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11th June 2006
Visitors from Delhi, my camera fixed, a trip to Lonavla, Manu's picture published in Mid-day, Happy days are here indeed.

The last entry I made on this site was about how misery loves company and I have been more or less miserable ever since my camera died on me. All that time I have been wondering how nice it would be get my camera back and a lot of time was spent researching what camera to buy next.

This Thursday things started improving. My sister-in-law and Bharat came to visit up from Delhi. The also got my repaired camera with them. After a very long time, I am able to take pictures again.

On Saturday we went to Lonavla. This is the second time we took Manu for such a long drive and the first drive was also to Lonavla, more than an year ago. The right time to visit Lonavla is monsoon and we were expecting it to be quite hot since we are going there a little early but pleasantly the weather was quite pleasant and we really enjoyed the drive and the time we spent there.

In Lonavla I experienced spamming in its primitive form. As soon as I got out of my car, I was approached be a vendor "Sir would you like to Corn, tea, Pepsi, bhaji..." he names the list he could give us and after every two minutes I was approached by some one or the other trying to sell me everything from soft drinks to snacks, Polaroid pictures to offer to read my future. It kinda reminded me of the 37 mails I delete out of 39 mails in my mailbox or the annoying pop ups and pop behinds.


"I am next in the queue"

It is good to see that people are so enterprising but it is damn annoying to keep brushing them aside. Another example of entrepreneurship were the parking guys, they were charging 20 buck for a car and that too while they were not authorised by anyone. As I parked my car, a guy came and gave me a slip for 20 bucks.
“Is this authorised parking”
“Yes sir, otherwise who would let us do it.”
“Authorised by whom”
“By the government”
“Really. Anyone who authorise you to maintain a parking spot lets you use their name on parking slips like MCD or NDMC in Delhi or BMC in Bombay. And why is the parking so expensive here while it is only 10 bucks in Bombay”
“Sir, half of it is for us and the other half is for the government”

This is the fake parking reciept the guy gave me.

I guess they were indeed paying a cut but not to the government. It must be an arrangement between the cops and them. Cops let them collect the money and get paid a certain percentage in return. Whatever doubt I had about their being legitimate was removed when none dared to come to me to collect the money when I was leaving the place.



On our way back we stopped to Hiranandani Gardens, Powai for some shopping and to show a part of Bombay to my guests that is really nice.

We came back home really tired and at 9, just before dinner Mira reminded me of the picture of Manu I sent to Midday. I asked for my vendor for the midday but he didn't have and I thought about buying one on our way but completely forgot about it. She suggested that I can go for it tommorow morning but I didn't want to take any risk and ran to a news stand and the make a good day even better, I say his picture published in the my news section of the paper.