Posted by: odzer | September 5, 2008


Change is good! I have really enjoyed writing this blog and I will continue to do so, but not here anymore. Odzer’s blog is moving to its very own URL. www.odzer.comWith my own URL the possibilities now widen and I will be able to do much more than what I could have done here.

All your comments, all the previous posts are intact of course and you can view them at the new URL. You are all welcome to the new blog so that you can continue posting comments as you usually did. This blog will be removed after I feel a proper transition has been made but it will not be updated. As a matter of fact starting with this very post you will not be able to leave any comments. Just come over to the new blog and leave them there. Hey all it takes is a click.

Posted by: odzer | September 4, 2008

Chrome, What Chrome?

A Mac No Show

Google chrome : A Mac No Show

So I am all excited about the new Google browser but guess what I can not use it. See they do not have a Mac edition yet! Oh well, I will admit a secret, I do own a windows box. However do I really want to install a third browser on a Windows box (It is crying for mercy already, so I keep it turned off except for the occasional house guest) or for that matter even my Apple computer? I usually end up using only the one browser. Browsers at the end of the day have nothing to do with the browsing experience but they are just means of the companies that make them to control “viewership”. So if you use a particular browser it may just be that you will also end up using the search business of that particular browser maker. As far as Firefox is concerned the only purpose of the browser was to break the monopoly of another company and fix so called loopholes. As with everything else it seems browsers are also mired in good browser/bad browser and the various companies that make them seem to all claim that their browser is holier than the other one.

So my thoughts are, I am not going to bother with Chrome. I may check it out but I will not bother with it right now. Let it mature, let it kill one of the more popular browsers and then I might. As for what the viewers of this blog use, I am posting the results for all of you to check out.

What all you have been using.

What all you have been using.

Posted by: odzer | September 2, 2008

The Naked Mannequin

The un-naked mannequin

The un-naked mannequin

I went out to a movie today and I found these mannequins covered up with newspaper. I wonder what is wrong or offensive about displaying a naked piece of plastic? Is the human body really that offensive? Actually as far as I am concerned I find this whole so called morality thing a bit funny. Who are these people trying to protect, I mean everyone has seen a naked human body! In any case this was not even a body just a blob of plastic in human shape.

So what were the people at this shop thinking? I mean why cover up the poor mannequins with newspapers if you are a clothing store! The whole idea of having a display is to display your products! May be they do not really have something worth displaying so this is perhaps not the best place to shop for clothes. I am really a bit curious if these mannequins are really all that realistic below the newspapers. It would be interesting to buy one just to see how it looks like au naturel.

Posted by: odzer | September 1, 2008


I had a very late night and had a couple of friends over and thus as a consequence woke up later than usual. I have made some pancakes for brunch today. The idea came to me because I had a lot of milk leftover because all of a sudden I can no longer buy homogonised tetrapacked milk in this city and I had purchased one of those more perishable milk packets. (In India they conveniently pack milk in plastic pouches which can explode, leak or just rot) In any case they came out rather nice.

Now that I have gorged on 3 of these real nice thick ones, I think I shall have no further need for food till late in the evening. I am off cooking this evening because one of my friends is doing the honour, I will keep you updated on what transpires of course.

Posted by: odzer | August 30, 2008

The Airtel iPhone Mishegoss 2

I guess I was still a bit mad about the whole Apple iPhone thing. So I took sometime out and wrote an email to the good people at Apple. I just wanted to let them know my opinion on their pricing in India. I did not really even expect a reply. So here is what I wrote to them.

Click to read

Click here to read

Surprisingly they wrote a reply back to me very quickly, within hours really. Someone called Sheila from Apple customer care sent me this message.

Click here to read

Click here to read

What is clear for me after this email from Apple is that they really are blaming Indian duties, taxes and other costs for the price of iPhone in India. So now I have some really very interesting questions :

1) Why is the iPod relatively cheaper in India? It is almost a similar product.
2) How come other manufacturers who import phones into India can give their products at a far more reasonable price?
3) If the costs are indeed this high why are the operators not absorbing some costs considering they are not giving away an unlocked product?

So in the end I am impressed that they do answer their customers e-mails but I do not think in the end they really care about their flagship phone product and its sales in India. I am going to wait till the next year before I pick up my iPhone or some other smart phone product.

Note : Click here to read the previous post related to this one.

Posted by: odzer | August 29, 2008

An afternoon with friends

On Tuesday some of my friends came over for lunch. The good part was that I was not supposed to cook for them. One of the guys who has spent some years in France was kind enough to do the cooking. So even though we were hot due to the terrible weather we did manage to cook a meal for around 5 people. I do admit I sort of tried to help but in the end the guy did most of the work. I like the idea of cooking with friends. In fact I and another friend had gone up to this guy’s apartment to prepare a meal on the day prior to the ‘party’ at my place.

He made a gratin and a pasta salad for lunch. I made a Jug full of iced tea to go along with the meal. Interestingly he chose to do the gratin with some cream and cheese. The main ingredient of the casserole was sliced potatoes. All of us enjoyed our lunch and had a lot of fun. We played a game of pictionary afterward.

Posted by: odzer | August 27, 2008

Republic of Chicken

Republic of Chicken

Republic of Chicken

I found this funny store named “Republic of Chicken”. It is basically a meat shop and they sell all types of salami, bacon, cold cuts etc. The theme of the store seems to be the unequivocal and inalienable rights of all Chickens. I am writing to support those rights and I hope all Chickens get eaten equally. Talking about Chicken, I am bored of it seriously. What hits me in North-India is the absolute non variety of meat. Its Chicken or Chicken. I seriously miss eating fish and the only seafood I can safely eat here is either the McDonalds fillet o’ fish sandwich or frozen shrimp/prawns. Boring!

You would notice that I do not mention goat meat as a possibility. I am not particularly fond of it and I may sometimes eat it in Indian food where the smell of the goat has been disguised by a myriad of mysterious spices. Lamb is really not an option in the Northern plains. So this store is a bit welcome, they do seem to have some nice things but at some really nice prices as well. If India had safe pork a lot of my problems would I guess be over, I would not of course mention the other meat (whose name is even unmentionable lest people riot) but if somehow people learned how to live in peace and let others eat whatever they wanted to eat. That would be welcome as well!

My meat cravings are dampened quite a lot when I visit any local butcher though. The way they display meat here is horrendous. The nice metal trays in freezers where everything is unrecognizable and you can never guess the origin of the meat are a big put off. I can safely say though that stores like Reliance Stale, ummm Fresh do the same to vegetables as well. Put them in huge plastic trays where they can rot in peace. Not that your local Subzi Wala or Vegetable vendor is any better either. They like the slam and dunk approach, basically they they slam sacks full of vegetables around and dunk vegetables in dirty water so that their weight increases when they sell them.

The Indian consumer expects very little and demands nothing in return for his Rupee except a cheap deal. I have noticed aunties here routinely haggle over prices of small items and feel elated that they have got a good deal. So here is my suggestion to the upcoming retailers, may be it will revolutionize the way Indians shop, Individually packed trays of meat and Individual packs of veggies! Yay! You can even label them you know! Oh and please the environment wallah’s spare me the world is gonna blow up anyway, we all know it 🙂 So lets not all be chickens anymore and demand produce that stays intact when it reaches our fridges.

Posted by: odzer | August 26, 2008

Bhutan – Druk Yul

The Bhutanese are a very proud nation. They have every right to be proud. They have survived inspite of Tibet, UK, China and India. Unlike their neighbour Tibet, which was gobbled up by China and Sikkim that was gobbled up by India. I have always had really magical experiences in the good old Druk Yul or Dragon Land. When I first had visited Bhutan way back in 2000, it was not on the itinerary’s of many Indian travelers. I had this idea that Bhutan was a country that was shut to the rest of the world and it was not that wrong. It was a very protected country and in 2000 they were just beginning to open their doors. Like other countries in South Asia, Bhutan faces some challenges as well. There were some ethnic issues with Nepali residents/subjects of the kingdom and many such people were forced to take refuge in Nepal. Other than that there was the matter of a closed border with Tibet due to the presence of China and Indian army was present in the kingdom and still is present to “defend” it.

However that being said and done I have found that perhaps the Bhutanese are the most friendly nation that India has among its neighbours. The reason may be partially that the Bhutanese are at peace with themselves and they do not really see Indians as any type of threat. Another reason may be the relative prosperity of Bhutan’s subjects when compared with Indians generally. I am not sure but perhaps Maldives may be in a similar position. Its just an idea that I have. In terms of infrastructure perhaps Bhutan lacks a lot but what strikes you is the shape in which you find private residences in both the cities and the countryside, not only is the Bhutanese architecture amazing the buildings are all neat and clean. The streets are neat and orderly. People seem to have some respect for law and order and most of all they tend to be open to new ideas. It is interesting to see what you can find in downtown Thimphu in terms of products everything from the best that India and South East Asia have to offer! I even remember eating Nori flavoured Lays there!

I had plans to be there this year but due to some reasons I could not make it, so I guess all I can do is to blog about Bhutan but I am hoping that I will be able to go to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh soon. I am particularly now interested in the Tawang area of Arunachal. Lets see where the wind takes me next.

Posted by: odzer | August 25, 2008


Jesus is alive today!

Jesus is alive today!

I went out today and found this button lying on the road. I could not sort of help myself from laughing. Its a bit ironic I guess. I think you can make your own assumptions about how it got where it was lying. An accident perhaps? May be it slipped and fell?

Why do people have to wear their faith on their lapels? I guess that is the real question. I have always found religious people to be a bit of a show off. They also tend to compete with each other and try to outdo each other. So what if you are not religious is it bad? May be not but it certainly does make your life very difficult. People who are not religious have a very difficult time speaking out in certain places, I still remember debating God with some of my friends in a restaurant once and it got a little bit loud and one guy from the table behind us actually came up to me and said “God is great, he is everywhere!”. I just told him “He may not be, but he certainly is well represented!”.

Jesus is alive today! I wish him good health and good luck!

Posted by: odzer | August 23, 2008

Iced tea without any tea

We all love our iced tea

We all love our iced tea

How difficult can it be to make a cup of tea? Lets talk about what happened to me today. I went to this restaurant in Sector 35-C called ‘Nik Bakers’ a sort of a bakery which is good at its best and average on most days. This was to be one of the those days when it was at its worst apparently. I asked for a Peach Iced Tea without any sugar. The guy who billed the beverage was told repeatedly that I want an iced tea without any sugar and he kept nodding his head, mumbling incoherently and finally said “one iced tea without any extra sugar”. That should probably have been my first clue but I admit I was sleepy at that point having just risen some 45 minutes before the event and gone to this ‘bakery’ for my breakfast.

So my order arrived and I took one sip of the drink and I was shocked, it was pure syrup. I mean you could have dunked your mothers home made Gulab Jamuns in it and sweetened them that way! I took the drink to the man at the cashier’s counter and he kept repeating that he had said no extra sugar! I mean the drink was already syrup, does it need any more sugar? So this woman who was also behind the counter then jumps in to the conversation and I asked her about my drink and she said “We do not add any sugar to this drink, the sugar is already included the mix”. Now having paid around 1$ for a drink in a third world country I expect some amount of quality. 1$ is a lot of money in India even with 13% inflation. I asked her “So your iced tea has no tea in it?”. She mumbles something again about a mix and I just leave the counter in disgust.

Coming back to my original question, how hard is it to make Tea. Nik if you are reading this, all you need is a peach flavoured tea bag, water, some ice and no sugar. I will gladly pay you the price you charge for you pre-mix tea if you would please give me some real tea! Oh and at the odd chance if you are reading it, at least serve your customers some decent hot tea and not a Taj Mahal Tea Bag in a cup. Darjeeling or even some good quality non cheap Assam would do nicely. Your hot tea is not priced cheap either so you could probably give us a decent tea bag eh?

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