Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hills covered by clouds

The hills of Belapur are covered by clouds today, the third day of unceasing rains, belated albeit welcome.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Go Quietly into the Night - Rising Cost of Medical Treatment

Have you stopped and noticed what our world has come to? No? We have and we got a terrifying view. These days everyone is after your money and nobody is willing to offer service or take responsibility. It's like this: snatch your money, say goodbye, no more service, go die somewhere quietly. 

Medical practitioners are the worst culprits we feel. The very fact that it is not regulated and they are considered as "Gods" gives them ample leverage. A doctor we consult raised his fees by 66 per cent and nobody said anything. Gods can't be wrong and they can't make a mistake. Drug prices are always rising, never coming down. If you are sick: lie somewhere and die quietly and don't make a fuss, or, else, you will be robbed of all your property, savings, by unscrupulous elements in the name of tests and check-ups. 

Ask anyone who has been through the routine. We have. Why do tests cost so much? Because of the equipment? The equipment cost is made up in the first two years. Nurses? Nurses are badly paid in India. It's because of your friendly neighbourhood medical practitioner that tests are so costly. Does the IT department raid the doctors? No, they are Gods.

That said, we rest our case. When the time comes to lie down somewhere in a corner, we will go quietly into the night.

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quiet flows the stream

Quiet  flows the stream in Artist Village after yesterday's deluge.

My mobile shooting equipment

My mobile shooting equipment consists of a secure clamp for my mobile phone mounted on a tripod. Good for shooting videos on my mobile phone considering i don't have a handicam.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Media and the North-East Crisis

This article in the Hoot says that when miscreants misused the social media to spread rumours (about the North-East India crisis) the mainstream media - print and electronic - did nothing to quell it. A protest in Bombay got out of hand with protesters snatching weapons from police and firing them in the air.  

Social media has not matured enough and there are all sorts of people using it to achieve their ends, including corporates. However, it is a potent medium of communication for sending: recycled jokes, sexist observations, wild and biased rumours about communities. But is gagging the social media the option? As has been seen in the banning of bulk SMSes? 

Social media can do a lot of good as the good work done by bloggers like Dina Mehta (cloudburst Mumbai) has shown. However, when it is put to bad use, it can be equally pernicious. 

So who was supposed to rein in the social media? Agreed, most social media practitioners base their arguments on some or the other printed fact or material. Not so the lumpen elements. The rampant use of social media to upset, riot, and disturb peace is what is not pardonable. 

We guess traditional media failed to counter the spread of rumours and only succeeded in raising the fear factor by a degree. They have also not stopped attacking the police, who, in our opinion did a commendable job. We think the traditional media should also do an analysis of social media to point out what is fact and what is rumour, sort of, sifting the chaff from the grain.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Interesting names seen in olympics

Olympics was truly a parade of unheard office names. Consider 'Ding', 'Ling', 'Li', 'Pi' and then 'Bolt' who made it the bolt of his life. There were also some unpronounceable names which we don't remember quite well, memmory being weak and all. Anyways, could see that there are a lot of young people with beautiful bodies around.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Loose or Lose You Tell Me

This ad came in today's Mirror. 'Loose' or 'Lose' you tell me what is right.

Praise from a German Reader of My Novel's Chapter 3

Hans John, a friend from Switzerland, has translated the third chapter of my novel and has read it. He has some kind words for it too. If you would like to read chapter 3 go here. It is one of the most poignant (according to me) chapter in my novel.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nature park

The nature park in Belapur is a good place to relax on Independence day. Happy Independence Day readers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bye Olympics. See you in 2016! Doordarshan's Shoddy Coverage

I was amazed to see Anupam Gulati anchoring Doordharshan's coverage of the Olympics. The man has grown old and I wouldn't have recognised him if it wasn't for his accent. He looked like a mummified form of himself from his old days at the news channel. Is he on an extension or something? And supporting him were other anchors who imitated his style to the 'T' stiff upper lip and all. And then there was the peripatetic and very cliched Charu Sharma in London. Charu and Anupam hogged all the limelight between them and the other correspondents must have been told, "Mind your business, attend the functions and enjoy the shopping." Okay, nearly the truth of what must have transpired. Because apart from an overly apologetic gentleman, I saw no other correspondents with Charu taking over the screen completely. The coverage was so dull that I had to stick to Star Sports and BBC for some lively commentary. 

Now compare it with the BBC coverage. All their reporters were on the venue and had something to say and were obviously excited about it. They also had exclusives from the athletes, their thoughts and their reactions. How did they do it and what happened to the Indian reporters? We hardly could hear anything from the mouths of Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar, Vijender, etc. A complete flop show it turned out to be. Only a job done and nothing special about it.

A few thoughts on the organisation of the Olympics. Note how everything went so smoothly, thanks to British efficiency. They have a knack of doing things right. The opening ceremony, the well organised events, the discipline, all were a mark of a better organised people. Kudos to the organising team led but Sebastian Coe. And David Beckam was seen being a good games ambassador, posing with the soldiers who did security duty. And we screwed royally on a just a Commonwealth Games! Imagines toilet rolls for Rs 400 a piece. As Anthonybhai would say, "Those guys must be nuts, men."

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bought a new phone

Bought a new phone  exchanging the old one and paying a little extra. With phone prices falling this has become a reality. I did that in a wayside shop, not a mall. Would I have got the same offer if I had gone to a mall? Difficult to say. The problem with malls is that the salesmen don't have product knowledge to make a sale. This guy who sold me the phone had all his facts on his fingertips. Sure I  like that.

A great fan of malls

I have been a great fan of malls right from the 1980's when these screaming kids weren't even a flicker in their parents' eyes.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Dismal State of Indian Hockey

One thing that has disturbed me during the Olympic 2012 which is going on in London is the dismal performance of our hockey team. I watch their matches thinking they will show some brilliance, some latent fire of their stick play of earlier years. But, no, they don't. They are as wooden as ever, slow, lethargic and without any motivation of any sort. I watch as a cross pass is given, the ball shoots towards the goalkeeper at great speed, and two Indian players are standing directly in the path of the ball. All they have to do is push the ball in and there is a goal. Both of them do not even try to move their sticks to show that an attempt was made. They - both of them - stand like wooden trunks when the ball whizzes past them. It looks as if they were shy to push it in, some kind of obscene act.

God forbid, such players ruining our chances and our name. And along comes this commenter, who drones in a sad voice full of self-pity and remorse amidst sighs and, then hoarsely whispers, "Kya din the, woh din nahi ayega," et cetera. Oh God! What happened to the so-many-times hockey champions? The coach says the players are not able to understand basic kindergarten stuff. Yes, he said it. Yes another incident, reinforces my belief that Indian hockey needs a thorough overhaul:

There's a meddlesome fracas near the Indian goal. The ball is cleared. The Indian team members do not follow the ball and counter attack but stand around again like the aforementioned tree trunks. The Belgian players take advantage and shoots the ball right in, an easy stoppable shot, right in front of three Indian players and the goalkeeper. Goal! Another goal and another ignominious exit.

As I mentioned before God help our hockey team!

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Pissed Off at Airtel

What's worse for a blogger and Twitterer than finding that your GPRS doesn't work? We were so pissed off trying my carrier's - Airtel's - number that we wrote this letter to Shri Kapil Sibal, the Telecom and IT minister. (Just scroll down a bit if you don't see it immediately, Google is also playing up.)

The problem with customer support by these carriers is that they don't want to provide any. So they hook you to a badly programmed IVR system, where the woman goes so fast that you can't follow instructions. 

F**** man that's not what a customer deserves. The customer deserves better, because he is paying for the service, and in our case, with GPRS and 3G it comes to a lot of money. And, we need to be treated with some respect as a customer. 
 
I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.