Stay Safe

Yesterday was one of the rare weekdays when I was home and the bell rang in the afternoon at around 2 pm. I was wondering who would have come at this hour and opened the door gingerly. There was a man standing who asked “Saab nahi hai?” A line that would work in almost all cases. All the houses have atleast one saab, no? He then said “The Saab” has asked him to do some repair work in the bathroom. For a second I was relieved that finally we managed to find a repairman for the pending work since weeks. But wait I hadn’t seen this repairman in any repairs that we had gotten done at our place and our owner clearly stated many times earlier our house problems while we are staying are our own and they can’t be of much help so he wont be sending any men for repair. Then it striked he was a conman!

On me saying I don’t know of any such repair to be done at our place, he tried many things like

  • I have come all the way from Alandi. Insert any far off place. It will work
  • Isn’t it A sir’s house. How difficult is it to get the owner’s name against the flat number from the society board
  • He then pretended to call the saab. Asked me if the number was starting with 987… Again common starting number for Pune numbers.
  • Fortunately I had the sense to not leave the door open and rush to get my cell and call.
  • He then asked me if the owner is from Rajasthan. I can guess that too from the surname.
  • And he finally left after that when I closed the door shut properly.
  • A call to our owner confirmed my suspicion

I thought he was a conman because this reminded me of a similar incident with my Mom when we were kids. My mom didn’t fall for this because my Dad has always been communicative. He would have informed my Mom for sure if she was to expect to any repairman.

Just the same day when I read the news in the evening I read of three people losing gold in Pune to gold-polishing conmen. The oldest trick in the book for stealing gold and yet people fall for it(just like the Nigerian scam).  Roof repair scams are pretty common too.

We need to be more careful who we let into our houses even if it is for repair. I know this sounds like a Savdhaan India/Crime Patrol tagline but I am going to saying it anyway

Stay Alert! Stay Safe!

Rat hole

There was time when I was looking for a PG(paying guest) accommodation to stay in Bangalore. In the most places the broker showed, I could hardly bring myself to look at the place, let alone stay there. They looked like rat holes. And obviously I did not take up the place. A rat hole isn’t my idea of home!

rathole

I was talking to a friend of mine this afternoon when she mentioned about a previous roommate of hers who owned a pet RAT! The only other person I have heard of, who owns a rat, is Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series. I didn’t like the pet in the book and no way I can find it cute it real life. But when I started thinking about it, it is personal choice right. Who am I to judge?

Having said that, I have some personal choices too and sharing a living space with a rat isn’t one of them. Would be able to stay with a person who owns a pet rat and give a rat’s ass about it?

Chain of events

Chain snatching is a common phenomenon in India. Indians are obsessed  with gold and what better way to make some quick money than snatch the gold chains from unsuspecting ladies walking down the street.

csNot only do these thieves snatch the chains but also harm the women. To avoid getting into such situations most women these days resort to artificial jewellery.

Recently when Me and my roomie were trading our chain snatching stories, we came across one where the guy snatched a chain went off on his bike. Very quickly he found out the chain was not real gold so he came back, threw the chain on the girl’s face and slapped her hard :O Talk about misplaced sense of entitlement.

Talking about  misplaced sense of entitlement, the one that takes the cake is MCPs who believe to rape is a man’s right . Check out the recent statement by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Shakti Mills rape case.

God save our country from such #idioticLeaders. Hopefully God is listening. In the meanwhile we can do our bit by voting responsibly in this elections.

Such leaders have snatched more than just gold chains during the last 60 years. Now time has come to act. Please Vote and vote responsibly!

Single in the City

I had read a BBC article(not able to find the link now)  which said “Americans are obsessed with movie and rock stars, British are obsessed with football stars, Italians are obsessed with food, French are obsessed with fashion and Indians are obsessed with Marriage!!!”

The observation was spot-on! What else can explain the billion+ number. Our society is hell-bent on seeing that everyone gets married and stays married.

A disclaimer before we proceed: I am not against marriage. I believe in the institution of marriage. And  someday I want to get married too. Only I do not believe that it is the raison d’être of our existence.

Being single in late twenties is synonymous with explaining  my status to all and sundry and a host of other issues.  Add to it the task of finding an accommodation on rent in a city. We received a phone call from our landlord today saying that we have vacate the flat as the society is now not allowing “bachelors” anymore. Only families. 🙄 Although our owner has no problems with us staying they can’t flout the “society rules”. Some societies even have a board on the gate saying “No bachelors allowed” Sigh!

This isn’t new. Such rules exist even in big Indian metros like Mumbai. Being single or “bachelor” as they say is like being a leper when it comes to real-estate here. I had heard about real-estate brides. But I thought it is for places with exorbitant rent like Manhattan or for people who couldn’t earn enough to make the rent. Never had I thought I might have to think about being one someday.

I was just lamenting about our society and our ways when I heard someone wax eloquent about Indian values and Sanskaar. 😡 Trust I wanted to punch that person in the face, make a ping-pong ball of him and hurl him into outer-space.  We are F’ed up society with messed up values. Don’t glorify that!

I tried making peace with the situation by thinking about how one day these(the ones who look down upon single tenants) people will send their kids to work in a different city and karma will haunt them or about how many months the  flats will remain empty because they can’t find a “family” tenant to occupy it but none of these things are helping me feel better. Their karma striking will not help my situation in any way. I still have my problem. They can go to hell and be deep-fried like a Punjabi samosa for all I care.

Sounds rude? How about the people and society being considerate too. That no bachelors allowed board sounds like the “Dogs and Indians not allowed” boards during the British rule.

Now please excuse me, I have to go hunting for a decent place to stay in Pune lest I end up on a railway station bench!  :/

When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons

When life gives you lemons

Just the other day I was sharing the story with my Dad on how Facebook had to spend $19 billion because it did not hire the founder of Whatsapp when he applied for it and my Dad said “Then there would have been no Whatsapp”. Indeed! After becoming an FB employee he may or may not have come up with this or a similar idea, or he may have come up with it but it could very well have been rejected or he may have worked on the idea but not put so much effort into it and or it would have been launched but not become so popular and the story goes on. We don’t know what actually may have happened and we can only speculate – what if?

He didn’t succeed in-spite of FB and twitter not hiring him but precisely because of it. And in the end it worked out better for him as well as all the app users(World in general) , no?

There is a similar story we all have heard of The Verger. When a new vicar joined the church he found out the verger couldn’t read and write. He gave the verger an option to either learn to read and write or quit. The verger thought he was an old dog to learn new tricks and quit .On the way back home, he badly wanted to smoke but couldn’t find a place that could sell him tobacco. Citing an opportunity he decides to open a shop and very soon his business is flourishing and he becomes a very wealthy business man. On one of his visits to the bank, the manager finds out the business man cannot read and exclaims “what would you be if you could read?” and the businessman replies “A verger at the church!” 😉  His success wasn’t in-spite of he being illiterate but because of it.

Indian Mathematician Ramanujan’s(considered to be in the same league as mathematicians such as Euler and Gauss) works lay without being understood for ages and the relevance of his work is found in fields which didn’t even exist when he wrote them. He had no formal training in pure mathematics. Because if this his works contained no proof or shoddy proof or it was presented in a manner that was not understood by other mathematicians. Intuition was the basis of most of his theorems!  People thought if only he had a formal education in that area, he may have come to light earlier or worked on more profound theorems. But it is equally possible that the formal education would have messed up his way of thinking and he would have never come up with all those brilliant theorems!

With all these examples I am not saying that people should stay illiterate or reject formal education or that everyone should quit jobs and start spawning start-ups. The point I am trying to make here is so many times what we think as our handicaps or shortcomings may be the best thing to have happened to us. Who knows how things work out in the long run.

The most oft cited handicap I hear is, I could have done it much better or I could have done this differently if only I had more money or if I had an inheritance. Aha then in all probability you would have squandered off all the money and never amounted to anything.

The only thing we can do is try and make the best of the things we have and hope for the best. Like they say, When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade. Some people think tequila is better while some others use it to squirt someone in the eye 😛 I am just content having it with some soda and salt 😀

How about you? What do you think ought to be made of those lemons?