10 months without blogging

Standard

I have never been a regular blogger but I did write diary entries from time to time and the whole experience of documenting my thoughts has been wonderful. Other than making the memories permanent, it also serves as a way of sharing my knowledge and experiences. The only reason Google is able to answer most of our queries is because somewhere, someone wrote about the solution online and Google team is smart enough to make that answer reach you.

This is the reason I am writing a blog post after more than 10 months now and the first topic that came to my mind was applying PAN card and Aadhar card for Bhutanese as foreigners in India. I am not sure if people will be getting this as a result when someone searches for “How to get a PAN card in India” but at least if a Bhutanese citizen if making a specific search like “PAN card for Bhutanese”, he or she might stumble upon this post and it shall fulfill my purpose.

The only thing that is lacking in my blog is discipline. If I can follow a schedule and write posts regularly, I am sure I will be happy about it and maybe even proud to be owning a blog which narrates my story beautifully.

Procrastination

How to get PAN card and Aadhar card for a Bhutanese Foreigner in India?

Standard

As an Indian citizen, getting a PAN card can be the most hassle free process you would ever encounter with Indian Government. But this post has been written to help foreigners.

At the time of writing, the UTI website provides a separate option for applying PAN card for foreigners. You can check the list of documents required as well as the guidelines for application. In most cases, foreigners would like to use their Passport as their proof of identity and there are different options mentioned for providing proof of residence in India. Since Bhutanese citizens do not require a residence permit or a VISA to enter India, the most efficient way of getting a reliable address proof is opening a bank account, preferably with a government owned (State bank of India) or state-owned bank (Punjab National Bank).

Following are the things you need for generating your proof of residence via bank:

  1. A friend or relative who already has an account in the bank and is ready to be your reference.
  2. A rent agreement made between you and your landlord or any other document accepted by the bank as proof of address.
  3. You may also need to affix your photograph on the passbook and get it stamped by the bank.

Once you have your bank account functional, make sure you keep it active by making some transactions and then use the copy of your passbook as proof of residence.

Now that you have your proof of residence and identity, there should be no problem in getting yourself a PAN card or Aadhar card. You can check the UIDAI website for getting more details about Aadhar enrolment. Also, note that some of the enrollment centers may not be listed online and it is better to ask around in your locality if there are any centers nearby.

I understand that writing a post after simply going through the rule book does not work as a great advice most of the times. But this post has been written after personally following the whole process and getting the desired results. If you find that some of these steps could be skipped or there is a better way of getting the PAN and Aadhar card in India as a foreigner, please do share your findings via comments.

P.S.: You don’t need to open a bank account for getting Aadhar card since rent agreement is accepted as proof of address, but it is always better to have an account handy for future purposes.

Disclaimer: This post has been written based on personal experience and beliefs and may not be treated as a solution or proven theory. Please do your own research before taking any action that invites doubt.

The way forward for technology: Drones and Automation

Standard

Automation has been a field of interest since many years now. From automated emails to cars, we as humans have achieved a lot and have been using these technologies for getting things done faster and more accurately. But what else are we looking at? How are we going to move forward? In this article I will be mentioning the missing links by taking an example of Drones.
Drones are available online for as low as 4000 INR and many individuals have started showing interest in them. But is it legal to fly a drone anywhere you like? Can we feel safe while these machines are hovering above our head? Let’s answer these questions one by one.
With the advent of technology, we can now control drones with our iPhones or iPods and it does not require a lot of practice and patience to get the flying skills. But many people don’t realize that they can face serious legal charges if they end up flying in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if we are ok with the fines, we have to understand that machines are not perfect and things can go wrong with them. So the answer to the first question is no, it is not legal to fly drones anywhere you like.
In terms of hurting people, drones can be considered as flying lawn mowers. Also, since they allow us to record and stream videos they can be a serious threat to privacy. Thus, as of today it is difficult for us to feel safe with drones.
So how are we going to move forward? Every new technology has got its drawbacks and can always be exploited in a negative way. But this does not mean that we should stop inventing. Companies like Google and Amazon have already started exploring the options for using drones to deliver mails and packages. I am sure you must have heard about the 30 minutes Pizza delivery service. The future services might get anything within a certain weight limit, delivered to your door stop within 30 minutes. This has already been tested by Amazon and they are excited to launch Amazon Prime Air which may look like science fiction, but it’s real. These drones will be flying under 400 feet and will make use of sense and avoid technology which comes with intense automation to ensure safety.

Amazon prime air drone picture
When cars were first invented, people had so many objections. The suggestions which were made were mostly bizarre, like every car should have a man walking in front with a red flag. And these debates did not stop until the government decided that cars are good for the society and we should have more of them. That is when roads were constructed and traffic rules got defined. Same should be the case with drones or any other invention that is useful for the mankind. So, let’s collaborate and find the right balance for future.

My first expert

Standard

This post is dedicated to my Mom and today being the Mother’s day I talked to her patiently and tried to understand her concerns after a long time. I left my home after completing 10th grade and started living in a hostel while preparing for JEE. I will always remember that I used to fail whenever I tried to lie to her. For instance, when I was out with my friends playing counter strike at Reliance WebWorld, no matter how much I tried she would instantly know that I am lying about my whereabouts. After many such failures, I simply stopped trying because I had learnt that there is no way around it. Thus, I started speaking out the truth. Not to my mother, but my father instead. I know that this must be quite opposite to what most people do, but for me convincing my father has always been easier.

My mother has been an expert teacher for me literally. She not only helped me learn that the letter B comes after the letter A in English alphabet, but she also straightened me and guided me whenever I made the wrong choices. And she did all of this while managing the house and completing all the chores. Now that I think of it, if I had to cook food, teach children in school for 6 hours, keep the house clean and manage clothes for everyone, I would hardly have any energy left. But even today she manages all of that on her own.
While watching the India’s got talent show on television yesterday, I was again reminded of the ways in which my mother took care of multiple tasks at once. As the anchor talked about Goddess Durga and her multiple capabilities, I was recalling all the tasks that my mother have been completing since so many years without any fail. No wonder our mothers are able to take care of us while managing their own job and the complete household.

Another experience that refreshed some memories of mine was watching the movie Piku. I never thought that emotions could be so well related to motion. The movie simply portrayed the common yet complex situations we face with our families and successfully puts across the importance of relationships. Especially the relationships that we share with our older generation. No matter how open minded or educated they are, there is always a gap that we need to bridge. I have certainly learned a lot from this movie and I am sure that these learning will help me in future. Now that I am working as a Senior Systems Engineer and hardly have time to sit idle and meditate, I think there is certainly a need for increasing my threshold of patience and this movie has helped me get one step closer to that goal.

Following is a picture of me with my mother. This one was clicked by my father when I got back from school:

mom and me

Also, do have a look at the Godrej Expert.

How to book an Uber cab from your browser?

Standard

I was trying to book a cab from my mobile app while using Vodafone 2G and realized that things were going very slow, that is when I realized that I should try it from my computer which was connected to a LAN.

Following are the steps with screenshots which will help you book an UBER cab quickly:

STEP 1: Go to https://m.uber.com/

Login page uber mobile

 

STEP 2: Enter your Uber credentials and tap on Done button (top right corner; refer previous screenshot)

NEW USERS: Make sure you claim your free ride by signing up through this link and using the promo code: “UBERKUSHALASHOK“.

Quick Tip: If you sign up from Uber mobile app, you can use your PAYTM wallet for authentication instead of providing any credit card details.

App Available at: Google Play StoreApple App Store and Windows App Store.

Download app

STEP 3: Click on the the PICKUP LOCATION text circled in the screenshot below to be able to search your pick up location.

How to pick up a location

 

STEP 4: Type in the location details in the search box and choose the desired option from the dropdown.

Choose location

STEP 5: Use the slider available at the bottom to choose the kind of cab you need and then click on “Set Pickup Location”

Set pickup location

 

STEP 6: Make sure that the pick up location is correct and the use credits option is checked or un-checked as per your requirement and then click on “Request pickup here XXXX” button.

NOTE: Make sure that you do this only when you are ready for the cab. If you try to cancel your request after 5 mins, you will have to pay some amount. Also, if you keep the driver waiting you will be charged accordingly.

Request an uber

STEP 7: (OPTIONAL) In case you need to cancel a request, this screenshot will help you find the option quickly. The option is available at the bottom right corner on clicking which you will get a menu. Select “Cancel Trip” to cancel your request.

cancel uber request

 

 

My friend Sachin

Standard

This post is dedicated to my friend Sachin Mittal whom I know for more than 7 years now. Our friendship began in college where we used to hang out together. We belonged to the same batch during first year and studied together during all our exams. Even today when I look at the pictures or videos that we shot, it brings a smile on my face. Laughing on each other’s poor jokes, playing the same prank again and again, enjoying the common sense of helplessness before an exam and then talking about the wrong answers after we came out of the exam room, all such memories are always there with me.

2009

Tea with snacks

 

Since we belonged to different streams of engineering, we were allocated to separate batches in the second year of college. But we continued to go on short trips, which increased further as he moved to a room in the same building as of mine. We started sharing more and used to talk about our failures and aspirations. Other than the daily outing to the nearby market, we also went on a long trip to Kedarnath which started with a simple discussion we had on a Tuesday evening. Following is the narration as per my recollection:

Sachin: It’s Tuesday, Do you wanna go to the temple?

Kushal: I don’t think one should only go to temples on a Tuesday. But never mind, it has been almost an year since I went to one, so let’s go.

After paying a visit to the temple

Kushal: You know what, I think I missed out on a few things by not visiting a temple during all these months. And this visit to the nearby temple did not make up for it. How about the Kedarnath Temple?

Sachin: I have been wanting to visit that temple since long. When do you want to visit?

Kushal: Tonight!

The next thing I knew, we were four guys with baggage on my Bajaj XCD driving as fast as we could, to catch the last bus to Haridwar. The whole trip was as adventurous as this beginning and we literally ran down the hills while coming back from the Kedarnath temple.

After college, though we got placed in the same company, I started my job a few months sooner since I belonged to the computer science stream and he was a mechanical engineer trying to fit into the same shoes. After almost an year we met again as he got the same allocation as mine. We continued the journey of our friendship together and he played a huge role in helping me meet my love. From recharging my phone to getting my bike repaired, this friend of mine did everything I ever asked of him. He has always been there when I needed him the most. He has been the source of my strength and optimism.

Today I am married and we still share the same trust and frankness which we had in college. I am lucky to have a friend like him and shall cherish this friendship forever.

Holi 2015

Holi 2015

Following is a video that we created on our last day in college.

P.S.: This post was inspired by Housing.

Coming out of cocoon

Standard

How often do we make a new start in our lives?

I feel that one of the biggest changes in ones life is a change in housing. And that is what I am going to write about today. I was born in Delhi and brought up in Ghaziabad. I lived there in the same house for 10 years until I moved to Delhi for getting senior secondary education. This was the first time I was supposed to live away from my parents. Luckily the distance was not more than 70 km which allowed me to meet them every weekend or sometimes even before that.

Being the only child of my parents I was not habitual of sharing my things or dealing with bad breakfast. On my first day in the hostel I fell ill and kept vomiting. This worried my parents even more but I managed to live through the night. Next day I was late for school and by the time I got ready, all other hostelers were already done with their breakfast. I grabbed a piece of bread and  rushed towards the school bus but missed it by few meters. Now was the time for me to learn the skill of hiring an auto-rickshaw. I was not the only one who missed his bus, I found that there were 4 more hapless folks like me who just got out of the hostel and asked me about the bus. We walked to the main road and waived down the next auto. The words that came out of the driver’s mouth had struck heavily on my pocket money and if one of us were not accustomed with Delhi’s traditions we would have been duped. There were around 6 fly-overs that we had to cross and every time the auto started climbing, the speed reduced from 40 kmph to 25 kmph. Thus we reached 20 minutes late when the assembly was almost over and teachers were ready to take our class (literally). I felt bad that day and even the day after that and the day after that but soon I learned the skills of a Delhite. I had now started a new life and it required new means to tackle situations like these. Following are the two solutions we found:

A. Carry the uniform in the school bag while you go to school in casuals

This method only worked till the guards and other school staff were not familiar with our faces. We went to school in casuals and entered through the admin block. Then simply went to a washroom and changed into our uniforms to go directly to our class rooms.

B. Find a whole in the wall or just create one

While we were playing in the ground (one fine day), we found a whole in the school’s wall which provided direct unrestricted access. This was only useful till they repaired the wall but guess what we did after that? We started jumping the wall which of course had the down side of risking being caught by the school guards. But it was high time that I came out of my cocoon and start a new life.

Disclaimer: Please note that such activities even landed me to principal’s office and the readers shall perform them at their own risk.

 

Look up to optimism ^

Standard

Have you ever tried looking up at the sky when you are feeling low?

Well, I used to go to my roof at night, lay down and look at the stars as I thought about my life and its complexities. Quite often, these serious discussions with myself would start with a pessimistic approach and all my problems would get stated one by one. As I tried to establish the fact that my life is miserable, I soon reached a point where there was no hope left and I would simply start cursing. And just when I was done with the reiteration of all my failures, I would realize that its a waste of time and energy to think about things that have either ended badly or are anyways going to end badly. In a few moments I would start dis-regarding my problems. It started with the most significant ones. The problems that could make me lose my mind during the day were now being pushed aside as I decided not to care. This process continued till I learned that in fact all my problems could be shrugged off, if I chose to.

Now was the time for my optimism to check in. Since I had already gotten rid of my problems, all I could think of was present; since present was the only time period which I had control over. My mind which was earlier full of destructive thoughts started thinking about creation. I was now in the cool dude zone. I simply wanted to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest. Thus, I decided to to call up my friends and plan a night out.

Night Out In Patiala

Now that I think of it, these night outs were never actually planned well. Since most of the times we would either end up on a highway with no petrol or one of us would get hurt. Nevertheless these incidents were always enjoyable and rather created memories which helped me move from the pessimist to the optimist zone. After a few hours of drive on the highway, having sweet tea at truck stops served with regular leg-pulling and fresh PJs; life simply got a new beginning. And the next time I looked up at the sky, I could admire the beautiful stars while not thinking about the darkness.

As juvenile as this narration may seem, such instances had a huge impact on me, my way of thinking and my way of life.

Backdrop:

This post has been inspired from the Look up stories happy hours contest by Indiblogger. Though the idea of writing an inspiring story from my life in itself was intriguing, I wanted to first have a look at the website to which I will be sharing a link to. Even though I have worked on various websites based on similar looking bootstrap templates, I have to admit that the photographs and color schemes used to create the theme were attention grabbing. If you are looking for inspiration or simply want to browse through a good looking website, check out https://housing.com/lookup

Movie Review: Don’t Underestimate Shamitabh

Standard

Shamitabh Poster
Don’t underestimate this movie as another Bhoothnath flick. If you don’t believe me yet, check the IMDB rating. The story is good, acting is better and Amitabh Bachchan is the best. This movie made me laugh and enjoy several moments that includes sarcasm and egoistic remarks shared between Dhanush and Amitabh. Some things did fall apart for me like the lessons given by Akshara in a primary school and the chemistry between Dhanush and Akshara. But I guess it’s ok as per Bollywood standards. What I liked though, is that the movie also had an important appeal with it which makes us think about people who work behind the scenes and never get the recognition.The fact that you will see the names of the corresponding valets in the credits at end, establishes this further.

It also explains how ego can hurt us all if not controlled at the right time. Some of the sequences were simply excellent and succeeded in sparking the targeted emotions. The theme set for Dhanush as a die-hard movie fan, plays an important role in justifying some of his extreme actions. The child like playfulness, the fun loving personalities and the human bonding is portrayed very well.

I also felt that what Dhanush was trying throughout the movie while acting as dumb, Amit Ji pulled off right at the end with much more perfection.

TRAVEL TO OCEAN PARK HONG KONG (Guest post)

Standard

Marine life is a vast area and the variety of creatures living in it are beyond our imaginations. Hong Kong Ocean-park is a marine mammal park, also known as oceanarium, which houses more than 5000 species of fishes. The total area is spread across 91.5 acres and has over 80 rides and attractions to visit.

Ride at Ocean Park

This magnificent structure was created in 1977, but was renovated according to new standards in 2005 and is housing over 1 million visitors every year. Being a huge park, it is divided by two big mountains: The summit and the water-land. The areas are linked together with two car cables stretching at up to 1.2 Km.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN OCEAN PARK HONG KONG

There are numerous attractions to indulge into in this land that includes 4 giant roller coasters, animal exhibits, Chinese sturgeon aquarium and many more. Below mentioned are some of those locations in Ocean Park that you must visit-

  • Marine World

This area again have two main regions: Marine land and Headland rides. There are many habitats for marine life like seals and sea lions, where you can experience their natural living attributes. There is also an Ocean park tower which is 200 meters high and is the second largest building in Southeast Asia.

  • Thrill Mountain

This section was opened in December of 2011 and is a carnival themed park with over 222,000 acres of land. You can indulge yourself into its festive season and enjoy its amazing music rhythm and incredible food stalls.

  • Adventure Land

If you are a fan of roller coasters than this area is meant for you. It has some astonishing rides like mine train, raging river and space wheel. This section will fill you with joy and thrill of riding such big roller coasters.

  • The Rain-forest

This came to light in June 2011 and was instantly loved by many viewers for its natural beauty and incredible collection of animal life. You can enjoy its river ride that will free your soul.

  • Aqua City

This section is located in the hill side of “The Waterfront”. Opened in 2011, this area has a span of over 200 thousand square feet and is known to be the largest aquarium in the world. Its sea life carousel and the water-land plaza will give you a feeling of being a part of the marine life.

  • Whiskers Harbor

Attraction like balloon in the air, clown a round, frog hopper, merry-go-round, bouncer house, animal story corner and toto the loco can be found in this particular section of Ocean park in Hong Kong.

  • Polar Adventure

This area features the North pole encounter, South pole spectacular and Arctic fox den. There are also many roller coasters in this area and it houses three species of Penguins at one place.

Ocean park in Hong Kong is a complete tourist destination, which has everything for every age group and will help you create memories of a lifetime.

A Trip to Hong Kong is incomplete without a visit to the Ocean Park!

P.S.: This guest post has been shared by Siddhartha from TravelTours