Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gold silver and taxsmile

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I desired to go online to file returns. Its a very funny process. The government has already deducted the tax at source. Your employer has all your tax inputs. Still you would go through the process of collecting Form-16, file returns, print out form-V acknowledgement, send it back to Income tax. Every year, year on year. Is there a better way to optimize this mess and save some taxpayers money to reduce IT staff and this silly process?
I put the request on Brigade Gardenia Yahoo Group and promptly neighbourhood responded and urged to go for taxsmile. I did.
I tried to go through their demo, but even with BSNL broadband they were slow. Gave up. Registered and chose Gold. Realised that only additional benefit in GOLD plan would be they sending the ITR-V on your behalf instead of you sending it to IT department directly. In both cases you would need to courier either to Bombay taxsmile address or IT Bangalore address. I thought Bangalore would be a cheaper option. This was on saturday.
There was no option in website to change Gold to Silver. No one came up in noline chat help. Telephone call would only play the plan descriptions. Could not get a path to talk to someone. Sent a email to their helpdesk. Got a reply on Sunday afternoon.
Taxsmile said it cannot be changed and I had to chose to another user name.
Chose another username and selected option in which you select "taking help from taxsmile in filing returns instead of eMudra or none".
Data entry was smooth except in the end they told me I need to pay some tax to IT whereas FORM-16 said IT had to pay me as my previous employer INFOSYS had collected more tax from me on behald of IT.
I called up helpdesk and this time I could get through. You need to choose option wherein they say you are an existing Taxsmile customer.
The agent helped me with the process and pointed out the error that I had refill my tax savings instruments once again under various heads like pension etc., I did and the return was in negative and they asked me for my bank account details.
It was time for payment and lo and behold it showed Rs 450+taxes. Surprise.
I went to their main site and chose Silver trial from the beginning. Came in and checked for payment option first. It said Rs 250+taxes. Refilled everything.
Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
Userid1, Userid2, Userid3.
Rs45(you only get CD), Gold blunder twice, Silver success

Sunday, July 26, 2009

dominoes for free

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It was 12:10 PM.
It was a typical Sunday afternoon. Some habits die hard. Even though every day is Sunday, you still believe that Sunday is "good old times Sunday" which used to be a day on weekend.
We have had a series of dal-chaval and roti sabzies for many days now. Dominoes sent SMS a few days back with a coupon code stating "Anniversary.Celebrate with us.Buy 1 get 1 free, Valid till 26th July". I generally don't deny participation in times of celebrations.
The temptations ran high and for sometimes later went "dry". The urge to order a pizza sitting on a lazy bangalore afternoon on a "typical sunday" took over. I made the call to 08044448888. He thanked me calling and asked me the area of my residence. The call was redirected to another outlet in Bilekahalli. The lady could not hear my voice. Yes, my sweet humble sound of murmur. The first signs of frustration appeared and I thought of switching providers.
Anyways, I called up again and requested him to take the order as my voice was not going through after call transfer. He said that was impossible and was about to redirect the call again when I asked him for the direct number.08026860133. The person said he would call back. The order was placed and he promised it would be delivered as soon as possible. I did not know how far that soon was just then?
We waited for 30 mins and like in the commercial TV I jumped and danced. Now it would be free and hoped the door bell to ring. It did. But it was housemaid.
After 45 mins, I called back and talked about bad service etc.,. He said the pizza boy would be there any moment now. He could even be at my door steps. I said it crossed the 30 min mark. He said, call him again once the pizza boy came. What for?
Time flew and stomachs started aching. Chocolates and bananas were gulped to postpone hunger.
After one hour, I had to call back again. My fourth call to participate in dominoes anniversary celebration. The guy asked me hold on.I could hear him shouting at his staff as he was getting to know the status of my order, he had to use few bad words too. I wanted to use a few too. He came back and told me he would call back with status. Was it that difficult?
Dominoes called back. Their second call, first to take order and second after 1.5 hours to let me know the status. "My pizza was delivered to somebody else in Brigade Gardenia and he would be sending another very soon". I was cursing myself and thought this was the last call to dominoes.
The pizzas did come, in case you were wondering that we went hungry on a cloudy Bangalore afternoon. The delivery boy was asking about bill and I asked him to talk to his bosses. He gave me the receipt. What for?
The pizzas were really good. Too much cheese in Veg extravaganza and paper thin crust thin of peppy paneer. Ofcourse, I had asked for them in the original order, they were not because they goofed up, BIG TIME. They disappeared in no time.

It was 3 PM.

Monday, July 20, 2009

pay bbmp property tax online 2009-10

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A neat way to pay property tax online if you have a property in bangalore. As launch offer BBMP is not charging extra on credit card payment.
You can go to
http://218.248.41.198/
and choose form IV or V depending on whether there has been any change in your property from last year.
You will need
  1. Application number from assessment year 2008-09. The number on top right corner of pink form. If you are lucky to have saved it to your files. Not the white receipt.
You will reach a pre-filled form which either you can print to pay in nearest BBMP center or if you have started to trust online gateways and carry a credit card then choose to pay online.
Remember to note down the new application number NOW. You never know when you will need them.
Online option will lead you to IDBI gateway and there you need to have your credit card handy, your tax details comes pre-filled.
You are done with the payment in your cosy little bed.

Time for the receipt. You have still not invested in printer. Okay, In save as option choose print to file and if you are lucky there could be pdf option. Select that. Your receipt is ready on your computer and you can send it across to your friend circle to boast early payment and having availed 5% discount. You can comment about your experience in this blog too and I will take it to BBMP on gold plated appreciation shield.

You can always go back to same site and reprint receipt. Or else if you have forgotten your new application number then we are birds of same feather. I noted down their contact details and promised to call them during the day
CONTACT Them
(between 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM
and 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM)
Phone No: 080-22247629
Email: bbmpsas@bmponline.org

After some time I realised (realization always comes later) that I had saved the file. The new application number was there, bang in front, on top left side corner. Now armed with old application number and new you can reprint receipt as many times as you want.

The origin of this information is rooted at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Brigade_gardenia/message/12811
You may not be able to see the message if you are not member of vibrant Brigade Gardenia yahoo group at JP Nagar. Thanx to the active folks there, specially Bama.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

jhansi to bangalore

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Rajdhani express leaves Jhansi at 01:20 towards Bangalore. I saw my ticket a thousand times and wished that it was really 00:20 or 23:20 or 22:20. My uncle and their family was kind enough to entertain me till about 23:00. Then the power and mosquitoes took over the reins of mind and allowed it to lose patience. He asked me "Why are you so uneasy?". I gave a lame "I dont want your night to be wasted because of me."
We went to Railway station and I found a cybercafe offering Rs 25 per hour. I said "I want for 10 mins, Will you reduce the price? There is noone inside, atleast it will give you some business." He was adament and said "It will not be compromised. You will have to pay in full, in advance" and he showed me the notice that said "Even if there is a link failure your money will not be refunded".
I checked email and forwarded the BSNL bill copy to my brother so that he could go to BSNL office and show it to them as proof of me having paid the bill. They were aggressive on the phone 1500 to my wife saying the bill is indeed pending.
Unemployment and misdirection is a problem that is eating the fabric of society as more and more people are engrossed in super standards prescribed by society but no means to achieve them. Thus creating a gap.
The person said in the darkness of the coach "She was heavy, so can you adjust for berth and take the centre one.". I said of-course I could, rich from the experience of onward journey in which a sick family and its members pestered all in neighbourhood so that their dispersed family could sit together and drool. Unfortunately they got into the train from kopargaon after visiting the holy play of Shirdi. May Sai Baba give each of them a little tolerance to respect the peace of neighbours.
He was a commercial officer with Indian Railways who was taking his daughter for CET counselling, full of stories and love for Kishore Kumar, scotch and roasted chicken.
He was an accountant who was with HLL for over 20 years and did not want to leave Bareilly so late in career and quit, knowing not what to do. He was clueless for 6 months till his wife said that she did not like him staying in house for so long. He started going out and became a successfull LIC agent 3-5 years later. The time he said is required for maturing your business. He heart had 25% blockage and his kid wanted him to be operated in Bangalore.
The songs played were slow and sweet and there was somebody in other side who was playing ISKON musicals.
Another person was a marketing officer with a fitness company who could easily tell a story while he was handling a crisis on the phone, seamlessly.
The jungles before Nagpur were dripped in Monsoon rains and land was green and muddy. The fields were pools of water and paddy was spreading its little blades of grass in the fields.
A bridge had no iron extensions and you could jump and easily fly to touch Godavari.
I saw Railway mixed high school, lallaguda, Secunderabad after ages and it looked the same as in memory.
Secunderabad station is grand and spacious and the place was very windy.
Rajdhani gives good food all the time and they also clean the place. The staff remains the same as I saw the ticket collector being the same person all through.
The eyes were heavy with sleep but Singh Sahib was on with his fraud stories. Finally night fell and daybreak was in Bangalore.

die or suffer

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Some people suffer all their life, either physical or mental problems. Everyone has blocks and they stumble upon them all the time. They hold on to them whereas all they want is release from them.
Some people live life to brim, serving and losing themselves in the moment.
Some people eat to live and depend on others to nurture and substantiate their livelihood.
Some spouses are lucky to perish before their better half. Some simply drag till end of time.
There are some who dont need any support until the end and then they simply pass away.
There are some who prolong living by medications and survival toolkits.
Suffering is pain to watch as well as to experience. But why do some people suffer more than others? Some people are lucky and dont get chance to suffer.
Some start suffering the day they are born. Some grow and cultivate reasons for suffering. They carry the cause and hold on to it.
Suffering burns life before death actually does the ritual. What kind of life do you want? Can you choose the type of death that you want?
How does the religion help you in coping with these? Why do you suggest bhajans for the one who is in suffering? Why doesnt the busy soul has time for bhajans and your advice?
Does God enjoy the show that we create? Or, has God created the show and we just suffer or survive?
When you live its like bullet train, time flies? When you dont, its like elephant ride, time dies?

bangalore to jhansi

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Karnataka express leaves Bangalore at 19:20 hours. She gave two wait listed tickets to us in Tatkal. If the tickets dont get confirmed then you can get refund otherwise not.
There was a bulky guy and an army man. There were others who were exchanging and adjusting for seats. I wanted to exchange my seat too but the person was not available until Sholapur so I had to be content with middle berth.
The young lads were in engineering college in Bangalore. They had laptops and heavy duty mobile phones and the train had three way sockets to get the electronics going. Thankfully the same sockets would trip every few minutes to discourage the desperate and entertain the rest.
We were having food and they would attempt to check the power point at our berth, the wire would hang lose and touch the food but they dont care.
They put metallic and ear piercing music which could drive a normal ear crazy but they dont care.
They would put ugly, disgusting, downtrodden and filthy horror movie and everyone buddy would fall over and occupy the berth and the designated users would be confined to top berth in chilling AC compartment but they dont care.
They would talk about police and accidents and how they thrashed people and about police cases against their names and their rash driving and their ex-girlfriend in front of their current girlfriend and I wouldnt care.
They played cards and I helped one and they were courteous to me. I would switch On and Off the lights and they would understand that I was acting reading. I just wanted to sleep as I could not take the crappy movie any longer and moreover Jhansi came at 3:20 and they all tried to pause and wait for me to settle before they finished the movie.
They kept calling me Uncle and they didnt care but I felt.
Jhansi did come at 3:20 but the train would not budge from outer till 4:30. There was another family who had to catch a connecting train at 4:30 but they would have missed it.

railway reservation booking clerk

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It was late in the evening when the news came. I could not do online booking because she did not have ID. I went out in my wobbly swift. She (now I am talking of swift, a car) has been indicating that her tyres could be punctured or wheels could be imbalance. My brother asked me "When did you last fill air in it?" I said "today I filled it twice and I have come to this place in auto fearing the tyre would lose tube.
I enquired on the way for agents who give real train ticket without need for ID card and there was none to found. Everyone said, they could give the ticket but the risk of travel without ID would be on ticket holder. IRCTC online ticketing has disarmed the once powerful train ticket agents who would maintain stock of tickets for all ages and all days and all trains to all places.
I got a call from my brother and then my father. "Why dont you go? She would be alone. She has never travelled alone." My mind also reminded me that I had not gone in marriages but I should post such an event.
The indian railways train ticketing center is located in Jayanagar 4th Block, BDA complex, on third floor and you are not allowed to use lift unless you are sick or senior citizen. The power went off and I had to be careful on steps as some were full and some were half and some were zigzag.
I explained the situation to booking clerk across the counter. I could catch a slight or smile. The guy seemed to be very helpful as he gave me all expensive options which I readily accepted. He explained to me the timing of the trains and told me the train which I wanted was in middle of night and Why didnt I catch the one leaving in evening the next day? He even waited for me till I brought the cash as I did not want to give in the 60 extra rupees for using credit card. When I came back his counter was about to be closed and he asked me to wait as he served another customer. I gave him whole hearted thanx before I went out and took a deep breath.
Some men and women are lucky to live their lives the way they want it, lucky to go the way they
choose. They dont suffer during living and not much during the closure to death, God just takes them away.

Friday, July 10, 2009

stuck but alive

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Its not the place where you could spend 4 hours of your life. You can see the world. The world can see you. You are touched by the cool winds as much as anybody else would out there in the open. You can shout "Security" and keep doing until the poor fella has to wake up.
He looks around for source of sound and it does not not seem to be coming from regular places. Atleast where he expects humans to be.
But she was no ordinary human. She was old and bold, probably in her sixties and she was looking down at the world. In those days, only the Queens would peep out of their palatial windows from behind the thin veils. She had no choice but to be behind the grill. It was transparent. It was open.
My child rushed to me and told me. I rushed out and had a glimpse. She was majestic in her disposition. She was royal. She was stuck in utility balcony of her apartment in Golden Magic, Brigade Gardenia in JP Nagar Bangalore. Probably on sixth floor.
There was not much to be undone as the act of shutting the door was already performed by the winds. The Security was quick to pass on the buck to Association as we called him to urge for action.
She would sit for a while and then stand for a long while. It was too early for rest of folks with keys to come home. She just had to wait till she bypassed eternity. Thank God, she was chosen to be stuck in full public view otherwise how would I know and you know about this story?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

sales is a hard number

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Sales is a number. Especially so in seasonal markets like online entrance management test environment. Now that CAT has become online from this year, pioneers like testfunda are going to have a field day.
To take advantage of this you can get in touch with Priyank. He is a passout from NITIE and thus knows the intricacies that go into belling the CAT. He can give you options on various strategies to manage CAT and other management test that go online from this year. His startup is focusing on similar business line.

When would you recruit somebody for sales and what will keep them attracted to the seasonal game? Is it on low fixed monthly income and high on commissions? Or is it other way around.? I believe that selling is a number game and only numbers give business and only numbers come in return for your efforts that you put on the field.
Thus the focus has to be on charging a bull towards greener pasteur. Its entirely upto him to ignore the grass. Be content with the dry grass in front or take strides and rush towards the mountains. The grass is always greener and higher on the other side.

Your search is further subscribed

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Now you can subscribe to your favourite website to which you regularly visit for routine stuff like diet, news, clothes, electronics accessories.
Google recognised that fact and has brought site subscription into your organic search results. I guess they are still organic. Google may not be charging these websites to display smartly in your search result. They also get a smart colorful cube on the left and content specially designed for you.
You like the website and now your search engine too knows that and thus the search output is on more familiar platform. And your relationship gets converted into a triangular affair.
You, Your favourite web site presenting its content in, Your search engine output. Did you count three? Yes, so it makes a triangle.
Check them out at http://www.google.com/coop/docs/subscribedlinks/faq.html .
Is your feed reader becoming redundant now? Why would you want to go back to your reader and duplicate the erstwhile inbox like experience of email system? You only see the content when you need it and most often than not it happens when you search for it? What say?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Three to five years, Do you have?

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You will and should breakthrough only after five years. You will be making loss till three to five years. Your dreams will rub with market and market will polish them with reality check. Unless ofcourse you are lucky.
Words of golden advice from Subodh and did you believe it that I was meeting him for the first time.
Any venture needs time to mature. When you see the fields you dream of eucalyptus oil but the tree needs nourishment and support till atleast three years before it can even start smelling.
You may wonder that its only a tree and all eucalyptus tree grow the same way and you will also zip through.
Well it rarely happens that way. He gave example of Google taking seven years to turnaround even though it was world beating idea.Till that time all good ventures run in Stanford hostel. Some don’t even see the light of the day. It never sunshines.
Some persist and make it work thorough "Com'on man, you are an intellectual and if you don’t make it work then who else can. There is always a way out and if there is none then create it."
Even Guruji says "Have Patience!!"
Patience is really a virtue because you may have created a great service/product till 4 years and then you may quit. If you had seen it through the fifth year you would have turned profitable, who knows.
But your mind only takes you till you want it to go and then invariably give up. You quit. And you go back to the comfort of normal job.
When you are walking with the winds you believe that you can turnaround in few months. It has been more than a month and half at carpoolkaro and where is it now.
Only if you strongly believe that your venture can make meanigful difference to society at large and you at heart can you commit to it for lifetime.
Com'on it's only one life and you can commit to your ventures and carry them through. After a while they do carry you.
Look at Infosys success. One primary reason for it was their stable "top layer of management" from the day one, according to Subodh. People at the top stay, then strategies stays, the idea stays and ventures gets to get a chance to get into lifetime of another generation.

Good luck with your venture , in whatever area or way it may be.

Dashed by twitterfeed dashboard

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I enjoyed using twitterfeed for a while. I especially liked their dash board and was encouraged to visit it once in a while to check how many twitterites have actually clicked on the bit.lyies and feedburner links. The animation moves left and right making you presume for a while that atleast a million would have clicked it till it stabilizes and tells us its 2 or 50.
But the thing which I did not like was you can only see the stats for the last two successfully posted feed and on clicking the feed itself you can see two more.
I had posted query in getsatisfaction "Dashed by dashboard" and they said it will affect performance and so they are keeping it low.
Their blog says that they have been recently funded by two nice groups and I am left to wonder where the money is going if it is not able to capture simple stats about my link.
For I believe the only performance concern could be the listener waiting on people to click on my bit.ly in twitter. Beyond that I don’t think three fields per blog will stretch their data models beyond capacity.
I don’t know what do you say?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

No more meme for my blog by me

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Now I don’t have to retweet my blog post using meme. Twitterfeed does that for me.
And not only for my blog but I can get tweets on other blogs whom I want to follow on twitter. Meme will still hang around for a while because I want my readers to be able to retweet the post from here to their respective blogs if they want. But if my readers will also feed my feed to twitterfeed then who will retweet.
I have also put "add this" which has got tonnes of buttons to social bookmark. I don’t know how effective is the experience in which you open a series of button and then choose your favorite and then go ahead and socialmark it there.
Instead do you think if I put a Digg here readers will more likely to push it. Digg the article as it’s a single push experience in which you know you are going to Digg and then you Digg.
In AddThis you wonder what and where will I add and then choose from multitude of choices.
I don’t know what works for you but for me twitter feed does. You simply tell them to post the post through feed and they do it at predetermined interval . Now they also have a orange tinge, fresh and interesting layout. Just go there to get the taste of orange flavor if nothing more.

Its Rupees Three

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She was walking in front of mother-in-law. They went to buy vegetables in the basement of Magnifica, Brigade Gardenia. The vegetable vendor comes here on Wednesday and Saturdays.
Most of the time people go there and come back disappointed. When you meet them they say "Vegetable vendor has not come in yet and if he does not come then we have to go to Fresh and Greens" or similar name. The place is less than a kilometer away. That is quite a distance compared to a walk to Magnifica basement. And these days the Big Bazaaar express has come in bang in front of RBI bus stop. It is less than a kilometer away. Hope people will not have complaints on that distance.
So, a stalk of beans fell in front of her. It was only a single green thin bean stick lying in front of her. She pointed out the same to her, the lady who had just procured her vegetables and was dwindling home in her prime time.
She turned back and noticed the bean stalk. It must have pinched her a lot. As she managed to utter these words "It’s Rs 3 a piece".

My dear Bob Dylan could have said this too
As the price index hits the roof
For the times they are a changin
And Inflation is hangin till you ...

Rs 50 toll to Rs 4 per liter of petrol

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A good business mind knows that if he has to make money in toll then every instant a vehicle should whip past the toll gate. There should be no interference of whatsoever, neither at the start of toll nor at the end.
A government and administrative mind will not care about the money that went into the pipeline to construct this huge infrastructure. Whether you recover the money or not is also beyond question. Also, thoughts should not be spared on little things like "Traffic pile up at start and end of junction".
But instead let people wait and lose patience and then you announce a flyover construction to begin simultaneously near the start and end of new sea link highway.
It will also go back to dear Mr. Oil , a highly price sensitive commodity to announce a raise just after they have won an election. Remember, before the election there was a drop of Rs. 5 and after election there is raise of Rs. 4. The common man gains Rs. 1 advantage.
Along with that will come cess to increase the government coffers. Why easy measures when you can streamline and bring about innovative solutions and get thousand times more returns on huge projects in which you have pumped in money?
The return on efficiency is known to bring about more revenues than simply increasing the burden on common man. Is this the reason why people trusted you and gave you clear majority?
Please go back to all flyovers and stand at the entry and exit and wonder why the traffic is crawling upstairs and downstairs slums are releasing to the drainage increasing probability of flooding with a drop of rain.
Wake up government and shake your system as I am shaking mine.

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