Thursday, March 25, 2010

Me car's 6 year anniversary !

Thursday 25th March 2004 is when I took delivery of my Amythyst Blue Indica DLS and its been a very satisfactory experience.

I was not a member of TIUG then, so I really did not know anything about a PDI, dealer dealings and simply went, prayed to GOD and drove off. I did a rudimentary pooja and drove on 4 strategically placed lemons to ward off evil spirits probably.

I moved from a 1991 Premier Padmini Delux to a 2001 Zen Vx (loaner from my Brother In Law in the US) to the Indica. A first diesel in the family. Not in the extended family tho.

Factors that I considered in the debate over Diesel and Petrol
1. As an employee of a private firm, my job might change by choice or compultion, my company might relocate and my distance between home & office could possibly change from 7 Km round trip (then) to 20 Km one way. Currently since I am required in two locations of the firm, my daily pure office run is 17 Km.
2. Thanks to the truck lobby, diesel prices have and should remain lower than petrol.
3. I had the Indica squarely in my sights as it was the most comfortable (with the exception of Palio) then. Tata was proven in Diesel and not Petrol

1) Sluggish by a mile when compared to that small rocket of Zen Vx - I would seriously need to rework my driving style.
2) Noisy - I need to engage the 2nd gear (1st nowadays thanks to the security checks) to climb say the entrance ramp to say LeMeridian Pune. Not a nice sound when the car you are following is say a Honda Civic !
- I really did not care what the valet thought.
3) Taxi image - Again public perception and unless its started and you are standing next to it, there is no way you can distinguish between a diesel Indica and a Petrol one. I still get asked Diesel / Petrol at the bunk.

Factors I considered in Indica vs Palio - Rs, Rs and more Rs. I could get an Indigo for the price of a Palio. Also, wasn't too happy with the service given by Jay Vijay motors for Fiat / Premier.

So given the pros and cons, my budget and need for a replacement for the Zen, the DLS was a logical choice. Would have loved the DLX but that was 30K more and my accessories were going to cost about 20K too.

Have I ever reconsidered my decision? Yes. My wife pretty much doesn't like the Taxi image so what was a public perception is now a personal issue. She also has an issue with Tata's image as a truck manufacturer so while I would love to buy a Manza as a second car, I am probably going in for the SX4.
Am I happy with the decision? YES !

Some figures now.
Total distance covered: 47800 Km
Distance covered till 25th Dec 2006 - 27800 Km
Fuel used till 25th Dec 2006 - 1583 lts at a total of Rs. 52102.59/-
Average: 18 Kmpl

Distance covered from 27th July 2009 till date - 9920 Km
Fuel used from 27th July 2009 till date - 656.49 lts at a total of Rs. 25378.92/-
Average: 15.1 Kmpl

There is no data for the intermediary period as Dad did not keep the statistics while I was in the US.

One of the reasons for the 3 Kmpl drop could be that I wasn't a 100% AC user earlier and now my AC is never switched off. Also, my highway average seems to have dropped from ~19 kmpl to about 17 so that could be a contributing factor. Probably my driving style has changed after the US destroyed my driving habits.

Maintenance expenses:
Total Expenses so far: Rs 34,158/-
Giving a somewhat high value of 0.72 Rs/km
This includes:
1. One accident job which after insurance put me back about 2,000/-
2. Glow plugs being replaced twice (both at Balaji Garage, once under Pandit Auto's management so is automatically suspect)
3. Steering rack refurbishment which cost a whopping 11K
4. Front suspension bush kit replacement
5. AC Thermostat replacement
6. Two tubes changed
7. Battery replacement
8. Wiper pair replacement

I am averaging 2.4 Rs/Km for fuel so totally, I am at about 3 Rs/Km.

Current Status:
My car is battered with 6 years of Pune maddness.
1. A truck put a dent in the driver's side when Dad was driving it because it couldn't get out of a pot hole and rolled slightly back.
2. A bike couldn't / wouldn't stop in time and put a small dent in the passenger side front door
3. A bike jumping a traffic signal met with my front bumper
4. Someone swipped the Tata Badge off my rear hatch. Didn't know the "T" was in as much demand as a VW / Toyota badge :)

Longest single day running I have done so far is 9 hours of almost continuous driving for a paltry 320 Km. The longest drive has been for 450 Km from Pune to Tarkarli on the Konkan coastline.
I have enjoyed every Km that I have run in the Indica and am totally confident of its reliability / performance when I am in it. One of the best things to happen to me so far :)


Monday, July 20, 2009

Harry Potter and the what the F*$%

I am a big fan of the HP series. At age 32 it seems ridiculus - including the fact that I recognize that word as the charm to get rid of a bogart.
I am a bigger fan of the books.

Which leaves me with the title of this blog.

I understand that there are inconsistencies between a book and how its potrayed on the silver screen. I even at some level understand that climaxes need to be altered to make the hero look good. Case in point - Patriot Games.

But this movie takes the cake.

It starts off wrong. Spoiler advance notice. Don't read beyond this point if you have not seen the movie and will sit thru 2.5 hrs of hell regardless of my opinion.

I could have done with a little less "won won" snogging to get a better duel between Snape and Harry in the end.
Harry was in a body bind curse under his invisibility cloak when Dumbledore gets killed not hiding like the wimp shown. If we know anything about his character from the 7 books or the previous 5 movies, we know he would have jumped out wand in hand to take on Draco and Snape.

I havent taken a refresher from the book, but I don't remember The Burrow burning anytime. A burnt burrow will not be able to host Bill and Fluer's wedding in part 7.

There was a huge battle between the order and the death eaters when the school is attacked. That was significant as Bill gets bitten by Fenir and turns into a warewolf, which leads to Fluer getting accepted by Mrs. Weesley as a good DIL which leads to Tonks and Lupin getting together. Tonks and Lupin are shown together in the start of the movie.

Ginny kisses Harry after Gryfindor win the Quiditch cup and not in the room of requirement.

Basically they made a total hash of the end of the story, screwed up the middle and started off wrong. In brief, a total disaster !

Friday, November 28, 2008

tactical nightmare

much more learned men and women will disect the events that shook Mumbai recently.

Looking at television pictures / reading TimesOfIndia to get updates from 15000 miles
away my thoughts at a 4 day weekend melted away rapidly.
This was too unreal to comprehend.

What I was seeing on TV (thanks to live feed on was shocking me to no extent.
Not just because of the audacity of the attack but because of the sorry state
of crisis management and the worse state of irresponsible TV journalism.
One of the images I will remember for a long time to come is a policeman
pleading with a TV journalist who had a mike in his face to step back.
"Please Please" he yelled with folded hands -- while all he had in return is
"please sir how many are there" ... frustrated, the cop replied back 10.
An arbitrary number -- which was probably reported as exclusive information.

Which brings me to the sorry state of crisis management.
1. Where was the perimeter / exclusion zone
Usually when there is a political rally / ganapati visarjan, bandobast arrangements are top notch. Here cameramen and TV journalists were walking about the lobby of Taj showing heritage horses which were damaged !
2. Thanks to the total lack of initial bandobast, all evidence compiled from the Taj has been effectively compromized. Later things did get locked down and TV crews calmed down a bit ... I guess after the police took news channels off air for some time.
3. Where was a government / police / army spokesman who could have taken a lot of the edge off over eager junta for information
4. Why were television crews allowed to talk to individual security personnel.
There should have been standing orders passed down the line that standard answer line as "No Comments"

The media needs to grow up and quickly. The administration needs to put a Standard Operating Procedure in place to handle various situations. Standing instructions need to be in place for the following:
1. Serial Blasts.
2. Communal Riots.
3. Hostage situations
4. Gun battles (usually gang wars).
5. Natural Disasters
6. Chemical / Biological attacks

Besides this, a clear escalation path needs to be defined.
If you cant get a handle on the situation in 1 hour, escalate it.
First resoponders will usually be local police, then special task forces from
state governments. If they cant handle it, you call in the army - which has
standard operating procedures in place.

The lives of the ATS men were probably lost due to gross underestimation of the opposition. Risk assessment should be made a part of the training of local police.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

what needs to be here ... and what demons must be fought alone

yesterday had a blog up here with a little booze inspired introspection.

didn't really know if that should have been a topic for general consumption ... so deleted it.

i guess ppl like me ... who are a little closed shouldn't be using an online forum to figure out what's happening in the little gray cells...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nanny cars

excelent article that was forwarded to me ....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Things to do ... places to go before I die ....

List under constant updation ... and in no particular order...

1. Drive to Leh
2. BASE jump off Konkan Kada
3. Camp at Velha Beach Sindhudurg
4. Visit the Shivaji temple at Sindhudurg fort
5. Climb Raigad
6. Go down the Lonar crater
7. Visit the Jog Falls
8. Visit the Niagra Falls done !!!
9. Visit Shaniwar Wada
10. Play blackjack in Vegas done !!!
11. Drive up to Area 51, Nevada ... upto is the key ... no point getting shot
hmmmm ... lets keep this last on the list
12. "mattha teko" @ Golden Temple Amritsar
13. Hike up to Maansarovar
14. Hike up to Gangotri
15. Walk up to Vaishno Devi
16. See the french woman aka Statue of Liberty, NY done !!!
17. Camp at the bottom of Grand Canyon
18. Take a chopper flight over the volcanos in Hawaii
19. Chill out at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar
20. Say hi to the Queen in London
21. Check the Brandenburg gate
22. Visit the cathedral in Koln
23. Visit the cemetry at Dunkirk
24. Walk on Normandy beach
25. Vacation in Singapore
26. Dive off the Great Barier Reef, Australia
27. Watch the sunset at Grand Pyramids, Egypt
28. Spot Orca at Alaska
29. Great wall and forbidden city Bejing
30. Watch F1 at Shangai -- seats at the end of the 1.1 Km long straight
31. Train ride thru europe.
32. Stand on the top of Eiffel Tower, Paris
33. Visit the pallace of Versallis
34. Baghdad ... OK probably THIS will become the last thing I do !
35. Wailing wall Jerusalem
36. F1 at Monaco
37. Drive down the Death Road, Peru
38. Copa Cabana beach Rio
39. Drive down the Pacific Highway, California done !!!
40. Learn to fly

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sanjay Dutt and the 93 Blasts Case ... Verdict Delivered !

I enjoy Sanjay Dutt's movies ... right from Rocky to Lage Raho...

I do not know if he is a terrorist in real life too.

The evidence says that he possesed an AK 56 and also a couple of grenades. He is also charged with destruction of evidence. The offence is chargable with 5 yrs in RI.

Now fortunately / unfortunately it is for the courts to decide if he is guilty or not....
for his multitude of fans (im not among them) ... he is not.
for a multitude of right wingers (im not among them either) ... he should have hanged without a trial.

In my mind he is guilty.

As a public figure he should have acted more responsibly. The automatic rifle of his choice is a bloody 7.62 mm rifle that fires 725 rounds a minute and is widely regarded as one of the deadliest in the world.

Legally, in India, you can posses a .32 caliber (almost the same size as a 7.62) single barrel, hand gun / pistol with a magzine capacity of not more than 7 rounds. Also it cant be automatic.

So why on earth would Sanjay Dutt require an AK56 to "protect my family during the mumbai riots"?
Given the fact that his father was the mayor of mumbai at one time and is widely respected accross all sections of society ... there was not a Dog in Mumbai that would have come and harmed the Dutt family !

So why Mr. Sanjay Dutt , please explain why !!!

So should he go to prison ... YES Bloody hell ... he should !!

The reason for this blog is the fact that this case is out of the media spotlight. At the time of writing, there were 20 other accused left with 89 convictions and 22 aquitals.



In other developments in the case, Mansoor Ahmed has been convicted of carrying arms out of the actor's house.

Customs superintendent Mohammad Sayyed and assistant customs collector R K Singh have been held guilty.

Ajay Marwah, a friend of Dutt has been acquitted in the case. He was accused of destroying the AK-56 rifle, reportedly delivered to Dutt on his orders.

He might actually get away !!??!!

Updated 28/11/2006

Sanjay Dutt convicted under the Arms Act for
Possession of arms and ammunition under section 3,7 and 25 !!!!!!

He walks on all charges under TADA though !!!

So basically in the words of the judge .... "During my reasoning, I have not found him (Sanjay) to be a terrorist,"

and another Gem ...
"Considering matters in his confession and also taking into account certain admissions from other evidence, I accept the stand of Sanjay of acquiring and possessing weapons for self defence."

So basically what the Honourable Judge is saying that if you have the means and willingness to buy a automatic assult rifle and 250 rounds for it ... you can pick the excuse of the next riot in town to do so !!!!

Long live the Indian Judiciary !!!!