The New “Honda City 2008” is going to be a rage

The news was out almost 6 months back but Honda would not make it public. “Honda City 2003” model still looked very new and stylish and probably no other car has been able to move them from the top position. Whether its the design or the finesse, so much so that at my workplace, Honda City was the de-facto standard car for anyone who wanted to buy a sedan which is plush, valuable, has good post-sales service and overall a value for the expense.

The new one is not bigger or powerful rather in terms of spec its a tad below than the previous one but it deliver greater performance, power as well as fuel efficiency, and thats something which is credit worthy.

Interior is plusher and have been designed to keep the Indian home maker in mind who prefers to have boxes, small packets and what not when she is taken out by her better half or goes out by herself with her family.

In terms of audio capabilities, there is no CD Player. Instead you get a USB connector and that’s a bold step assuming that iPods are now household items, at least for the junta who drives a car like Hondy City.

The boot is bigger because the fuel tank have been moved. Infact the boot is now bigger than the Civic.

The greatest thing which I liked was the safety. All the models have air-bags and have ABS. Unlike all other vendors (leaving Skoda), they are not restricting the option of Airbags to a particular variant, rather they are setting this as a benchmark. I still remember that when I bought my first 4-wheels, there were no seat-belts on the back seat, now its mandatory. I hope that government makes air-bags as mandatory at least for > 1000 CC segment.

And before I windup, one more salute for the Arrow design which looks so much ahead of its times. Great work Honda Team.
Check more at Honda website

Who is M S Dhoni and why everyone loves him

The title of my story doesn’t finish with a question mark. Try reading this

Who is M S Dhoni and why everyone loves him ?

and you realize that something is wrong with the composition.

There is no question behind everyone loving him, its so apparent and clear that no one would have this question and may be thats the precise reason behind every one loving him. The trigger for this story is a ‘pari-charcha’ (panel discussion) I heard the other day on the government FM channel. India had won their 2nd ODI against England and most of it was because of Yuvraj Singh who played like hell (batting as well as bowling). But surprisingly, the panel expert attributed the win to Dhoni since he thought that it was Dhoni who gave the ball to Yuvi and Viru and that decision turned out to be a winner. I am sure if Yuvi and Viru would have failed, that expert would have still commended Dhoni for trying new faces and for being brave.

For the benefit of some of my readers who may not know enough, Dhoni is the man everyone has his eyes on as far as Cricket is considered. He got us the 20-Twenty World Cup, led India to series Wins in ODI and recently was made Captain for the Test side and there too he gave us a Series Win against Australia.

As per Wikipedia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (born July 7, 1981 in Lavali Vilage Almora, Uttarakhand) is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian team. Initially recognized as an extravagantly flamboyant and destructive batsman, Dhoni has come to be regarded as one of the coolest heads to captain the Indian ODI side. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007-08 and IDEA Cup India-Sri Lanka ODI Series of 2008, the first ever bilateral ODI series win of India in Sri Lanka and The Border-Gavaskar trophy 2008 in which they beat Australia 2-0 thus letting India regain its spot at No.2 in world test rankings(fallen to No.3 after Sri lanka tour). Dhoni is currently ranked the best ODI batsman in the world by the ICC. [1] Mahendra Singh Dhoni was awarded the ODI Player of the Year award in 2008, the first Indian player to achieve this feat.

Now add to this the fact that he also happens to be largest Tax Payer in his home state of Jharkhand. With so many endorsements and so much of new-age cricket (IPL, Champions’ League and so on), I am sure that he is going to keep that spot for some more years.

Having learned enough of him, I still wonder that why everyone loves him. I attributed my fan-ship to the fact that I belong to Bihar and he seemed like a nice small town guy from the next town. But then its not only me, its everyone.

And after lot of thought, I guess the reason is that he doesn’t come from a existing bastion of Indian Cricket. He is no Sachin (Mumbai), nor Rahul (blr) and definitely not Saurav (Bengal). He is from a place which is probably as in-significant from Cricket perspective that it doesn’t matter whether you lap the place or ignore it. And from the same perspective, if I own him as a Marathi or Kannadika or a Punjabi, I do not feel odd. To me he is like from my little town. The disguise has acted as a blessing.

I was brought up in the age of Kapil Dev and I was a huge fan of him till late, and later I lost all interest in the game. But recently that interest has again re-kindled and I love watching Dhoni.

I somehow think that this is our best chance to get the ‘World Cup’.

Go Dhoni Go !!

Bravo M. S. Dhoni for enrolling to a Graduate Program

For a while I have been wanting to write some thing on the latest cricket sensation, Mahendra Singh Dhoni or MSD and I didn’t want to just write about his cricket scores. So when I learnt that he enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce program , to be a graduate, it made me to pause and think and probably share some of my observations.

MSD enrolling for a graduate program is not a normal thing to happen. He is too big a star and I wont be surprised if down the line, he would actually be awarded honorary degrees by the high-n-mighty of the academia world.

His enrollment is to be seen in the context of the millions of fans, mostly growing kids who watch him in Boost advt along with Sachin and want to become MSD one day. Imagine that each one of them would understand that leaving studies entirely is not the thing to do. Dhoni did his class X and XII from DAV School,Shyamli, Ranchi scoring 66 % and 56 % respectively. Both of these scores are ok scores, if not good or great, esp if ones sees them in the light of him spending almost all of his time on playing professional cricket.

He enrolled at St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi and probably he wont have to attend as many classes as other folks but he would still need to write his exam. Its a really bold step and it wont come easy. Bravo Dhoni.

I keep telling everyone these days that someone should make a movie on him, name the movie as ‘Inspector Vijay’ with Dhoni in lead role. Believe me it would be a hit.

Use ‘Copper Tank’ Geysers instead of ‘Steel Tank’ Geysers

I noticed that my lone Geyser is leaking when we tried using it on one of those rainy but not-so-cold days. We ignored the problem since it was still not winters and later thought that the temperature regulator knob which is at the base of Geyser might be the culprit.

Meanwhile to mitigate the risk (Wow, what a phrase) I installed another one in my 2nd loo which was lying in my store, feeling left out. You know, just to have a backup. The leaking continued. Finally I had the time (rather inclination) to call a plumber but he was not of much help. Later I got hold of an electrician and he told me that the tank is leaking, there is no problem with the knob.

So far so good. I was relieved to know that now we have isolated the cause and now its a matter of just fixing the tank. But as you would have guessed, it was not that simple. After looking at the tank, I was told that I have been a stupid person to buy a steel-tank Geyser. Steel-Tank Geyser can’t sustain the high pressure water which most of the new-world high-rise apartment gets and if for some reason they leak, they can’t be repaired unlike a Copper-Tank one. Also Steel-Tank-Geyser are not known to handle too-hot or too-cold situations, both of which is fairly common here.

Well, I didn’t know that there is something called a Steel-Tank Geyser and a Copper-Tank Geyser. I just worried about buying one of reputed brand. I had bought a Usha-Lexus which is like one of the better ones.

Anyway, that electrician gone and more time passed. Meanwhile my wife fitted a LPG-Gas-powered geyser in the 3rd loo (yeah, we have so many of them), giving me more time to put my act together.

I asked around and found out that I may be able to get a Steel-Tank from Usha if I work hard. A more worldly solution is to junk this and buy a new one, this time with a copper-tank.

I am yet to make up my mind on what would I end up doing but I thought that I would spread this advice since the winters are zeroing in. Always buy a Copper-Tank Geyser.

10 Point Guide for Cracking Nursery Admissions

This is from a personal experience and incremental learning which we underwent while trying to get our little daughter admitted to a school in Noida. Initially we were not panicky over the whole situations but after the some what initial unpleasant interactions, listening to fellow parents who were as pained, getting frustrated over the opaqueness of the whole process, we had to put our head down for a while and we started to think beyond the normal.

Both of us work at very reputed organization, at socially impressive steps of the rat-race corporate ladder (if anyone really cares), are young and honest, our offices are in Noida, we stay closer to Noida and so on. It seemed to us and our well-wishers that we would sail through but as you could imagine that it was definitely not very smooth.

So, cutting the crap, here’s my personal 10 point guide for fellow parents. This is just out of my head and there is no data but if we all collaborate and share our information (write a comment) then we can refine the points over time, making it more effective.

10 Point Guide
1. Plan early. Read blogs. Join discussion forums, is really good, collect information about dates/names of school/criteria etc. Having this information would help you to do those extra things like getting a lease-agreement etc.

2. Make a list of 10 schools and put them in order of your preference. I would suggest that you must try 10 and probably that is enough.

3. Working Parents + Day Care (Creche) doesn’t work. So if you can find a way to have your baby go to grand-parents then have it. If you can’t then plan for it and when you fill the form, mention that they go to grand-parents.

4. Parents’ educational qualifications count a lot. So if you have done a PG Diploma in HR while you were not doing much in life and are now a creative head of an Advt. Organization and think that writing PGDBM in HR is low-class then dump the thought and flaunt it. Schools love these things, probably because they are in education business, so mention all those courses esp if they are PG courses.

5. Schools do not understand corporates. So work-at-home is a sort of new-age thing for them, so be a little careful when you claim that you are mostly at home or at beach. Its always better to be a conformist and say that your work timing is 8 to 5.

6. Some professions do not work well. So if you are a lawyer, a media professional, a cop then you are not one of those good people around. Find a way to hide it. For example, an environmental civil lawyer is still a better one than a criminal lawyer. A safe way to portray would be to show your job as a dull-back office-insignificant one by adding necessary designations. So if you are a cop, say that you are posted at Head-Quarter’s PF Wing or some such crap. I know cops dont read blogs but you get the idea. If you are a business-man, then probably you can say that you are a consultant and so on.

7. Some Job functions doesn’t work well. One such job is Sales and Marketing. Somehow I have a sense that anyone who is into ‘Sales’ or into ‘Marketing’ is perceived as ‘Miss Chamko’ of ‘Chasme-baddur’ fame. In simpler words, if you are in ‘Marketing’, you might be looked down, more so from folks in Academia. Hide it. One advice would be to change your Job Designation, add something academic to it. For example, add ‘Research’ or ‘Analysis’ or some such crap. Try reading ‘Head of Marketing – North’ and then read ‘Head of Marketing Research – All regions’, somehow the later sounds more academic.

8. Stay in Noida. If you dont or can’t then get into a Rent-Lease agreement and claim that you are in Noida. Except Somerville which insists on interacting with you through ‘courier’, everyone else would need a proof only at the time of admission. They would accept ‘Rent Least Agreement’ as a valid proof.

9. This is a little tricky but dont behave with school as equals. You are not as equal as them and thats the reason they dont treat you one being equal. Always go with the assumption that anyone with whom you interact (more true for big brothers like DPS, Apeejay, Amity, Cambridge etc then the newer ones like Khaitaan which is really polite) is your school principal. Even the nursery teachers who would take your interview (yeah, I know it sucks when they ask you those big questions about parenting) would love you, if you bow a bit and wish them. Be submissive, Yes Mam Yes Sir. They love it.

10. It would be harsh to be know-all so I leave the last to you.

I know some of the schools are not going to like this list and I would really encourage them to being some open-ness to the whole system. Its really a painful exercise for a Kid and parents and one thing with which we can all benefit is getting some transparency.

All the best and good luck !!!