The Shifting…

24 05 2006

It was in 2003 that we had to vacate our old house. We had known that for years and were prepared to do it. All that we needed was some time to buy a new house and settle in it. We already had a house in Faridabad but honestly speaking i never wanted to stay there. Given the fact that I have lived in South Delhi, which is considered as the best location to live in Delhi, I did not want to move to Faridabad. Even though it was in the suburbs, still its proximity to Delhi was always a question that kept recurring at the back of my mind. Perhaps dad too understood this predicament and also the fact that mom’s service was in Delhi and it was practically impossible for her to travel to her workplace from Faridabad. It forced us to do a rethink and we ultimately decided to sell off the property in Faridabad and buy a new house somewhere in Delhi.

The next problem that arose in front of us was that we did not have sufficient funds to buy a new house in Delhi after selling off the house in Faridabad. We ultimately decided to wait for some time while we arranged for more funds. In the meantime we started scouring Delhi for a new house. Our search took us to a remote sub-urban place called Dwarka. What attracted us was the fact that Dwarka at that time boasted of some good apartments at reasonable prices. We talked to a property dealer who showed us some flats, many of which were to our liking and many were not. It was a difficult decision for us to make as the property dealer was pressurizing us to buy a house soon as he expected the prices to rise steeply in the near future. But dad delayed the decision as we were in the process of arranging for the funds.

Meanwhile, the property dealer showed us one good flat, costing rather cheap too. He insisted on buying it within the next 2 or 3 days but we needed time of at least a week or so. The result was that we lost out on the deal of that flat pretty soon. Then we selected another flat but at the time of payment the seller started demanding more than what we had previously agreed for. Now time was running out. We had to vacate our old house before Nov. 30 and the deadline was fast approaching. In haste, the property dealer showed us another flat. The first look at this new flat suggested to me clearly that it was way too small for the needs of my family. I told this in clear and specific terms to mom. But I knew that we had no other choice left. We were destined to buy this flat. So, on November 14 we finally bought this flat and decided to move in within a week. In the intervening time we decided to get the house renovated. Well, we did not have the time to get much work done so we just hired a contractor and got new window-panes and iron grills fitted.

Now the focus shifted back to our old house where we were in the process of packing and cleaning out our stuff. This is where my role in the whole moving process comes into play. Mind you, that old house was small but it was still spacious. Heaven only knows how we had dumped so much of trash in the corners, attics and other hidden places. As we started scouring through the stuff, I and mom realized that we had a lot more to do on our hands than what we had first expected. Still, we tried. We tried our best to get the things packed up in boxes and arranged in a proper way so that we would not face any problems while opening them in our new home. But first we had to sell off quite a few things. I remember we had to sell off one huge iron trunk because we had no place for it in our new home. Then again we had to sell off a single-bed. There were other small articles that we threw away as trash and then there were some old clothes that we donated to some people in need and to some orphanage as well.

We soon realized that we would need more than just a transporter to move our home to the new house. We had some good quality furniture to transport, two TV sets and some other delicate items that needed to be handled with care. So we contacted a packers and movers agency and inquired about the prices they would charge. As soon as a deal was struck with them we called them to our home to get the packing started. The idea behind calling a packer was that we would get all our furniture packed and secured from all scratches during the transportation and also keep the delicate items from being damaged.

This was the first time I felt the burden of responsibility on my shoulders. Apparently my parents had kept me so well protected till then that I was virtually never given any work of responsibility even though I wanted to do it willingly. Even simple tasks like going to the bank to deposit or withdraw money looked tedious to me. I wanted to change it all and this time I got the opportunity that I was looking for. I grabbed it with both hands and in hindsight I can say that I am proud of the way I managed it. It shows that my organizational skills are quite good and can be put to test again.

I was very particular about the fact that none of our stuff gets damaged during the move. And yet something bad had to happen. It was like an inevitability that was due to occur. Though all the crockery and other items were being packed in newspaper and secured in tight containers, one small statue of Lord Hanuman, which was carved out of marble got damaged. It was a special gift from my bhabhi to dad on his birthday a few years before. What could we do? The damage had been done so we decided to get things moving further after reprimanding the offending worker. But another thing was to happen. While I was busy with some other work, one of the workers decided to dismantle the computer’s scanner all by himself. Obviously he did not know how to undo the wires and in the process, he damaged a few of the pins at the back of the scanner which are used to connect it to the PC. By the time I got to see what he was doing, it was too late. He had already done the damage. I just told him to pack the scanner in a secure cardboard container while I went about completing the work that I was doing. Feeling bad about it and cursing myself for not doing it myself the day before, I sulked for a while before I got back to my senses.

The shifting to our new home wasn’t easy. There was another problem that we had to face. We did not have an electricity connection at our new home immediately after buying it. So we had to apply for a new electricity connection with the power distribution company and had to wait for some time while they took their own time to install a meter at our home. While we were in the shifting mode, we knew that we would have to stay powerless in the new home for at least a week (if not more). With this in mind, we were mentally prepared to face the worst while we hoped for the best. Ultimately when we shifted the first load of our furniture to our new home on November 22, we were virtually sitting powerless there. Fortunately for us, we had an inverter that was in working condition. We quickly got it installed and got a few light bulbs fitted in the rooms of our home to light up the house at night.

Again, shifting wasn’t easy. We bought some new chairs to put them in our new home and when we finally shifted there, there was total chaos as the furniture was being unloaded from the truck. Somehow it was all sorted out and we put all the furniture in its proper places by the evening. Meanwhile, I and mom skipped lunch as we shunted from the old house to the new house. Now came another problem. We had a driver at that time (in fact he still works with us) who had agreed to stay with us throughout the time we were moving the house. But then at the right moment, he decided to go home. Apparently, he claimed that he did not have clothes to change after all dirty work of the day. I needed him to stay, so I offered him my clothes which he refused. Ultimately we had to let him go. I and dad stayed at our new house while mom stayed at the old house that night. We were supposed to shift the rest of the stuff the very next day.

We shifted the rest of the stuff the next day without any further glitches. But we were powerless. My brother arrived a day later from Kuwait and he took over the task of getting the electricity connection installed. It took us one more week before we had a proper and running electricity connection. How did we manage this one week? Simple! We paid the housing society’s electrician to allow us to draw some minimal amount of power from the society’s power connection so that at least we could survive through the nights. Thankfully for us, those were the winter months and it became quite pleasant in the day and we did not need the fans running all the time. How I managed to survive a week without my usual dose of television and Internet is something that I cannot emulate now!

Looking back, I feel that I did a great job managing the move to our new home. Barring a few hiccups that I wrote about above, things were done in a very systematic manner. It gets all the more importance since I was the one who was talking to the packer and mover most of the time. I earned praises from dad, something that I did not expect from him and I guess he too was surprised that I managed to get things moving without any delay all due to my effort. But i guess a lot of credit goes to my mom too as she was the thinker behind me. All that I did was to put her words into action.

The benefit of hindsight is always good. When I look back to that time of nearly 3 years ago, I realize that I needed that experience to get to know my own limits as a manager. It helped me get a new perspective on how to deal with people and how to get them to work according to my way. I know it is not enough but at least it is a start in the right direction. And I hope it goes in the right way from there on.

© Crime master Gogo


Whats in a name? A lot!

13 05 2006

One of my friend has taken after that famous Shakespearean quote ‘Whats in a name?‘ I say there is a lot in a name. To prove my point, I give u an excerpt of a conversation I had recently with a friend. You will know why I attach importance to my name. Here it goes…

Crime Master Gogo says:
happy wali wedding anniversary sirjee

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
thanKs man

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
i got ur SMS too

Crime Master Gogo says:
aur aaj ka din kaise celebrate karne ka irada hai?

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
mistakenly wifey read ur name as “anju”

Crime Master Gogo says:
hehe happens

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
i gifted a computer to wifey

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:

Crime Master Gogo says:
oh wow! now u can be in touch with her even when u’r at work

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
she asKed me “Who is this Anju?”

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
I told her my X girl friend

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:Hehe

Crime Master Gogo says:

Crime Master Gogo says:
and what was her reaction?

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
*shocK horror*

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
right on the first anniversary

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
pole Khul Gayee Types

Top Gun @ Work !!! says:
than she laughed

Crime Master Gogo says:

Opera 9 beta version disappoints

9 05 2006

I’ve been an ardent fan of Opera since its release 6. It fascinated me at that time because it was the only browser at that time that featured tabbed browsing. It had a very technical interface at that time and even the most common websites looked ugly while viewing in Opera 6. But things improved with Opera 7. They made it nearly as good as Netscape and Mozilla. Further enhancements were made in Opera 7.5. Voice command and similar features were added in Opera 8. Support for RSS feeds was also added this time. This looked like the coolest browser on earth. It justified their claim of being the fastest browser in the world.

When Opera prompted me to update the browser, I promptly updated it and started using Opera 8.54. It supported some of the skins that were designed for Opera 6 and 7. I particularly liked a blue coloured skin that blended well with the background of my desktop. While I never liked the email client of Opera and always preferred Mozilla Thunderbird, its IRC chat client was reasonably good. Plus of course I loved its tabbed browsing technology.

Things have changed a lot ever since Opera 9 beta was released. For old timers like me, it comes as a big change from releases 7 and 8. What’s the difference between Opera 9 and its previous versions, one may ask? On the face of it, Opera has added two new components – the content advisor (similar to the one that is functional in IE) and a Bittorrent search and download client. While I can’t say anything about the capabilities of both since I hardly use bittorrent for downloading stuff or the content advisor to censor whatever I browser, I can still say that the overall features of Opera have taken a downturn. Let’s see how.

With the addition of these two new components, the browser has become a bit slower to load. For an average user it takes longer to open up. I do not know why. Opera 8.54 used up nearly 37MB of memory at a given time while release 9 beta uses just 16 MB of memory. Yet it takes longer to load. I am not sure why.

The new beta release does not support some of the older skins. I wrote above about the blue coloured skin (XP-Blue 2003) but it is not available for this release. They have also tried to make it more trendy and photogenic in the sense that some of the icons have been replaced with new, more colourful icons. For instance the blue coloured RSS logo that you used to see in the address bar of version 8.54 has been changed to orange, signifying a live bookmark akin to FireFox.

One thing that really pissed me off was that the version 9 beta release failed to import the RSS feeds, bookmarks and cookies from Opera 8.54 from my previous installation. I had to manually import them, rather set them up all by myself and it was a tedious process to fix up more than 20 plus RSS feeds in the new browser. Some bookmarks were indeed imported but it was not good enough. I had to set up the bookmarks manually too and even arrange them in the order I had kept in the older version. It was an hour long exercise that gave me a headache.

They have added a new component called Opera Widgets in this beta release. It is something that can be akin to the extensions that are easily downloadable in FireFox. It looks cool on screen and are implement able immediately on download but the downside is that these widgets cover the entire screen at a time and do not allow you to use the browser window behind it at the same time. That’s a big turn off for me.

Then they have also changed some of the keyboard shortcuts. I am one of those rare geeks who rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts. In fact I do not even touch the mouse except when I have to click on some links on a webpage. But their new shortcuts are totally messed up. For instance, Ctrl-N used to open a new tab in the old version but it opens a new window in Opera 9. To open a new tab, we have to use Ctrl-T which incidentally was the shortcut for saving a bookmark in the older version. To save a bookmark in Opera 9, you will now have to use Ctrl-D.

Another thing that I have noticed is that Opera 8.54 had its own installer while Opera 9 beta comes with the windows .msi installer. Whether this is good or bad, I really don’t know.

The most important thing about Opera is its speed. Opera works on an algorithm that downloads the text content of the webpage before the multimedia content. This is the secret of Opera’s speed and success. But I have noticed that their claim to fame has taken a beating in this release. I noticed that most of the web pages that I usually view were taking a longer time to download. The difference may have been marginal at times but at other times it was glaringly slow, despite the fact that I am using a broadband connection. I also noticed that the browser crashed sometimes when I opened multiple tabs, something that never occurred in its previous releases.

For the moment I have shifted my loyalties to FireFox. What is cool about firefox is the unending number of extensions available for it. Firefox takes the cake here because I can install the entire Google toolbar in it while I cannot add any plugin to Opera. Yes Opera does have its own search capabilities directly linked to Google, Yahoo, etc but the features of their toolbars cannot be exploited in Opera. Maybe Opera should work on this where firefox has gained substantial ground against it as well as IE.

Soon I will download IE7 and review it. Although I am sure that it will not even be close to the functionalities offered by FireFox and Opera but still let’s see what changes Microsoft has made in their browser.

© Crime Master Gogo

Spooky Thoughts!

3 05 2006

Have you ever been spooked? Have you ever had any unexplainable and supernatural experience? I can say that I have! Having said that I would still say that I do not believe in ghosts till the time I actually experience the existence of one. So if this is the way I think what are the spooky things that I am talking about? I would tell in details here.

Perhaps the first incident goes as far back as 1985 when as a 4 year old kid I visited Bombay. I have been told not to talk about it but all I can say is that the result of those spooky events in Bombay was that I started having an inherent fear and hatred for Bombay city. I grew up almost thinking that my world would come to an end if I go to Bombay. There was even a time when I didn’t want to go anywhere near Bombay, not even to Pune. It is because of this fear that I had apprehensions about going to Goa some years back. We went to Goa, nothing happenend, I loved the place and now I want to go back to Goa again. Well, that’s a different story, but as I have grown up I have come to realize that my apprehensions regarding Bombay are just a meaningless fear. I want to visit Bombay at the next available opportunity, not only to see the city that holds a great deal of importance to my country but also to tackle my inherent fears.

Well this is not the only spooky incident of my life. Other small incidents too have taken place. Many a times, especially during the night I have felt that there is something floating in the air above me. As a kid I never minded it, because I did not know what it was. I first experienced it when I think I was 10 or 11 years old. As soon as I had gotten into my bed I felt some cold breeze around my feet. Wondering that it might be some breeze I pulled over my blanket and tried to sleep. Even after putting on the blanket I felt something float over my legs. Not knowing what it was, I just turned over a few times and then finally went to sleep.

Again the same thing happened to me once during my 10th board exams. In the dead of the night when I finally went to sleep I felt something cold and swirling around my legs as soon as I got into bed. I turned on the light to find nothing there. My thoughts were more towards the upcoming exams so I didn’t care much about it and went to sleep. Next day nothing happened and I thought it must have been a freakily cold night.

But something different happened in the summer of 2002. One fine night I as usual had switched on my cooler and went to sleep. I could see a dim moonlight coming into my room from the nearby window. Soon I fell asleep. But during the night I stirred and woke up to find something swirling above the left side of my head. Yes, I did saw something. It is quite unexplainable in words but it was something floating above my head. I immediately thought that someone must be standing there besides me. I turned over again to go to sleep but in doing so I realized that it is not possible for anyone to stand on my left side as my bed was by the side of a wall! I again looked up towards the swirl but it was gone! As sleepy as I was then, I didn’t think of it again and instead went back to sleep. It was only the next morning that I realized what had happened to me. I immediately became frightened and believe me; it still sends goose-bumps down my body.

Then again believe it or not something happened last year too. I was in my room reading a book lying on my bed. My room was bolted by me from the inside. The bed was placed just on the left hand side of the computer and a revolving chair was placed in front of the computer. As I was reading my book I suddenly felt a strange noise from the chair. I looked up to it to find that its face had turned marginally towards the opposite wall while I felt some invisible thing run towards the door. It ran with some huge force that I could feel through the air. I looked at the door but it was still bolted from the inside, as I had left it. But the room immediately became creepy. Thankfully it was a weekend and I wasn’t alone at home. I immediately opened the door, went and sat in the company of my mom. Though I didn’t tell her about it but still her company had a soothing effect on me and I calmed down quickly.

It just leaves me gasping and wondering when the next such spooky thing would happen. How will I face it? Is there any way I can prevent it? Or is there any way I can be ready for it? I have no idea!