Saturday, December 22, 2012

Official Mobile Phone Recharge Links

    Most of us want to recharge our mobile with top-ups online. Sometimes we use sites those give offers with each recharge. Unlike others, I prefer to go to the official site of the service provider to recharge my mobile phone.

    Below are few of the links to the Official Sites of Telephone service providers in India. Hope the information will be helpful to many.

  1. Reliance (Reliance Communications):
  2. Airtel :
  3. Vodafone :
  4. Idea Cellular :
  5. Aircel :
  6. Tata Indicom / Docomo : 
  7.  BSNL :
  8. Uninor :
  9. MTS :
  10. Videocon :
  11. Virgin Mobile : 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Family reunion : A different kind

    People must be thinking why such a topic. To answer your question, this reunion was unique and for a cause. This story is inspired by the reunion of, one of the families in my village on a special occasion.
(Note: I have tried my best to narrate the situation, avoided the use of any name and number, as this is a public post.)

Story Begins:
    The family was headed by an old man, farmer by profession. He has 5 sons and 3 daughters. After his wife passed away, it was really difficult for the old man to handle his family. As any other joint family, this family also went through family quarrels among his daughter-in-laws. So, he distributed his all property among his sons. But this was not the end to the quarrel in the family. Being a large family number of problems is also large. On the timeline, the misunderstanding among brothers and the respective families rose to such a level that they even stopped talking to each other.

    The old man was staying with one of his sons. God knows what happened, all of sudden I came to know about a new type of quarrel in the old man's family. The other sons, with whom the old man was not staying, called for a panchayat meeting to urge that they want to keep their father with them. As per the rumor in the village, his sons are thinking that the old man was doing some work in his son's house and they all want to take advantage of him. As per the panchayat decision, the old man started staying for 2 months in each son's house. In the meanwhile, there was some patches among few of the brother's as they understood that they are not going to get anything by keeping disregard with others.

Reunion Climax:
    One day one (the middle son) among the 5 sons of the old man died (due to health problem). As per the rights, the old man should have asked all his sons to handle the situation and give condolence to that family. As the old man know the nature of his sons' family, he decided not to call any one among his sons. Villager suggested the middle son's son to ask all his father's brothers and sisters to the funeral and later rituals. But unfortunately, the middle son's wife did not agree to this unconditional reunion. Anyway the middle son's son-in-law decided, invited and convinced all the brothers to join hand to complete the tasks in the ritual. All the sons of the old man called for a village panchayat and decided to join hands to finish the ritual. There was a sympathy, that played a major role and that was : "though there was not any such relationship among the brothers, still then the old man's middle son was there own blood, they are from the same parents". And the panchayat decided that they can stay connected if and only if all the family members start a new journey in life by forgetting what has happened till date or who has done what mistake. Finally all of them agreed and went to the funeral of the middle son.

     This was a timely requirement that all the sons fulfilled. After that I came to know that there was serious meetings in each family and among families to finalize the future road map. There was mere tension in our mind, whether they will really shake hands and go further as a family or not. But finally, on the 10th day I saw all the family members of each family at one place and performing the rituals.

    Though after this incident everybody went to there respective home, still then, the attachment  was established among the old man's sons. Now they talk to each other, care for others problem like relatives, the old man is still staying for 2 months at each son's house in turn. The bond is still weak and I hope everything  goes well and the bond among the families becomes strong.

    It seemed not less than a drama to me, but it was reality. I decided to narrate this, because in India such kind of incidents help the diversified families to attach emotionally with each other. Generally families unite in good situations, like family functions, religious functions, but this was really a different kind re-unite in that family.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Using ATVM while Traveling Indian Railways

Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) – The smart way to buy Train Tickets…

    I am a frequent traveler in the South-Eastern railways. I am staying in Kolkata and my home is near to Bhadrak. I generally go home on weekends. Everyone, who travel by train know the crowd that travel in local trains and in general coaches of long distance superfast trains. There are only 2 trains in the morning to go to Bhadrak and they leave Howrah station at 6:00AM and 7:30AM respectively. Generally I wish to catch the 6:00AM train (Dhauli Superfast Express). In the morning I have to travel from my room to Howrah station and book the ticket and catch the train. At the busiest station in eastern India, it is really difficult to reach the ticket counter from the taxi stand, and then I have to wait in the queue to avail a ticket for the train. In most of the cases, I book the ticket and unable to catch the train and then I have to travel by the next train. On one such day, I asked at the enquiry about the machines installed near the booking counter. Then I came to know about the ATVMs and the smart card. On the very return journey, I bought the ATVM smart card from the station. Now, I am able to buy my ticket in just 30 Seconds. By this way, I by passed the long waiting queue for booking ticket… so happy ticket booking.

    Tag Line for ATVMs: “No queue, No counter, No cash transactions, No identity hassles…. Buy Smart card and obtain Unreserved as well as platform tickets. Be a smart traveler.

Where to buy ATVM Smart Card:
    You can buy a smart card from a nominated booking counter in the stations. If you are unable to locate one, please ask in the enquiry counter about ATVM Smart Card buying counter.

Salient Features of Smart Card:
  • Initial minimum cost for card is Rs. 100/- (Rs 50 for security deposit and you get Rs 50 of ticket value) and this cost varies with time and among zones.
  • Top-up facility in multiples of Rs 50/- subject to a maximum of Rs. 1000/-
  • No refund of deposit in case of loss of card.
  • Valid for 1 year from the date of issue / last recharge.
  • Security deposit is refundable after deduction of Rs 10/- as cancellation fee on surrender of Smart card.
  • Smart card is transferable. So you can gift it to your beloved ones. At the same time, if you loss the card, you cannot claim for refund.
  • 5% bonus offer on each Rs 100/- recharge, i.e. pay Rs 100/- and get ticket value of Rs 105/- recharged.
Salient Features of ATVM:
  • Round the clock service
  • User friendly touch screen
  • Can buy journey tickets for first and second class
  • Can buy second class unreserved ticket from the station to any other station in the railway zone.
  • Can buy child and adult tickets
  • Can buy platform tickets
  • Tickets can be cancelled at the ATVM supervisory counter (Counter where Smart card is sold) on deduction of Rs 10/- as charge.
  • ATVMs are GPS based. So no need to enter the Boarding Station Name.
How to use ATVM:

         General Instructions:
  • Please use your finger to touch screen
  • Always touch the screen softly
  • Clean your finger before touching the screen
  • Do not indulge In acts which may make the system malfunction
  • Use the ATVM quickly to give others a chance
         Buying Platform ticket:
  • Place the Smart Card on the card reader as indicated on the ATVM. You have to keep the card on the sensor till your transaction is over.
  • Select Platform on the right side of the screen
  • Select No of Passengers (up to a maximum of 4 people) and then select Print.
  • Collect the ticket from the drop box provided in the ATVM and also collect your Smart card
                 Buying MMTS Tickets (Local Trains):
  • Place the Smart Card on the card reader as indicated on the ATVM.
  • Select Zone (As shown on the screen) depending on the destination station
  • Select ticketing options like Destination Station, Class of Travel (I or II), Adult, Child etc, in the next screen and then select Ticket option.
  • After satisfying yourself about correctness of the ticket from preview screen, select Print.
  • Collect the ticket from the drop box provided in the ATVM and also collect your Smart card.
          Buying Non-MMTS Tickets (Local trains as well as long distance trains):
  • Place the Smart Card on the card reader as indicated on the ATVM.
  • Select option “Press here if your station is not in the map” on the display
  • Using the keypad appearing on the screen, select first three alphabets of your Destination station, i.e. BHA for BHADRAK. It will show list of stations starting with the 3 letters you typed. Then select your destination station from drop down menu.
  • If the selected destination has more than one route, select the desired route from the list given in the screen.
  • After selecting route, select one of the 3 options under train type (Ordinary, Express, Superfast)
  • Select other ticketing options like, No of Tickets, Class of Travel (I or II), Adults, Childs, Route of journey (from drop down menu), and then select Ticket option.
  • After satisfying yourself about correctness of the ticket from preview screen, select Print.
  • Collect the ticket from the drop box provided in the ATVM and also collect your Smart card.
     I hope this information will be helpful for people who travel frequently on Train. I am sharing this, as it has really helped me. No need to stand in the queue for long time and put stress on your body. Enjoy the technology provided by the Indian Railways.

Using SBI ATM for Card to Card Money Transfer

    State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest government banking and financial services company in India in terms of revenue and market capitalization. SBI tag lined as “Banker to every Indian”. SBI provides State Bank ATM-cum-Debit Card facility through which an SBI account holder can withdraw cash and do many more stuffs free of charge at over 26,000 ATMs of State Bank Group within the country. Now there is no need to visit the branch or login to your Online SBI Account to transfer money to other SBI account holders. Instead you can use instant SBI Card to Card Transfer facility provided through SBI ATMs.

How to Transfer Money through SBI ATM:

    If you need to transfer some money from one SBI account to another SBI account or want to send some money to relatives, you can do that using SBI ATM. There is no direct option to transfer money directly to SBI bank account using ATM. Instead, you can use the card to card transfer facility from SBI ATM. In card to card transfer, the money in your account gets transferred to account number of beneficiary’s debit card number of state bank group. As a result, you can say it that card to card money transfer is as same as transferring money to another bank account. You will get the receipt of the money transfer from the ATM counter. You can check your online account statement to verify that the money has been transferred to the right SBI account (SBI account number of beneficiary Card holder will be given in the transaction statements.)

Steps for Card to Card Money Transfer Facility:

   To transfer money using State Bank card to card fund transfer facility, you can follow the following steps:
  1. Swipe your debit card of State Bank of India.
  2. Choose Transfer Option (Transfer option could be seen at the right bottom side of the ATM screen after swiping the card.)
  3. Enter the PIN (After selecting Transfer option you will be asked to enter the ATM Card PIN Number.)
  4. Choose Card to Card Transfer option (from the various option listed on the screen after entering the PIN.).
  5. Enter Beneficiary’s Debit Card Number (Enter the 19-digit debit card number of the recipient’s Debit card).
  6. Enter Again Beneficiary’s Debit Card Number (For confirmation).
  7. Enter Transferable Amount (Enter the amount of money which you want to transfer, should be <= 15000 rupees).
  8. Select account type (You will be asked to choose your account type from either Savings or Currents).
  9. Transaction Completed (Your transaction is completed now and the amount of money is credited instantly to the recipient’s account).
  10. Collect the printed receipt for future reference.

Things you must have for SBI Card to Card Transfer

     For availing SBI Debit Card to Debit Card money transfer facility you must have these two: Your debit card and debit card number of beneficiary.

SBI Card to Card Transfer Limits

   At present, limitation for State Bank of India card to card transfer facility is:
  • Per transaction limit- You can transfer a maximum of Rs 15,000/- per transaction.
  • Per day limit- A maximum of Rs 30,000/- can be transferred per day from one debit card to another.
  • Number of transactions limit- An SBI ATM cardholder can do a maximum of two transactions per day for card to card money transfer.
I hope this information will be helpful for many people. :)

Journey on Indian Railways

Indian Railways is the world's 4th largest railways network, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways.
We Indians have coined multiple names for Indian Railways, based on our experience on train journey and cracked multiple jokes on its routine behavior. I am a frequent commuter in the East Coast Division of Indian Railways. I would like to share some of my experiences (P.S. : Only for reading, not interested in offending any person, community or government body).
At Boarding Station:
Every time I reach the station, I have to look around and see whether I am safe or not, as if I am in the most wanted list of beggars. It is not only beggars, but the child beggars, who follow you as bees in the whole station, be it in ticket booking counter, waiting room or the bench on the platform. You will find that they will not leave you, unless until you give them some money. You will find some more number of beggars on the foot over bridge, on platform, on the entrance of the ticket booking counter. You can easily observe that, Indian railways is home to more physically challenged people than any other elderly home.
Now let’s go to the ticket booking counter. You will always find the queue for booking the ticket too long due to the number of opened counters less than required. Either you can stay in the queue to book the ticket or go out in search of an ATVM or VM. In most of the stations you will not fine one. If you find one of them, the probability of the machine working properly is less than 30%. In most of the cases, the machine will be there, but not working, reason unknown... .
On the platform, as most of our stations are not developed properly, you will find more number of unregistered vendors than the registered vendors. They also enter the train without any ticket. Waiting in the platform is really boring. You would be expecting the station announcer to announce the train you want to board, but you will always find that they announce a trains name, which is late by some 8 - 10 hours or so. Coming to the fact of trains coming late, we Indians have coined multiple jokes on it. If you have booked a reserved ticket, then you are lucky and you can easily board the train, otherwise you have to fight the crowd to enter into the train.
In the Train:
If you are traveling in a unreserved ticket, then you will find that a second sitting coach with 108 seats carrying passengers more than 250, people sitting on the luggage carrier, by standing, sitting on the floor, sitting at the gates, sleeping in the hanged blankets etc, apart from the seats where 6 - 7 people sit on a 4 seated bench. This shows people in our country are very much flexible and they can adjust in such scenarios. If you are sitting in a 4 seated bench and some other person comes and asks you to give him space to sit and you refused saying this is a four seated bench, you may get replies like, "6 people sit on this bench, and you have to give space. If you want comfort why did not you book in reservation?"
You will see different kind of people in the train. You will come across blind people begging inside the train in the name of god's grace; children sweeping the train floor and seeking for money in return; children performing different kind of physical act, playing musical instruments like drums, flutes etc; ladies carrying small children and begging for money for their children's food; vendors selling food items etc.
Another major issue faced by most of the travelers is the Hijadas (Kinners). Sometimes they travel in groups and sometimes individual. Now-a-days their torture on passengers has crossed the limit. Some of them ask to give on individuals will. But a major chunk demands money of more than 5 rupees from each passenger. It is not always possible for individual to keep coins to give them. If someone refused to give money, some of the hijadas starts abusing in bad word, try to hit on the private parts of passengers. I am not saying all the Hijadas are bad. But I have faced similar situation while traveling on train. This is a major issue in East coast, South Central and Central railways (Mentioning these names as I have traveled in these routes).
            You must be thinking why I am writing all these as they are common in daily life. Because, I am frustrated with the system.