Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Didn't really follow the IPL matches and I went about performing at the MAC a couple of weeks ago. Never realized performing to a crowd who had actually come to watch cricket would have ended up being fun. Had Vijay Narayan (from Super Singer) sing along with me. It would perhaps go down in history as the sultriest performance that I was a part of. I thought nothing could top the Times of India concert with Rahman sir. Remember all of us at melting point. But yeah this performance topped that one. I parked myself with the scorers thankfully who were super kind to let me watch the match with them. One of the scorers recognized me from ages ago and it was nice watching the processes that they were involved in. Also knew for real that I knew nothing about cricket. So it was almost like a crash course. And yes, watching the match live is a super experience and it will be one I shall cherish coz we'd won the match that day. And gotta give it to the guys who managed the sound that day. Was expecting only the worst that evening and I was the happiest that day. Super sound and even more magical monitors. I could finally hear what I was singing. Its a very rare occurrence as far as I am concerned. I am seldom happy with the sound that I get as feedback. Goes for some studios too. Its hard to figure out whether we are pitching properly, leave alone perfectly if this is not taken care of. And as I see there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" kinda setting with this. Maybe I am the difficult ones. Nevertheless I was also part of an amazing photo shoot with Mr Selva and found a great designer in a long time friend - Satkrit. Its quite impossible to describe the feeling to see people you have seen as a child or a teenager and then find yourself working with them, and happily, to top that :) Hosted an audio release, dubbed for another movie, sang a few songs, learnt a couple of new skills and that has been a summary of weeks that have gone by.
I know that I have a tendency to start a lot of my paragraphs or posts here with "There are times.." or something similar to that. But yes there are times and there are some more and some more.  Sometimes I wish this time thing would stand still, sometimes I wish it could fast forward. Sometimes I wish I could reach the end and then perhaps rewind - like I can do with a DVD. There are times that we question what we are doing, what we stand for, see if we can turn ourselves inside out and perhaps see what is on the outside is fit enough to go deeper. What would it be like to shed or change a certain episode or a circumstance just like we do with clothes? To move at will wherever whenever. To not be bound by the skeins of time. Skeins that glisten in the sunlight. Skeins that are so delicate. But are they? Sometimes they are far from. And just like that, a single skein turns to a vice that grips your hand making your skin look like its about to be churned. Sometimes this is a thorny vice drawing blood at contact and drawing some more as it tightens leaving behind a hurt body and a tired soul. There are times we laugh so much that we can cry. And there are times that we wish we can empty our souls, even if it were only to yourself and an empty room, in tears that ebb and flow but cannot. Try as we might, there is no emotion. There is no feeling. Sometimes there is a wish to know that feeling of not existing. The nothingness that is eulogized about. At times there is romanticizing that idea. So many different paths and so many different choices. The choice for or against each of those changes everything irrevocably. Sometimes so many things can never be. And sometimes we wonder what could have been. And then its almost as if the wind that blows through my window whispers the lines of Robert Frost of two roads diverging in a yellow wood, all around me. I wonder, just for a few seconds, on what he could have been thinking of when he inked that. Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to really not be attached to anything or anybody. And I am beginning to believe that it is. Dispassionate. Emotionless. No attachment of any feeling to anything whatsoever. But that would be the state that sages reach, would it? I am given to understand there is joy in the wake of such a state. It would be good to be nothing. To disappear into the light. Right now. And maybe forever after. Just curious to know what it would be like. And yeah I will come back and blog about it cos I think 140 characters on Twitter is too less hehe.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

After that post ranting about Skoda I almost immediately got an Email from the customer service in Ahmedabad asking what the issue was. I wrote to them and told them of the problems I am facing. Looks like they are getting their act together. As I have said before I love the car, the mileage and everything else about the machine. Really hope they can work on the service angle. That way I am yet to find a maker who can top the service backup and the treatment of Maruti. No matter who you are they treat you well. The service engineers know what exactly to do and they serve the customer (and not themselves or their perks or whatever it is) and help them find a way to get things done that is easy on the customer's pocket. And in Skoda's case I really wish they can work on these issues and keep their customers happy, no matter who they are.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Looks like the post about the Skoda service has reached some places. Now the Gurudev people from Chennai call and tell us that there are 'issues' in a car that is perfectly fine. The guy at the body shop tells us that we should have called him first. Why should we give him a call? Then what about the system? Why should we call a certain so-and-so just because we know him? In this whole deal it is interesting to see the length to which a company can go to substantiate their incapacity and inefficiency. Yes, so here is one more. Don't bother about the Free camps offered by Skoda either if you are an owner. The treatment is beyond terrible. Found a few other people in the industry who had their own cup of woes overflowing about Skoda in Chennai. Time Skoda gets it act together. Nevertheless they are on their way to losing a few customers. Thanks to this entire exercise I came to know about this awesome site - Team Bhp which also had this about Skoda.
Have a read and it will help you decide the car you want to buy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Please don't buy a Skoda

If you are contemplating a Skoda car, please stop. The cars are great no doubt. I love mine. But you are in for loads of trouble mainly for the kind of service backup that Gurudev Motors in Chennai have. When I tweeted about it yesterday, I found out that the Skoda dealers all over India and specifically in Mumbai are equally terrible. Skoda invited us for a "Free Checkup" and then presented a bill that run up to a few ten thousands, for a perfectly fine car. I have loved the Skoda cars because some of my friends and acquaintances have owned it and quite happily too. The main reason I chose it was for the mileage. For some reason their spares are outrageously expensive and when I asked someone why, this is a racket. I hear that the dealers do not make much of a commission on the sales of cars and the companies tell them to make their buck in the service. maintenance and of course the spares. And hence all the fictitious 'issues' that they will conjure out of thin air and make you wonder what is happening. But then I am not the first one who has begun complaining and loudly. A lot of my friends have the same grouse against Gurudev Motors in Chennai. Someone I know bought a brand new Laura for his son's wedding and the car stalled half way down the wedding venue. He asked for a replacement for sentimental reasons as well and Gurudev literally asks him to fly a kite. Says he can do nothing about the car and not even rectify the issue in the company's expense, which I think is the legitimate thing to do considering the car was not even 4 hours old. Quoting Vijay Iyer "All Skoda dealers suck !! If you Google or go to teambhp.com and search for a case on a dealer called Numero Ains in Mumbai, you will know what i am talking about...the customer who had a brand new car had all his original parts replaced by used ones by the authorised dealer - the customer took them to court and used his media contacts and finally Skoda had to terminate their license..."
The problem is this, someone has media contacts and can do this. But what about the guy who does not? The guy who cannot pull he proverbial string? And I wonder how Skoda allows stuff like this to happen and how they don't have stringent measures in place to check what their dealers are doing. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Been getting subtle and not so subtle messages and mails that I have not been blogging at all. Some said on Twitter that yes, I am active there, but should continue to write here. Honestly haven't found a trigger for a long while. Did not feel like coming to this space and write about something that truly wanted me to write about. Though I really don't understand why the traffic situation in Chennai is so bad that someone is driving in the against the flow of traffic and have been seeing this for the past week. Yesterday it was an Octavia. I realized I cannot trust that just because I am on the right side of the road, driving the way and in the direction I am legally and rightfully entitled to, never know when I would have to face the hood of another vehicle. 4 autorickshaws today. Don't think anyone wants to follow rules in this city anymore. And yes that infuriates me. Today there was this bus on College Road whose driver thought it was best to see how good a driver my mom was an almost swerved into her car. Just when I thought this was THE END of me seeing this guy hurtling down, he swerves to the left and then starts laughing. Then says, Ladies oatreenga illa. Paathu badhrama oattunga. Looks like thamizh naattu kalaacharam teaches this as well. 
In retrospect, I wish I were the kinda person to drag the guy out and throw him on the road, like Superman or something. Or like the goons in Tamil cinema. It is really sad to see a city that I have grown up in have citizens like this bus driver today, who is a public servant, whose salary is being paid for thanks to the taxes that all of us pay. Citizens like those who intentionally drive against the flow of traffic head on. Right now it is depressing that I live in this city. Don't know if I have anything really to be proud of being a part of this city. Yes I am usually an optimist but this is a downtime. Someone told me in Twitter "Stop complaining and blend in". When there is bullcrap happening, I am expected to blend in? Sorry, I said. Sorry I wont blend in with Bull crap. And truly Sorry I am. Sorry of the state of affairs that is prevalent in my city today. Well what can I do? Not sure at all, except perhaps wish I were superhuman and could right the wrongs. I personally can do nothing about the behavior of the bus driver or the auto drivers who seem to be a mafia of their own. Tell some two wheeler, ask them but politely to drive carefully, out spills the profanity and a certain finger at times. What went wrong I wonder. Uninspiring parenting? Didn't they have inspiring teachers in school? In addition a lack of personal sense of justice and righteousness. Like my lawyer said, in a Utopian world, where is the need for Lawyers or Policemen or Judges? Really where would the need be? Or the laws should be as cold  and merciless as in Japan or the Gulf countries perhaps. Would that change things? 
The other day, I remember giving a byte to a channel on "Why I love Chennai". I am glad it was taken on a happier day. If I had to do it today, I would have probably said, "Not today....and maybe not tomorrow either".