Showing posts from December, 2009

The year.. that was...

Finally, another glorious year comes to a close. A truly eventful year - much more than all the years in my life. In the 3 years and 17 days since this blog was started, my life has been through a variety of phases, twists and turns. A quick recap of what happened in the last 365 days... Following the foot steps of 2008, 2009 too had three things in common: Another base shift : Shifted base from Bangalore, to my home town, Kodungallur, in Thrissur district of Kerala. Too little railfanning Lots of bus fanning :) I shifted my base from Bangalore to Kerala in June this year (in 2008, the event happened in April). Unlike last year, I spent January 01 of 2009 sitting at home. The two years prior to 2009 saw me railfanning in the first week of January. I quit my job this year, and got back to my studies. I joined Amrita School of Pharmacy, under Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham Deemed University, at Kochi, Kerala - to do my Masters in Pharmacy. My love with Kerala's own KSRTC grew in leaps

The 'Grande' ride...

Here comes a 'Grande' new ride... the all new Fiat Grande Punto 1.3. Buying a car was on the cards for a pretty long time now - a long list of Hatches were perused, and the competition was tough. On the list of considered cars were: Maruti Suzuki Swift, Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Hyundai i20 CRDi and Fiat Grande Punto 1.3. The first one was eliminated owing to waiting period, while the second was eliminated for lack of features. The competition between the last two was tight. The i20 was ruled out due to the high price tag - and finally, it was the Grande Punto. The "Punto" badge.. Fiat Grande Punto is the world wide successor to the Fiat Uno. Punto was launched in 1993. The current version of the Fiat Punto (called as Grande Punto) was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005. The Grande Punto was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro. This car is based on the SCCS platform developed jointly by Fiat and GM in 2002. Fiat Punto - and its Sedan version, Fiat Linea - were premier

Seeing two ends of customer service - all in an hour...

Keralites would remember a recent TV Commercial made by a reputed jewellery retail chain in Kerala, depicting a "salesman training center", and the instructor teaching the tricks of the trade. As a buyer, my focus always is on the level of customer service - the attitude of the sales team. Yesterday was one day, that showed me two ends of the service spectrum, and all in an hour. And what swept me off my feet was the fact that I got the best from the place that was expected to be the worst, and the worst service was doled out by a supposedly customer friendly place. To the good one first: This was a car dealership in Cochin, Kerala - This particular dealer is reported among the notorious ones, and also listed among the customer unfriendly ones by a reputed automobile community. We made a visit to the dealership only because this turned out to be the only dealer open on Sunday (by chance, the shop normally remains closed on Sundays). Memories afresh of a previous visit to a d

The KSRTC Garuda... after long...

After a very thrilling trip to Bangalore, and an even thrilling road trip to Mumbai, it was time to head back home in Kerala. I had contracted Viral Fever during my stay and was still on drugs on the day of my journey (rather, i made a visit to the Doctor just that morning). Despite the fever, my plans to return home on the Kerala State RTC Volvo - which is called Garuda - was to go ahead (and this is despite strong reactions from home). On the particular day, my brother offered to drop me at Corporation Circle. Now KSRTC buses operate from the Mysore Road Satellite bus station and hence boarding from the origin is a damn pain. Although they offer boarding at Madiwala, I opted to join the bus right from the starting point. We started off from home, only to get stuck in heavy traffic blocks on each route we took. We had to change our course thrice to beat the traffic, and finally got into one that was less crowded - albeit longer in distance. I was dropped at Corporation Circle exactl

On the Garib Rath to Bangalore

Almost three months after my college started, there came an opportunity to take a week long "vacation". A short visit to Bangalore and Mumbai was on cards. The decision came at the last moment, and ticketing was a problem. We booked on the Kochuveli-Yeshwantpur Garib Rath from Ernakulam to Yeshwantpur. As luck always favours, we (I, and my parents) were given all upper berths. The train had some 580-odd berths still available, when the PRS decided to play a game. Later, we decided to exchange berths once on board the train. We started from our hometown (Kodungallur) on Friday night. It was raining heavily during the day, and decided to hire a taxi instead of traveling by bus. The cab - a white colour Ambassador - came home by around 10 at night. The driver maintained a sedate 60kmph all the way to Ernakulam Town Railway Station - taking about an hour to cover the 35 km journey. The station was all buzz with activity - cleaning works were on at a very mad pace - thanks to an