Nilesh Gonsalves

Nov 142009

Being a marine engineer by profession, my job took me around the world in past five years. This particular incident at an Argentine sea port, Necochea.

Me and an electrical officer had gone for a city visit in the evening. A very good and non crowded city it is. Both of  knew only one word in spanish. Gracias. So with this asset in our hand we were going about the city. Well, time came for our return to the ship, and we started the search of a cab. And no one was ready to come. It was very difficult bargaining with them since there were only private cabs in sight. No meter based cabs were around.

Finally with the help of one cab owner, we managed to persuade a driver to take us. He asked us for five dollars, and we had three. And another 100 dollar note which they wouldn’t have change for. We tried to explain the situation to the driver but couldn’t, with the only word we knew. But some how he understood the situation and agreed to take us.

Half way to the port, he stopped, and made a sign with two fingers indicating that we should go walking from there. After all the unintellegable agrument that followed, the driver pointed at the shopping bag in my hand. I saw a bag of  potato chips protruding from it , with the price clearly visible as 2$. Immediately we agreed and he reached us to our destination in exchange of 3$ and a bag of potato chips.

Well, who says barter is a thing of past?

Nov 122009

As we know, Mohammad Rafi, the top class playback singer of yesteryears, was also a contributor as a play back singer for marathi cinema. I personally love his marathi songs, ‘hasa mulanno hasa’ and ‘haa chanda jivala laavi pise’. Its difficult to make out that this person was a non marathi play back singer.

His entry to marathi cinema was with a quite examplary story. To whom, I will let you guess. He was asked to sing a particular song in marathi, but he was not well versed with the language. The lyricist of this song came to his rescue in a very innovative way. He, being well versed in urdu,  wrote the entire marathi lyrics in urdu script and Mohammad Rafi sung the song in that script.

Can you guess who the lyricist was? Well it was Mr. Shrikant Thackery, father of our very own marathi maanos, Raj Thackery.

Nov 122009

Most of us have seen elephants up close, rode them, fed them and had fun whenever we visited the zoo in Mumbai at Jijamata Udyan. But its time to bid farewell to two elephants as the central zoo authority has issued a notice saying all the elephants in the zoos around India ( around 140 ), are to be sent to sanctuaries and tiger reserves.

This is largely for the benefit of the poor animal as it requires large space to move around.

A good reason to take your children for a final visit, and prayers that they are not hunted down for tusks.

Nov 102009

Just due to perssuasion of my brother, I pour in this post. Its about the issue picked up by our represented jokers, at the assembly, the temple of our constitution.  I have finished pondering upon the incident. One fool tried to poke other fool in the most ticklish place, and the reaction was spontaneous, as claimed in the media.

What was the issue anyway? Someone wanting to speak in a language as per his wish!! Well who was going to stop him? But a political drama was staged in the name of constitutional rights. My dear bunch of jokers, please remember that along with the rights, you also get to look after your responsibilities.

This kind of political stunts have propelled these people much ahead in political race. Or they think so. It would be rather impolite for me to write down what I think of these people.

Want to know about the true issues? Providing the individuals of the state and the country with the basic rights, including, but not limited to, food clothing and shelter.

And I stop here, with a belief that writing further, will only be to their advantage as they are sure to gain unearned publicity, which is harmful for the country.

Nov 102009

I am travelling in a first class compartment of the Mumbai suburban railways, and two youngsters come aboard at a particular station. By the way of their dressing it seems that they were in a wrong compartment. But who am I to judge. May be they are rich enough to travel by first class but not educated enough to have the right sense of dressing. But the people around me seem to take more than just notice of it. One particular ‘gentleman’ inform them in much more than a polite manner about the situation. They quietly alight at the very next station.

Another incident. Again in the first class compartment of  a suburban train. Again a youth enters the first class compartment. His way of dressing is not to much of a high class, but he is accompanied by his mother, who, because of her age, might not be in a position to dress to the liking of the first class ‘gentlemen’. People start giving mean stares and a self-appointed leader gets up from his seat to inform in a loud voice, “This is a first class compartment”. The youth looks up at him, in to his eyes, and replies, sternly, “So?”. The leader quietly sits down. Case closed. It’s established that the youth, and his aged mother, are bona-fide first class travellers.

My colleague once said that he felt that first class travellers are kind of snobs with too much of self-pride. Though I travel first class, I do not take his statement as a personal offence. The above two incidents are case to the point.

In the first incident, these two youths looked to me like first timers to the city. Now, travelling in Mumbai suburban trains, is very difficult due to crowd. And more so, for people from outstation. I am sure these youths had taken tickets for their journey but landed in the wrong compartment due to lack of knowledge or, may be, lack of reading skills. Of course, Mumbai suburban trains are colour coded, but thats a fact known to mumbaikars, and not publicised to the nation. So the youths were not much in wrong. It was for the people to guide them properly and in a more polite manner. Who are we to judge whether a person is bona-fide passenger, going by his attire? If we go by attire, I guarantee that more of the very well dressed passengers are travelling ticketless.

The second incident was kind of a virtual slap on the face for the self-proclaimed leader. Seeing an old lady with the youth, he could have been more considerate by offering her his seat. But he prefered to be a leader. And he got his dues.

People….People…Let the ticket examiners do the job meant for them. For us, it a responsibility to look in to our pockets and check whether we are travelling ticketless.

Nov 092009

Last time Akai had entered Indian market, the consumers and competitors were taken by surprise when they launched tv’s with price tag of less than 10000 rs.

This time around what should we expect? May be one on one offer? May be free TVs !!

I thinks others consumer electronics manufacturers might have started wetting their pants.

Nov 092009

Yesterday I made a grab for the offer by our nations largest mobile service  provider, Airtel, enabling me to make calls at a pulse of 1 second and the rate for which being 1 paisa. This offer has been made to compete the Tata Docomo’s offer of 1paisa / second call rate, and since I didnt want to get a new number I went for the offer by Airtel.

But, the shock I got, when I found out that for each call made, I was billed for 2-5 seconds extra. My phone would say a call duration of 27 seconds where as the charge was for 34 seconds. This is quite unethical and truely cheating their customers. Remember, I had to pay additional amount to get this service activated.

I am not a cheapo. I wouldnt care much about the money. But I think India is not given the treatment that it ought to get from the service industry. Had is been the USA, I am sure there would be lots of compensations going out to the customers, where the service providers would go bankcrupt.

Nov 062009

During my school days, i pursued the hobby of stamp collection. I had   very good collection of stamps from more than 70 countries and were neatly arranged in a notebook with any sort of info available. But during my college years I didnt carry forward this hobby much, so I exchanged this book for a Micheal Jackson’s audio cassette.

I had played that cassette again and again till it got damaged. For now I use a more popular format of music, ie. Mp3. Not a day goes by, without hearing a single song from the kings albums.

Leaving aside all the proved and unproven allegations and controversies, I still feel that he was the best pop singer of all times. I can say that the exchange made with my friend in my college days was a very profitable one. Though I lost my stamps collection, my introduction to the world of pop was much more exciting.

He still continues to be  a Thriller!!

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