Windows7 Houseparty, ARR Concert and other updates

Some more random updates

DHL screws up Windows7 House-party

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was selected as a Host for Windows 7 launch party. My windows7 house party kit, which is supposed to include the free Windows 7 disc and some other stuff did arrive promptly, but DHL has issued an invoice for Rs 1064, asking me to pay for Custom Duties (The invoice description says: Basic Custom Duty+ Extra Custom Duty+ some other duty+ handling charges+ Service tax,+Education Cess+ Higher Education Cess)

I understood from twitter and houseparty website that some hosts in India indeed got it for free without having to pay any custom duty. No idea on what criteria they used to decide on custom duty and no custom duty rule. May be its local airport and custom officials who levied it? Also the amount levied to various hosts seems to be non-uniform, ranging between Rs. 600 to 1700.

When asked, DHL gave a standard reply that the don't decide the custom duty and recipients have to pay it. I’ve written to House Party help and sought an explanation.

MRP of Windows 7 ultimate is much more than Rs 1064 and in a sense it may make sense to get it. But then, it seems unfair as some hosts got it for free while others are asked to cough up money. Also since Microsoft or DHL didn't disclose this liability earlier and the amount levied seems to be non-uniform, something is wrong somewhere. I need to do my own evaluation of the same- I have paid for genuine OEM Windows Vista, so should I spend again on an OS? May be and mostly No. Will decide what to do about this within a few days.

Update: Stopped by a local DHL office-they were clueless and asked me to go to Head office instead.

Meanwhile House-party customer care has replied that I shouldn't be paying anything and they'll look into the issue and revert asap. So fingers crossed.

2. A R Rehman Jai Ho concert at Maarg Swarnabhumi

Went out of town after a gap of several weeks. Happened to visit Maarg Swarnabhumi, a 170+ acre integrated township being built by Maarg Constructions. An A R Rehman concert is happening at their campus (30kms from Mahabs towards Pondy) this Sunday. Concert is in aid of Shakti foundation and is organized by Maarg Group, with help of an event management co from Mumbai. Over 30000 people are expected for this Jai Ho concert and massive arrangements were going on when we visited the site. Since the venue is far from the city, free transportation is being arranged for those who buy tickets.

Chairman: A security guard manning huge pile of plastic chairs meant for the concertView from the under construction stage. Click to enlarge

We also visited BVM Global residential school and few of the under construction apartment complexes. A 3 BR model flat which we saw was priced at about 20 lakhs (1328 sq ft * Rs 1499)

Some more photos below

MaargSwarnabhumi visit

3. My LinkedIn profile now has 10 recommendations.Feels good.

4. An interesting input about booking wall space by political parties

Long back I’d written a post showing some photos wherein political parties used to white wash a public wall and write <--AIADMK FULL -- > to indicate that they’re booking that space. Today, Kiruba told me some more interesting info about this. He said when election approaches, ruling party (say DMK) will arrest all chota-mota leaders of opposition for 2 days under some pretext or other. During this time, DMK workers will work overnight and whitewash all walls to make their bookings. Only leftover ones will be used by the rival. When AIADMK comes to power they’ll do the same to DMK leaders and reclaim their wall space. Once marked with- party name-full- other parties won’t override this, lest there’ll be a big clash. Each party respects others' booking.

5.Spotted a new Toyota Fortuner and could have a close look. The full time 4WD SUV looks majestic. Some more related photos here on flickr. Ford also has launched Endeavor with an all new face. Have to drive some of these soon.

6. Yet another post crossed 100 comments count. (Other 2 are CM & laptop comparison guide )

7. Long back, I’d published a photo of a roadside makeshift temple and suspected that soon it may grow and occupy more and more road. Over an year that publication, nothing of that sort has happened. In fact I feel it has been abandoned by its founders. May be because it was not strategically located (say at a corner) and lacked an ambiance (of a tree etc)

8. Lots of things happening around- FTA enforcing disclosure norms for bloggers, floods in Karnataka, Indian origin scientists winning Nobel, Blogathon and more. By not blogging about all these hope I am not deviating from a self assumed responsibility of enriching the world with my thoughts on all these.

9. Finally transferred a few dollars which I'd accumulated over years on internet, from paypal to my bank account. It was smoother and faster than expected.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi ShriNidhi,
    How much did u get as the dollar rate when you transferred. I believe that paypal does take up about 2 Rs a dollar when we transfer to our bank account - which is about 5% transaction cost or hidden cost as they dont mention it explicitly anywhere - as far as I know.

    Yeah and ... the house party going wrong is sad...i was actually awaiting a review of Windows 7 from you.

    Happy blogging...

  3. Since my amount was less than 7000 Rs, Paypal charged 50 Rs from the amount. Dollar rate was 46.something, which I believe was at par with current conversion rate.


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