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Showing posts from June, 2012

Booking Indian Railways tickets on third party sites

Whenever I have to make train reservations on IRCTC, I say my prayers and summon up all my reserves of patience. I love trains and not just because they are a reasonable alternative to overpriced flights. Trains offer charging points for laptops, and many routes have almost non-stop 3G/ EVDO internet connectivity, so I am a happy camper on any train these days. But I dread the ordeal of booking on India's busiest and most frustratingly slow e-ticketing site. Once it took me half a day to book a ticket and I wept in frustration after my card got  charged 3 times without the booking going through.

I was initially thrilled when travel sites like Cleartrip and Yatra got the green signal to issue train tickets, thinking that the ordeal of IRCTC would be behind me forever. It was not, and a new kind of ordeal has started.
Suketu Mehta observed in his novel "Maximum City" that flyovers in Mumbai did not really solve the purpose of reducing the traffic - instead they brought you…

So a coffee grinder from the US will not work properly in India?

I am familiar with the term 'globalisation' in a vague way, but this month, I got a taste of what happens when it's absent. As you are aware, electricity is supplied at different voltages in different countries. There is no real reason for this and no one seems to want to standardise it. It exists to incommode people who carry gadgets across countries and continents. If I ever join the proponents of globalisation, I will push for standard electricity voltage across the world. Here's the reason for my cribbing.


Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I purchased an espresso machine last month. I have been looking for a grinder to pair with it so that I can get 'real' espresso. At first I thought of a hand grinder - maintenance free, no need for tech support, environment friendly, cute and compact. Then I pictured myself in my coffee-less morning stupor, grinding beans grimly (and espresso requires extra grinding to bring coffee powder to the requis…