Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HAPPY DIWALI

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HAPPY DIWALI:

Happy Diwali - A Diwali Resolution HAPPY DIWALI (Diwali Resolution – Be Happy) By VIKRAM KARVE

The primary aim of philosophy is ...

Click the link above and read the article in my journal

Happy Diwali
Vikram Karve

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DIGIHOME System - Waste of Money

http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2011/07/digihome-faulty-design-erratic.html


DIGIHOME – Faulty Design, Erratic Performance, Poor Customer Service, Waste of Money

The aim of DIGIHOME Solutions is to enhance the quality of life. But in actual fact DIGIHOME has made my life miserable as the system is malfunctioning ever since installation more than six months ago.

In brief, I would summarize the problems of the DIGIHOME System as follows:

1. Faulty Design and Installation – There is some basic flaw in the hardware and/or software that causes repeated malfunction of the system. Maybe the system is designed to work in Western Countries like USA and Europe where conditions are ideal and there are hardly any electricity power failures or fluctuations but the design is not appropriate or robust enough for Indian conditions. In India, and especially in Pune, where the electric power supply is most erratic and fails repeatedly many times a day, the DIGIHOME system trips, resets incorrectly, malfunctions and behaves in a most erratic manner. The installation has been done in a faulty manner and this has entailed a lot of rework. Wrong RFC Units were installed which had to be changed causing damage to the plaster and the placement of the door unit is incorrect, which serves no useful purpose. Basic Safety and Security features do not work or have not been installed, like main door latch security. It appears that there was apparently a lack of coordination between the builder Rohan Builders Pune and DIGIHOME Solutions during installation.

2. Erratic Performance – The performance of the system is most erratic. Sometimes the doorbell never rings, safety and security features are unreliable, intercom does not work, Local Console trips, system malfunctions, hooters and alarms keep sounding intermittently for no reason  – for example, since last night a continuous shrill noise is emanating from the Console which is most irritating.

3. Poor Customer Service – It seems that the technicians are not properly trained and some of them are quite clueless due to frequent turnover and new faces come every time. For the last six months a number of technicians are trying to repair the faults and make the system function properly but without success. They seem to be experimenting on a trial and error basis rather that diagnosing defects systematically. The response is quite lethargic too and there seems to be a rift between the “blue collar” and “white collar” employees.

In my opinion the DIGIHOME System is a waste of money and serves no useful purpose. In fact, it causes inconvenience and frustration due to erratic performance. There is no point investing in futuristic technologies which do not work in local conditions. Maybe the infrastructure in Pune (for example, uninterrupted reliable regulated electric power supply) is not geared up for advanced technologies or maybe these futuristic systems for "intelligent" homes like Digihome are not robust enough to work properly in prevailing local conditions.


Customer Service Technician visited. He said that a component in the RFC Unit may have got burnt due to fluctuation in power supply or frequent tripping of power supply and that is the reason for the continuous shrill sound. That proves my point regarding the design not being robust enough to work in local conditions. He switched off the system and said he would get a team soon to find out what to do. He showed me how to switch off the DIGIHOME System and asked me to switch off the system whenever there was a defect. That’s great. I wonder why you should buy a system if you have to keep it switched off.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

WANNABE INTELLECTUAL: WHEN THE WORLD IS TOPSY TURVY

WANNABE INTELLECTUAL: WHEN THE WORLD IS TOPSY TURVY: Confused about your identity??? Well if yes then that’s what we have in common… I live in India...I love it here…It suits me…at least mo...

Archana's Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: SHOULD I TELL HER ?

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: SHOULD I TELL HER ?: SHOULD I TELL HER A Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE From my Creative Writing Archives: Short Fiction - A Love Story I love making love on a...

click above link and read on my creative writing blog

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PRICE RISE The Most Important Issue For The Common...

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PRICE RISE The Most Important Issue For The Common...:

PRICE RISE The Most Important Issue For The Common Man While Scams, Political Slugfests and the Anti-Corruption Movement continue to hog th...

Click the link above or read below:


PRICE RISE The Most Important Issue For The Common Man

PRICE RISE
The Most Important Issue For The Common Man

While Scams, Political Slugfests and the Anti-Corruption Movement continue to hog the headlines, both on TV and in the print media, no one seems to be concerned about the huge price rise in the last few months. During the last one year the price of milk has almost doubled. Today in Pune a litre of milk costs Rs. 40 (which was unimaginable a few years ago). They quietly continue to raise the price of milk by a rupee or two every few days and no one seems to be bothered about it. Every single item of food required for daily living has gone up. Whether it is vegetables, fruits, medicines, transportation, in fact, all essential items for daily living, the unprecedented price rise seems to be irreversible – once the price goes up it never comes down. The price of petrol has also almost doubled during the last one year and though international crude prices have fallen petrol prices are not being reduced. Even an unpretentious cup of tea has reached double digit figures and it has become very costly to eat a simple meal in modest restaurants and roadside eateries.

It is sad that no one seems be doing anything to control inflation and stop the unprecedented price rise which is affecting every citizen of this country.

Of course, a few things like Electronic Goods (Laptops, for example) have become cheaper, but then these are exceptions and are due to global trends as most of these items are imported. Some things like diesel and gas are subsidised. I wonder why they don’t subsidise milk and other essential commodities and food items.

And there is another curious thing I observe during my walks in Pune. Seeing the ever-increasing crowds in liquor shops and bars, it seems that booze has not been affected by this unprecedented price rise, maybe a peg of liquor is more affordable than a glass of milk, or maybe drowning one’s sorrows in drink is the best way to beat inflation by remaining oblivious about it. You get so drunk that you don’t feel hungry – of course, your health be dammed. The consumption of tobacco, smoking cigarettes and eating gutka, also continues to increase day by day. I feel it would be a good idea to introduce a special tax on these intoxicants, like liquor and tobacco, and use this amount to subsidise Milk – maybe you can call it “Milk Cess” so that every time you consume things detrimental to your health, like tobacco or alcohol, whenever you drink booze, you think of a glass of healthy Milk.

Seriously, I hope they do something to contain, and reverse, this unprecedented price rise and alleviate the distress of the common
citizen.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tailor-made relationships: Is it just a fantasy?

Tailor-made relationships: Is it just a fantasy?

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG - Living in Pune - Life...

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG - Living in Pune - Life...: LIVING IN PUNE LIFE IN WAKAD WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG By VIKRAM KARVE Wakad Pune 03 September 2011 It is raining heavily all ...




WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG - Living in Pune - Life in Wakad


LIVING IN PUNE
LIFE IN WAKAD
WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Wakad Pune
03 September 2011


It is raining heavily all over in Pune. Lovely weather. Awesome view from the balcony of my 9th floor apartment in Rohan Tarang Society - rains, mist, clouds, green hills in the distance, the Mula River overflowing - water water everywhere but no water to drink. Unbelievable isn't it? But it is true. The high falutin sophisticated hydro-pneumatic water supply system in Rohan Tarang has failed us again and there is a big problem of water supply in our society. I had an inkling that this high technology was not suitable for our indigenous Pune conditions but no one listened to me, then.

Read on, especially if you are thinking of buying a house in Pune ...


THEN

“Where are the water tanks?” I asked.

“What water tanks?” said the sales guy who was showing us the brand new apartment in the upmarket township.

“Overhead Water Tanks. There are no overhead water tanks on this building,” I observed.

The sales guy and the property manager looked at me as I were a relic of the prehistoric era, “Sir, this is modern high rise building. There are no overhead water tanks. There is a sophisticated water pumping system.”

“But at least there should be a small Sintex water tank in the balcony of each home for emergency use in case the main water supply fails,” I said.

“An ugly looking black plastic water tank in the balcony? It will spoil the whole show of the house. Sir, you are living in old times. This is a modern complex and we have an advanced water management system. It is the latest – we have it in all our projects. You will have assured 24/7 water supply,” the sales guy said and the property manager gave me a contemptuous look as if implying that I was probably unfit to live in this elite posh township.

Now my wife and son were looking at me as if I were a big embarrassment to them because of my old fashioned attitude, middle class mentality and archaic views.

I had learnt in school that water finds its own level. In my earlier home (a simple old fashioned bungalow) the main water tank was atop a hill. Twice a day they opened the valves of the huge main water storage tank and water flowed down by gravity into our overhead tank and we always knew how much water was there in the overhead tank on top of our house on the terrace.

However, as per all the “experts” standing around me, I was hopelessly outdated and this all this was obsolete technology, and it was high time I kept myself abreast with the latest things or else keep my mouth shut.

So, despite nagging doubts, I kept my mouth shut.


NOW

I wonder why we paid so much for an apartment which has such erratic water supply. Water is a basic need. Property prices in Pune are very expensive. In fact, the dismal infrastructure and the almost non-existent amenities certainly do not justify such exorbitant prices. And if they want you to pay so much, the least they can do is to ensure proper water supply.

With frequent regularity, as you are about to have a bath in the morning, the sophisticated water management system fails due to one reason or another and the water suddenly disappears and the taps dry up. And then, as desperate crisis-management patch-work repairs are carried out, we have to do without water for almost the whole day. All sorts of excuses are given – pipes burst, motors burn, pumps fail. And whenever the electric power supply fails (which happens very frequently, many times a day, and load shedding every Thursday for the whole day, in Pune) the water supply is affected (They do have a back-up generator but that doesn’t seem to help much as far as water supply goes). And this is a beautiful aesthetic brand new township called Rohan Tarang in Wakad is built by one of Pune’s leading builders, Rohan Builders, who have won prizes for their various projects. There seems to be something wrong somewhere if such failures occur in the first year itself. I hope Rohan Builders will live up to their reputation and brand name and find a lasting solution to our water woes problem.

It is all a question of appropriate technology. Why go in for sophisticated technology when we cannot provide basic inputs like proper uninterrupted electric power supply, quality material, reliable equipment and high-class workmanship which are sine qua non for efficient functioning of modern systems. Whenever I raise this matter with all concerned, including all those who scorned my old-fashioned ways, all they can do now is give me sheepish grins. One guy even told me that they have decided to have overhead water tanks on their new buildings from now on. But what about us?

Dear Reader, whenever you are buying a house, don’t forget to look for the overhead water tanks. Of course, in some parts of Pune, like Kondhwa for example, even if you have overhead water tanks they will be empty most of the time and you may have to buy tube-well or bore-well water from water tankers. But that is another story.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Doberman Girl Sherry and Me on Twitpic

Sherry Karve and her Dad. Isn't she beautiful? And isn't he handsome?


Click on the link above and see the picture



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

OLD IN AGE but YOUNG AT HEART

OLD IN AGE but YOUNG AT HEART


OLD IN AGE but YOUNG AT HEART - Anti Ageing Formula

HOW TO REMAIN A YOUNG SENIOR CITIZEN

ELIXIR OF LIFE - A delightful Anti-Ageing Formula
Zest for Living and Passion for Learning
By
VIKRAM KARVE


There are a number of retired senior citizens in the colony where I live in Pune.

Yes, there are still large numbers of pensioners living all over Pune though Pune is no longer a pensioners’ paradise.

I have noticed one intriguing thing.

Though most are of these persons are of the same chronological age, some are “young” and some are “old” - yes some appear young and some seem old - after all your age is what you feel.

Further observation reveals the
anti ageing formula for remaining young:

Zest for Living and Passion for Learning is the best anti-ageing recipe that keeps you young forever.

This is the true elixir of life.

Look around you and you will see what I mean.

There are many oldie-goldies who are living life to the fullest and are always eager to learn new things and there are also others who have no “juice” left in them as they have lost the spirit to enjoy learning with enthusiasm and relish the pleasures of life to their utmost.

I know a “young” senior citizen who, after retirement, started learning classical music from the scratch, enjoyed studying for 10 years till he completed his sangeet alankar, living life to the fullest in true epicurean style – good food, music, concerts, plays, movies, travel, picnics, swimming, trekking, playing with his dogs, social work, you name it – he did it ... and with the advent of internet he is enjoying moments exploring the mysteries of the web, learning new things and latest technologies, actively blogging with passionate fervour, and with gusto doing all sorts of learning activites, creative writing, surfing, social networking, making virtual friends, teaching music – for him variety is the spice of life. He lives a delightfully active life, loves the company of youngsters and has the enthusiasm and energy of a child – and though in his late seventies he is “younger” than even those chronologically many years his junior and it is his zest for life and passion for knowledge that keeps him healthy, happy and youthful.

Remember you are as old as you feel, not as old as you look, nor are you as “old” as your chronologically age says you are.

It is in your hands to forever remain a “young” senior citizen.

I will end this piece with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

Live as if you are going to die tomorrow
Learn as if you are going to live forever
.

It is breathtakingly simple to remain young forever, Dear Reader.

It is all in the mind.

Here are some tips on how to feel young and forget your chronological age.

1. Spend time in the company of young happy people.

It is better to spend your time with cheerful younsters who are enjoying life in the present rather than make yourself miserable in the company of pessimistic, gloomy, cynical old fogies who keep living in the past, carping and complaining about the present, and worrying about the future. It is better to remain with your family and kids rather than go to a retirement home (old age home). Teaching and mentoring youngsters (never give unsolicited advice or moral lectures) is rewarding and good too – I love to teach as I enjoy the company of cheerful motivated young students and this keeps me young and enthisuastic about learning too.

2. Get a Pet Dog.

Another useful anti-aging technique is to get a pet dog and enjoy playing with your dog. Pet parenting and your pet dog's antics and will keep you happily occupied, cheerful and healthy, besides ensuring regular exercise as your pet dog will ensure you take him out on walks at least twice a day. There is nothing more joyful than playing with your dog and talking to him. This morning I gave my dog Sherry a vigorous bath and felt really young and energetic. A dog will bring out the child hiding in you.

3. Rediscover your childlike enthusiasm.

Stop reminiscing about the "good old days" and start living it up every day doing whatever you like with zest and passion to learn new things like blogging, social networking, making real friends and virtual friends with common interests and passions, exploring the mysteries internet and enjoying the benefits of information technology. Yes, keeping oneself uptodate and abreast of the latest technologies keeps one mentally stimulated. Use technology effectively to keep young.

4. Re-discover your romantic mischievous side.

Become “naughty” once again, have fun and discover the beauty and romance of life. Why not harmlessfly flirt a bit? Remember that the moment you stop appreciating and being attracted to beauty, you have become “old” and life is not worth living.

5. Learn new things, develop new hobbies and nurture your creative interests

Try to have a positive attitude and optimistic temperament and keep learning new things and nurture your creative interests, hobbies, exercise, play, travel, eat out, see movies, have a ball...

All you’ve got to do is to have a zest for living and passion for learning.

First thing in the morning, the moment you get up, recite your new Art of Living Motto:

“Live as if you are going to die tomorrow, learn as if you are going to live forever”

Dear Reader, here's wishing you eternal youth - may you remain young forever with a a Zest for Living and a Passion for Learning.”

So Cheer Up and Live it Up...!!!

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011

Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article? I am sure you will like the stories in my recently published book COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. To know more please click the links below:

http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme

http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm

http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX:

WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX

WAKAD FOOD SCENE
INDIAN IN A BOX
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The best thing about Wakad is the beautiful view from my house, the eye-soothing spectacle of the resplendent Mula River Valley, the serene green expanse and the verdant hills in the distance, with the mighty sentinel Sinhagad just visible quite far away. However, a breathtaking view will not fill your stomach and this afternoon I was hungry. Now if you are hungry you better not be in Wakad. There are just no decent affordable eateries in Wakad, except the New Poona Bakery NPB Food Square, but then I was in no mood to drive down there, though the place is quite nearby and has a good variety of food and snacks, both veg and non-veg, and desserts and ice creams too. I did not want to order a pizza or burger, which are the only home delivery options out here in the wilderness.

I was wondering whether I should warm up my staple NTR Veg Biryani in the microwave when I suddenly remembered that a PYT Techie who lives in my building had once given me a home delivery menu card of a place in Hinjewadi called Indian in a Box (Yes, there are PYT’s in IT and my building has so many of them, besides the geeks, nerds and dorks) .

INDIAN IN A BOX – we take your taste buds far off imagination, said the blurb on the takeaway menu card. The contents of the menu were not very exciting, just a few Indian and “Chinese” dishes, so I played safe, dialled their number and ordered a FAVOURITE CHICKEN BOX comprising (as the menu said) Aloo Tuk Tuk + Chicken Tikka Masala + Laccha Paratha.

The food arrived promptly and was really good. The aloo tikkis were yummy, the chicken tikka gravy was delicious and the Parathas were quite soft and tasty. I liked the packing – neat, hygienic and microwaveable – and for Rs. 129/- it was indeed a value-for-money meal. A simple yet scrumptious, satisfying, affordable meal.

Well, I think they must skip the “aloo tuk tuk” starters and include a bit of pulao instead to embellish and complete the meal.

Now that I have an option (to pizzas and burgers) I am going to patronize Indian in a Box whenever I am lonely and hungry in Wakad and want to order a home delivery meal, or maybe when my forever-hungry daughter or my friends suddenly land up. I’ll try their Biryani, Wraps, the Tandoori and Butter Chicken, some vegetarian curries for my wife, and if I am feeling adventurous I’ll order some “Chinese – Made in India” as the menu card says.

If you live in Wakad or work in Hinjewadi, I am sure you have tried the place, so why don’t you tell us your experience, or about some other good foodie joints nearby.

Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Dear Foodie, how about a COCKTAIL as an appetizer to go with your meal.
To order your Cocktail please click the links below:


About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.