Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Broader Banded By Bharti

After months of procrastinating(11 to be precise - I had inquired with Airtel last December) I finally moved myself to fill out a form for BSNL DataOne. But of course it got rejected as the phone at my residence is currently under an official name rather than a personal one. BSNL requires a mountain of paperwork to believe that I wanted a connection at a residence due to the name the phone was registered to. I thought it should be easier to get a new phone line. HA ! The forms one had to fill in for this were as long as the ones to apply for a visa to the USA. So I gave up on BSNL. Then there was a period where both machines I have at home crashed at the same time and so spent time getting them fixed. To-date only one has been fixed. Of course the older, slower machine works now while the newer faster fancier PC sits unused suffering from an as yet undiagnosed affliction.

I saw some ads in the paper about Airtel offering a 5 GB connection for Rs. 500 a month and was curious. Looked up the net and of course their plans haven't been updated. But I saw something I liked "Unlimited 256 Kbps for 999 a month". I called Airtel last Wednesday and asked for a new unlimited connection("Home 900" plan in Airtel speak). I would need a new phone line from Airtel. I was resigned to getting yet another phone connection. I was given a reference number and that within 48 hours someone would call me. 48 hours go by and on Thursday I call Airtel as Mr Someone still has not called me. Ms Airtel tells me that Mr Someone would call later in the day. Mr Someone calls on my home number and of course I am at work. Where else would I be during the daytime on a weekday ? They are told to call me on my mobile but they don't call.
I call back the next day and then was told to wait for someone to call. I finally get the call and think they will stop by home and drop off any forms I need to fill. But no ...They want to meet me in person to fill the forms due to some 'formality'. I haven't understood what that means till now. To add to the mess I didn't have an address proof of my current residence as it is a temporary residence. Luckily I have address proof that is in the same city. Airtel seems to be okay with that and will send the bills there but provide a connection to my temp residence. Also the rep seemed to be okay to show up
at my place as late as 10 PM if needed. Was given an estimate of between 3 days to 10 days.
Since I don't have a life and got home late at night on Friday(not out partying ..just working late), I asked the Airtel rep to come home at 8:30 am on Saturday morning with the forms. He did show up just a couple of minutes later than 8:30 am. I was amazed. Got the forms filled in and Rs. 500 paid for registration charges.
I got the new phone line on Monday evening (the house already had Airtel cabling so it didn't take much time to get the new phone line installed) and was told another person would install the modem within a day. I got a call on Tuesday evening asking if they can come over to install the modem. No one was available at home on Tuesday so I asked them to come on Wednesday after 8:30. The rep squawks for a bit before he realizes I meant 8:30 in the morning. Predictably they call at 9:30 on Wednesday (today) and then come over and fix up the modem in 10 minutes. I am now on the net at high speed :-) and with no limits :-) all a little over a week after ince I applied.
So so far the whole Airtel experience has been good. Shall keep updating the whole new connection saga as it progresses.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Reading Megnut's posts on mangoes over the past couple of days had me reminiscing about my childhood/youth in Chennai and its connection with Mangoes. Our home in Chennai used to have three mango trees. The largest tree was about as old as the house itself and was close to around thirty years old. It was taller than the first floor of the house and its branches were as wide as the width of the house. In its non flowering months it provided a glorious shade to the house from the harsh Sun that would cover the Eastern face of the house. Afternoons and evenings could be spent in its shade even in the middle of summer! A tall glass of cold juice by my side, a good book to read, sprawled-relaxed in a cane chair was the way I spent many a summer afternoon when there was not much else to do. Shade wise the other two trees were of not much help as they were on the north-western side of the house.

April, May and June were the months I loved the most due to the summer vacations and more so because our star performer the 30 year old tree bore fruit during these months. The fruit was in a word glorious! An exotic mix of the Bhaganapalli and some other mango type they were large(always larger than two fists held together), colored perfectly yellowish orange when ripe, spot free, had a minimum of fiber and the maximum possible amount of flesh I have seen on a mango. I have not had mangoes as tasty as them ever.

Every summer the bountiful tree bore fruit that matured in three batches so we had them plucked in three batches. Each batch easily contained around 400 mangoes. At home we had my parents, grandmother, my sister and me. Though we would have loved to try there was no way we were eating 1200 mangoes in under two months. So we would give them away to whoever came home, to friends, relatives, neighbors and employees. We used to be really popular among the people of my colony in summer.

The two months our fridge would be full of mangoes in various forms: raw & ripe fruit, raw mango chutney, mango pickles (different types including a sweet mango pickle) mango juice concentrate, mango juice, mango jam, mango ice-cream. Mangoes would make their way into every dish. I was on a two to three mango a day diet. Needless to say mangoes in such large quantities would fight with my adolescent hormones for priority in erupting as acne on my face.

I was a happy person the day I was taught how to cut a mango by my grandmother - The four cuts that separate the flesh from the seed. I needed to be shown the way to do it just once.
. Mallus will recognize the words Metha-pool(fleshy side) and Chagiri-pool(fibrous side) and the way to eat it. Of course this method of four cuts is for the non-formal way to eat a mango …basically with your hands. Yes, yes clean hands and fingernails are essential for this as well. Not for me the niceties of eating mangoes with forks. What am I …American ? I am 100% Mallu even though I didn’t grow up in Mallu-land.

Sadly the joy of having fresh mangoes was not to last forever. Even though we were liberal in giving away the fruit to people, there were many greedy people staying in that area who felt they could jump over the walls of our home and steal anything and everything they could under the pretext that they were plucking mangoes. After several rounds of broken window panes, stolen household items and yelling matches at the ruffians we gave up and gave in. The local ruffians had no fear of our dog or our servants either. Finally one day the trees were cut down. No more mangoes, no more shade.

Filed Under: Memories

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sushil != Sashil

I had submitted the link I had posted earlier on how cars are made to Autoblog as a tip. They did put it up on their site yesterday(TGIF: Visit to a virtual automotive plant - Autoblog - ). They murdered my first name though.

This lead me to think of what I have been called so far. I am not naming any of the unprintable names I have been called but just the basic butchering of my name.
For the non software types "!=" in this post title means "Not Equal to" in the Java language.

I have been called the following so far :

  • Sushil - This is my name and what I prefer to be called though it is to be pronounced as "Susheel"
  • Susheel - am okay with this as well ...just dont add too many e's
  • Shushil - am reluctantly okay with this as well

The following I cannot handle as they are not my name:

  • Susil
  • Ceciel
  • Cecil
  • Sesil
  • Soosil
  • Sooshil/Soosheel
  • Sushli
  • Suse
  • Sushi - the most common
  • Sushli
  • Sashil - the newest.
According to Northwest Airlines I am Sushi L. Cherian. They got rid of my real middle initial of J and made seafood out of my first name !

And of course I get called feminine versions of my name when people dont realise I am male or want to have fun with my name:

  • Sushila
  • Susheeela

As for my last name (really Cherian - pronounced Che-ri-an with Ch pronounced like the "Ch" in chocolate" )I have been called/emailed the following:

  • Cerian
  • Cherryan
  • Serian
  • Sorian
  • Sherian
  • Sheridan
  • Sheridian

The most fun we had at work was when a co-worked named Doug received an email to him with a typo in his name from a very serious colleague who referred to him as "Dog" .

I know I know it isnt a big deal but it is a touchy subject when you have to bring it up to people. One has to do it though. Instead of making up a name that is convenient for people like Sam/Jake when your real name is Santhosharajan or Janakiraman ! I have made it so far without having to use a pseudonym. Just that I have to keep reminding people what my name is and how to pronounce and spell it.

Update: Silverines comment reminded me of another screw up that happenned. One of my coworkers got a visa to go to the US. But after getting the visa the person cannot go to the US ! How come ? Because on the visa the embassy decided "she" was a "he" ! So it is now worse than pulling teeth to get that mixup fixed ! People suggested she change from F to M in real life as well or just forget the US trip.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

How cars are built.

I got this link at work and felt is was one of the best and most detailed presentations of vehicle assembly for all those who didn't know and were too shy to ask :-).

Click on the "Virtual Visit of a Plant" link on the
PSA Peugeot Citroen page.

When the Citroens are finally built this is what they do.(Best viewed with audio on). Link from my friend SV.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I want a curry and rice girl ;-) !

I got this awesome link to a music video in email today (Yes it is safe for work) . Has pretty good dancing ;-) and nice music and it has something for the Lungi aficionados as well. I have heard the song somewhere but cant tell what the original song was. So if you know what it is please let me know.