Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Connecting People

We have been regular and loyal customers of BSNL for quite a while now (its not like we have had a choice). We have two normal phone connections, a dedicated internet line, and a mobile connection. Bills are paid regularly and on time.

We should have known that this could not go unavenged by the BSNL, who hate nothing more than a good customer.

It started with repairs on a neighbouring line. These 'repairs' soon put one of our lines out. We complained. The BSNL responded promptly (by BSNL standards) and proceeded to dig up half of Bavdhan (that's where I live) and lay fibre optic cables. This helped a little, but now there was a loud disturbance and nothing could be heard. We complained. They made some repairs, and the sound stopped. Completely. Now you don't need to be an ENTC engineer to figure out that that is not quite the point of a telephone. We complained, they 'repaired'. We complained, they 'repaired'. We complained... well, you get the picture. Finally, all our lines started working satisfactorily. We breathed a sigh of relief. Again, we should have known better.

Today, a BSNL guy came over and said he was to reinstall the wiring and 'make sure we had no cause for complaint'. He did his thing. The internet line is out, and we shortly expect the demise of the other two.

Recently, the telecom policy now in force in India came under attack. Why, it was said, do we need private investment in telecom? What is all this talk of privatising public telecom giants? We don't need any of that!

Viva la Revelucion!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Oh Karol...

I just had to add this snippet (a true story, of course):

A bank, which will of course go unnamed, was testing prospective employees on their General Knowledge.

Interviewer: What is Vat 69? (it's a brand of Premium Scotch)
Interviewee: Uh, umm, is that the Pope's telephone number?

Now does this answer show penetrating, witty intelligence, or is it just naivete and stupidity?

(For the record, I thought Vat 69 was a tax law, which you will agree, is a better thought out answer.)

Clicca & Sputta

I was playing the Totti game today (you too can play it here) and I found it absolutely hilarious. The famous (or is it?) Italian sense of humour at the forefront again. What is even more commendable is the good humour with which the great Italian number 10 has taken the innumerable jokes that inevitably followed his red card winning performance. That attitude is definitely in danger of going the way of the dodo. From Italian PM Silvio Berlussconi gagging humourists (are you listening at the AICC?) to Inzamam ul Haq's potato allergy, not too many people can tolerate humour, especially if it's directed at them (in Myanmar, joking about the ruling junta is a capital offence). Lighten up, people. It's not like attacking the guys who make fun of you makes them stop, they just go on behind your back. In any case, you dont want to offend the satirists or the humourists, they're big business (in the free world). Just ask Al Yankovic.
A note on the names: Azatlan is the wizarding prison in 'Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody' by Michael Gerber (a most excellent book, I absolutely recommend you read it). Azatlan is a disused Mexican theme park where the guards (dressed as Mayans) feed you spicy Mexican food, and then deny you access to water and toilets.
Ceteris Paribus is a Latin phrase that means 'all other things remain constant/equal'. It is an absolutely indispensable condition for proving economic theories, and explains why Economists cannot accurately predict or explain anything at all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

And so it begins....

Ha ha, my very first post. Unfortunately I dont have much to say right about now. Auf Wiedersehen.