Monday, November 24, 2014

The Beginner's guide to 7 day water fast & 12 Amazing benefits

A man and a woman drinking water from a water bottle. Woman on left and man on right back to back.

Before getting in to water only fasting, let me give a little background on why I even tried this fasting.

For years I was just putting on weight with nothing done to really do anything about it. I actually had no reason to even think about the added weight. I am 5’10” tall and was weighing 89kg a year back due to unhealthy eating habits. I would always feel heavy when involving in a physical activity. I could almost feel I am carrying added weight on me than I should actually. I am a lazy goose. Exercise does not fit in my daily routine. I would do it, but not regularly. So exercising is not going to be an answer to reduce my weight.

Next it can be through diet. Here I am really not ready to compromise on what I can eat. I cannot give up what I can have. This is when I stumbled up on intermittent fasting. I got to let go something, this was perfect for me as I can eat whatever I like for one meal (I choose afternoon at 1 pm) and then restrict me for the rest of the day. I have a fruit/raw veg bowl for dinner at 9 pm. That’s it. Saturdays I don’t force me much. I do have a regular dinner just on Saturdays.

Just with this I reduced from 86kg down to 78kg in about 3 months. Reducing from 78kg was becoming impossible. To really push up hill, I wanted to try water only fasting. You can on how I lost 12kg, 26 pounds here.

Why water only fasting is even relevant?


Water bring filled in in a glass with the caption. Water is the driving force of all nature. Leonardo Da Vinci

There are many forms of diet that can be followed to being in healthy changes in our body. Water only diet is more of a fast than a diet. It involves primarily to drink only water during the fasting period. It could be considered as staring by some. The fact is, water only fasting is the best way to bring in detoxification and therapeutic changes. As it does not only detox water solvable toxins, it also burns fat and deplete toxins there as well, which is not possible by many of the fast/diets.

The Zero Calorie Diet:

The fast is intense and grueling due to the emotional challenges involved. Still, it manages to correct minor disruptions in the body as it helps purify the system. When a person takes only water, he or she is consuming ‘zero’ calories. In a body loaded with numerous toxins, both internal and external, the tissues struggle to eliminate the wastes. Our food habits further add excessive calories, thereby slowing down metabolism. Taking virtually no calories for 2 to 7 days was found to revive our tissues and system functions.

Benefits Of 7 Day Water Fasting:

Water rolling off the mountain with the caption If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. 
  1. Zero calories consumed, forcing your burn about 1 - 2 pounds of fat per day, making it the fastest weight loss method.
  2. Improves insulin sensitivity due to less fluctuation in blood sugar levels.
  3. Improves body repair functions, recovery and healing from decreased inflammation.
  4. Reduces the stress levels, decreases blood pressure and rejuvenates the body.
  5. Increases immunity due to better cell resistance and repairs.
  6. Enables reduction in cancer cell proliferation due to improved growth harmone activity.
  7. Anti aging effect and cognitive decline.
  8. Lowers the risk of heart disease.
  9. Solves an array of digestive problems as the fast restarts your complete digestion process. Problems that can be solved includes gastritis, irritable bowels, constipation, diarrhea, gas, dyspepsia, and loss of appetite.
  10. Find better control over their thoughts and diet after the fast.
  11. Builds confidence in your bodies ability.
  12. Helps you in your spiritual journey and self realization.

Who To Fast:

A boy jumping in to a glass of water.

Water fasts are advised for those who can manage few to several days of intense calorie deprivation. Individuals who have taken a 2-day fast earlier would find it easier to take a 4-day or 7-day fast. Hence, beginners can start with a 2-day water fast. Patients with medical issues require medical consultation before embarking on this plan.

Water fasting is not for everyone. People with the following medical conditions will have to seem medical advice before you can perform a water fasting. Your Doctor may advice you on how you can take can take up the fast or would want you not to move forward:

  • Heart disease, including heart failure, arrhythmias (especially atrial fibrillation), history of a heart attack, valve problems, or cardiomyopathy
  • Alzheimer’s disease or organic brain syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Paralysis
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Taking medication you cannot stop taking
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Any eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or diabetes
  • Post-transplant
  • Enzyme deficiency
  • Late stage kidney or liver disease
  • Lupus
  • AIDS, tuberculosis, or infectious disease
  • Late stage cancer
  • Vascular disease or poor circulation
 Obese people trying to lose weight can take the fast and observe immediate results. Although, it is necessary to note that the lost pounds might return once the calories come back into your diet. Underweight people might find the fast too grueling, and can experience more fatigue compared to others. Some might face complications during the fast, and they need to stop it immediately.

How To Fast:

The water fast may look like it takes just 2 to 7 days. But it is not as simple as that. It requires dedication for 7 to 14 days for the actual procedure.

1. Planning:

You need to prepare yourself before you begin the water fast. Set your mind to accept the numerous bodily reactions that you will encounter during the fast. Overcome any fears as the human body can comfortably tolerate a 7-day water only fast.

2. Before The Fast:

For beginners, it might be easier to practice with diets that are good alternatives to water and juice. Some eat brown rice or other nutritious foods for this purpose.

3. Water only Fast:

While on the water fast, have only distilled or mineral water.  Drink 9-13 glasses of water a day. In general, men should drink around 13 cups of water and other fluids daily (about 3 liters), and women should aim for 9 cups (2.2 liters). You can stick to the daily recommended amount of water during your water fast. Choose the purest water you can, or drink distilled water.

Don’t drink all that water at once! Spread out your water consumption throughout the day. Try setting out three 1-gallon jugs every day, so you can see how much water you should drink.

Don’t drink more water than the recommended amount, as this can throw off the balance of salt and minerals in your body and cause health problems.

4. Weight Loss:

Firstly, the body will start losing the weight of water, which comes back, and then taps into the fat reserves to burn calories. Gradually, the glycogen reserves and muscle cells are also used for energy. The process when your body can sustain just on your fat reserve than any need for carbohydrates is Ketosis. It will take about 3 days to switch to Ketosis. Once you are in this stage, you will start to feel a little better as your liver is not running on fat as a fuel for your body than carbohydrates.

5. Body Reactions:

Women take 2 days and men take 3 days to adjust to water fast. Food cravings and sudden hunger bouts are observed at this time. These intense hunger pangs, coupled with dizziness, weakness, and nausea, diminish after the first 2 days. One needs to focus and overcome the reactions with mental strength. Once this happens, the body starts feeling energetic while the hunger gets reduced.

Differentiate normal from abnormal side effects. It’s not uncommon to feel some dizziness, a little weakness, nausea, or occasional skipped heartbeats while fasting. However, stop fasting and seek medical attention if you lose consciousness, feel confused, have more heart palpitations than one or two a day, have severe stomach discomfort or headache, or any other symptom that feels alarming to you. 

6.  Avoid dizziness:

 After 2-3 days of water fasting you may experience dizziness if you stand up too quickly. Avoid this by getting up slowly and doing some deep breathing before standing. If you do get dizzy, immediately sit or lie down until it passes. You can also try putting your head between your knees or have your leg raised with some support under it like a chair. This will help blood flow back in your brain making you feel better. If you become so dizzy that you lose consciousness, stop fasting and see your doctor.

7. Rest:

Ensure you have planned the fast when there are no demands on your time. Get plenty of rest to compensate for the low energy levels. Allow your body to detoxify and heal itself. Read and entertain yourself without any considerable physical activity. Reducing the need for energy will slow down your metabolism and reduces the stress on your body.

8. Avoid intense exercise during this time:

Your energy may fluctuate between feeling weak and tired and feeling energetic. It all depends on the ability to generate energy, controlling insulin level, blood sugar and blood pressure. Any fluctuation during this period is normal. Even when you have lots of energy, don’t exert yourself. Instead, try gentle, restorative yoga. Yoga is a calming way of stretching your muscles and getting some light exercise.

Yoga and light stretching may feel good to some people, and be too vigorous for others. Listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable

9. Break The Fast:

To break the fast, your body needs to adjust the same way it adjusted to the fast. Since you know your body the best, find the time when the real hunger starts. It is the point when there is a genuine call for nutrition, and this is when you give yourself a little treat. What you are doing here is to wake up your digestion process and to lubricate it slowly to process complex food items step by step. At this point your mucus membrane may have become thin and your stomach capacity would also have reduced. You need to have both this in mind, listen to your body and slowly break your fast.

Break your fast with orange or lemon juice first. Then proceed to add foods to your diet gradually. Eat small amounts about every 2 hours, at first. Proceed in a step-wise process from easily digested foods to foods that are harder to digest. Depending on the length of your fast, you can spread this process out over one day or many days. This is a general order in which you can introduce food when you break your fast. Depending on how your digestion reacts, you can skip a few if needed.

  • Fruit juice
  • Vegetable juice
  • Raw fruit and green leafy vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Vegetable soup and cooked vegetables
  • Cooked grains and beans
  • Milk, dairy, and eggs
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Everything else

10. After The Fast:

Your body has certain reactions even after the fast. There are two reactions, one is from how your body has reacted during your fast and next is how it is reacting to food after the fast. These are few reactions you can expect after your fast sudden rush of Sugar, feeling full with less about of food, feeling irritation in your mouth, food pipe or stomach. Make sure you are not having anything spicy to avoid this. Keep drinking lot of water to process the food well and take it comfortably through the digestion process. Fortunately, they involve giving us a sense of well-being. It shows in your skin and eyes. Moreover, a process such as this keeps you from making bad food choices too.

How your body reacts and what you can expect from a 7 days water fasting

If you are attempting a one week fast for the first time, be prepared for few body reactions during the process. As a habit, the body is used to consuming food at regular intervals.  When there is sudden lack of food intake, you may feel weakness, dizziness, nausea, etc which is quite normal. Sometimes you may feel very energetic, but the very next moment you may feel weak. These fluctuations are common and normal. There may be also a drop in blood pressure and slight headaches. One need not get frightened with these reactions. You should take rest or lie down, when ever these symptoms become intense. Consult a doctor if these reactions are too intense.

One may even feel a sudden bout of hunger. To overcome it, just drink one or two glasses of water. Then lie down and take rest. The hunger should go away in a short time. If the hunger keeps recurring, consult your doctor. You can discontinue the fast if the hunger is unbearable. But in most cases, it is not a serious issue.

These symptoms are more intense in the first 3 – 5 days. After about 3 days the digestive fire begins to slow down and becomes weak. Usually after 3 -5 days the hunger bouts may disappear. After 5 days one may even feel very light with total lack of hunger. This may vary from person to person. One may feel a great sense of well- being. One may even feel energetic enough to play a game of badminton. But do not exert yourself at this stage. You may take light walks instead. Do some light tasks like working on your laptop or watching television instead.

Food craving is another common reaction during a one week water fast. One starts thinking of various types of tasty food and how to prepare them. You may experience this even if you are not feeling hungry. One may even day dream of going to various restaurants and eating some special dishes. These are normal. Do not fight these thoughts. Just give some distraction to the mind, like watching a movie, television, music, etc.

Fasting is a time for intense cleansing at physical and mental level. The body has a natural mechanism to throw out toxins from the body during the healing process. These toxins are mostly thrown out through digestive system into the intestines. At this time, one gets a thick white coating on the tongue. The coating may remain even after scrapping the tongue. This is a sign that the toxins are being eliminated.

An enema, few times a week (or on alternate days), is advised by the doctors during this time to speed up the removal of toxins which are accumulated in the large intestine.

The toxins may also get removed through the lungs. At that time one may get foul breath which may last for a day or two.

One may feel nausea at times, which may be caused by acidity in the stomach. This acidity can be removed by cleaning the stomach through a simple process. Just drink a liter or more of slightly warm salt water and vomit it all out. This is called Kunjal Kriya  or Vaman Kriya in yoga and is a common practice in both ayurveda and naturopathy to cleanse the stomach.

During the seven days, the mind can also throw up lot of impressions from the subconscious and unconscious mind. These impressions can cause strong emotions. One has to take a witness attitude towards these thoughts and emotions. Remember, the mind is going through a cleansing process. Give the mind some healthy distraction during such times and it should be fine.

Please understand that these are normal reactions during long term fasts. Continue the 7-day fast with courage.

Water is the drink of life. It can rejuvenate your life too. Just make sure you do the 7 day water fast right and enjoy its benefits. It is important not to be misinformed about how the weight loss benefits of water fast work. Weight loss is no doubt the quickest. But on the flip side, it is for this very reason that it will find its way back once you start binging on high-calorie foods.

Here you can see the amazing benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt.

Fake Apple earpod on Flipkart

I ordered for a new earpod on Flipkart,

The product was listed for Rs. 895 when I bought this product. There was two reasons I bought this product.

1. Brand: Apple
2. Warranty: 1 year manufacturer warranty

These two were more than convincing for me to buy this product. It took a long time for Flipkart to delivery this product. I was patiently waiting and was very exited to get the earpods.

Finally I got the earpods and the package was damn good. had cot open the other package to reach out to the box in which the earpod was coiled to. Surprise, the box was not closed properly.

Here is a video of the product when I received and the problem with it.

1. The box was not closed.
2. The box on which the wire was coiled had the impression of the wire marked on it
3.The wire was of a light gray color and not the white color as on the original earpod
4. The wire was of a low quality
5. The sound quality was moderate
6. Mic was horrible
7. The sleeve covering the 3.5 mm jack gave away right after the first use.

It was interesting that the package had a warranty document which also mentions it has a one year Apple warranty. Duh.

Within minutes I had asked for a refund and the refund is also made.

I see this to be a cheap business mode. To sell product claiming it is a original product. For example if there were 10 people who had bought this same product out of them 2 find it is fake and return, the seller will still make enough money from the other 8.

Why is Flipkart encouraging this kind of an environment. Even on ebay I find it to be a better environment where we buy from the seller directly and the seller rating is very important. Here we are buying from Flipkart with the seller fulfilling the order.

As a consumer for me I am buying from Flipkart, I assume Flipkart holds the quality of the service. Else if flipkart can make it clear that are not responsible for the quality of the service, they need to make it clear so that we can pay closer attention to the seller and need not consider quality assurance from Flipkart.

To buy indicator switch from Pudupet, key to negotiate: True caller

I am preparing for my second Planned - Unplanned trip. FYI: I am only planning for the 'Planned' part, not for the 'Unplanned' part for now. This is what happened on the first Planned Unplanned trip,

The certainty of the trip is still 85% with 15% of odds against the trip.

This is the second version where I am also taking my bike along with me. More on the trip later. Now let me jump in to the negotiation part.

I had an accident back in 2011 traveling at 90 Km/h (55 m/h) ( I did not change anything much on the bike after the accident. The handle bar is still bent, so is the fork, front shield broken, crash bar, and so on. Along with it if the left switch assemble. This part of the switch controls the indicator light, headlight high beam/low beam and the overtake pass light. All of these are important for a road trip. So had to change the assembly. Checked with the dealer, it is Rs. 600+. Made a quick trip to Pudupet. The inner streets of Pudupet are narrow,  with jam packed shops shoulder to shoulder with spares hanging all around. All are second hand spares from recycled vehicles. There are different theories on how these bikes reach to a recycle state in the first place, which is a different discussion.

I went in to a busy gully. There were guys both sides asking what I was looking for. I did not want to answer anyone until I knew the shop had similar items. All I was able to see was front shield, mud guards, electronic speedometer, shock absorbers. No sigh of the left switch assembly. I was almost at the end of the row of stores, so had to ask someone for it. After being passed on to 4 shops, finally someone said he has what I was looking for.

I thought, the road I was in was the narrow one, it branched in further which can only take only 2 - 3 people standing shoulder to shoulder. More spares hanging around than the walls that I was able to see. He showed the assemble. Bling That was what I was looking for. Now starts the costing. He had to check with his boss for the cost. He asked for my mobile and called his boss. After a quick conversation he started at Rs. 400. I told him the original is for Rs. 400 and cannot pay that for a used part. They were only throwing a number and did not expect to hear a original price. He wanted to talk to his boss again. I redialed the number and the trusted True caller showed it was "Pudupet Yousif".

I asked this guy, if he was calling Yousif bhai, he said yes. I told him I am his customer. Now he had to convince Yousif bhai and the price came down to Rs. 200. :)

True called brought in an unknown variable and it worked to my favor ;)

Image courtesy of zirconicusso at

Semi-Auto-focus Canon DSLR

Semi Auto Focus on DSLRFrom the day I got my camera, been shooting only with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens on my Canon 60D. On my checklist for my second Planned Unplanned trip Solo bike ride, I wanted to take a wide angle lens with me. My friend Ramesh (Director of Andhadhi) has a 18 - 55 mm IS lens with him. I had tried his camera and the camera was not able to auto focus. After checking with my camera, found the problem was with the lens, it was able to focus back, but was not able to focus forward.

It was the only lens I can get my hands on with a wider focal length.

I was trying to take some test shots. I need to get used to manual focus, as my 50mm was always on auto focus.

First tried pulling focus and released the shutter using a monopod. Then was trying test shots hand-held, it was my intuition and I was having the shutter release half pressed and I was focusing manual. The focus point blinked the way it would when the lens is in auto focus. I tried the same with a different subject, the red focus box blinks when the focus was reached.

I then switched to my 50mm, turned to manual and tried the same.

- Half press the shutter release
- Manual focus
- Red box blinks on achieving focus.

Yaay, now I can pull focus without the fear or a blurry image :)

Hope this helps someone, in the same situation I am in. Happy Clicking :D

If you are interested in reading about camera sensor cleaning process and trouble faced, you can ready here (With dust images).

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to ride with the Accelerator (Throttle) cable cut

For about a week I was not having a comfortable feel when accelerating or using the clutch on my bike (Motor cycle). It was not smooth and also there was rust visible through the cable outer skin. Yesterday I went to my mechanic with a long list of spares that has to be changed and he asked me to come back today with all the spares to get this mini project done. This did include changing the accelerator and clutch cable. I did tell him I have a feel one of this is going to snap soon. Yea, you know I have this Premonition thingy (Thingy- where did I get it from ;) ),

I got ready early and started my bike. Everything was fine until I turned the throttle. The bike did not move. The gear was fine, clutch was working. Accelerator??? It was snapped :(

But I did manage to get all  the spares and reached the mechanic, on my bike ;)

How to ride a bike (Mechanic) with the accelerator snapped:

Do this at your own risk. I will not take any responsibility if this spoils your bike or causes any harm to you.

  • You are technically crippled with the accelerator cable cut. What you are trying to do is to mimic the accelerator action without having the ability to do it with your accelerator.
  • Push up the idling on your bike to 4000 RPM. I found this to be a safe and a comfortable level for this. Screw the idling bolt to have the RPM increased. Here what you are doing is to set the RPM at a constant 4000 RPM. This is like holding your accelerator having it raised to 4000 RPM.
  • Use your clutch and brake wisely. Clutch when you need to change gear only. Use your brake to slowdown along with the clutch. Only your brake to slowdown will shut down  the engine. Only clutch to slowdown will increase the engine RPM.

This is a very simple trick. Not a easy one though and it takes time to get comfortable with. When there is nothing left and you need to move on, this is the only way to make it out when your accelerator (Throttle) cable has snapped. Don't forget to reset your idling RPM once you have the cable fixed.

Hope this will save you someday. Use this technique wisely, at your own risk and be safe.

Image courtesy of anankkml at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What the ATM fee mean for the common man

RBI has freed the banks to levy charges for ATM transactions on 6 major cities. What does it mean for a common man?

I am leaving behind what ever transaction fees each back has to pay each other for their customers transaction on other bank ATM. I am not sold on why RBI would need to have such a free in this age when ATM usage has to be encouraged. Which will take away the queue from the bank counters.

If bank A has to pay Bank B for its user to use the other bank's ATM, why not RBI take all the ATMs under their control and make it available to public.


 I can assume there are three modes of transactions for our expenses:

  1. ECS direct from bank account: Most of us pay ECS and it is directly debited from the bank account.
  2. Credit card or Debit card: For those who feel comfortable and are disciplined using a credit card/debit card, this will be a mode given an opportunity.
  3. Cash transaction: Our kirana store guy will throw away the credit card if you are going to give him. Paper still works when plastic is not accepted. Or will your bus conductor take a credit card? They don't even take Rs. 10 for a Rs. 3 ticket.

There were ages when salaries was given in cash and people use to carry their months fortune with fire in their belly. Things changed after employers started giving check and later started to transfer the salary to the bank accounts. Still people use their debit card only to withdraw cash than for any other transactions. That is the current state of the majority of the common man. Can you give your debit card to your mom for the first month salary ;) Nah. Indian sentiments are meant to be followed.

The Rs. 20 transaction fees is going to make people plan and withdraw cash in bulk than to withdraw it on a need basis as and when needed. This will add the fire back to the belly. I can definitely see this coming.

People will now be forced to carry more cash in  their pockets than they do without this transaction fees. Rs. 20 may not be a big number for a few. For people counting nickle and dime, Rs. 20 will hold a separate budget equation.

This I see as a step backward and a way it will increase the queue in the banks.

What RBI should have done and is a long due from policy makers.

RBI should have started pushing credit card and debit card processing systems to reach where these cash flow market is. This will discourage use of cash transaction and will increase the use of credit cards/debit cards. Once people are used to this transaction, why will anyone want to carry cash on them.

RBI should also encourage debit card and credit card transactions for how much small the transaction is. Why should I not pay for a bottle of water with my credit card. If I can pay it with my credit card, why will I need cash in my pocket. If I am in a railway station and wanting to buy a Rs. 15 water bottle, should I take Rs. 100 from the ATM or make a higher withdraw to justify the Rs. 20 transaction fee. Pushing credit card to this side of the market will pull the parallel uncounted economy to main stream economy, giving policy makers an insight to the actual GDP.

Western countries have caught up long time back and are ages ahead of us. We are still talking about ATM transaction fees without solving the root cause on why someone would want to use the ATM machine and carry cash with them. If this is the state of large cities, how many centuries it is going to be, before we start seeing this in our villages which are the back-bone of our economy churning our agriculture output.

It is a huge potential to penetrate and account for all transactions. With the ease of availability of smart phone, it throws open the huge playground for innovative payment systems that a mechanic can use or a vegetable vendor can use. There are mobile card readers working on GSM and CDMA, which will make all if this possible.

I was hoping to see things going forward, we are proving to be late to the party. The wait this time is going to be a long one given the step already taken seem to be in the opposite direction.

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SOLVED: TP link router configration problem

TP link is my third Wifi router.

The first one was the trusted Netgear 150N router. It had a weird problem of being able to connect with only one device at a time. All devices will show as connected. But only one device will be able to access the internet. Also the speed seems to drop on Wi-fi. When I do a speed test, I get only 4 mbps from my 8 mbps line.

Second was a Cicso E1200 150N router. This was a refurbished router I bought from US. It has the risk element, and it proved to be a pure risk and gave up on me in about 3 - 4 months. The line-in stopped working. When I connect the router to the modem, the lights simple dont blink that there is a connection with the Modem. Being a refurbished one, it was not worth it running around getting it fixed sitting in India.

It was last week, about 5 days back, Cisco E1200 stopped working and I was connected through the Netgear router. It scared me yesterday by not letting me connect to the internet while I was still connected to the Wi-fi. I turned the Wi-fi off from all possible devices that can possibly have stolen  the connection. Still did not work, after numerous restart and testing, it started working. I cannot risk. It was about 6 pm and I decided to buy a new router and I needed it before I start my work the next day (At 4 pm). Ezone was an option, but not ready to pay more for what I can get less online.

Reviewed all possible router with in the budget and finally narrowed down to TP Link TL-WR740N. Made sense and the price of sub Rs. 900 was very attractive.

I ordered the product by 6:30 pm and got it delivered the next day (i.e, today) at 3:30 pm. These guys rock. It was shipped from Delhi.

Unboxed the router, set-up the wire connections and inserted the CD for installation. This is the small CD, not the regular size one. My laptop for some reason, would not recognize the CD :(

Made several attempts keeping the laptop in all possible angles for it to recognize the CD, still it wont. The cursor icon will have the CD load icon for a second and it will go off.

Tried connecting to the router through, this link was not connecting to the router. Also tried Did not help.

This is how I solved this problem.

I went to TP link website and downloaded the quick set-up package. Make sure you find the router version number before you download this package. Now you need not have the CD, you can directly run the set-up and it is all taken care.

Sometimes, you need to go online to be connected online.

Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at

Monday, November 17, 2014

Photo published in Indian Express 17.Nov.2014

It was an event organized by Korean Navy and Indian Maritime University to Cleanup Marina beach on 16th November, 2014 (Sunday).

I was done taking all the pictures and the whole group had gathered for a group photo. I only have a 50mm lens. I will definitely not be able to cover the space with the 50 mm lens. I was standing idle while other photographers where busy clicking the group. This is what I took when the group had gathered.

The organizer then asked me to share the photos I had taken. After sending the link, she contacted back asking if she can send my photos to Indian Express. I guess she did :D, it made it to Indian express, Chennai edition on 17th November, 2014.

Though they did not give credits, still this was way more enough being a new-bee amateur photographer.

Here are the other pictures from the event:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tikona - Excellent service (Only before you get the connection)

I was once a customer of Tikona. I had my take on poor service I had with Airtel,

Airtel taking me for a ride

Ride with Airtel still on - Feb/13/2013 

Airtel ride cont... 

After the initial major process failure and the effort they took to cover up for their mistakes, now I am a happy customer with Airtel for more than a year.

My second internet connection was with BSNL. It also did not start that well,
BSNL Broadband connection 

My first connection was with Hathway, which was crushed in a political problem.

After I had put down the trouble with all these providers, I am not being fare if I fail to document the love and hate relationship with Tikona.

By far it is the the worst internet provider I have had. I was moving back to my home and BSNL was very slow to respond to the transfer. Was without phone connection and internet in my new house for months. I needed internet for my work. After comparing the price and service offerings, Tikona was a no brainier. I applied for the connection. I needed consistent internet connection.

They had a installation feel of some Rs. 4,000 which is non-refundable. I was ok with it, provided the internet connection is good. Even when I took the connection, I told them I will not mind pulling off if the connection is not good enough to go on with my work.

The installation was neat and smooth wit less cables running out of the building as the service was from a LOS (Line of Sight) antenna, which was about 200 meters from my home. When they installed, they checked the speed, it was splendid. I was soo happy and got one variable out of the equation.

Things were going fine only for days, not even weeks, the internet speed would be pathetic. Call center calls would be very rude, unprofessional and you will know they dont want you to call them, that is the attitude.

Where are the guys who I spoke to before getting the connection who were the Mr. Nice guys.

They started blaming my laptop for slow connection problem. I was not convinced. Then there is a very good technique they use to make a fool out of you. When you test the internet connection speed on Speedtest, which every other provider uses as a benchmark, the speed will be in a few kbps. But Tikona does not accept Speedtest as any benchmark, they have their own ping server, which I guess is the antenna you are connected to, from which you will get excellent connection speed. Which means as per Tikona, speed to the servers across the world from where all the content is delivered when we browse is not a problem, if we are connected with their antenna, our need is satisfied.

I would be very unprofessional that they will try to convince you that speestest is not the right measuring gauge. I pity all those who do believe in that.

I did not have all the time to be going round in circles with a pathetic customer service. I asked them to disconnect my line. This was by 2 or 3 months. They said I will not get the refund for the installation. I did not care.

It is not done. This is the harassment that Tikona had unleashed after the termination request and holding back the installation fee.

It was after a year or so I got a call from a lawyer out of the blue. He said I did not handover the antenna and I am now liable for the cost, which was about Rs. 900. He said he was a lawyer and he is representing Tikona. I told him how can I believe he is a lawyer and why to believe he is representing Tikona. I asked him to send me what ever in writing from his official email address or mail it to my residential address.

All this after Tikona had sent me no due email after the termination and the final payment made.

I once again called the call center and asked them to remove the antenna and I cannot assure it will be safe in my terrace after a year, they again took the request. The lawyer had sent me an email demanding money and if I fail to pay, they will initiate the legal proceedings. I gave a fitting reply and did not hear back from him after that.

It has been a year or even more, still that stupid antenna is in my terrace.

There is a reason why I am writing this now after such a long time.

My office colleague had requested for a Tikona connection just 2 weeks back when I did warn him not to take Tikona, he was happy for 2 days and then he came back the third day and said I was right :)

Now he is dumping the connection in less than 2 weeks and going for a 3g doggle as he does not have a feasibility of Airtel or BSNL.

Sunday, November 2, 2014