Sunday, February 28, 2016

Consumer Pyramids

Came across this site Consumer-Pyramids. Very interesting findings. Not sure how genuine these are. I was positively impressed by this article on literacy rates in India. If the literacy rates for ages 10-20 are 95%, we as a nation have done well for ourselves.

Also, checked out the income data. Most Indians (educated ones) would not know that if their household incomes are >Rs 70,000 per month, they are the elite 1% of the Indian Households. The expenses for the top 1% of the households including rent education groceries etc. is just Rs 24,000.

Really? I paid my driver Rs 14,000 per month back in 2014. Does that really mean that he is top 25%? Wow! I think there should be different classification rural vs urban. I'm sure the statisticians did the analysis, just that its not been published.

Anyhow, a good treasure trove.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Back To Binging...

Every few years I get out there and buy hundreds or even thousands of dollars of stuff! Things I covet, things that make me feel pampered!

I've accepted an offer from a bank in Mumbai, and hence the celebrations.

The Wallet: For the last couple of years, every time I flew in and out of India, I'd stop over at the Mont Blanc shop at duty free and ogle at the items on display. This time around when flying from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi, they were some offers and I let my greedy goblin prevail. Got my self a nice little wallet. This set me thinking about how to organise the contents from keeping it in shape. Strange, eh! I want to hold less in a wallet that costs more...

iPhone 6: Well, my two year romance with my current phone 5s came to an end. Actually, I might have continued with it if I had the foresight and bought a 64GB version 2 years ago. With 16 GB, and growing OS and app sizes, what 16 GB can hold is shrunk. It does not even have my entire songs library and there is only 800MB left. Had to upgrade. Its cheaper here than in India. So...

Quiet Comfort 25: Back in 2009, I got Beats headphones by Dr. Dre. I loved them. Wore them everywhere, even to the gym (Something I regretted). Over the last 6 years, they survived but not without the wear and tear. Overall, I think their build quality was less than stellar. These were the first edition, much before Apple bought them. Over time, their ear pads came off and one of audio cables conked off. I continued using them till some time late last year, till one day my daughter decided to usurp them to listen to Celina Gomez. Well, she forgot to switch them off, the batteries leaked inside the headphone and that's that. Time to get a new one...

This time on, I decided to change to Bose as their noise cancellation was way better and they could play music even without the batteries. Besides, I think the bass is less boomy, the sound more real... I love them already.

Macbook Pro: This one is straight from the bucket list. I've always owned a PC and wondered why would people overpay for a Mac... Then over a period of time, I got initiated into the Apple ecosystem. I was still in the US when I bought my first ipod touch. And then I got hooked! Got an iPhone, then an iPad, Apple Tv. And finally now a Macbook Pro. I was torn between Surface Pro 4 and Mac. But the build quality issues with Surface and its limited availability in UAE tipped the scale in favour of the Mac. Again, the question of Air vs Pro played out. As I sometimes code, I settled for Pro.

The Camera: I have a Canon 40D. Its bulky and just 10MP. But I love the output. Incidentally, I bought it in 2008. It gave up on me late last year. But then, instead of selling / replacing it, I'm getting it repaired.

And that completes my toy shop. Boys, I tell you...   

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hello Mumbai! My Beacon of Hope!

I first arrived in Mumbai in the summer of '97. I was carrying 2 large suitcases and a colossal bedding. I was told to get off Kalyan and take a local to Thane. The person forgot to inform me not to attempt boarding a local at 8 in the morning with such an entourage. Come Thane, there I was struggling to get out of the train, swimming against the current of hoards of humans trying to get in. Mercifully, a couple of co-passengers helped. They threw my suitcases off the train while I pulled at the bedding. There I was sprawled on the platform trying to extricate the bedding from the crowd by pulling it hard, holding on to it for my life. Someone passing by smacked my head, "Tapli" and called me "Yeda". Welcome to Mumbai!

Since then, I've moved in and out of Mumbai several times. Chandigarh, Japan, China, US and now UAE. And everytime, after a short stint I've returned to the mothership Mumbai.

After 2 eventful years at Abu Dhabi, come march, I once again move to Mumbai. It's been a disruptive and disturbing year. I lost my job here end of Nov, and despite my best efforts could not even find an opty. I reached out to my friends in Mumbai and within days, I landed 2 jobs. Of course it took a while to close these, but the response to SoS was swift and helpful.

For the first time I feel I have roots. In Mumbai. The city that has accepted time and me despite my frequent philandering.

My daughter's session ends in March and we all move together to Mumbai end of March. With a Job in Hand! and that's comforting...