Monthly Archives: June 2006

Doggone the phone!

My phone died on me two weeks back. It was a Samsung SGH N200. Actually it is still breathing its last few breaths. I wish it would just die completely and save me the torture of having to see my precious, sleek, 5 year loyal gadget with a flip, trying to come to life and giving me some futile hope. At the end of which, it just hangs itself to death again! Talk of atrocities. All this when I had some grand plans for it. Oh yes, I was planning to buy a new phone and stash this one away. For the kids (whenever they happen), would have played with an age old gadget and still found it nice, sleek and working (like I played with my dad’s Sony walkman which was one big box too heavy to be lifted. BUT it still works.) My precious little slim phone

It all happened one fine day when one felt the urge to go for a morning walk. Now such days are rare but not that rare to make one completely out of practice in terms of holding the mobile in question, house keys (as big as ones hand) and mp3 player (half the size of a credit card) – all in one hand, while shutting the door. Suddenly before I knew what fate had struck me with, my cellphone slipped and fell out of my grip. The keys could have fallen too (the fools) and no harm would have been done to anyone. But then the mp3 player could have fallen too and the hard disk inside it would have crashed and that would have been the end of another gadget (just a baby compared to the phone). Glad it didn’t.

My poor phone had fallen a couple of times earlier too. But it had always taken such falls in its stride and continued working fine. Not even a chip off the old block. But this day was destined to be different. After the fall, I quickly picked it up and verified that it was working fine. It was only later that I saw that the clock had frozen in time and the phone had hanged itself! Well at least it worked as a onetime stopwatch for my walk. Some optimism I have. Bah.

I tried everything I could to revive it. I even managed to make a couple of calls which was a very very very difficult thing to do considering that it just hanged (at random points of time during switching it on). But in the end, it just wouldn’t work without hanging at some point or the other of its operation. Being without a phone was some sort of a nightmare. I was not reachable nor could I make any calls. Besides that my contacts were in the phone even if I needed the numbers to use with a landline. Before any smartass points out, well yeah, the SIM card could be used in other phones but what abt the contacts which were in the phone memory?

In desperation I ultimately took it to several repair shops. Most ppl just gave up (saying that it’s like an old body now – medicine is no use anymore). Ultimately I landed in a shop where the guy was at least willing to look at it. He looked no less than a witch doctor himself. He checked the batteries and then without even asking me or giving me a warning, hard reset the phone! I lost all my contacts permanently (the most important ones were in fact in the phone and not SIM). When I stopped him, he just told me the stupid fact which he had supposedly assumed – that they are all in the SIM. Dumbass. All my passwords/PIN’s etc were in the phone as well!

Well, now I have another phone. The Motorola C168 (I am strictly against Nokia). This happens to be a temporary saviour which I bought the next day, so that I could use it for 2-3 weeks during which I plan which next flip phone to buy. After I buy another one, I would transfer it to my mom who anyway needs an upgrade of a phone. Her Nokia (torch wala) hangs too, right from the day it has been bought and replaced and even had its firmware upgraded. Only the frequency of this habit (hanging – do they make some sadistic phones or what?) is quite low. The new fella has all the usual frills. Polyphonic ring tones, colour display, MMS, GPRS and an FM radio to boot. The battery life is as good as Nokia. It supports 600 phone book entries and 200 SMS entries (which is much more than counterpart Nokias). All this in just 2990/-. What more could one want!

Animal Kingdom 1

DLF Galleria at Gurgaon, is one of the places I love to hang out at. Not only is it sans any skyscrapers, it is also not a mall. Though it is surrounded by some of the typical skyscrapers that Gurgaon sees today, it has an architecture which makes it possible for the wind to just whoosh through the various passageways, making it a treat to walk in, on hot summer nights. Add a couple of food joints, a fountain and some benches and voila – you have a place that everyone loves to be at. All the stray dogs performing their various antics are an extra add on.
Guess who needs coffee?
Guess who needs coffee? Outside Cafe coffee day, I spotted this doggie turning turtle. He would try to wiggle around to scratch his back and then lie down like that once the job reached a satisfaction level. He looked like he was on dope and needed a good dose of coffee. Being right outside a coffee joint, made it even more apt for a shot (not of dope but a photography one).

Another Chilling out!doggie took me quite by surprise when she (yes ‘it’ was a she-dog and I shall not use the technically correct term) unabashedly ascended onto the parapet of the fountain to take a sip of water from the pool! Though I must say I was quite fascinated by the elegant manner in which she behaved like a well trained dog. On another day, I spotted her swimming inside that very pool. I tried to give her a small chunk from a coconut macaroon that I was munching. She eyed it suspiciously, then sniffed it even more suspiciously and eventually left it. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Humph.

Each one, plant one

What better day than World Environment day to write the post I wanted to, since a long time now. Being a nature lover, I was quite disturbed when the Ridge forest was cleared up majorly, for the Dhaula Kuan flyover. It was clear that the trees felled were not being substituted for, by planting new ones, once the flyover was completed. Finally I chanced upon some public service ads in the newspapers about a year back which mentioned that the public can get saplings of trees, free of cost from the forest department nurseries in NCT Delhi (this is to encourage plantation of trees). What they did not mention was the location, phone numbers of those nurseries or even how to go about the whole thing. The most intuitive way to find out was to google it. After some searches I did land up on the phone numbers and locations of the nurseries (with most of them being wrong numbers) but it wasn’t very useful since by that time I already knew about my 6 month stint in Finland and hence planting trees at that time would have been futile.

Some time back I resumed my search again and finally got in touch with some nurseries. The people there confirmed that free saplings are indeed distributed (which is so unbelievable because this is something that’s very likely to be exploited big time). But they were going to distribute the saplings only from June onwards. This weekend I went to one of the nurseries and got myself 11 saplings. I was quite embarrassed to ask them for such a big number (lest they thought I was going to sell them) but my thoughts were put at rest when I saw a couple, stuffing sacks with saplings. I later learnt that they had taken 60 saplings with them. Various plants like the saplings of Neem, Jamun, Mango, Peach, Gulmohar, Kanner, Peepal, Alstonia, Kachnar, Arjun, Bombax, Papri, Philkan, Jungle Jalebi, Sheesham, Amaltas, Rose, Bougainvillea etc., are available with them.

I also learnt from the forest department webpage that I had landed on, that felling any tree, anywhere, is illegal and one needs to obtain permission for it, according to the Delhi tree preservation act. I certainly think that hardly anyone is aware of this rule since tree felling is as common as pest control! Even for lopping off some branches, one needs to fill up some forms and seek permission. Come winters and everyone is lopping off branches of the bare minimum trees in Delhi (of course without permission)! Only in the case of emergencies when a tree is hindering life, traffic or property, can the tree be felled first and then reported.

What’s more, there’s even a tree helpline. One can even complain against the illegal felling of a tree. Now that’s precisely what I was looking for. This FAQ may be useful for fellow enthusiasts.

Talking of tree helplines, and world environment day, is anyone aware of any bird helplines? There’s a family of house sparrows living in a verandah in my house. Every day one or two chicks drop down from the nest and die (probably because of the rains). Some of them break their legs and face a slow, painful death. Apart from trying to give them some grains, water, milk and a makeshift cardboard house, I couldn’t do much. If anyone is aware of some such thing like bird shelters (one the lines of dog/cow shelters), please let me know. Let’s contribute back to our environment before we are left getting nostalgic about how things were “back in old days”!