Chennai Autorickshaws

Hiring an autorickshaw in Chennai is a fucking nightmare. (Well all over India, but more so here).  The auto drivers are illiterate, uncouth and rude assholes who are out to rip you off.   All auto charges are unregulated – this means that the meter is a mere decoration – and the drivers charge outrageous prices .  The drivers are school dropouts without zero education and zero road sense ; They drive the auto as if they are in a freaking video game.   The bus is not a great alternative, because they always seems to be packed and you have to figure out the routes.  However, hiring a “call-taxi” is a great alternative. I recommend Fasttrack.  They are economical  and provide punctual and efficient service. The drivers are courteous and professional. The only catch is you can’t wave them down – you have to make a booking on the phone and then they pick you up.  I seriously recommend to always hire a call taxi in Chennai.

Sometimes taking the auto is a necessity, here are a few tips to make the experience slightly tolerable.

Always fix the fare before getting into the Auto.  Auto drivers sometimes ask for you to quote the price you are willing to pay.  If you know the realistic fare for the distance – then just quote that fare and stick to your guns. If the driver demands more, just walk away – he will most likely follow you and agree for your price. Otherwise just pick another auto which would have queued up in the background while you are haggling with the current one.

Now, if the auto driver quotes a price – a good guideline is to immediately cut that price by 40-50%.   This will be the “real” price.  If further negotiations ensue, do not pay  anything more than 10Rs in addition to the real price. Just say balls and walk away.  Supply is more than demand – You’ll always win.

The other thing to watch out for is reckless and downright dangerous driving by the drivers. Breakneck speeds, sharp turns, violation of red signals, one-ways and all kinds of depravity. I don’t know if they get their kicks out of some deranged sense of bravado.  If you feel the driving is reckless firmly ask the driver to slow down. Do not be silent – the autorickshaw is an inherently unstable vehicle – its better to be safe then sorry. Sometimes the drivers are also drunk – in this case immediately bail from the vehicle. Pay some money if necessary, but just get the hell out.

Clear on cloud

There’s a lot of buzz about cloud computing these days.  The basic idea is to not install any software or application – but instead pay someone else who installs and runs it for you using their hardware – while you use it over the internet (aka “the cloud”).

While I am not fully informed on the subject – which anyway will not stop me from proclaiming that my vote goes to the cloud computing idea. I think its an idea whos time has come.   Why ? Because deploying and maintaining enterprise software is difficult, complex, overwhelming, yup, here’s the term I was looking for – its fucking painful.  It reminds me of the acronym – FMGWACS – Fuck Me Gently With A Chain Saw. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what IT folks says when deploying enterprise software.  Order freakingly expensive hardware, invest in a rainbow of licenses, coordinate with a billion folks for a myriad variety of tasks – network teams for loadbalancing, OS teams for deploying, SAN teams for storage, cluster configuration teams and <insert-your-favourite> team. Its crazy, expensive and a time-destroyer.

I’m sure that companies will pay good money to get this monkey off their backs.  That’s why I’m betting the cloud model will kick ass someday.

Annoying ICICI Prudential Man

You must have seen the ICICI Prudential “Jeete Raho” ad. You couldnt have missed it. Even if you live under a rock and crawl out once in ten years. Well, the ad is incredibly cheesy, with a little brat, a kinda pretty but irritating wife, but the most annoying character is the husband. I hate the goddamn guy, not only the character, but if I met the actor in real life I would probably blow him up with a Panzerschreck. Why ? For starters, he has this goddamn smug look. Second, he has big nostrils. I cant pin it down, but something about big nostrils is inherently off-putting. An uncle of mine has big nostrils too and I hate him as well. I seriously recommend people with big nostrils to get plastic surgery.  Look at the video and judge for yourselves:

Anyway, back to the ICICI man, he’s also in another ICICI Prudential ad where incredibly, he manages to look even more stupid, by sporting a hair patch under the lip and spouting further smug inanities. ICICI Prudential has probably lost a million new cutomers because of these ads. Seriously guys, do the world a good deed by taking these ads off.

Stuck in a time warp

Ever read The Hindu ? Its a newspaper in India thats been around for a very long time. Very conservative, very old fashioned. Very suitable for anyone who’s say above 80 years old. In one word, the most crushingly boring paper you can ever read.  Allright, thats my opinion.

But, heres one major rant I have against the Hindu. They are stuck in a time warp. They have a city supplement called Metro Plus. Every other day theres an article about oh-how-glorious-it-would-be if everyone would stop writing emails and instead pick up a pen (fountain-pen) and paper and write reams of letters. And how great it was be in the days where we used to watch Doordarshan and there was no cable. And how great it was in the days where there were no mobile phones. You get the drift ?

These guys want to get back to the 60’s or maybe the 50’s.  It’s funny, the reporters routinely come up with stuff like this (almost every week) and these guys are what ? 25-30 years old. I dont believe it.  Come on you lazy idiots, stop bitching about how the old days were better. Get busy and start reporting about interesting stuff in Bangalore instead of dishing out the same bullshit every other week.

Musical Talent ? Crap.

There is an insanely large number of musical talent shows on Indian TV Channels. Every time I flip channels on the remote, every other channel has some kind of talent search bullshit going on. Most of them are related to unearthing the next great kid singer. The format is instantly recognizable :

  • A wide eyed little brat dressed in some garish costume – ( I saw a kid wearing a shiny silver suit once !).
  • A panel of three “judges” who sit around wearing headphones. Mostly these are some sort of former music directors, film personalities who are currently unemployed or have lost relevance.
  • A moron as an ‘anchor’ who keeps mouthing inane words of encouragement
  • Finally this is the most disgusting –  The audience. This mostly consists of the kids’ overweight parents who sit in the hot studio wearing their best. They are accompanied by neighbours, aunts, uncles, grandparents, the neighbourhood watchman, the dog and what-have-you.

Now the kid starts “singing”. This is mostly an old film number which the brat completely screws up – it sounds terrible. However once the kids is done, the judge(s) are usually appreciative, predicting what a great singer he would turn out to be in later life, whereas the parents indulgently look on.

This part is actually what is depressing. The audience – they seem so happy, so thrilled, so blissful. It makes me wanna puke. Losers. Take for instance, the kids dad. This is his life’s finest moment – a pinnacle of achievement when his progeny is on TV, bleating away.  He then goes back to his dead end job, being an insurance agent or whatever, informs his colleagues that his son/daughter will be on TV, basks in the momentary attention and feels on top of the world.

Here’s a typical pathetic example :

Terrible, huh ? Get a life you idiots, dont put your sons/daughters in dog and pony shows and think that its cool. Its not, it sucks.

Nailed

Women who paint their nails red are an instant turn-off.  I don’t know why red nail polish has been tolerated for such a long time, its abominable. Its plain ugly.

Image from fivezero.wordpress.com

White’s a probably little better I guess.

Image from fivezero.wordpress.com
Image from fivezero.wordpress.com

If you just think about it, nailpolish is absurd. It does absolutely nothing aesthitically to enhance beauty.  I dont know why, but women who use nailpolish tend to have long nails. And long nails are like perfect dirt and muck carriers. Somehow long nails have never look clean. I’m also sure nail polish contains weird crap chemicals that end up screwing with the environment and causing cancer and global warming and what not.  Women, stop using it, make the world a better place. Please.