2007 :: First Class, from Andheri to Victoria Terminus

You can see from the table aith the image that there is no real difference between travelling first class or second class in a Mumbai local train.

15th November 2007 :: Four

Some time ago I noticed that Four Square cigarettes had a new graphic on their pack. They had been quite clever and instead of changing the design of the pack itself, they printed it on the sheet of cellophane used to wrap the pack. This time though they have printed it on the pack itself.

14th November 2007 :: Rangoli

Diwali is a time when people decorate their houses. One thing that is quite common here is a rangoli. It is made by coloured or white powder on the floor. This one though is painted on a sheet of plastic and stuck on our living room wall.

13th November 2007 :: Chulbuli

Chulbuli is a character created by Clinic Shampoo. At Mira's parents' house Manu found a set of fridge magnet that had Chulbuli and some other characters from the ad plus some other things. He realy liked it and spent hours arranging them on the fridge. “Papa maine yeh Chulbuli upar chipka diya” Manu came and said when I was writing this entry. Only if I still had the ability to feel so happy and thrilled by such simple things...

Life is hectic in this new job so this post comes a little early.

12th November 2007 :: Manu ke patakhe

The night before Diwali we went and bought some crackers for Manu. I felt we needed more but Mira said we had enough. In the night we did a trial for Diwali to check out what excites Manu and realised that we don't have enough crackers. The next morning we went to the market again and bought some more. This is Manu in the parking lot carrying the crackers home.

11th November 2007 :: Troubleshooting with a tester

Before Diwali take out the lights, check them, replace the burned out bulbs with the new ones and hang them in the balcony. This used to be the routine every Diwali. The problem with the home made lights was that they were a series of bulbs connected with a single wire and one burned out bulb means the entire things goes out. Once that happens, you take a tester and check if the current is flowing in each bulb, isolate the culprit and replace it with a new one or just get rid of it and connect the cable. This used to be a pain the ass specially when you are busy with the fireworks and one of the bulb dies and you have to fix the damn thing. Now it has become quite easy. You get these things readymade and the Chinese ones are quite cheep too and the best part is they keep working even if one of the bulbs is not working. Why didn't they think of it when I was a teenager?

10th November 2007 :: The home with a teenage son

When I was a kid the lights for Diwlai were made at home. The bulbs, the wires and the shades were all bought seprately and painstakingly put together buy usually young boys. This is why the homes with teenage boy(s) generally used to have better lighting than the other ones.

9th November 2007 :: May you have a HAPPY DIWALI

We have been living in Bombay for four years now but this is the first time we are celebrating Diwali here. Usually we go to Delhi at this time of the year but this time we went a little earlier because of the wedding we had to attend. This is the light that we have at out entrance and I am reminded of so many stories around Diwali relating to these lights, the fireworks, the cleaning of the houses, I guess I will have to post a photo essay of sorts to write all that.

5th November 2007 :: Bahar gaon ka santara

Yeh Bahar gaon ka santara hai” (This is an imported orange). The fruit seller told me when I was a little confused by the size, shape and the colour of the orange. The oranges grown in India are usually smaller, have quite a big indent at the top. I don't know where it grows but like anything a little different is called imported in the market here like brocolli is Chinese Gobhi.

Since tommorow I have a busy day, this post is coming a little early.

4th November 2007 :: Look what I found

I am wondering what a person will think 1000 years later when he finds this Fiat in the ruins of the ancient civilization that we call Mumbai. He would be thrilled with his discovery “This my friends prove that people living there were not primates but people who had very great engineering skills and they had developed a mode of transportation that is not too different than the cars we drive around today. Not only they had discover fossil fuel but have figured out how to make energy out it.” What if the things we find in the excavations of Harappa and other ancient civilizations are the same-just abandoned stuff. Stuff that was no longer useful and thus was left behind when they themselves chose to move on.

3rd November 2007 :: How not to run a promotion

It was a dream to work with a Tata company and I am grateful that it was realised. On the other hand there has been things that have diluted the image of Tata in my mind. I loved working for Tata so much that I decided to buy insurance from Tata AIG. As a token of appreciation they sent me a gift pack (The offer was only open for Tata employees). What I found in the box was a belt, a purse and a watch. I would have had a really hard time if I had to find something cheaper than those gifts. My idea is that if you can't give anything nice, don't give anything at all. I have bought insurance from other companies as well who gave no gift and I have no problem with that but when I think of Tata AIG, I think of these cheap gifts and feel disappointed. The irony is that they did spend the money in giving a gift but instead of making the customer happy, it has pissed them off. Just think about it, the premium of this policy is about Rs. 40000 per year. Tata AIG gave the agent who sold me the policy Rs.8000 for the first year and Rs. 2000 every year till I am paying the premium for this policy and what they gave to the policyholder that has given them the revenue. Another think you sould also keep in mind is that Titan is owned by Tata and if they wanted, they could have got good quality watches from them at a discount price.

2nd November 2007 :: Observation deck

This kite is one of the few that we see flying over the Aarey Colony. Actually this picture is quite old. I took it on the 15th of August. The way these birds sit on the highest possible place and inspect the surrounding must be making them think of themselves as the Captin Kirk.

1st November 2007 :: This is too damn heavy

Manu is fond of rocks. Till a few months ago when he would go downstairs, he would carry a rock home with him. He is quite happy in Nangal because over there he gets a lot of round and smooth stones. During this visit too he would asked me to pick a nice rock for him (He won't pick it himself fearing it might have cow dung on it). Sometimes he would take more than one stone and give the second one to someone at home. This picture was taken during our last visit. He was trying to lift this stone but just couldn't manage it. This picture was taken when he was pointing at it and telling me “Yeh to bahut bhaari hai!” :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites: