Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

A call for pre-paid cab operators at Mumbai airport to accept cards. Please pitch in

The Mumbai police has given an address where we can write in requesting for card payments and mobile wallet payments at the airport pre-paid cab counter.
I just wrote in. Request you all to do so too and share this. We can at least try
The ID to write in is : feedback@csia.gvk.com
This is the text of my mail:
Hello,
My name is Kalyan Karmakar. I am a food and travel writer based in Mumbai and am a frequent traveller who uses the airports at Mumbai very often. 
I recently flew into T2 from Hong Kong via Kolkata. I didn't have cash on me as I had left country before the demonetisation drive.
I wanted to use a card to book a pre-paid cab at the airport but couldn't as they don't accept cards. I finally took a Meru and requested my wife to pay when I reached home. Luckily I had 100 Rs to Pay the convenience fee.
My request to you is that you should ask the pre-paid taxi counter to accept cards and mobile wallets such as paytm to help us citizens make the Prime Minister's demonetis…

Who are the demons of India's demonitisation?

I rarely comment on social or political issues as I prefer not to speak about things I am not fully aware of.
The current demonisation issue has led to lot of strident comments on social media from both of sides of the fence and stands are usually extreme rather than nuanced.
So I decided to write a post on this on Facebook. Sitting at a place which doesn't accept cards and where I had to depend on my wife to buy my breakfast.
Here's what I wrote:
I'd been out of the country when this demonitisation thing happened. Didn't have cash on me but was not affected much personally at the beginning.
I couldn't buy fish for my granny from local markets when I reached Calcutta as I didn't have cash and had no time to go to a super market. It was not critical. 
I had to intervene on her behalf to make a payment to the worker clearing the garbage at her place. Neither of us had non 500 Rs notes to give him and being a daily labourer, he couldn't take a day off work to exchange…

Philosophising is fine but action is what matters

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it."We were introduced to this quote from Karl Marx by a gentleman named Samit Kar who taught us Marxism in Presidency College. We had a paper on Marxism as a part of our Sociology course designed by the Calcutta University in the mid 1990s. I was not into Marxism, which seemed so anachronistic in the post Berlin Wall fall days, and wasn't too keen on these classes.
However there was no forgetting this line of Marx as Professor Kar would keep repeating it. He was so fond of this line that a friend of mine and I wondered if this is what he told his wife the night he had got married!  I must mention that prof Kar had graciously invited all of us from class to his wedding at a place called Shinghi Park and it was a happy evening. Whether his favourite Marxist quote was a part of what was discussed later that night was not something that we ever found out.

From what I remember, and…

The apps and services that have made a difference in our lives in Mumbai

Didn't go out for breakfast this morning and just wanted to call in for a coffee. So called for a Starbucks cappuccino using the Swiggy app as we often do these days. Delivered in less than 20 min. Hot and frothy. Used Swiggy to order from Sweet Bengal a few days back for a party at home. Quick and headache free. Same when we called from Imbiss and Hangla when friends dropped in.For Candies and Khane Khas, I still use the phone to call the restaurant though they have tied up with delivery apps too
Made me think about other apps which have changed our lives for late.
Ola and Uber, despite our occasional rants, for sure. Don't need to keep a driver anymore. Rarely take out the car now. Can nap when in traffic than gnash my teeth at the wheel.
Also MyDidi these days for temp house help though we use the phone more often than their site but a great service for sure.
We don't use grocery or veggie apps that much yet as we get things easily from the local markets on phone too (In…

So much for Digital India

I live in the suburb of Bandra, home to many who are exploring new journeys in life. In the city of Mumbai, which is considered to be a city of dreams and of opportunities. At most times our Vodafone phone connections (we have two 15 year plus accounts) don't work and nor do the internet connections on them. The Airtel 4G device too is used primarily as a fly swatter now as the internet is barely functional. The MTNL wifi keeps disconnecting. The Tata Photon often naps, specially during the afternoon. I tried You Broadband for a while and disconnected it as it was forever under maintenance.
'Digital India' is a smart tagline indeed and our spin doctors have many such lines. But as I sit at my writing desk desperately seeking some internet connection, it sounds like hot air to me. I can but dream of a time when we will look back at these angst ridden moments and laugh like we do today at the world of Trunk Calls and of going to the neighbour's house to make phone calls whi…

It's time to talk

There’s no justification to killing men. There’s no justification to killing women. There's no justification to killing grown ups. There can never be any justification to killing children. There's no justification to killing in the first world. Or in the third world. Death knows no religion.

Terrorists won't read Facebook statuses. Nor will politicians or army generals.

But we can make a start to ending this madness by talking. Get to know those who are different from you. Make an effort. Find a common ground. For me it could be food. It could be cinema for you. Dialogue is the only way to break discord, to abandon hate and to embrace happiness.

Sounds philosophical. Is very practical.