ISP problems, or ISP policies.

Here in hyderabad, beam telecom is all the rage.

Even I quite liked the speeds they offer, for the price they offer it at.  One thing I’ll say is that the downtime is more than airtel (compared to the experience in gurgaon).

However, the recent trouble with them (and I could not explain this to the customer care), is that their DNS server had stopped resolving some of the commonly used web servers.

I first noticed the problem when some of my pod casts failed to download after being released for a substantial amount of time.

I dismissed that as some temporary problem.

After a week of repeated failures, I also began to see some of the very popular sites. I could not open quora.com (to name a few). So, I decided to investigate.

The problem finding lead me to the cause very quickly. These URLs were not getting resolved (can’t do much with routers with a problem as intrinsic).

 

So, for the time being, I’ve started using google DNS.

I haven’t considered any downsides, or tried to contact Beam Telecom’s technical department for escalation on this, but I’ll give this a retry after shifting back to my home which is getting some face lift.

Coincidence ?

Two unrelated situations, yet I took note of them on the same day.

One

There is this local department store, in my locality. It’s run as an outlet of a popular chain of departmental stores in Hyderabad, called “More”. I go there to get top ups for my kitchen and household consumables, which I stock up on a less frequent basis from Ratandeep, D-Mart, or hypercity.

Anyways, I’m invariably there every couple of days (think milk, bread, and eggs), so it’s not as though I’m remarking here about some random, isolated cases. I’m a regular there.

Some months back I saw a old man there. He has a very fair complexion and freckles on his face. Whatever hair exist on his head, are snow white in color. So is his moustache. Ever since then, I have started to see him with such a regularity that I almost look out for him when I go to the store. I go at random times. Early mornings, late mornings, some evenings, other night times. I go there, and he’s there, or he comes nicely strolling by.

I’ve observed him for quite some time now, and we haven’t spoken or even smiled at each other, for that matter. But we are (well, for the lack of a better word) comfortable around each other. He doesn’t linger around. Picks up his stuff quickly, and pushes off, quite unlike some people who are very slow and also make small talk with the people around.Like the way I do.

He dresses in track pants, and a collared T-shirt on most of the days. He moves with a certain swiftness and accuracy that compels me to make a guess about his lifestyle and background. I think he’s from armed forces background. I could of course be wrong, but I don’t see that kind of fitness, agility and poise in civilians of his age.

He’s a early riser, and I guess he runs/does long walks also.

He does not ever carry a re-useable bag to the store, despite the initiative by the store management to penalize the use of plastic bags for the betterment of the environment. Although I try to reuse my cloth bags, but he’s always there to ask for a plastic bag.

Whenever I go there, and he’s not already … I need to just look out for some minutes, and sure enough he comes strolling in. The coincidence is amazingly freakish. It has changed from being remarkable to eerie to just being funny now.

I think his is the face I’ve most often seen in my society.

Maybe, some day I’ll get to know him.

Two

I had wondered what I’ll do with one Bull Audio speaker that was working fine in my car. The pair had sounded great when it vibrated in my car, and cost me some good deal too. It was difficult decision to have a cheap Sony Explod as a replacement for that pair. I had also tried to sell it off to the car shop I bought the other set from but to no avail. So, these speakers came to Hyderabad with me (thanks to the road trip), I took them out from my car trunk (they were just occupying space there), and put them in my house. For some months they just occupied my closet space, and I’d just look at them and wonder … maybe one day, the defunct one will magically heal itself, and I’ll put them back in my car.

My home theater, a Logitech Zx-5500 had it’s center satellite speaker busted. Maybe too high a volume played by me, or maybe it had been dropped from it’s table. I opened the stand and got out the speaker, but it just wouldn’t play. So, I ruled out the possibility of a bad connection.

Although music was decent (only stereo configurations worked), the Dolby dts and Dolby digital movis had the vocal channel missing. It sounded horrible.

So it occurred to me, to use that one functional bull audio speaker, and hack it into my home theater. With a few tweaks, it was up, and sounded much more awesome that the existing scenario.

Wow, my home theater is a Frankenstein now :).

————————

I was generally thinking back . Every thing or a person has some role to play . An important role, which only he/she can justify. I suppose that is what they call as destiny. Lines like he was destined to do so and so…

We seek that out from the trying to filter out noise of our regular day-to-day lives.

Some of us find it. Some of us don’t.

I am my destiny’s Frankenstein!

Meaning of all this.

After having a rather hectic day for the first day of the week, I decided to just doze off, because I felt my body was incapable of doing anything more. It was around 2 am, and my day consisted of a few nicely intertwined physical and mental activities.

Amongst troubleshooting a tricky problem at work, I had done an hour of power yoga (I think it’s the only form my teacher likes), some more work, and a 2 set game of tennis, which went down 6-2, 7-7 (and refused to finish from there on). It lasted for about 1 hour, and was preceded by half an hour of warm up knocks. Eventually, it was the time that was a constraint. I had to go over to a surprise birthday party of a friend, and my partner had some errands to run before 12:00 AM. it had already turned 11 PM.

For me, the round of activities continued. The surprise was very nicely anticipated by the birthday boy, and there was some Glenfiddich (wow, what a word) at his house. This somehow lifts up the spirits of many a people I know. For me, a biryani from bawarchi did a similar job. So, we got recharged and started a sort of dance party if you can call it that. 🙂

End result : I was tired and I slept off like a log.

Next morning, I got up late, and did not feel like driving, or biking. Somehow I feel both are taxing.

I decided on taking an auto to work, and almost instantly dozed off. When I reached, the auto driver tried to get some chai-pani extras from me, but I remained firm and paid only the amount we had negotiated. He left off with a face that reflected grumpiness.

After walking into my office for nearly half the distance to my work place, I realised I had left my laptop, and lunch box in the auto. I had no recollection of the number plate, or anything . I was too sleepy to observe.

At work, I realised that there was nothing much I could do about it. I went on into a meeting like nothing had happened.

Being from Delhi, I guess I’m conditioned to not seeing the face of things, once lost.I’m certian had I left a laptop in Delhi cab/auto, it would have been pawned (maybe even changed two hands) in the small shop in Nehru Place.

After the meeting got over, I mentioned the happenings to a friend, who literally exclaimed “Why are you even in office?” . “Go look for it” . Before I even realised what was happening, I had a bike key in my hand, with a RC and Registration papers. The only thing lacking …. was a plan of action. Where was I supposed to go? Who was I supposed to talk to?

“Go tell police…..”, “Go talk to other autowallas in the nearby stand…..”, “Talk to the security guard of the office…..”. were the ideas I was given by people around me.

Then something concrete came up. I chanced on the fact that the autowallas who wait outside Malaysian township are regular folks out there, and there were indeed a few faces I could recollect from the previous time I took a ride. Maybe I could find this auto guy waiting there. That would be a real lucky break. Basing it on that possibility I headed back home.

I rode on, and somehow had the urge to slow down near every auto walla, and have a sneak in to maybe run into the same fellow who dropped me in the morning.

I also enumerated the things of importance inside the laptop. I mean cost of the machine aside, there were photos, music and recordings in it. I cringed at the thought because I remembered the condition of friends who lost data and irreplaceable personal stuff.

When I reached the place, immediately stopped in front of the other auto guys standing there in a queue. I told one of the guys my story, and they told me they remember seeing me in the morning, and know the fellow who drove me. Heck, they even had his cell phone number.

I was back in business. Big time.

They immediately called the other guy, and asked him to come over. Meanwhile, we engaged in some small talk, where they told me in typical Hyderabadi lingo “Bhai, itni der kai ko kari aane me, koi passengera peeche se utha leta to humko nakko milta naa” .

I got them back (both tiffin and laptop). safe and sound. I thought I could have been more proactive and swift in reaching out.

————————————

Life keeps on giving you signs, like an aura on a life form. Yesterday I got a very good vibe from it.

It kind of reinstated some of my beliefs.

  • Life does offer second chance. (you need to be there to take it)
  • I am lucky. (plain old lucky!)
  • Goodness is still not a lost cause.
  • I like Hyderabad (Can you say this about the city you live in?)

It also motivated me to very actively :

  1. Get all my data in one place and have a redundant copy of what I deem worth it.
  2. Not sleep at wrong places.
  3. If I have an idea, I should act on it. With some urgency.

Now this is trippy stuff.

So, I had been laying low for some time. Am back . Not with the proverbial bang, but a melody. Yup, a melody. All created and recorded at home.

Now I have been an admirer of great music ever since I can remember. Somehow, the urge to dissect and sample a song by bits had never occurred to me. Neither had there been any inclination to play any musical instrument. I did secretly wish to play guitar, drums and flute.

Now if I look retrospectively, I have had many a chances to learn how to play guitar. Needless to say, I squandered most of them. 🙂

Walk down the memory lane.

  1. I was in class sixth. Mom was a teacher in school, and dad had a guitar. She decided to put the two together to see if anything happens. So, she asked a guitar teacher in school to come and teach me. But there was a glitch, which acted like a spanner in the otherwise “smooth as an engine plan by mom“. The guitar teacher would come at 6:00  PM, i.e the time to play. Now i felt that was not a fair trade. Play time vs. guitar learn time. So to get the best of both the worlds, I convinced my younger sister to take lessons form the Guitar sir, and teach me later in the evening. That was when the scheme went out for a toss. I had to play outside with friends 🙂
  2. In college, I was thoroughly impressed by the musical abilities of some of my class mates. Also, give a guitar to any school kid in Sikkim, and he’d probably put the other (read outsiders) kids to shame. It seems, they are born with some guitar playing abilities. Let’s not digress. I saw a certain Mr. SB, Banra, Panne, Mr. PS, Mr. KR, Mr. UR amongst the others. I was thoroughly impressed.
  3. I asked Panne to borrow his guitar at the exam time. He did not play during very close to the exam days, and I err… did not study all the time :). So I would get like a week around the exam dates, when I’d get Panne’s guitar and try to strike up the musician in me. But no. Not of any consequence. I gave up, again.
  4. I was flatmates with a person when I stayed in Noida. He had a guitar, and played some times. My other flatmate had a guitar too, and I saw this as a golden opportunity to  get in the groove. I started looking up the net, and getting to play. Only went up to getting to finger a few simple chords. Then those lessons got slashed as I decided to move back to gurgaon. I still did not have a guitar.
  5. I would repeatedly pester my friend , Mr. SB to sell me his old guitar, or accompany me to a music shop to by one for me. I still had no guitar picking talent. Some how, he fell in love with his old guitar which he did try to sell to me. I mean I got all the mail with that guitar striking various poses. I did not react proactively for some reason, and he withdrew the offer later. Some things, I guess are just not meant to be

<Snip>

I came to hyderabad 6 months ago. Ain’t I old ? Some things happened that lead me into giving it a shot for yet another time.

The push consisted of (and how it actually happened).

  1. I moved to a new house, and would play loud music in the morning.My next door  neighbor overheard my song selection. He somehow deduced that I like guitar. He is himself a guitarist from his college days. He decided to teach me. My problem was, I did not have a guitar. He is Mr. R, and is one of my guitar teachers
  2. Amongst some of the people I met here, a friend from college had a guitar. I told him to teach me as well. He said that he did not play anymore, and told me to take the guitar if I wish to. Mr. RK, I heard a mental click. Finally, I had a guitar. Thanks. Big Time. This was about 4 months ago.

4 months ago, I decided to give guitar playing another shot. Somehow during that time I got to listen to Telugu Music. I was impressed yet again. There was a student in me which was trying to get up. It was certainly not something I was home at doing, but I blogged about getting out out from the “comfort zone“.

I certainly wanted to practice what I preached (or blogged).

So, in an attempt to get out from my comfort zone, I decided to try to learn how to play guitar. Made a mental promise with self that I’ll hang in there for 2 months, and see how things go from there.

(Patience, by G’n’R . Acoustic cover by me, rhythm and vocals)

Now there are some things I can do with a guitar, and some which I can’t. I needed a lot of patience, and I still do. One thing is for sure, I’m a student for life. 🙂

PS : I’m a lousy singer

You’ve got the music, in you!

A friend of mine decided to club together his work visit to Hyderabad with some extra weekend time, and decided to stay with me. Now, he happens to be from the fast paced city of India …. Mumbai. I had my fingers crossed on how he would appreciate the culture shock of the ways in Hyderabad.

One thing we had in common, to look forward to was exchanging the newly discovered sound tracks. We do have a sort of overlapping affinities when comes to what we like listening to. Though we diverge on those tastes often, there has been enough evidence in the past to suggest that our common choices are not merely coincidental.

Other than that, we had been (nearly) neighbours in Gurgaon, although he was always a Mumbaikar, where as I have never been to that place. Still, it was  the music that got us together and it is the music that kept us together 🙂

He landed by evening, and these were his moving thoughts as the day progressed:

Saturday

6:00 PM The roads are so nice …. and empty.

7:00PM ISB is goooooood.

7:30 PM 5 minutes commitment by someone ??? really?

9:00 PM Why don’t the cars move it ? Why do they drive so close by?

9:30 PM That’s like an awesome track. I want to copy it on to my mp3 player.

9:35 PM That’s another super song. This one too.

11:00 PM Any place like Turqoise Cottage or Jazz by the Bay ? Firangi pani is #$%&&^!

11:15 PM Where can I get some good local food?

11:30 PM The place closes at 11:30 ?

11:45 PM Where can I get booze, to take home?

1:00 AM ISB is goooooood , can we stay here?

1:25 AM Stop playnig Lady Gaga, again!

1:30 AM Doesn’t police catch you for driving like this at this time? This place is so deserted!

2:00 AM You’re playing the guitar too loud. What if neighbours complain?

 

I was a bit confused when he asked me what are the night places in Hyderabad ? (As if there are any). So with my limited vocabulary on that front, I took him to this pub I had seen some time ago in City Centre. Firangi Pani. It seemed good back then. Now, not so much :). Add to it the fact, that I go scouting for pubs in a new city. Confused is a very suitable word. Anyways, followed by a dinner at Ohri’s and a visit to ISB at night made up for it. By the end of it, we were happy, well fed and in posession of a new pair of shoes. What else can a guy want?

Sunday

7:30 AM Let me sleep …

.

.

.

.

11:00 AM Let me sleep …. shoo.

11:30 AM I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast ?

1:30 PM I gotta buy an iPod.

1:35 PM This song is so good, I want to take it.

3:00 PM This is the speed we move at, in old city?? I’ll be late for my call.

5:00 PM (Calls up, apologises). I know we had this call at 5 PM. I’ll be late by 5 mins. (Now that’s what 5 mins should mean 🙂 )

7:00 PM Pista house biryani is good ! I’m loving it.

8:00 PM Let’s go buy that iPod.

8:30 PM Weather is nice, how about some beer?

So, we had a hectic day. had a trip to Pista house, got lot’s of Biryani, Rolls, Patties and cookies. Dashed back to KPHB for a very important call that had to be made. Picked up an iPod. Ate that stuff, and were set for some song track exchange. No beer for you mister! 🙂

——————

I hope the stay at my place was good one, and that I did a decent job of being a host.

 

Burgers, pending .

Come again.

Some simple pleasures

There’s nothing more delightful than having a good portion of spicy “Hyderabadi Biryani”, followed by the sweetest of mangoes (I still do not know it’s Hyderabadi name, but it’s a smaller sized equally sweet variant of ‘safeda’ we get in Delhi).

More so if that mango is chilled.The experience seems to be a roller coaster for the brain. One can get high on such a meal, without the need for any artificial intoxicants. 🙂

But it gets better .

The night is breezy, and the wind seems laden with tiny drops of water. The ones that get carried away, and do not fall. My feelings for the past few nights in Hyderabad.

Originally from http://blog.quasi.in

Midnight Rain

When clouds did a waltz in the moonlight

The wind did rustle every tree in sight

Drops gave up and fell, attempt to hang around went in vain

My semi charmed life witnessed the beauty of midnight rain.

 

Of the many things life leads you to

In shades of yellow, red and blue

Which you see, but tend to forget

Nature’s beauty in mind it is permanently set

 

I have seen this and I had loved it then

What slipped through me was where and when

It struck me out when I probed within

This beauty I’ve been with, called Sikkim.