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IPL 3.0 finals at DY Patil

[image-source: rediff.com]

Watching IPL 3.0 finals between Mumbai Indians(MI) and Chennai Super Kings(CSK) at DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai was an experience to cherish. The plan to watch a  match in the one of the best cricket-stadium in the world was there for a long time since I was looking forward to make the most of my stay at Navi Mumbai. The booking for the tickets turned out to be sort of a circus. As it was expected that the tickets for finals would be sold out like hot cakes, from the time tournament started I used to visit the official ticketing site ticketgenie.in regularly.

Ajanta Caves Exploration

Ajanta Caves
Series of Caves

[This post is detailed account one day trip to Ajanta Caves from Aurangabad. It's continuation of the summary post Ajanta Ellora trip.]

After having an overnight journey from Mumbai,  I was at Aurangabad’s Manmandir bus stand, India’s largest private bus terminus ( wow !).. later I checked-in at dormitory in the same complex and finished my morning ablutions to be ready in time for the ITDC Ajanta trip as the pick-up time for it was at 8.40 am. In order to be risk-averse,  I had decided to explore Ajanta on day-one itself as it’s 100+ km from Aurangabad. The booking for the conducted trip at travel office at Manmandir complex itself.

Tata Photon Plus: taking customers for granted

To whomsoever it’s concerned.

tata-photonLast Friday, after coming back from work as part of usual routine I decided log onto Internet do some usual surfing and check personal mails. But I was totally blocked from doing so, as my Tata Photon plus was not getting connected at all. While connecting it was throwing some vague error Error 678: remote computer is not responding. I thought it was some temporary interruption and decided try it again after an hour. Unfortunately the problem persisted entire night and I had to pass the time with frustration by watching boring IPL matches.

Next day in morning when I called up the customer care, I got to know that my connection has been disconnected because of some silly credit limit issue. For that they had sent an ambiguous email only a day earlier without any warning.

The connection was re-activated only after payment of excess amount on my monthly bill  which was due on April 24th. I lost the interest for 14 days .. yes … banks nowadays pay interest on a daily basis !

This incidence was just an addition to the poor experience Tata Photon Plus which I am facing was last three months.

  • First of all the connection is indecently expensive. To activate the connection I had to pay 3500/- for the modem which is not refundable ! And the made-in-china device will be obsolete in India’s 3G era.
  • The Quality of Service(QoS) is very poor during peak hours, the speed will be around 10 Kbps .. strike contrast to 3.1 Mbps, the speed with which the service is marketed. I think in dial-up-connection days the things used to be much better. I can understand the drastic increase in user-base but the telco should respond by gradually upgrading their infrastructure. I am sure it won’t be a very big investment especially in the business with an average profit margin of 35-40%.
  • Last but not the least is the abrupt disconnection mentioned above. There was no explicit or implicit warning in the email mentioning that my connection will be disconnected very next day. There were no phone calls, no invoice for the interim payment. What was the rationale behind it ? thinking that I am going runaway to an unknown location without paying the bill. How can they even dare to think a customer can do so especially after paying 3500 INR for the modem? Also, do they expect customers to get in dreams that “Error 678” while connecting means “Connection disconnected on account of exceeding credit limit” ?

ps: This post has been written using an offline editor. Doing it online on a Tata photon connection would have ages :)

Updates:

Had shared the link of this post in twitter and got a reply from the TataTelCustCare. tata-tele-tweet

Ajanta and Ellora trip

When: It was a long weekend on account of holiday for Good Friday and I made the best use of it by making a trip to Ajanta and Ellora, well known world heritage sites in Maharashtra.
Where: My base city was Aurangabad which is just an overnight journey from Mumbai. From Aurangabad city, Ajanta Caves are 100+ kms and Ellora Caves are 15+ kms.
Planning: There was no hardcore planning as such since I was travelling alone and many decisions were made on the fly. Got some basic info from my PGPM classmates Sameer and Sorabh, as the city is hometown of the former and the latter had done his engineering at the same place.

Travelling from Mumbai: Had thought of doing it by train but after seeing long waiting list, I decided to both to-and-fro travel by Neeta-Volvo. Yeah that’s how the service is commonly known in Maharashtra. Not sure how by word-of-mouth an international automobile brand got attached to the name of an Indian travel agency :). Being in Navi Mumbai, I was in advantageous position to board the bus very late relative people in Mumbai. In fact, I boarded the onward journey bus from Vashi at 11:45 pm which would have started from its originating point in Greater Mumbai around 9.30 pm. Such kind of luxury is not there w.r.t trains for Navi Mumbaikars.
Travelling around: Being alone and for various psycho-economical reasons, I opted for conducted tours of ITDC which turned out of pretty decent and much better than my previous experiences of conducted tour at other places. Ajanta was covered in one-day dedicated trip and whereas Ellora was covered in a trip combined with Aurangabad city tour.
Accommodation: I stayed in a dormitory at Hotel Manmandir for 200/- per day. Pretty decent place in terms of facility, as in the same complex other than dorms there’re executive rooms, bus terminus for private buses, veg-restaurant and a travel booking centre where you can book tickets for any mode of transport(including ITDC excursions). Believe it or not,  I never boarded an auto in Aurangabad since the pickup and drop points of both ITDC tours and Neeta-Volvo were from the same place.
Sightseeing: As I already mentioned ITDC packages were above average it terms of value for money. Also, there were sufficient logical breaks given by the guide so that tourists can spend some leisure time at locations on their own. Other than Ajanta and Ellora, the historical Daulatabad fort was surprisingly refreshing. It was nice to visit a fort which has such a deep history and once upon a time was 'Capital of India'. It was one of most secure fort at the time of its operation and it’s speculated that the security aspects from the same fort have been copied while constructing other forts in medieval era.
Traveling alone: Since it was very engaging trip I never felt bored travelling alone. Also, I made a few on-the-spot friends in ITDC trips. One was Naveen, a chartered accountant from Bangalore who was in Auragabad for some business purpose and other one was a very distinct senior person, an aeronautical engineer working for an Australian firm. A very enthusiastic person, due to his demanding profession he had travelled several countries around the world. 
 
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