urban

What is so wrong with “conveniences”?

I didn’t see a better example for something that was running in my mind for many months, what can be so wrong with a cuttable kitchen-ready coconut? 

cuttable kitchen-ready coconutNo, there is nothing wrong with the coconut or the business model that made it ready for the kitchen. You don’t have to worry about breaking it, no hassle with the safety of your fingers, right?

But the problem is its too much of a convenience.  At the cost of what? They cut the coconut in two halves and then drained the actual tasty water that was inside (probably there was another business around bottled coconut water).  Then they sealed the two halves with a hard ‘wax’ after filling the space with distilled water and some air. That water is labelled ‘undrinkable’ and you have to drain it after “cutting your coconut” into two nice pieces with a normal kitchen knife.

So far, so good. If you want a coconut along with its natural refreshing water, then buy a normal coconut and break it yourself.  Or if you want the convenience and pleasure of cutting it with a normal knife, then buy this.

I thought a ‘convenience’ is something that makes my life easy. The ‘cost’ I am paying in return, often goes into fine print and I was made to conveniently miss it.

There are tons of such conveniences in our every day life and we are silently paying a price. Our lives were just good without any of these conveniences but we chose them, we pay a price and we miss something in the process, something natural, something good.

Don’t jump into any conclusions yet, but lemme give you few more examples:

  1. We were walking, cycling or taking a public transport to go to a workplace or a museum etc, but now with the transport ‘conveniences’, we go there by a car. Lets not talk about congestion, pollution and global warming now, NOT YET.
  2. We were buying fresh vegetables, or grow them in backyard, or store them for a short period of time, but with all the storage ‘conveniences’, you hardly eat fresh vegetables but just keep them in refrigerator for a very long time, I have seen people frequently throwing away rotten veggies and spoiled meats, almost every week. Lets not talk about the cost of growing and the cumulative loss now, NOT YET.
  3. Many of the families have even given up cooking as a daily activity, with the advent of all cuisine ‘conveniences’, that they just eat out every day.. almost every day. I can’t even imagine myself in their shoes but lets not talk about MSDs, health hazards, carcinogenic preservatives used in restaurants and their lethal impact now, NOT YET.
  4. We were playing outdoor games on a daily basis or spending lot of time outdoors otherwise, but with all the living room ‘conveniences’, we are stuck to TV, I mean your every day entertainment whatever it is.  Tell me what is used more frequently? Your TV or your treadmill? Be frank.
  5. We used to remember by heart, at least 20 phone numbers, another 20 full postal addresses, at least 200 names of people in every day life, people at the vegetable market, grocery store, bus conductors, autowallahs and who not? And the thousands of interactions it triggered, hudreds of relationships and tens of friends. But with all the electronic ‘conveniences’, we hardly remember 2 phone numbers. We don’t go out for shopping groceries, clothes, books at all. The e-commerce is slowly taking it away and yes, there is a ‘one-click’ ordering convenience too. Lets not talk about how many businesses are shutting down in your local area now and the wonderful personal moments you missed just like that, NOT YET. 
  6. We used to go out with different kinds of people and when a true difference came up, we fought, we patched up and then we moved on. We lived a 100 years together in spite of all our differences. But with the advent of friendship ‘conveniences’, you go out with like-minded people. you cut down your risk of getting into a difference. Lets not talk about how you just screwed your mind into a comfy-zone and forever denied it an opportunity to evolve, and thereby run into relationship issues later, NOT YET.

In fact, this list is endless. I don’t want to sound ridiculous or unwelcoming of the modern day changes or the techy pleasantries we enjoy having accustomed to live with.

But I want you to consciously look out and understand the price you are paying for the convenience you are claiming. I am sure it will change your life and lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading.

B

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Categories: analysis, entertainment, friends, fun, health, home, life, my, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

Categories: family, fathering, fun, kids, life, my, philosophy, urban | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experiment :: 30 days of my “Social absence”

It may sound crazy or silly, but yes it happened to me.

I was “connected” too much and it started suffocating me with overwhelming flow of incoming messages.

In the age of facebook, whatsapp, hipchat, snapchat, slack, linkedin and google+, its easy to grow your online circles , start liking groups of your interest, subscribe to the endless RSS feeds of choice and bury yourself with tons of data.  I never thought social networking can be so suffocating.  And you know what? I am not a “power user” of these networks. Just a normal guy with usual circles and casual interactions.. And if I experienced such a flood of data, I can image what happens to people with thousands of friends and hundreds of groups.. My phone was vibrating almost all the time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So I thought I should take a break.

I deleted all my social network accounts and went into online-oblivion.. for 30 days.

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And not surprisingly, not many noticed my absence.  As I said, I am not a power user. Few might have frowned at seeing me go, but you know people dropping out accidentally is so common so they just ignored.  One friend has gone to an extent to drag me into one group so badly that he added another ‘balu’ in his contacts ( I don’t blame him, no one remembers phone numbers any more).

Thats all. Nothing much. That PROVED one thing very clearly.

My absence doesn’t really matter much.

All that constant flow of incoming messages that gave me an immense sense of belonging, all the phone vibrations that demanded my attention and gave me a false feeling of importance, all that hype around an illusory possessiveness that cared so much to notify me of so many happenings… all that everything washed off… in 30 days.

Now, I came back and activated all my accounts silently. I now know the core circles where I actually belong. I will see how many people will actually read this and care to add me back to the groups because my number is now active.  Lets just wait and see :):p

And hey, what happened in these 30 days? what did I do productively in the absence of a constant stream of connectivity? Thats suspense for now .. and thats the concept of my next post 🙂

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to do the same experiment and realize your true connections and also use that time to realize and prove your true potential, because you won’t have as many distractions.

Happy experimenting.

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Categories: experiments, fun, life, me, online-life, philosophy, secret, society, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

where are all the good men?

Categories: fun, society, urban, world | Leave a comment

Review of my #BSNL experience. Don’t get disappointed by few unskilled employees and miss the best!

Many would say I bet, that BSNL is crappy with stupid customer care, frequent disconnections and a very dissatisfied you at the end. I vouch otherwise. pl read on.

To tell you frankly, I keep having my share of problems with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) which often drives me cranky.  But then, I started seeing a definite commitment that really cares for the consumer, a lesser (least!) amount of commercialism than its competitors, a superb infrastructure in the hands of a few dumb people who only do not know the right ways to monetize and a bunch of dedicated officers/employees who are thriving out there to save the organization & improve upon its virtues.

Be Indian - Buy Indian (as much as you can, at least)

Be Indian – Buy Indian (as much as you can, at least)

And here is what I have observed/undergone so far in the last 2+ years:

crappy customer-care:

o yes.  They almost never pick calls outside office hours. And the one you speak (by luck) would probably be not very good at spoken English to impress you.  Not to discuss the number of numbers you keep pressing on phone and listening to a completely unwanted but some very important feature/service they direly wish to announce to the world.  All this happened to me and keep happening still.

But, if you can spare a few mins/hours to actually go and talk to some officer responsible, you would see the definite commitment i was talking about.  They know they are bogged down by a humongous percentage of unskilled employees… and they are fighting it out.  And you will almost never be leaving with your problem unsolved.  But don’t shout at the first point contact persons as they can’t help much and be little patient to talk to the concerned next level officer. This all is and will be improving for sure.

frequent disconnections:

I don’t know. It never happened to me except on a fateful, drenching day but then the service was restored very quickly.  And here I would like to share a very interesting thing.  I wanted to buy a 3G datacard., went there, paid an year’s amount in advance, got a demo and came back home. Bang! it was not working at all at home. There is enough signal in my area but not within my home 😦  I reported this and as you would expect from a highly professional company, an engineer somewhere in the rank of a Senior Tech Officer (or something) turned up along with 2 sub-ordinates, with a big car and an antenna..  They explained to me why it is not working as my home is very much in the middle of some high rise buildings.  They also figured out that the tri-band modem works fine at that place instead of a mono-band one… Called back the sales point and updated them and you know what happened finally? My money was returned promptly as there is no stock of such a model.

I liked the way they handled the case and the outcome 🙂

no-response to your problem:

I agree and keep reading about this very often.  When I found the bangaloretelecom.com web site not letting me login to pay my landline bills online, I masochistically started dialling their customer care (1500, 1504, 9448024365, 18004241600) and got no response. But I got the next officer on a working day who alerted the concerned and the site is up and running in minutes.  The chain of events is time consuming and may not look professional, but that is where and only where they have to improve.  And if you ask me to whom I would give a chance to improve, I would say BSNL. 🙂 why? read the last box 🙂

varying speeds:

yes. This is bit of a problem but more or less, I was a happy customer of ‘BB Home combo UL 750’ plan (unlimited, 512 kbps) for the last 2 years and just now wrote to upgrade myself to ‘ULD 900’ plan (unlimitted, 4Mbps upto 8GB, afterwards 256kbps, 400 MCU free calls). I believe in them and their infrastructure. And I don’t want to get disappointed by a bunch of unskilled workers or a crappy call centre.  Just today, I found my speeds very low, called up the guy who installed my connection. He was at my home in 15 mins. Called up another officer and the problem was being looked into now.  My requirements was asked and ULD 900 was suggested and i quickly wrote a letter and handed it over to him to change the plan.

So what did i like most in this? service at my doorstep. quick problem solving approach. and a suiting suggestion.  So, you might have had a different or bad experience in all this, but what I want to ask you is whether you have tried a little bit further to get to the right person or not.

In the end, don’t get surprised that I am writing so much about them. Just wanna spread my share of feedback (they need it most). And if I can impress upon all this by saying that I was using Airtel for 2 years and and then vodafone for another 2 years and finally found BSNL to be the best among them, then it may make a difference to you the next time you try to figure out who is the best.

thanks BSNL. I am a happy customer. You can count on me.

Categories: suggestions, urban | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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