Saturday 8 October 2016

Real life example of Voice Phishing (Vishing)

This is how the conversation went between "the executive" and I. This was a typical vishing (voice phishing) attempt to steal the private information.

Beware of such calls!!!

She: Good morning sir
Me: Good morning

She: Sir, I am calling from Master card and this is regarding your credit card
Me: yes?

She: Sir, this call is for verification. I will ask you a few questions and you need to answer.
Me: Ok

She: Can you tell me the expiry month and year of your credit card?
Me: I am not supposed to share any information to anyone. Why should I share this with you?

She: Sir, this expiry date is not confidential. I am not asking for the credit card number.
Me: If you are asking for the verification, then you have the details. Right?

She: Yes sir
Me: Why dont you give me a couple of options and I will tell you which one is as mentioned in the card?! Based on my reply, you can verify.

She: Get lost! (She hung up the phone)
Me: (grin on my face)

Friday 26 August 2016

Viewing the mighty Himalayas from the plane

When I had to travel to Gangtok (Sikkim) on a business trip, I was excited because it was my first visit to the North East state.

My onward journey was via Kolkata and my return ticket was via New Delhi. Being a traveler, the Indian map is very familiar to my mind. The thought of flying from Bagdogra (nearest airport to Gangtok) to New Delhi triggered another excitement! Isn't this route runs parallel to the Himalayan mountains? Is there a chance of having a glimpse of mighty Mount Everest?!!!

The sheer imagination of viewing Mt.Everest brought a lot of excitement. I immediately turned to Google to check if someone has blogged about this experience. One person had blogged about viewing Himalayas whenever he flew from New Delhi to Bagdogra.

So now I had to ensure i will get a window seat. I went to seatguru site to get the seat map of my flight. Based on this, I had to book "F" seat to get the glimpse. And I got it. I was praying for a clear sky.

When I boarded the flight, I was all excited. After the plane took off, it proceeded towards South for some time, probably because to avoid flying over Nepal. After 20mins or so, it took the right turn towards West. The sky was clear at the upper region part. After a few minutes, I sighted the tall peaks which looked liked someone has placed something over there! Man! The tallest was none other than the mighty Mount Everest (got verified with Himalayan map)! I could see top portion of the mountain and the rest were covered by the cloud. It was one amazing experience viewing the mountain from above the clouds! The plane must have been flying above 9000 mts.

As the plane moved further, I saw a few more peaks. I took snaps in my mobile but it didn't do the justice. Wish I had a better camera!

Thought of sharing my experience so that if you are flying in this route, do try to get a window seat (if you are flying from New Delhi, get a "A" seat).

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Being an Ambulance Driver

Raju is working as a cab driver in Bengaluru. When he was zipping through the traffic on outer ring road, it caught my attention because of his effortless driving. I have seen many drivers driving fast but in all those cases, i felt scared and was not confident on the driving.

When Raju drove by changing lanes swiftly and making himself path so effortlessly, i just couldn't resist and asked "How do you do that?".

Perhaps he understood the essence of my question, and he replied "Sir, in my previous job, I was an ambulance driver".

I murmured "There you go! No wonder he drives so fast but a confident driving."

And I continued "Why did you change your job? How was your experience driving an ambulance?"

He explained "Sir, when I was driving the ambulance, I realized the importance of every minute. Time is so precious. There were times when i couldn't make it to the hospital and patients died. They could be alive had I reached a few minutes early." After a long pause, he continued "It was a huge mental pressure, as it was a matter of life and death. I couldn't take the pressure anymore, so joined as a cab driver".

As we drove past Silk board, an ambulance was rushing behind us and Raju promptly pulled his cab sideways and allowed the ambulance to move ahead. He very well knows how it feels for that ambulance driver and the importance of the person's life inside the vehicle.

When the cab reached my home, I thanked him and wished him the best in his new job.

He is yet another cab driver in the city, but he knows the importance of the time and seen it so closely!

Thursday 19 May 2016

Book Review: Historical Rama

For centuries,there have been serious debates and discussions happening around the authenticity of Lord Rama and Ramayana. Is Ramayana a mythology or did it really happen? If it indeed happen, when was it? What is the proof? and you can start listing down all kinds of questions.

This debate took a new turn under previous UPA government when it was decided to open a sea route near Rameswaram, which means demolishing what is known as "Rama Sethu" which is submerged under the sea between Danushkodi (India) and SriLanka. Subramanyan Swamy is fighting to preserve this structure. Many Hindus regard the "Rama Sethu" as the one built by Vanaras under the guidance of Rama.

With so many questions and tales surrounding this topic, it is not very easy to decipher and look for answers to authenticate Rama or Ramayana. D.K. Hari and D.K. Hema Hari from Bharath Gyan have done extensive research on the very subject and have authored a book with the title "Historical Rama". This book is published by Sri Sri Publications Trust of "The Art of Living".

This book tries to uncover any clue/references which leads to establish the fact/assumptions that Rama was a historical character and Ramayana is not mythology.

The authors have looked at both puranic and scientific references to establish the similar pattern. They have covered the references from Literature, Local Traditions, Astronomy, Geography, Archaeology, and Marine Archaeology.

There are so many new information which keeps the reading very interesting. One such information is the Solar dynasty lineage from Kashyapa rishi to a king of Mahabaratha times.

I would strongly recommend this book as it provides a new dimension to the Ramayana's historicity and also showcase the mention of Ramayana and Rama by so many outsiders thousands of years ago.

You can order this book at Amazon as well.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Tamilnadu Temples Road Trip from Bangalore

This is a travelogue on my recent road trip to Tamilnadu covering 7 cities/towns and more than 15 places in a span of 5 days and 4 nights. In this post, you can expect the tour plan, road map, road conditions, a brief overview of the places, and Do's and Dont's.

Till now, my longest journey in my car was a trip to Madurai and Kodaikanal covering 1047 kms. I wanted to go to the next level. And this is where the idea came up to cover remaining tourist places in Tamilnadu.

This trip is my longest solo drive so far clocking 1564 kms.

Tuesday 1 March 2016

INR 10: Return from South Africa - Centenary Commemoration

Numismatics or Coins collection is not only about keeping coins. Through the coins, we can also learn about history, events, people, and the nation. Sometimes, a coin describes a story through a picture.

I'm starting a series wherein I'll cover one coin per post to share about fascinating stories behind these coins. I'll start this series with the Indian Coin.

Today's coin is about 10 Rupee Indian coin which was released to mark 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa.

This coin was released on 8th Jan 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is very common to see Gandhi's picture in currency notes. However, this coin has two pictures of Gandhi: young Gandhi and the aged Gandhi.

Gandhi was 24 years old when he arrived in South Africa in 1893. He spent 21 years in South Africa and returned to India in 1915. By then, he was referred as Mahatma.

This coin reminds us the struggle and rise of Gandhi to Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa. Next time you get this 10 Rupee coin do observe the pictures. It's beautiful.

Friday 22 January 2016

Footwear not allowed inside ATM!

Spotted this ATM center in Bhuvanagiri, TamilNadu where footwear is not allowed inside! Surprised!

Monday 4 January 2016

Bhuvanagiri - Birthplace of Sri Raghavendra Swamy

Mantralaya is one of the holy places in India and many people visit this place every year. Mantralaya is the place where Madwa Saint Sri Raghavendra Swamy entered the brindavana.

However many people do not know about the birthplace of Sri Raghavendra Swamy. When I was searching for that info, I got to know that Bhuvanagiri is the place where rayaru was born. Upon further researching, I got to know that this place is situated in Tamilnadu state near Chidambaram.

When I recently did Tamilnadu tour, I visited this place as well and this post is to share some info about this sacred place.

Bhuvanagiri is situated around 10kms from Chidambaram.

The house where rayaru was born still exist and the mruttika brindavana is constructed here where daily pooja happens.


Inside House

Surprisingly, a certificate is issued validating the birth place of rayaru based on the records found and the same information is inscribed on a stone inside the house.


How to reach and where to stay:

It is easily accessible from Chidambaram. Chidambaram has plenty of options for stay and food. It does not take more than 30mins to reach this place from Chidambaram.

Friday 1 January 2016

New Year Greetings!

When I look at 2015 from the blogging perspective, I have not made any improvement compared to 2014. Though I posted very few posts, majority of them were related to the travel. Of course, I got a very good feedback on the posts as it helped fellow travelers to plan ahead.

However, I am optimistic about 2016. I'll be more active and would share useful information. Recently I did my longest drive ever covering more than 1500kms around Tamilnadu. Perhaps, I'll begin 2016 year with a few posts of that trip.

Wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year!!!