The world, how it works, surroundings, myself, etc.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Curse of Heritage

So someone kissed Shilpa Shetty on her cheeks on stage the other day. And now arrest warrants have been issued against the two. Why? Oh, we have to preserve our "culture" and "heritage" you see. We have no food, drinking water or roads, but we MUST preserve our rich heritage. Study shows that 50% of Indian children go through sex-abuse but we MUST maintain the sovereignty of our diverse culture. Respected MPs are busy with illegal human trafficking -- who cares about these trifle matters? All we care about ever is to preserve our culture. Let nothing change. Stand still the time. Let the backward classes be permanently labeled as backward; go a step further, hand them free certificates of accomplishment. But we MUST preserve our culture. And we'll use force, dharnas, plundering, firing, mass-genocide or any other conceivable measures to safeguard our culture. If these fail, we're prepared to use missiles, nuclear warheads inclusive.

Suddenly, an actress, who no one really cares about, has become a symbol akin to Mother Mary whose virginity needs to be preserved. Suddenly she's a representative symbol of India's culture (recall the Big Brother tantrum!). If any of the culture and heritage drama is any worth, is it really so fragile that a actress's pomp could not only shake but challenge its very base? I mean, what's the whole tantrum about anyway? Are the people pissed off that a foreigner dared kiss Shilpa Shetty on stage while no Indian had the guts to do the like? Oh, I see. Can't say this in public. What a trick -- remodel the cause as an abuse to our heritage. Ahan.. I get the point now. And why was FTV banned? Oh, more foreigners. Yep, gotcha.

Such hypocrisy pertains not only to India but to the entire world. There are different levels its of operation, though and in India it operates at the very root. Any form of pleasure is taboo. How dare one ignore the oppressed and have moments of happiness! How dare one rest in peace while others have no food. So, what if someone has worked hard to earn his moment of peace? Sounds like communism, eh? Who do you think dictates the government anyway -- right or LEFT? Why do you think government employees are called "servants" -- they're just doing a "service", they have no personal ambition. Only the community holds supreme.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reservation Issue: Love you SC

With the decision to reject OBC reservations in IIMs (at least) for the current season, the Supreme Court has pushed its hammer up MHRD's (read Arjun Singh's) all necessary body parts.
With Arjun Singh's logic-less limping efforts suffering a jolt, I have only one thing to say to him: Do humanity a favour. Please goo and die!

The judgment was ensued from pure logic. The panel asked just the right questions and gave just the right answers to the MHRD's lack of logic.

The judges had said that the creamy layer does not deserve any reservation.

SC asked the Central Government was that why should there be reservation in institutes of super speciality.

And finally, when the Centre said that this 27 per cent was additional seats which had been created so that no inconvinience shuld be caused to the General Category, then the SC said that these 27 per cent extra seats were created by the revenue generated by all the citizens of the country. Under Article 29, all the citizens have a right to this investment.

Rightly said SC. Love you.

The Royal Flush Evening

We (Kunal, SMR, Rawat, Parry, I) were playing poker yesterday evening and what a game it was. Especially for me, I mean.

The game closed with my Royal Flush and wiped up almost everything. Now, Royal Flush is not something you get in every hand. Or even every day, for that matter. In fact, it has a meagre probability of 1 in 649,739 *. That is, if you deal a hand every second (for argument sake), it'll take you 7 days straight before you could expect a Royal Flush. It has the highest value hand possible in poker.

It felt lucky.

* Link courtesy Kunal.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Submit, Submit you Form

<input type=text />
<input type=submit />

It can't get simpler. Pretty much all you need to make an html form work on ALL browsers ALL the time, without being dependent on the phase of the moon or the price of tea in China or muhrat. Yet, of the limited number of ways to get this wrong, some website creators tend to know all of them.

Chances are they're are result of javascript abuse. If there's a need for driving licenses, there's an equal need for javascript-license. There are a couple of things in javascript you should not do just because you can. is a handsome example of a painful website experience made traumatic with javascript abuse.

Anyway, the website I want to criticize today is that of Hutch ( It has a login form. And it submits in exactly ONE browser. No points for guessing which one. And even on that lone browser, it won't work properly if ....(well, I don't really know what it depends on. my guess is it doesn't work unless your (age+weight+time_in_secs+7) % 22 == 0).
If you get through this ordeal (and I did), you have to be really good with all the pink colors which already make you feel unwanted, or else you'll get broken links, missing files, and what not.

Despite all this, Hutch AP is amongst the 5% of service providers who manage to cross TRAI's minimum service performance metrics. So, I ain't complaining.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shitty bank

If you have an account with Citi-bank, you'll realize how much pain in the a$$ it really is.

The trouble started when I opened a Citibank account for my monthly salary credit. Little did I know then that it would become a frustrating experience within a matter of days. First off, a Citibank agent helped me open my account and thanks to the fantastic training she must have gone through, she managed to get my account name and date of birth, the two absolutely essential information, wrong in the records. It took me about 3 months of phone-calls and online complaints to fix the name. Talking of online, their UI is a nightmare. It has more flashing ads (for their own) than anything else. It's a treasure hunt to locate their contact phone number on their site (and no, the ATM card doesn't have this already. what a shame!). I set aside all work one fine day and put in all my time to locate their phone number, and I did. I called up only to find that the number was wrong. I think it took a few months before they fixed it. Talk of online availability.

They deducted Rs 500 for a card I did not ask for. Then when I asked them to disable it, they disabled my only ATM card instead. I could still login online, which is good because I could transfer all my money to some other bank and just forget about the whole trauma. But now, they seem to have disabled online access too. So, I can put IN money. But I cannot take any OUT. Talk of security -- could anything possibly be more secure?

I could have banked on the phone. But since they managed to record my wrong date of birth, they won't recognize me anymore (it's one of the things they ask you to confirm your identity).

More highlights:
  • There are exactly 4 Citibank ATMs in Hyderabad. And no, I cannot withdraw free-of-charge from other ATMs.
  • If you need to call up Citibank, it just notes down your request. They tell you that they'll call back within 48 hours (yes, yes, that's 2 days). But they don't. Instead, they call back after 3-4 days, if at all. Talk of 24x7!
  • Make an online complaint and you'll get back a template response. While we are at it, I must mention that their online complain form takes in no characters other than a-z and 0-9. Characters like (, ', ", %, $, are taboo. Therefore, you cannot write: it's.
Moral of the story: if you ever want to open a Citibank account, think again. If they approach you instead, run for your life.

The only thing integral to the bank's image is its name. Rhymes well with "Shitty".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Back to Hyderabad

I returned back after a 3-month trip to Mountain View in Silicon Valley last Friday. I broke off for 2 days at Singapore. As I summarize the trip, the things that I remember most prominently are:
  • People in the US are generally self-centered and focussed. This is a good thing.
  • Rules have a reason. Following them makes sense.
  • If someone hates US, he is either myopic and jealous or blind.
  • Driving a white 2-door G6 Pontiac at 160 km/hr
  • The place is insanely costly. If you don't earn in dollars, you cannot survive.
  • Medial services are extremely costly. Hospitalization will cost you a fortune
  • There's no one on the roads to show you directions if you get lost
  • There are no small shops in the US.
  • Don't argue with cops in USA
  • Park only when you are damn sure it's not a "No Parking"
  • Beauty and brains CAN go together. Really.
  • US has pathetic TV/radio ads
  • Afro-americans wear only 1 size of T-shirt - XXL+
  • Americans are generally bold and loud.
  • People don't work or sleep or weekends. Instead, they go skiing, camping, surfing, etc.
  • Wine is just another drink
  • A$$holes are everywhere
  • There are approx 40% asians in the Silicon Valley (note: asians comprise about 40% of the world population)
  • Many americans don't know much about anything other than their line of work.
  • You're a veg? What's your source of protein?
  • Red/Pink == gay
  • There's only 1 fundamental right: Freedom