Friday, April 16, 2010

Yada yada yada ...

Running a tad tight (weekdays on work and work on weekends) and hence no activity over the past 3 weeks. Have at last caught up reading my blog tracking list. Shunting a ramble post off, before I hibernate again.

The random summer evening showers are making our scorching days at Bengaluru a tad cooler. Two days back, it poured for around 45 minutes with hail. Señora was driving out, got stuck in the rain and she said she had never seen so much of a pounding rain and the hail/rain drops on the sheets of water on the road looked like a sea of pearl drops splashing on water. And interestingly, these cloudbursts were local and confined. In a place just 10 minutes away, there was only a mild rain and 2-3 kms away, no rain. Hope we get some more rain like this to keep the summer tolerable in Bengaluru and recharge our ground water. God save the Chennaiites, if it is so in Bengaluru. :-) The 'washed look' streets with puddles here and there after the rain is a coolant to the eyes.

Two violations in two weeks and counting ...
Got fined for traffic code violation, twice, one for entering a one-way in the wrong direction and the other for taking a wrong turn at a signal. The Bengaluru police are all BlackBerry savvy now and with an attached dock which has a micro-printer, bang went Rs.100 for each violation.

I think of myself being a relatively safe driver (not so, according to Señora), but these violations are making me re-think. At least I felt that both were traps for people who drive in areas alien to them. Whoever can think of a one-way in the reverse direction on a service road, of all things, on a 2+2 lane road? Well, I was foxed in one. I missed the No-Entry sign hidden amongst ten small ad boards at the same eye level. :-( The second one was at a right turn at a signaled intersection even when oncoming traffic is blocked by a signal. I do not remember seeing a sign prohibiting a right turn and argued with the policeman who gave me a lecture on the signal having no arrow marks for me to turn right and said that the 'No Right Turn' wording is on a bin in the road and not on a sign post. :-(

I was reminded of the 'Saar, As I am suffering from ...' episode from Vivek in the movie 'Parthiban Kanavu' where he is caught by a traffic cop. One policeman flagged me down and another (the inspector), standing near his vaahanam (a bike with cheetah spots) and a BlackBerry in hand charged me. :-)

BS (a)N(d) (yel)L
I am on an unlimited data plan on my home Internet connection from our national provider BSNL. I don't what quirk is there in their subscriber management system, but I get a redirected web page whenever I cross a total of 1GB of total download/uploads in a month. I've to confirm to a 'I Agree' button to accept charging beyond this free limit which then asks me to restart the browser session. This message is like a காலை சுத்தின பாம்பு (snake encircled on your legs). Once the message comes, there is no redemption until you agree.

I get into conference calls from home (using Skype) and landed this message one morning. There was no response on clicking the 'I Agree' button. Called up BSNL broadband customer service. I have no clue what their working times are (supposedly 8 AM to 8 PM) and nobody picked up the phone at the end of navigating the interactive voice response system. Went to the landline customer service and a lady asked me to click the 'I agree' button and then restart the PC. Tried reasoning with her that clicking the 'I agree' button itself was not working, but the she persisted on 'restart'ing the PC after clicking the button. Hung up (no way that she'll understand that the servlet at the BSNL server needs to be restarted) and another half an hour of trying to get the broadband helpline, called up the landline helpline again to be told the same 'restart PC' mantra and I had to yell prompting them to take a complaint. Another half and hour wasted in clicking the 'I agree' button at regular intervals to see if the page responds and then at last it worked. I got a call from their Customer Care after 5 hours(!) asking if my Internet is working fine. Thank goodness, for small mercies.

I don't know why there should be any bandwidth accounting in my case and next, why there couldn't there be a proper troubleshooting from their end. No wonder, people exposed to a better service, run away from BSNL to other private providers. (not to mention they also have their own problems. See zeno's travails)

Pull up your socks BSNL, before it gets too late!

(P.S. I have no issues with the phone/Net service that BSNL provides, they are more nimble now than from a decade ago, but they still have miles to go)


Swaram said...

Ahh the rains .. I miss them so so much :(
Wow .. I shud make a visit to see the tech-savvy police mamas ;) ;)
Oh ho .. that ws bad .. BSNL is still better than the other services though rt :) I hd even worse probs with Airtel before we made a shift to BSNL :)

Happy weekend :)

Swaram said...

Not yet collected ur award no?

RamMmm said...

Hyderabad still scorched? Hope it rains there.

It took just a minute for the traffic police to issue a receipt. :-) That is actually good going. Hopefully like this, all things improve.

I have no issue with their infrastructure. I have had generally a good experience with them, with a random glitch or two in-between that was sorted out.

Happy weekend to you too.

And yes, I have collected the award. :-) Thanks.

Ramesh said...

Is there such a species as a traffic cop on the road. I thought they only sat on the chai shop and rested their paunches !!

On the BSNL matter, the reason is very clear. The techie who wrote the code did so after watching Payyaa and going ga ga over Tamannah (much educated now thanks to zeno). So he wasn't paying attention the rubbish he was writing as code.

What great posts we miss, when RamMmm is working too much. can we petition your company please ?? On a Skype call via BSNL ....

Ramesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RamMmm said...

Wow Ramesh. You now have a profile pic. That warrants a celebration post. :-) :-)

Somehow, these days I see lots of pairs of traffic policemen catching violators. Hopefully, this leads to some order on the Bengaluru roads. :-)

Zeno has corrupted you with Tamannah and her ilk. :-( (I don't have anything against T. She was down to earth in her first movie)

My company will then throw me off. :-) Long live Skype!

zeno said...

Welcome back from the hiatus!and again looking forward fr u to come back!

Chennai is too hot!! :(

Nallavanga irukura edathula mazhai varumam[pl convey to senora :P]

will blackberry help to bringdown the bribery?[that comedy is one hell of a hilarious one ;)]

My broadband works very fine. so far no issues in terms of fact it rocks!

Have i told u abt the BSNL celebrates ayudho pooja?

jus a small note, My loyalty over the T Types are very fickle and ephemeral ;) bt fr nw All Hail T ;)

chennaigirl said...

Rains...Envy you very much.
And TP always ensure that they are well hidden to nab the violaters. And wataway to catch - standing on the other side of the entry - this is just to collect the targeted fine i suppose, rather preventing the act.
BSNL - best - IMHO :), i think extra M's has some pblm with BSNL :p

zeno said...

call it strange, weird, even creepy or wat ever. within minutes of writing the comment, the broadband works fine, i get a message from my service provider, due to undersea cable cuts there may be a drop in the speed. too much for the protection schemes!

R-ambam said...

what is yada?

and counting uh ? gili !

atleast u spoke to an executive .. ! if only u know what it to tell a machine ur identification details !

RamMmm said...

@zeno-[In Vadivelu style drawl] Enna nallavannu sollitteenga. (directaa sollalainnaalum, oru inference thaan. :-))

BlackBerry won't. But it gives them a degree of dignity to not to ask for a bribe explicitly. :-)

My connectivity is absolutely great. I had an issue with their troubleshooting and customer relation skills.

I dunno about their Ayudha pooja. Your company also does that (not to the PCs, but to those gensets that keep the PCs going. :-)) It is all a personal preference to those who man those systems.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, it was A, now it is T, tomorrow ? (puriyudhu puriyudhu, ensoyyyy)

Undersea-la 1+1 protection expect panna koodaadhu. m:n is the scheme, with the low priority traffic (read most of the Internet browser traffic, will be accorded the lowest priority) :-) :-)

RamMmm said...

@chennaigirl-Konja nanjam mazhai peiyudhu, inga. :-) Otherwise, here also, it is like unga oor. Blistering hot without the humidity. (sullunnu veyyil)

Neenga sollaradhu correct. My first violation was in that category. The next one was just after the turn, but no chance that you can back off. :-)

I am having an excellent connection from BSNL. No doubt on that. Enna, problemnu vandhaa appappo naayaa alaya utturuvaanga (unless you know some one personally there). :-)

yaenga ungalukku ennoda handle (name) mela avvalavu kovam? yaedho extra M pohttu ohttikittu irukkaen. :-)

RamMmm said...

@R-ambam-Inga paarunga."

gili illaama pinna. namma oorla inga eppo endha roada one way aakkuvaanga, endha roadai two-way aakuvaanga, eppo signal poduvaanga, eppo traffic police anga nippaanga (to regulate) appadeennu theriyaadhu. :-(

BSNL is working on that. They are asking to install a remote troubleshooting/upgrade toolkit on the PCs. :-)

gils said...

workign hrsa!!! BSNLa visitng hours thaan undu..oru velaiyum ozhunga nadakatha edathula working hours how the u ejpet!! too much i say

ambulisamma said...

@ Rammm: Rain in summer should be a bliss.BSNL troubleshooting was ease on me,one call and the JE sends the person in no matter of time,was enjoying it.

@ Ramesh: Payya and Dhamannah,hmmm romba theriteenga.

TheUncanny said...

Hail storm in blore..wish it wud hail in chennai as well..atleast few showers here and there, :(((((

Talking abt BSNL, Ive used BSNL's every service there is... netone,dataone,cellone...all sorts of ones..never had a problem till date..(touch wood) guess im lucky that way.. :P

Matangi Mawley said...

chennai is an oven! we r all over-baked out here!

BSNL- my mom works there.. believe me.. few yrs. back there was union strike at ther office coz there was no tower in bsnl office!

Anonymous said...

The traffic cops in India have finally wised up to their Amreekan brothers. Here also we have similar traps. The entire road has been 55 and suddenly it drops to 35 for no rhyme or reason. People who are not paying attention fill up the coffers :-). Bangalore is terrible. My parents come to the airport to pick me up. Every single time we use slightly different roads, and the driver says, Illa ma, ivaaga adu one-way. How would anybody know unless they drove in those roads regularly! My sympathies with you.

No comments about BSNL. All that I know is every time I sit to chat with my parents, mom has to shut down the computer because of power-cut. I have rarely seen her online in the last few months due to these power-cuts :-(


RamMmm said...

@gils-Romba keezha edai podureenga, BSNLai. :-( Unfortunatly the politicians make a mess out of these things for their own ends. These guys can trigger a sea change in phone and data services. Unfortunately politicking and the union mindset prevents them from doing so.

I did have a good experience with their Customer Relations Manager when I visited her to complain of a migration problem, when she took people to task right when I sitting opposite her to get things resolved. A thinks that B does it, B thinks that C does it and C thinks A does it. And the game continues... :-)

RamMmm said...

@ambulisamma-Enna, soottai kelappi utturrudhu. :-(

Some folks are pretty good. A lot of them need to come out of the 'Government' job mindset.

RamMmm said...

@TheUncanny-Hopefully it rains. And the next month should be the worst there with the Agni Nakshathiram and the kaththiri veyyil. :-(

"Touch wood" for you with BSNL services. As long as the going is good, they are very good. Troubleshooting is not their forte unfortunately. If you know someone there, bliss. Work will move. :-)

RamMmm said...

@Matangi-The scourge of Chennai is its sweaty, sticky weather. I used to sweat like a pig on my visits there. Bangalore these days is as hot as Chennai minus the humidity. Hopefully you get some redemption fast.

I don't know, but it would be better to privatize portions of all the Government companies. There is no fear of failure and service orientation is just okay (I won't say it is not there, but the wow! is far and few in-between)

RamMmm said...

@My3-The Mahatma Gandhi Road area is a mess because of the metro work. Hopefully they throw it open fast. It is so tiring driving in Bengaluru these days. :(

There was a stretch near my home (just adjacent to a National Highway) where the posted speed limit was 20 kmph. I dunno whose brainchild it was to label such a speed in these times, they even caught drivers for speeding(!) with radar guns. Now at the same place, the speed limit says 60 kmph. :-)

Unfortunately in Bengaluru (and almost all of India), signal jumpers are the norm, going from left most lane at a junction to turn a right happens regularly and laning is insane. Eegin kaaladhalli, taxinavaru manégé sariyaagi karkondu bandharé, dhoddu vishayaa. And a lot of them are rash drivers.

Power-cut bhaggé helabaedi. It has become very random. You can predict a random number from 1-24, but not for when the power cut comes and when the power resumes. :-( Yaen maadodhu, ella nam hanébaara. :-)

zeno said...

wen i read ur kannada, smile creeps on my face.[dont ask me why and i know fr sure urs is far better than mine!]

Sandhya Sriram said...

Hi Ram

surprised, i also went through a similar experience - wading thru in the rain and caught by the police while taking a wrong turn. i sometimes feel these ppl intentionally keep the signals slightly shorter, hide in a corner and when you have cut assuming no one is watching, they catch you with their blackberry!!

hope your work eases up

TheUncanny said...


Chk out these pics..its awesum (nothing to do with this post)..

RamMmm said...

@zeno-You shouldn't smile at my Kannada definitely. Unfortunately I try to be akshara sudhdham which at times sounds strange. :)

@SandhyaSriram-I don't have an issue with the fine. I broke rules, so I pay a fine. My issue is that, keep the signals (working) and directions prominent. :-) Now it is a watch for hidden police routine whenever I turn at signals or if I am passing non-working signals. :-)

@TheUncanny-Awesome pics, indeed. Thanks for the pointer. All the more prodding for me to get a entry-mid level DSLR. :) Shortlisted the Nikon D5000 and sitting on it for quite some time.

Uttara said...

I am so fed up with their interface..Mine shows that am temporarily logged out! I am not able to log in as well.. Stupid blokes!

RamMmm said...

@Uttara-That was not BSNL's fault. ;-) Whoever did their portal user interface made a mess. I don't know how the BSNL approval process is, but definitely it was (is) slack.