Friday, 29 August, 2008

Tired of your Network?


The other day, I saw a huge ad in front of a Mobile office (Lets call it Aircel)
STD at 75 paisa for first 400 minutes... National SMS free!

I hold a Vodafone connection.
STD and SMS at 1 rupee.
I read. I sigh. And I walk on.


My friend tells me about this new offer which he can get me through his company connection... It will give me a 40% reduction in the bill. And free SMS!
I turn down the offer, again.


Why wouldn’t I grab these offers and change my connection to the best one, at once?

Because of the simple reason that I hate to go through that torment of changing my number, Informing my friends, relatives, colleagues, et al.. Wait a minute..! How will I inform my bank n other official services…??
Oh! Forget it!

Well… this will change. Soon.

Mobile number portability(MNP) will soon enter our circles. And the countdown has already started.

What is MNP?

Mobile Number Portability(MNP), simply put, means that even if you change your mobile service provider (Say from Airtel to IDEA or vice versa) your number would remain the same.

It is the newest in the tidal wave of mobile technology. There are other variants for changes like Mobile to Landline. But what we can expect soon, and obviously the most looked forward to, is the MNP.


There are myriad reasons why MNP should be here.

As I said before, you won't ever have to bother about changing your number. You see a new offer; this one better than your current one; buy it; plan changed. Simple. No hassles.

But behind this huge relief there are other significant repercussions which will affect our lives, or rather our Mobile lives. The simple possibility of losing the customers at once will push our Service providers to come up with new ideas, technologies and above all, lower rates.

And then, the mobile penetration rate in India would climb up rapidly. (If rates can go faster than it is now! :-)) Even though we feel every other guy, be it the street urchin or the local fruit vendor, owns a mob, mobiles in India seems to have reached only about a quarter of the population.


MNP is already an old story in countries like Singapore, US, UK, Australia, Pakistan etc. The best part of MNP is that you don't have to wait for days to get your plan changed. The waiting period varies from 5 hours in the US to an awesome 3 minutes in Australia!


MNP needs an intermediate governing body to monitor the porting of service.
There can be two types of Porting. Donor led porting and Recipient led porting.

Suppose you want to change your connection from X to Y. In donor led porting, it is your current provider X, who will initiate the porting and complete the formalities.
This method of porting is used only in UK. But the disadvantage here is that provider X would definitely be vexed at losing their customers. So the process of porting may take a loooooooooong time.

Recipient led porting thus seems to be the better one. Recipient network Y initiates and completes the process.

After porting, the routing of calls can take place based on a number of implementations. But as of now, the most popular and efficient routing is via a Central Data Base(CDB) of ported numbers. Local copies of this CDB will be available to every service provider and they will consult this database to decide which network a number currently uses.


"When shall MNP come to India?" has been a popular question since this technology came into being. The answer came very recently. Precisely, on the
2nd of August 2008. Our Telecom Minister A. Raja has declared that MNP will be rolled out in all the metros within 2 months and then to the whole of India in 6- 12 months.

A decade back, we wouldn't have even imagined "A phone for everyone".
Now we are not satisfied with the present goodies. As a popular mail says ' you have 15 numbers to reach your family of 3.' :-)

Technology simply gets better each day.

So, my dear mobile friends, its time to rejoice! :-)

*****12 May 2009*****


A good news in fact... Hope it does not get delayed further than this.

Tuesday, 19 August, 2008

A Fork In The Road.

Turning back
On that distant road
All those times
Fetched far in time
Would I regret?
Or would I smile?
When time has flown
And my life is through....

The fork I’ll see,
The way I chose;
The lost way
Or gone astray?
Would I be glad?
Or would I cry?
I chose it right;
Or "Wish I had...”

Wishes and dreams
Pressing around...
But fulfill or give;
Mine or for mine;
Would I ever know?
Or is it right here?
When would I know?
Will it be too late?

Life and dreams
Are parting ways
Or blending in?
The view is hazed.
Amazing bloom
Or the barren doom
The moment I pass
This fork, will I see?

Here at that fork
I stand right now.
Flip a coin
Or blindly choose?
Would I be right?
Would I ever fret?
The help I seek
God, where shall I find..?

Thursday, 7 August, 2008

Work experience = 1 year.

Yesterday was my first anniversary of being a working professional.
1 year as a software engineer.

If you ask me whether I've evolved as a better person or not since I shed my student garb, I don't know what to say. Not much, but this single year alone has taught me how bittersweet life can be all at once, more than the preceding 21 years put together.

Work has not changed me as a person but this one year taught me priorities in life can suffer a mammoth shift. From being a careless, absent minded girl unsure of the future, suddenly I find myself searching for ways to secure a future; for my siblings, my Mom, myself.

Values haven't changed, even after living for an year in the Silicon Valley of India.

Finding new friends, for a lifetime....

Catching up with old mates....
The revelation how exciting waiting for a weekend can be...
Missing home....

Discovering what 'hectic' means...
Learning to meet deadlines...
Managing time...
Missing home...
Feeling guilty when I see that dreaded sentence "Keep in touch"...
Chain mails...

New cuisines...
Added responsibilities...
Missing home...

Being independent.

It seems that just yesterday, we finished our last university exams.

One year.

Unbelievably short, yet long.

Tuesday, 5 August, 2008

Of Two Rupee coins, Feviqwik and Rosary beads...

My siblings and I had this common penchant for swallowing stuff when we were kids. By stuff I do not mean anything remotely edible. Rather coins, glues, stones and beads. And edible stuffs? We prefer to stuff them through other orifices. e.g.:- nostrils.

Let’s go back in time, rewind nearly two decades.

One fine morning Mom gives s me a plateful of mixture and a boxful of toys. Toys include an assortment of beads and chains, which used to be my favourite. Asking me to be a good girl she goes in to bath and I proceed to ‘play’. Minutes later, she came back to find the plate, half empty and the toys intact. Wait a minute…!
"Where is the big rosary???"
I show an "Um!" (Snap your mouth shut, you’ll know what I mean.)
Yep, I had swallowed it.
A metal rosary with three beads.

Epilogue: Neighbour aunty tells Mom, "Don’t worry; there is a problem only if she starts vomiting"
And I start half an hour later. My Dad and Mom were in anguish till the next day when the beads naturally came out. And I never got beads to play thereafter. sigh.

The next episode comes before or after this one, I don’t exactly remember. But the time period is pretty much the same. One fine morning, my mom once again gives me a plateful of mixture and toys (minus the bead versions) and goes into the kitchen.
A sniffling sound brings her back to me and lo!
There stands Jiyamol with a peanut stuffed deep in the nostril. (I honestly don’t remember this at all!)
Our neighbour, I used to fondly call him Ammavan, came to the rescue this time.
"Don’t worry; I’ll take it out" And he successfully stuffed the peanut deeper inside.

Epilogue: My regular ENT specialist (My! he must have made a fortune had I been a kid still) had to do a near surgery to take the stuffed peanut out. And the specimen had enlarged to the size of a lemon. Ok... Not that big; at least thrice the normal size. Cute, isn’t it?

I am proud to say I set the right example at the right time. These vivid, enchanting tales inspired my siblings to continue the legends.

My sister couldn’t exactly ‘swallow’; given the object concerned was a Feviqwik tube.
So she chewed it and got her mouth literally shut up. And it took us a joy ride to three hospitals to get her mouth opened, cleansed and then her stomach washed.

Epilogue: She never used Feviqwik thereafter.

My brother was more of my league.
One fine afternoon, mom was having a small nap. I was reading beside her. And my siblings were playing in the same room.
Suddenly my sis shouts, "Ayyo! He ate the coin! He ate the coin!"
Yup; my brother swallowed a coin.
Guess which one.
The largest possible one - A 2 rupee coin.

Epilogue: Thank god, we didn’t need much of an effort to get it out of his throat before it descended. But it did take considerable effort to calm down Mom.

As I said before, I don’t remember anything at all about my escapades and I’m sure nor would my siblings about theirs, but for my mom who recollects these ‘tales’ every now and then with much vigour.

After all these are memories that would never fade and would make us laugh for years to come. :)