Old times at Barbeque

Niranjan the photographer; Ashish the cook; Neelam the Fanta drinker; and Lalit the observer – all at a Barbeque outside Niranjan’s apartment in Willowtree in 2005 (may be 2004!) – both photos are taken from Niranjan (with permission)

And, the food to be barbecued… we were making burgers!

The Food


At Cardinal Gracias High School

An old picture of Lalit Patil (yours truly) with Father Rocky (the Principal) in 1985 (maybe, 1986) at Cardinal Gracias High School, Bandra East, Mumbai. I was here from my kindergarten to 7th grade!

Two kinds of people

Indira Gandhi (former Prime Minister of India) is supposed to have said the following,

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

The quote is not without its flaws [because, one cannot draw such a clear line], but that is besides the point. The point is that the quote is probably trying to emphasize the importance of working to achieve the ‘real goal,’ without using the credit as a measure of success.

Crystal clear

Here are some photos, following up on some of the pictures taken in January 2007 (icicles/crystals). It is nice to see the crystal clarity; the branches of the trees are clearly visible inspite [or may be, due to] the ice! The first picture was taken in bright daylight; the second late at night!

Our apartment in Jan 2007

Here is how our apartment looked like on a bright sunny day with sub-zero temperatures and icicles all around!

Our apartment

Edit (due to Vipin’s comment): This building is not my apartment. Our apartment is the bottom left one. Clicking on the picture will take you to flickr.com, where the apartment is clearly tagged!

Chandelier of crystals

Some pictures of crystals/icicles that I took around my apartment in January 2007. One of the plants was almost like a chandelier of crystals…

The first photo is a side view; the second one is taken from the bottom of the plant with the chandelier of icicles hanging from above me!

The Chandelier

AAA and emergency road service

You are driving on a cold winter morning, and there is an emergency. You are fine, but the car is in a bad shape. So, you need to tow it away. You call AAA, because you have purchased their road-side assistance.

  • AAA: Welcome to AAA, blah blah blah, Press 1 for emergency road-side assistance
  • You press 1 immediately!
  • AAA: Enter your 16 digit AAA membership number

What do you do? Your card is in the car, and it is inaccessible [or in a state of panic, you keep dialing the wrong digits]. The automated system keeps asking you to enter the correct membership id. In order to get out of it, you try ‘0’ and whatever you can think of. Finally, you have a better idea and you hang up.

You call again and listen to all the options in the opening menu. You realize there is no option to speak to a human. So, you think you know how these systems work and dial “0.” AAA prompts you with all the standard options again. So, finally you hang up because you are already in a state of panic!

What you actually need to do is that when it makes you listen to the options again, you again dial ‘0.’ If it does that again, dial ‘0’ again (See, http://gethuman.com/us/) Then, you are connected to a ‘human.’ I don’t know what happens if they realize that you are in a situation where the card is stuck in the car, because we could not find a way of getting to this level, when we really needed it. I hope they do send out a towing truck.

However, is this not a stupid customer-unfriendly system? It is quite possible that a person is such exceptional emergencies, but he/she does not face them everyday! So, he/she would not know about dialing 0 until to get a human!

How come AAA devised a system (to manage emergencies!) in which there is no clear way for a person to get around the “entering the card number” process?