Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bollywood Stars on Twitter

Twitter has been quite popular with Bollywood stars. Almost all of the famous actors/directors/musicians are now on Twitter. Amitabh, Aamir, Salman, A R Rahman, Shreya Ghosal, on and on.....

If you need to get all the twitter updates from all of the famous Bollywood personalities, then follow this list. It has some 70 members from Bollywood.

Enjoy chatting with your famous Bollywood stars on Twitter.

India Driving License works for short-term in US

You do not need a US license or a International Driving Permit to rent and drive a car in US (applicable in most of the US states). So, make sure that you carry your Indian driving license when heading for US.

Safe driving.

India Apps - iPad and iPod touch

Here are a couple of links to explore all the iPhone and iPad apps out there for desi audience.

iPad - There are already over 200 apps here. Mostly from religious based content (bhajans, quotes from Gita, etc), Bollywood, Music, News and Famous personalities.

iPhone - There are over a 1000 apps for iPhone.

Enjoy more of desi stuff on your favorite Apple gadget.

Hindi Music Apps - iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

There are 3 apps that I would recommend for listening to your popular Hindi music on your iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch).

1. Desi Radio - Free . Lot of 24x7 radio stations with good selection of new and old song stations. It's available for both iPad and iPhone.

2. Dhingana - $3.99. This is worth for 4 bucks as you can choose a specific song that you would like to play. Powerful search feature, lots of compiled playlist to choose from.

3. - Free. Ok, this is not actually an app. You just have to point your browser to and you can find lot of good collection of hindi and tamil songs that you can play from within your browser in quicktime audio format.

Any other interesting hindi music apps that you like?

Enjoy more music.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ICICI Bank Fees/Charges

Have you been frustrated with crazy fees/charges from ICICI that don't make any sense?For example: fee for changing transaction or login password, counting fees, maintaining quarterly balance, account inactivity, etc.

Of all the international standard banks, I have found ICICI fees to be the worst and quite a few of them absolutely don't make any sense. I feel cheated when I get charged with those stupid fees for a couple of reasons. One, they are ridiculously high (Example: 400+ rs for resetting my password) and secondly, most of the time the customer is unaware of the fees until they get charged by ICICI.

Customer should know before hand if there are any fees/charges associated with any activity/task/request being made.
If you have been charged some ridiculous fees by ICICI, please comment with the details on the fees (amount and the name of the charge). I couldn't find a single place where ICICI lists all the various fees associated with a type of account.

I want customers to be aware of all the hidden fees that ICICI charges to customers before they consider opening an account with them.

UPDATE: Just got information from ICICI on all the fees associated with my account -

Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone in India

Lot of your folks back home in India must be desperately waiting for buying the new iPhone 3G and wondering the details of the launch in India.

Here are a few places online where you can track the details of the same.

Apple iPhone India Site -
Airtel Site -
Vodafone Site -

There is no exact date and price announced for the phone in India.

Look for new updates related to iPhone launch in India.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is India googling for?

Ever wondered what is India searching for on Google? Check out the Google Trend site for India updated every few minutes to reflect the most popular keywords by Indians.

You can add it as a gadget onto your iGoogle home page to monitor on a regular basis. It's a great way to track about what users in India have on their mind.

check it out at -

Friday, January 04, 2008

Listen to Hindi Music Online -

Just came across this phenomenal Web 2.0 style music site called Dhingana. It's by far the best site that I have come across in years for listening to hindi music online. It has features like song sharing, smartlist, ratings, leave comments and a whole suite of social networking type features.

Goodbye to sites like, and smashits which look very old style, and annoying after the great experience on Dhingana is addictive and it's now in my top 10 sites that I visits everyday. For an Internet addict with being online for over 10 hours everyday browsing large number of sites it's awesome. This tells how happy I have been with the quality of the service delivered by Dhingana.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Real Estate in Pune

Last week, I was in Pune on house hunting trip so thought of sharing my experience and finding out more from you all about your experiences.

Here are some of the interesting properties and areas that I got chance to check out.

1. Magarpatta - Rate was around 3500/sq ft for apartment. Good project overall with appartments in a couple of buildings open for sale. This project seemed to offer good amenities like hospital, shopping mall, swimming pool, etc. It's close to Hadapsar area so as soon as you get out of Magarpatta you are hit with chaotic Pune traffic which can be extremely frustrating.

It has a small IT park with small to mid-size IT companies (like Avaya, Sybase, etc) at the center of the project.

2. NIBM - This is a pretty good locality I felt, perfect for retirees as it is quite and away from the main city chaos.

Couple of interesting projects in this area were Cloverfield which has row houses available for 5500/sq ft ready for possession. Another one was named California which was quite awesome but expensive at the same time running at 4850 for 3 bedroom apartments. One of the buildings has swimming pool on each floor. The one i thought was of good value was the Palm Spring project of approx 45 bunglows by Kumar Builders which was running at 4000/sq ft.

3. Wakad - I checked out 2 projects at this location. Park Street and Park Royale both by Pride Purple group. Park Street project over 80 acre land looked quite impressive. Rate was around 3300/sq ft for 3 bedroom apartment. I am seriously considering investing in Park Street and would love to hear from anyone who has recently purchased property there.

4. Kalyaninagar - This was the most expensive of all the places I had been. There were couple of projects by Kumar Builder that I had checked out. They were ok and didn't look as attractive as Park Street or California for the price they were quoting.

5. Hinjewadi - There is only 1 project that seems to have all the buzz which is Blue Ridge by Paranjape group. The early phase of the project seemed to have gotten sold in just 2 days. There were none available when I was there. The last sale was at 3250/sq ft for 3 bedroom appartment. 

6. Audh - I wasn't much impressed with the city but it seems to be quite popular choice with quite a few IT folks., The one project that I checked out there was Roseland Residency. It looked descent but I didn't felt good about the overall city look.

If you have recently purchased property in Pune, I would like to hear your comments, suggestions so please feel free to post/write your feedback here so that we can all help each other and use power of the Internet to avoid falling in trap of cunning builders. Not to say that all builders are bad but I definitely felt that builders are usually not very open and transparent about all the details. They do sometimes lie/modify/forge about the real data/facts about their projects just to create hype to force customer into a rush decision which usually ends up in customer frustration and overprice sale. 

Monday, November 12, 2007

My favorite online applications

I am kind of Internet addict spending lot of hours online each day like many others. Some of my favorite applications that keep me really busy online are:

1. New York Times Reader - This is exceptionally well designed online/offline newspaper reader built on Microsoft's WPF technology. It makes reading newspaper so much fun and easy on eyes. You have to try to believe it. Unfortunately, it's only available for 30-day trial at this time and the paid service is a bit expensive. I wish it will be a free service someday.

Download the reader at

2. Yahoo Pipes - It's an amazingly well designed online app from Yahoo that allows fun and creative things with aggregation/mashup. Of all the Mashup builders online this has to be the best and most useful one out there.

Check out my yahoo pipe at This pipe allows for any kind of jobs in and around Seattle area aggregating job openings advertised across multiple job sites like Cragslist, Career Builder, Hot Jobs, etc

3. Google Personalized - This has been my home page for quite some time now. First thing I check early morning when I login onto my machine is scanning the Google personalized home page. With RSS subscriptions from my favorite sites, I get a quick view of new content updates from popular sources on a single page without lot of clicking and wastage of time browsing.

Best thing I like about this tool from Google is that it is 100% ad free. Now that coming for Google is fantastic. I have been always impressed with Google's understanding of where to place ads and in what format without annoying users and continue to make billions from, you guessed it right - Online ADs :-).

Check out Google Personalized at

I will keep updating this blog post as I find my favorite online applications.


Monday, August 06, 2007

India Map as shown by BBC (without any part of Jammu & Kashmir)

BBC web site is showing India map without the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India. This is including the current Indian administered state of the state. I wonder what are they showing for map of Pakistan and what is their policy when showing disputed territories around the world.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wondering which Hindi songs to download?

We are all always on a look out for those new Hindi movie song hits that are currently popular in India. Ever wondered which songs to download?

I found this Google Music Trend Chart for India to be quite useful. Something to bookmark and check out frequently.

This chart lists top songs Google Talk users are listening to. No more of those hacked top songs list.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Real Estate Price Chart from Yahoo

If you have recently purchased real estate property in India, I would like to hear from you on how real are these real estate rate comparison charts from Yahoo?


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Radio for the 21st Century - Pandora

After the death of Napster some 5-6 years back, there hasn't been any other service that I have been impressed for listening to music online until now. Wait is finally over. Welcome to world of Pandora.

Pandora is an awesome, sleek, and above all 100% legal service for listening to the music you like. It's not ordinary radio station site that you find on iTunes where you basically have only selection on the music category (Pop, Rock, etc) and it forces you to listen to songs played by the stations with you not having much control. Pandora is different. You can search for your favorite artists or albums and it creates a radio station that matches your music taste.

The interface is very easy to use, classy, and fast. You can even share your favorite stations with your friends and search for what your friend's are listening to. You can bookmark your favorite artists, albums or individual songs. Above all, the service is FREE!

Now this is what I call as service of 21st century. Who needs to pirate CDs, download music from illegal sites when you have a service like P-A-N-D-O-R-A.

Pandora is my new addiction. Great jobs, guys. Enjoy the music at

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Share your Experience - Buying Real Estate in India

Real Estate prices in majority of the cities are again on the rise and at an enormous rate. Blame it on inflation, IT boom, robust economy and population explosion.

For us folks working in US who have strong connections back home - We all have thought about investing in India at some point; starting small, either by buying a home or piece of land. If you are like me, then you are frustrated that you have not been able to take step beyond thinking about it. Most of it has to do with not knowing how to get started and having an incomplete picture being remote.

I would like to hear from my US readers who have recently invested/purchased property in India on how their overall buying experience was?


Which is the most corrupt airport in India?

One of the headaches most of us have experienced at least once when flying to India is dealing with our corrupt custom officers at the airport. Dealing with them can be quite frustrating.

I have heard all sort of horror stories from custom officer tearing pages from the passport to gettting arrested after arguments.

I want to know which airport in your experience has the most corrupt officers. I vote for Amchi Mumbai airport. They have some very shameless chain of officers with hawaldar to the top manager involved in taking bribe and violating every possible rule they can. Their attitude is like they own the airport and we are at their mercy at least for an hour or so till we get out of the airport.

I am interested in hearing about your vote and reason behind nominating it for the most corrupt airport.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Want to solve all Health Problems - Listen to Master of Yoga: Shri Ramdev Baba

If you want to do anything good with your health, both physical and mental then just follow Ramdev baba's yoga techniques and all your problems will be solved in few days.

Remember this is not an empty promise like Zee TVs Peer Sayid Baba or Ajmeri Baba. :-). It's all based on Science and proven techniques of Yoga, which has benefited millions around the world.


Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Make My Trip is just awesome

Yesterday, my friend Pritam got a family emergency and had to fly to India from US right away. He started frantically calling all the Airlines to reserve next day flight. Most of the airlines were quoting prices over $5,000 or couldn't offer anything till all the way to Mumbai.

He finally called "Make My Trip" guys and they offered an awesome deal and overall experience making last-moment reservations through them was simply awesome. You get hold of them right away and they are quite courteous.

They were able to get a deal for something like $2,000 which is great, considering booking one day prior to the travel and that too during peak time (end-of-Nov).

They are available 24/7 and have great customer service. I would definitely recommend "Make My Trip" for both last minute or advanced flight reservations to India. Forget about searching for a good travel agent, locally. You won't be disappointed with Make My Trip guys.

Check it out -

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Black Friday Shopping Deals

Are you searching for great shopping deals and gifts to buy this holiday season? Search no further. Find here the spreadsheet that lists over 1000 various deals for Black Friday that are grouped into categories - from Electronics to Apparel and from Toys to Furniture. You can sort and find out details such as Rebate and discount price.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tired of giving same old gifts to your folks back home? Then consider buying XBox 360

For more information on where you can call to send gift to your loved ones back home, check out -

Friday, November 10, 2006

Top Places to Visit in US for Indians Visiting US

Recently, my parents completed their 3 months vacation in US. They had a great time visiting various places in the United States. I would like to share some of the places they visited and activities/tips/highlights for each location.

You will notice below that most of these locations you already know from your own travel experience in the past and from friends. There is also tons of information guides on the Internet but wanted to summarize it here especially for folks whose parents are visiting to US from India and are in process for planning their travel within US.

Top Places to Visit in West Coast

These are ordered based on my parent's ranking of likeness.

1. Seattle, Washington

- Mount Rainier
- Washington Ferry Ride from Bainbridge Island to Seattle Downtown
- Alki Beach
- Space Needle
- University of Washington

2. Oregon

- Crater Lake
- Diamond Lake
- Rose Garden

3. California

- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz
- Monterey Beach
- 17 Mile Drive
- Los Angeles
- San Diego

4. Nevada

- Las Vegas


1. New York

Niagara Falls
- Maid of the Mist
- Cave of the Winds

Time Square, WTC site, Rockfeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Gray Line, Subway,

2. New Jersey

Edison, Atlantic City

3. Pennsylvania

Vraj Mandir

4. Washington DC
White House, The U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Washington Monument,

Personalized Gift Delivery to Kolhapur -

My dad recently celebrated his 55th birthday in Kolhapur. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it for the birthday celebration as I was a bit far here in Seattle, USA :-). I was searching for quite sometime for sites which can deliver cake on a short notice. I came across this site and they were just awesome.

The site owner personally went to our house with cake in the morning. They took some pictures and then sent a nice email later in the day writing about my dad's surprise reaction and the family snap they took for me. Now that's what I call as personalized service.

If you are considering sending gifts to Kolhapur then look at no other sites. Check out

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bollywood NetFlix = iTalkies

iTalkies is a DVD rental service for Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood and other South Asian films in the US. The service works similar to the popular Hollywood rental service - NetFlix.

- 1 DVD: $ 9.99/month
- 2 DVD: $14.99/month
- 3 DVD; $17.99/month

Check the site at

Flying via Air India from Mumbai - Drop your Baggages at AI Head Office

Recently, we found out that Air India allows passengers dropping their baggages one day in advance at their Head Office in Marine Lines, Mumbai.

This is a great service offerring for passengers flying to International locations, especially during odd late night hours. Air India personnels can check-in your bags at Marine Lines Office and they will take care of transporting the baggages to the airport and then tranferring them into the right flight. You just have to pick them up at the final destination or port of entry.

This is very helpful for folks residing in and around Marine Lines area. No more last minute surprises or delays due to large number or heavy baggages. Please note that this is only applicable for check-in baggages and not carry-ons.

Jai Air India:-)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cheap Domestic Air Ticket Options for US Visitors

Today, I came to know from my friend a service called VUSA (Visit USA) for air tickets within USA. I don't think many people visiting US know about this service. It offers domestic tickets at a very reasonable price and is much lower as compared to tickets booked from US.

This is of great savings especially for parents visiting from India. They can book the tickets while in India at approximately $399 for 3 coupons which is valid for 3 round-trips anywhere within US.

You can find more information about VUSA at

Friday, June 30, 2006

"Chalo Gujarat" Convention

WGC (World Gujarati Conference) is organizing an historical event in New Jersey, USA - "Chalo Gujarat". About 30,000 Gujaratis from places around the world are expected to attend this convention at Raritan Expo Center, Edison, new Jersey, USA on September 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 2006.

You can download a copy of the registration online at or contact AIANA (Association of Indian Americans of North America) office at (732) 9933072 or send AIANA at

For information on the event mission, click here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Free Phone Options - United States and India

Internet Telephony has been in existence for over 5 years now. I am sure you all remember services like Net2Phone, and Dial-Pad. Lot of other companies have come and gone. The 2 of the recent ones are the best and are here to stay for a long, long time.

1. Skype - In addition to regular PC phone calls, Skype application allows making free calls to any landline or cell number from your PC. This is only limited to calls made within United States and Canada.

Download Skype from

2. Windows Live Messenger - This is by far the best IM messenger of all. The most recent version has an option called "Video Call". Free Video Conferencing at its best. No other program beats Windows Live Messenger voice and webcam picture quality. You can talk with your folks in India and at the same time see them live. All you need at both location is mike, speakers, and webcam.

Download Windows Live Messenger from

You will also need Broadband Connection at both ends. Another PC-to-PC service that comes closer to Windows Live Messenger in terms of voice quality is Google Talk. You can download it at

Online Bollywood Radio with AIM

This is what I was waiting for all this while. You know of great sites to download hindi mp3 songs, wallpapers, read moview reviews, monitor cricket score. However, have you ever wondered a bollywood radio station like FM our folks listen to in India. You can now listen to old and latest hindi songs by downloading the latest AOL IM Messenger.

There is a built-in plug-in wherein you can pick various radio stations and listen to your favorite one, as you are browsing online. One of the radio channels under World/International category is "Bollywood".

Check it out. You can download the latest AIM software at

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Inviting Parents to United States

Following are two very useful resources for information on documentation, procedure and experience on visitor visas.

Check them out.

Watching Live Cricket on Internet

Found this cool service from that provides live streaming video of all cricket matches.


- Cheap: $10 per one-day international or $ 15 per test match
- Quality: The picture and streaming quality is pretty descent for the price. It steams videos at 300 kbps
- Ease of Payment: You can use PayPal or your personal credit card to pay online

You just need to enter the location name of the cricket match to get started.

Sending Money to India

One of the questions that every desi leaving in US will be faced with at some point of time is - What are some of the services availabile online and offline for sending money to India (mainly to their parents)?

The best that I have found is

Main features

- No charge for any amount over 500 dollars
- Quick set up of account
- Save contacts in address book so you don't have to enter all the information every single time
- Linked to your checking account.

Check it out at

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