Archive for December, 2009

End of an year – 2009

Third year this. Continuing the series. Kick started with a fantastic January, and rode one hell of a roller coaster – traumatic and euphoric year.

Few firsts, and few not firsts. Will try to keep it cryptic.

Yearning for that stint.

First time racing with 4 unknowns – yeah, i loved it. Off and on roading, without a license. Exhibiting, selling, learning lessons on costing, networking – and more importantly having fun.

Ask and wait.

More and more travels, and fighting sleeplessness. Tweeting. The program – close, yet so far. Hectic and crazy beginning – not realizing the mammoth impact of future.

Postponement. Plan goes awry. Cushion of buffer, but a price to pay.

Hitting rock bottom, bete gone. :-(

More frustration, plan goes awry again coz someone didn’t do it right. Almost an exit.

A lease of life.

An opportunity – perseverance and patience pays – an experience. The stint. King reins – didn’t witness. Hit a low again. Confusion,  leads to determination.

New people – fun. Breather. The unexpected. More experience, more fun. :)

Final frontier. On par – can fight with. Decide to fight. Fighting starts – planning of which was on and off.

Opportunities. An exit, close.

Revelation by the one. Lobster gone. Disappointment, loss of joy. But.

Fighting continues, and so does living on hope.

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Well, that’s not a bird. Yes, we sighted a Jackal on the way to Nandi hills. Saw a few swallows collecting mud for nesting, and stopped the car. But, those birds are calm and patient until they see a photographer. Just then, I saw something get into a field and thought it was a mongoose. Alerted Vineet and Yashpal to watch out for a mongoose. Got ready to photograph as it emerged from the other end of the field as a Jackal!

A fantastic start for the day. Many warblers, and misty covered hilltop crowded with weekend junkies. Didn’t start birding until about 9am. The beautiful Indian Blue Robin made few appearances, but cloudy day and slow shutter speeds got only blurry images. Search for Indian Pitta went in vain.

Caught a surprisingly co-operative Blue Rock Thrush (female) perched on a branch. Few other photographers with 500mm, 400mm and 300mm + 1.4x TC lenses were there. So many photographers didn’t deter the bird. She perched there without a care for the world. But she was not in good light and we faced her back. Meanwhile, few were trying to shoot a Puff Throated Babbler. I joined them. The bird came out and perched on a branch so close that it was closer than the minimum focus distance of my 100-400mm! I missed what would be an excellent image, and realized it i had set MFD to 6.5m.

But the rock thrush had turned around, and make my day.

Ok, you’ve waited enough – click away to glory

Preening herself

On the rocky side we saw Bonelli’s Eagle, Steppe Eagle, and Shaheen Falcon. It was a treat to watch the falcon dive. The Sunday crowd on the hills strengthend towards afternoon, and we left the place.

Caught a juvenile Shikra on the way back, perched on a electric wire. I didn’t complain of un-natural perch bird photographers hate. Made this images with lovely blue winter skies, over head Sun and the partial shadow in the bird’s eye as it looked up.

This trip was on November 24th 2009.

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Booking movie tickets online is the easiest way to book tickets, but not all multiplexes have a smooth gateway for online transcations. Inox Movies, which earlier wanted a login to book tickets, has done away with login. You can book tickets without logging in.

I tried to book tickets for Rocket Singh on Friday evening, but the payment gateway had some problems. After selecting seats and taking my credit card information, the gateway would get into ‘processsing’ for few seconds before returning with ‘Booking Cancelled’ page. After 3 futile attempts, I gave up.

Rs.945/-  (Rs.300/- per ticket plus Rs.15/- for booking charges) was charged on each attempt, but my tickets were not booked.Total of Rs. 2835/- has been charged and i did not get tickets!

Usually charges on such futile transactions are reimbursed or credited back to the credit card. I was sure it would happen this time too, but to my shock it hasn’t.

I received my credit card statement with charges for 3 Inox transcations. I am furious with the payment gateway of Inox movies. There is no contact information for online transcations. I have mailed  contact@inox.co.in and waiting for a reply.

Here is the screenshot of my credit card statement:

Inox movies online ticket booking unsafe

You can see the booking transaction at Fame cinemas, where i booked the tickets after futile attempts with Inox. Fame cinemas too has a horrid payment gateway, but Inox has the worst of these multiplexes.

There has been no credit of the Inox transction in unbilled transctions either. The worst thing is there is no login information, and no reference number for these transactions.

All the movie buffs, take this as a warning to booking tickets online at Inox Movies. Please tweet/circulate this message amongst your friends.

P.S.: If anyone has faced similar situation, please let me know of any Inox contact information for online booking screw-ups.

Will update if i find anything.


After a month and half, I got the refund from Inox.

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