Nilesh Gonsalves

Sep 272014
 

Its bigger then the Kumbh Mela. Its bigger then the world cup. Seems lie its supposed to be bigger than anything we’ve seen. But what is it??

It is some kind of a big sale being organised by Flipkart on october 6th 2014. As per the website, you need to keep your profile updates, and add your favourite items to wish list to get timely offer notifications. It also recommends downloading flipkart app(I guess the event has to do something with buying on mobile app, or atleast the app will help you get timely notifications.)

Its going to be for the first time in the country, never before in the history, as per the tv camaign.(I guess this kind of promotional event has been held previously in other countries, most probably the US.)

Flipkart sure knows how to heat up the ecommerce market.

Whatever it be, just be ready. May be postpone online sopping a bit. You never know how big an offer you might get on flipkart.

Watch promo on youtube.

Sep 212014
 

EDIT : NOW AVAILABLE!!

 

So how many of you Tech Buffs have been waiting for this. The motorola Moto 360, since its announcement couple of months back and the subsequent launch few days back, has made quite some waves, rather tsunami of waves in tech world. It has become an object of desire due to its superiorly crafted design and of course, the huge marketing.

But we all in India, as usual may not have been that excited, since Tech Giants are known to skip us for quite a huge period even after launch. So expecting Moto G to be available in India this early is unexpected.

Well, times have changed. Flipkart, once again, seems close to launching Moto 360 on its website. Currently showing “Not Availabe”, knowing Flipkart, you might even wake up tomorrow to check that its “Available”.

untitled

So if you want to be the first to gets your hands on to, or rather, get on your hands this smart piece of accessory, keep a sharp lookout on Flipkart. On my part, I will try to inform as soon as I get some hint.

Best of Luck!!

Sep 092014
 

For a person with limited linguistic capabilities, watching a film of an unknown language with subtitles can be an ordeal. More so if the film has been rated a lot, but after viewing it, turns out to be flop. I rarely venture into watching films of languages I don’t know, unless it had been appreciated by the critics. Another such movie which I had reviewed previously was Hemlock Society.

Bangalore Days, mind you, is not a Kannada movie but a Malayali movie. Setup in the beautiful Bangalore and for some small parts, in Gods own country, Kerela, the film at times is enchanting in its beautiful location. It is a story of three cousins and childhood friends, whose lives have ever since parted but come back to meet again at the age of maturity in the city of Bangalore. The friendship has stayed on but with age, the complexities of life have engulfed all three. This is a story of three friends helping each other in solving those problems and coming off age.

Kuttan(Krishna P P), the narrator of this tale,  is a new recruit software engineer who has left his beloved hometown to make a career out of his education, unlike his father who choose to be a humble farmer back home. Now the time has come for him to marry and his search of the dream wife is not going to be that easy unless he renegotiates the idea of a dream wife. Will he find his dream wife……………?

Kunju(Divya) is good at studies and hopes to complete MBA, but a superstitious mother wouldn’t have any of it and finally Divya has to marry Das. The marriage isn’t seen going well and is heading towards a breakup as Das is later found to have someone else in his life. A girl named Natasha. Will the marriage last………….?

Aju’s(Arjun) doesn’t have a stable life. A vagabond by nature, finally seems to have some stability in Bangalore working as a race bike mechanic. But there is no acceptance from the cultured society. Meanwhile he falls in love with a Radio Jockey Sarah, but has second thoughts when the moment to proclaim his love comes  as Sarah has bigger plans for her future. Arjun needs to reclaim his place in the society by staying in Bangalore while Sarah needs to leave Bangalore. Will one of them sacrifice for the other…………?

I am not completing the story for you as is my policy. A good film ought to be seen and not read in review sections. To all the film loving malayali community, this is a must watch watch. To others, I recommend it with subtitles.

I have no knowledge of the actors/directors/producers or their careers. But I would say that they have done a great job.

My Rating 4.5/5 (I still reserve that 0.5 for movies like The Shawshank Redemption. Hard to get anymore)

Sep 052014
 

At the beginning of this year, flipkart had been instrumental in launching the Moto G smartphone by Motorola. Those abreast with updates in the tech world, know how they sold those hot cakes. It was one of the best smartphones for that price point and it seemed to have throttled the necks of the budding newbies of the smartphone industry in India. I say seemed to have throttled because they are back to clean off the remains.

Moto G(Original), though customised for the Indian market with its dual SIM, still had few shortfalls. The screen at 4.5” was not competitive enough(as if), the camera lacked the luster and the lack of expandable memory support left the users wanting at times. But it was, and still is, a good phone with its latest hardware and updates.

But Motorola had other plans. It quietly went in to development of an upgrade, with people anticipating it to be a bit overpriced. Little did they know that Motorola would exceed their expectations.

Tonight, on Flipkart, Motorola launches, exclusively in India, the Moto G 2nd Generation.

 

Yes!! You see it correct. Motorola has priced it at Rs. 13000. That’s for a 16 GB, 5”, 8 MP Camera, 1 GB RAM with expandable memory model. And you are sure to get the OS updates from time to time. What else do you want. Moto G 2nd Gen is a real surprise. And right in time for the festive season.

Here are few key specifications(source flipkart)

    • Android v4.4.4 (KitKat) OS (Upgradable to Android L)
    • 1 GB RAM
    • Expandable upto 32GB (upgrade. previous N/A)
    • 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Quad Core Processor
    • 8 MP Primary Camera and 2 MP Secondary Camera (upgrade. previous 5 MP)
    • Dual SIM (GSM + GSM)
    • 5-inch HD Screen (upgrade, previous 4.5”)

Knowing Flipkart, checkout the launch tonight, cause they are sure to sweeten the offer like they do with their other exclusive launches. Grab it while stock lasts tonight (flipkart website states launch tonight)

Click banner above or this link to view/buy.

For full comparison of the “old” Moto G and the latest one click here.

Aug 252014
 

Few of my previous posts were dedicated to the Mumbai Suburban Commuter Trains or “Local” as they are referred to in Mumbai. One of them highlights the snobbish “high class passenger” behavior by “the elite” travelling in the first class compartment, observed time and again. While another one discusses ticketless travels, the everyday grind to catch a seat and life and death on Mumbai Local. A very recent one deals with the undesirable events of sweaty individuals in a sardine packed Mumbai Local.

so-many-hands-sooo-less-handles

(Photo Credit : Deshpande Chirag Blog)

Very recently, I had a personal experience of a very different kind. An experience when you feel at your most vulnerable and when the “Local” comes to your help.

I had gone to work a bit feverish. I assumed that if I relaxed a bit at work, I would be fine. But it doesn’t always happen your way. My fever kept climbing to a point that I felt the shivers setting in. I had the thermometer with me and measured myself to 1010 F, at which point I decided to leave for the day.

But I had delayed my departure too long and was at the mercy of the peak hour Mumbai Suburban Crowd. I had calculated that around the time that I reached Andheri, I would be able to catch any of the three trains which originate from Andheri for my destination, Virar. But once I reached the station, the temptation to catch the first train to my home overcame all logic and calculations. I parked myself, standing near the doorway with just one person shielding me from the outside environment, in an overpacked Virar local starting from Andheri. No place to keep the bag either, I kept it on the train floor, pinned between my legs. Once people boarded at the next station, any hopes of retrieving my bag, or the contents thereof, were lost. My bag was totally pinned to the ground. And so were my hands, my legs, my head(pinned by a hand trying to access the holding straps above). There was no scope for movement.

And thus my journey continued, on the slow chugging local, towards Borivali where the first signs of some relief were expected. But fate wouldn’t have any of it. Just approaching Borivali, a bottleneck for the Mumbai Suburban train system, the train halted for some time, which felt like indefinite.  The rains had taken a break and the weather was humid and uncomfortable, unless the train moves. I felt my fever increasing, my body heating up from the inside. Few more minutes and I feared that if the train didn’t move soon, I would faint.

As if fate rewarded me a wish, few minutes later I felt it kick in. My legs started feeling wobbly. My head started spinning. I diverted my entire remaining strength towards two causes. One keeping a tight grip on the grab handles above and second trying to keep my eyes open. Moments later I felt I wouldn’t be able to pass through this alone, so in whatever decibels of voice my throat could produce after loss of all the strength, I requested my fellow traveller standing in front of me to help me as I was about to faint. Between the periods of losing sense and coming back, I saw that the man had registered my plight but was speechless and inaction had taken over him. Others standing around too turned towards me(as much as they could) and quickly analyzed the situation. Summoning another burst of strength, I informed one of them that there was a bottle of water in my bag and that the bag was on the floor pinned between my legs. One of them made a futile attempt to retrieve it. I thought that it was all over and I would pass out standing, supported by other bodies inside a Suburban Local..

As if by magic, a water bottle appeared from nowhere. Cold mineral water, seal intact. The person next to me opened the cap and asked me to drink a sip at a time. Even in my condition, I made sure that I didn’t  touch the mouth of the bottle as the owner of the bottle may feel it unhygenic later on. I poured some down my throat and bid some time. I felt some strength returning to my legs. I poured down some more, closed the bottle cap and gave it back to be passed on to its owner with a feeble “thanks” in the general direction of the origin of the bottle. Within seconds, all my strength was back, my head stable and I felt ready to endure the journey some more.

All this happened within a span of about one and half minute. But for me it seemed like a very very long time.

Years earlier, I, along with few other people in the train, had helped an elderly man in a similar situation. As the saying goes, The good you do comes back to you.

But it takes a Mumbai Local journey for one to realize.

Aug 172014
 

A Lucky break from the un”entertainment” weekend.

Inspector Bajirao Singham, from Colva, returns as DCP Bajirao Singham of Mumbai Police. It was all about stopping the gundaraaj in Goa. In mumbai, its not all together a different scenario. Just some added complexity. Politics funded by black money belonging to self proclaimed saintly man, and the related criminal activities. All being taken care of by Singham and his team of vest clad policemen. And then there has to be the girlfriend(a new one this time) as usual to sing the songs and extend the movie to a standard 2 hours+.

Apart from lots of fireworks and lot more damaged cars(there’s something about Rohit Shetty and cars which is difficult to understand) there is also a new inclusion of “”Daya”. Yes the detective from the “famous” television serial CID. Along with all the police work in this movie, Daya also gets to break a door when Singham shouts out the now famous dialogue, “DAYA, DARWAZAA TOOD DO!!”. Most hilarious part of the film I would say.

Don’t lookout for any floor breaking music in this movie. Couple of unwanted romance songs and a Yo Yo Honey singh number at the end after the end of the movie.

I am not going to ruin the story for you since its not a suspense thriller. Its a simple entertainment movie and has to be viewed thus. This is not a must watch, but if you have finished your daily chores and have some time to spare before your evening walk in the garden and dinner thereafter, head over to the movies and let the action sink in. You may not be fully satisfied but you wont regret. Atleast while watching the movie, you will let Bajirao say the dialogue, “aata maazi satakli” instead of you saying it out in frustration.

My Rating to this film 3/5

(Its actually 2.5/5 but I give 0.5 extra to Rohit Shetty for not asking Bajirao to perform unimaginable, indigestible action sequences)

Aug 132014
 

We got our first Television in the 80s and were instantly hooked to it. Soaps, epics, news, films, sports and such proved to be thrilling and entertaining. But of all these, advertisements captured our imagination the most. 20 seconds of quick burst of the most vividly colorful, imaginative and sometimes, unknown to us, fake entertainment. At times, a film would be so boring that we would be waiting for the Ads to be played for some relief. All said, after many improvements in their bathing products and teeth cleaning pastes, my body still stays brown, my teeth are going bit yellowish. Yet each year, they come up with more improved products with additional “salts”, “Lemon” etc. All that remains to be added is some Tequila and we are all set. They are moving towards that direction by coming up with a “beer” shampoo.

Anyway…..

As technology changed so did change the methods of advertisement. They have upgraded from television to the web space (it’s the space on the webpage, intentionally kept empty for filling in the Ads) and even downgraded to illegal handbills posted on the insides of the railway cars, buses,……., ……, Public Toilets,…….. etc. All said, they have yet to upgrade their rationality, thoughtfulness, inter divisional coordination for the same company. Knowingly or unknowingly to them, or for some reasons unknown to me, they have come up with a competition of its kind, between two products from their own stables. And now are are going through the period of exclusive launches(launch of a product through one single distributor seller as against launch through multiple distributors, so as to create a hype, control the supply and show a pseudo-shortage due to exhausted stock)

I frequently scan the internet for good deals on various products and I happened to chance upon two “Exclusive” launches, one on Flipkart and another on Amazon India. Both the tablets are form Acer. Branded Iconia. One model A1 and another B1. Both exclusive launches but on different websites. And the advertisement for A1 says “why settle for B1 when you can go for A1”. Funny!!

A1

B1

Whether this campaign is created by Acer or by the individual online stores(in which case such an aggressive advertisement is justified) is unknown. The price difference is just Rs. 500 so I do not understand pitching both the Tablets at the same time.

Check the specifications comparison here.

This reminds me of formula one races where two drivers from the same team are allowed to compete against each other and ultimately it leads to a collision course.

BTW if you are interested to buy any of these two icons, they are available on Flipkart and on Amazon India

Jul 162014
 

Disclaimer : I do not wish to defame any bank in any way as I type this post. I just intend to create awareness amongst the readers about their options. If you own a bank which conducts fair business practices, I am pretty sure yours is not the bank that I mention henceforth.

In one of my previous posts I had tried to elaborate on the various measures we can take while carrying out online transactions to secure our money and our data. That being done, we still handout lots of our support cash to someone we barely know, for safekeeping and growth. That someone are the financial institutions.

But what if these very people whom we trust, breach our trust and leave us with nothing? Time and again we have learnt about large scams with lots of big financial institutions, including banks, collapse due to a huge scam, resulting in the loss of poor mans hard earned money. It makes us shiver and make a beeline to liquidate our assets/savings and keep cash on us. But the prospects of being robbed, force us to trust the lesser of two evil and we stay put with the banks. So who protects us from the treacherous practices of such institutions?

The answer is Banking Ombudsman. It is not another scam devised by the government to fool us. It actually works and has been handing out justice when banks have been dubious in their acts. Let me narrate two episodes.

A few years back, one fine day, I logged on to check my account, and found that the bank which held my savings account had deducted a considerable sum from my account with some unintelligible narration for the transaction. At first, I took it to be some regular deduction which banks always carry out, based on some finely typed clause(maybe font arial 6) in their 20+ page application form. But later as I remembered, the bank “official”, who had been very forthcoming and courteous in his manners while opening the account, had assured me that I wouldn’t be charged anything for the first year. My year was not yet up and I decided to take up the case.

Wearily, I dialed up the toll free customer care number and after minutes of punching in lots of details on the phone for the benefit of the Interactive Voice Recording, I began my wait for the “executive” to answer. The executive was polite and upon investigation, informed me that I had failed to maintain the average quarterly minimum balance as prescribed by them. I informed that I had maintained the balance as was informed while opening up the account and the executive responded that the balance requirement had been increased in previous quarter. I informed that I had not been updated regarding this, to which the executive said that I must have been informed since they had sent emails and SMS to everyone. I was pretty sure I didn’t receive any such mail and asked the executive to file a complain to which I was denied any complaint and told that I was at fault.

I decided to take matters further ahead and send a mail to proper customer care complaint department, then to nodal officer, within a week of each other. I kept on receiving those “ we are reviving your complaint and will get back to you in a weeks time” for three consecutive weeks, every Monday. That’s when I decided to take matters higher. Armed with all the mail trail, and reference number of my telephonic conversation, I sent them one more strong email, while keeping in cc, the Banking Ombudsman.

One point to be noted here. Whenever you are dealing with such firms on phone, ask for the reference number of your current conversation. They are bound to give it and they are bound to keep the recorded voice communication for a certain period of time, by law. They say one wrong word against themselves and the case comes in your hand.

After sending the email, I didn’t expect much since my idea of Banking Ombudsman was some hall, filled with about 20-25 people, one or two computers(intel i386), old creaking fans, lots of papers and files covered with dust and a child laborer in a short pant and a vest, serving tea to all. Little did I know that the office of my imagination was most feared by this financial institutions, in case they were wrong. I didn’t receive any auto response of delayed response the next week. In fact, the next morning I got a message that the deduction had been reverted. And hour later, I got a phone call from the pseudo apologetic customer care executive, regarding the wrong deduction and inconvenience.

Needless to say, I closed the account shortly.

Very recently, my colleague narrated an experience she had faced with the same bank. Early one morning, she woke up to book a ticket for her father in law as he had to  travel to his native place on some urgently matter. She went through all the processes and when the time came for payment, it was declined. She tried multiple times and it was declined all through. Luckily, she managed to book the ticket using some other source. She didn’t investigate initially, but had a suspicion and later called up the customer care to check out the reason. To her shock, she was informed that her card had been blocked since the bank had detected some fraudulent transaction on her account. She demanded why she was not informed regarding this via email or a phone call, to which she got no satisfactory reply. She was very angry at such an irresponsible practice from the bank since it was her salary account, she had forgotten the password, she couldn’t use the debit card and all the options to create a new password were linked to her debit card. Effectively, her money was locked in to her account and she would not be able to use it in case of emergency.

She made a complaint regarding this on the regular email and she got a new card delivered immediately within a day or two.(I guess the bank realized their mistake and wanted to amend, a little to late since my colleague was adamant on getting some kind of apology).

When I heard this, I immediately asked her to go through the proper channels, with banking ombudsman in the loop. Later, from what she told me, banking ombudsman started their own process of investigation from their end and it seemed they didn’t get any proper response. The Ombudsman also kept her informed about the progress of her case.

A couple of days back a very respectable amount was transferred in to her account. She was informed by the bank that this amount was the fine levied by the banking ombudsman on to them which was to be paid to the customer for their wrong doings. Though my colleague, was reluctant to take the compensation, since money was not her concern, I asked her not to feel guilty for someone else’s mistake. The compensation was given to her fair and square and the bank needed to apologies and ensure such incidents don’t happen again.

My belief in the banking ombudsman has increased considerably and my mental vision of its office has changed from some desi babu’s office to a swanky high tech houston mission control.

Here are few details for the mission control and the Banking Ombudaman Scheme 2006.

I just hope my colleague doesn’t find a way to return the money to the wrongful owners….

Jul 062014
 

It’s that time of the year when everything gets wet and stockists get concerned about their stocks in the godowns getting ruined and the best way they feel to avoid huge loss is by selling. Or in other words by ‘sale’ ing.

Sellers loss, buyers gain!! We buyers are not going to show sympathy for a change. Come monsoon sellers come up with variety of Sale advertisements and we stand to gain from it. Higher the percentage of discount, Fashion Salemore the possibility of stock clearance and this fundamentals have driven ecommerce websites to offer huge discounts.

Flipkart being one of them, has a Fashion Sale in progress right now with HUGE discounts. Some reaching up to 70 % with extra 40 % on the final price if you shop for more than rs. 1999. That’s a steal!!

Catagories of the sale items include Womens Clothing, Women Footwear, Sunglasses, Perfumes, Other Accessories, Clothing, Home Furnishing, Kids Clothing, Mens Footwear, Jewellery etc. Check out the discounts by clicking on the links.

Happy Shopping……Go ahead, Loot them!!

%d bloggers like this: