Chotta cha chann

The title would be incomprehensible as of now but read on to find out its meaning.

A few days back me and my wife were travelling from Mangalore to Mumbai. Between our journey another family boarded the train at Goa. Father, mother and two cute daughters — probably 7 and 2 years old. The younger one was the pretty active, trying to analyze just about everything around her and speaking in her incomprehensible language.

We started talking to the family, the usual stuff — what brings you here, where are you headed and so on. And then the younger one started saying “Chotta cha chann” — continuously. I turned to my wife and asked “Kya bol rahi hai yeh?” (What is she saying).

My wife then replied back, holding (supposedly mineral from Indian Railways) water bottle we had bought earlier. She pointed to a small picture of rising sun (in red color) drawn on the water bottle. The kid was referring to that sun and was saying — “Chota saa sun” (A small sun).

I was dumbstruck. And amused. Of all the things in the compartment — seats, window, suitcases, the water bottle itself — she chose to identify that tiny little sun drawn on the water bottle.

The mother then narrated us a story of a time when the elder daughter was of the age of younger one. They had accumulated a bunch of tomato ketchup sachets from their orders in McDonald’s. One day the elder daughter got hold of all the sachets and sorted them in two categories — regular and chilly. How? Based on the picture of red chilly drawn on on the sachets.

This is something that would be helpful to me after after some years!


My (unsolicited) advice to management of Adlabs Aquamagica

I recently went to Adlabs Aquamagica water park near Mumbai. If you haven’t heard about it, then a simple Google search would help you out.

As it’s a water park and I didn’t have a water proof mobile or camera I decided to leave them behind. After finishing just about every water ride there was a photographer from Aquamagica (with a water proof camera) ready to take our photos. These photos somehow manage to capture the excitement and thrill of the ride on your face, which starts to fade away after a few seconds with the onset of realization that you have to climb those 100 steps to get into the water ride again.

So, at the end of the day I decided to have a look at my photographs. They looked pretty good and as I said – captured the excitement and thrill on our faces. So I asked the guy at the counter how much I need to pay for them. He replied back with all the details, but my ears went deaf the moment I heard printed copy.

I took out my smartphone just to check the current year and confirm if any rides were so fast that it turned time back for me sending me in past when Kodak ruled the world. No it was still 2014. I checked with him again. Same reply. I asked if I can get these copies emailed or on a CD. Negative reply. I checked his camera to see if it was a digital camera. Yes it was. I was dumbfounded. This brand new theme park has RFID band to open lockers assigned to its guests and supports cashless payment using bar code on wristband[1] but it cannot email me my photographs!

So here’s my advice to management of Adlabs Aquamagica – let your guests receive a digital copy of photographs. Why? Well here are some of my reasons –

1. Guests can carry their own camera in a theme park. But for a water park guests would need a special camera which not everyone has. So there is a real opportunity here for business to sell digital copies of photographs. And I am pretty sure more people would be willing to pay for it. More than people willing to pay for hard copy.

2. In the age of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp hard copies of photographs of are pretty much worthless. They would end up in a wall on your home visible only to you. Post them on social media and it gets an audience.

3. One side effect, and a good side effect, of posting photographs on social media is free advertisement. Rather than buying ads on Facebook costing 100s of dollars why not let guests buy digital photographs for 100s of rupees allowing them to post to Facebook and letting their friends like and comment them. And I am pretty sure Facebook won’t be the only social media where these photographs would be posted.

4. It seems very ridiculous when I can’t get digital copy of photographs especially after using cashless payment with bar code on wristband.


[1] Cashless payment using bar code on wristband: Before you enter the park every guest’s wrist is strapped with a band with bar code on it. As taking your wallet inside a water park may not be a good idea, you can put money in the band to spend it inside the water park. Any unspent money is then refunded back to you when you leave the park.

February 27, 2004

“There he is!” shouted one of the boys.

Navin was running from a group of five boys. He still remembered the savage beating he had got last year. He ran past his chemistry laboratory to the staircase and went to first floor of his college building. It was 7PM and there was no soul in sight from whom Navin could ask for help. He saw one of the classrooms open, ran inside it and hid behind the door.

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Operation: Thunderstorm


Based on a true story.

Navin was standing behind a wall to avoid getting hit by gun fire which was coming in every 10-15 seconds. He was now the only surviving member of the elite four-member squad to eliminate a group of terrorists. So far this operation had turned out to be a disaster as three of his teammates had already perished.

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So I called my mobile network operator… Vodatel

Call Center

“Damn it! I never subscribed for this service.” Navin (that’s not me, notice the spelling) said holding his mobile bill. “These guys think that they can take me for a ride.” With this he punched in the complaint only number of Vodatel.

“Welcome to Vodatel. Vodatel me aapka swagat hai. Hindi ke liye ek dabayein. Marathi saathi don daabaa. For English press three.”

Navin pressed three.

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Problems of tall heighted people… like me!

For quite some time I am being bombarded with TV infomercials on how to increase your height with bad actors, ugly photoshopped images and low credibility products. So, for all those people who think that increasing their height will resolve all their problems guess what, tall people have their own set of problems —

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