Category Archives: Hate

I have had it with Seat Swappers

As the title says, I have had it with seat swappers. After years of tolerating (and sometimes accommodating) them, I have no patience with such people anymore.

I wouldn’t be wrong to say that most Indians are seat swappers and almost all seat swappers are Indians. Seat swapping is an integral part of an Indian’s psyche.

Their mission goes something like this:

  1. Buy bus/train/plane tickets for yourself and your family members/friends, knowing full well you are not sitting together. Don’t rectify the situation by selecting your seat online.
  2. Show up on the date of the journey and board said vehicle, nonchalantly.
  3. Once on-board, look for an unsuspecting victim whose seat you like.
  4. Walk up to them and politely ask/demand that they swap their seats with you.
  5. If refused, give them a nasty look and find another victim.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 till all members of your party are sitting together.

Ever since I was young, I have seen them in action. Whenever you board an Indian transport, you can see people frantically discussing this with each other. I can understand 30-20 years ago, maybe when booking train tickets, you were not allowed to choose seats. In some such cases, seat swapping was necessary. But at least for the last 15 years, Indian train ticketing allows you to ensure all members of your party are sitting together. For airplanes, you could always ask the check-in personnel to give you seats together. For last 15 years, you can select seats right at the time of booking. Same for busses, now. Most providers allow this for free or for a very small charge.

Whey then, do seat swappers exist? They exist because these bastards are too lazy to do even the bare minimum mentioned above and select seats. Sitting with the rest of their group is important for them, but not important enough to select seats in advance. Also, these people have no respect for people who did bother to follow the process.

When I travelled regularly for my job, I came across such bastards on almost every single flight out of/to India. In the beginning, mostly, I accommodated them. After that, I started accommodating them, only when the new seat was the same type as my original seat. Sometimes, I went through multiple rounds of seat swapping before being able to settle down.

Eventually, I grew so tired of all this that I started to pretend to sleep after boarding. Still, some shameless people would try to shake me “awake” to swap seats.

I remember one specific incident when I was travelling to Melbourne. I had paid ₹1200 out of my own pocket to reserve a window seat on the Air India flight. As expected, after I settled in, a woman came and started crying that she and her son got different seats and asked me to swap seats. I politely told her I had paid for my seat and I was not moving. She muttered something like “people have no compassion” and started walking away. Already on edge, I immediately lost it and insulted her in front of dozens of people. I told her that if sitting with her son was important for her, she would have paid some money and made sure they had seats together. I was fuming for hours afterwards at the nerve of the woman.

Interestingly, I have seen this behaviour only among Indians. Others either selects seats in advance or don’t care where they sit. In fact on one long-haul flight from Sao Paulo to Dubai, I saw a white woman sitting separately from her 2 daughters (both <10 years) and all of them were perfectly fine and behaved the entire time.

End of Rant.

Die Intel!

My first PC came with an Intel Celeron 400 processor. Back then, I had no idea what I was getting; I was not aware of various PC parts & technologies. All I knew was that a friend of mine had a Pentium III computer and it was better than mine.

Dominance/Monopoly of Intel

Slowly, as I started to explore the world of PCs (with help from Chip and Digit magazines), I became aware of various components inside PCs and different technologies & brands. The market leader for computer processors even back then was Intel. AMD, Via and Cyrix were alternative brands. Over time, I began to hate Intel. I started looking at Intel as a company which made technically good but overpriced processors & indulged in false/misleading advertising.

Intel is Evil
Evil Inside, PC: LogoDix

AMD processors always fascinated me. When the Athlon series launched, I read about its performance with awe. However, AMD, VIA or Cyrix processors were very rarely seen in the real world, outside reviews. Cyrix & Via soon died completely and AMD remained elusive, plagued by overheating issues and solely in the realm of gamers & enthusiasts. When I did my first major PC upgrade, I had to get a Pentium IV because no one would assemble an AMD for me.

In the laptop space, AMD was even rarer. In fact, the first time I saw an AMD laptop was during my college days when Nihit (technically his girlfriend) bought a laptop with an AMD Turion processor.

I remember inheriting a Compaq laptop (which I still have today) from my father and it had an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. When Windows Vista came out, Intel released a beta WDDM driver for the GPU on this laptop, but later discontinued it. Consequently, the laptop couldn’t use Vista’s Aero Glass effect for themes even though the hardware was compatible. My hatred intensified and I swore never to use Intel again.

In 2000, Intel was forced to abandon its IA-64 platform for 64-bit computing and forced to license AMD’s AMD64 technology. They called it x86-64 and had to pay licensing fee to AMD for every processor sold.

My First AMD

In 2006, briefly, for the first time, Intel and AMD both had nearly equal market shares for Desktop CPU shipments. AMD would maintain the neck-neck competition till date, Intel was no more a monopoly. In fact, in 2021, AMD is arguably ahead of Intel.

When I moved to Gurgaon, I decided to assemble a new gaming PC myself, from scratch. I got the AMD FX 6300 and a Radeon GPU, shunning Intel completely. It cost me half of what an equivalent Intel platform would have cost and performed better. There were no heat issues to speak of.

Eventually I bought an Xbox and sold my gaming PC, never to buy a PC again.

Last Tryst with Intel – Surface Pro 3

I was re-introduced to the world of Intel, when my fiend gifted me a Surface Pro 3. To me, the Surface Pro 3 showcased the very worst of Intel. The external hardware, touch screen, keyboard and OS were all amazing. It was the Intel innards which sucked balls.

The Core i7 processor always ran hot, no matter how light the workload. Consequently the fan was always whirring loudly. It was so loud, you couldn’t sleep in the same room with the Surface if it was doing something. Still, the fan was not enough to efficiently cool the Surface and the CPU was throttled <50% most of the time. I had to install an external USB fan to keep it cool; which was ridiculous.

On top of that, it had issues with Sleep which remained unresolved even after many firmware updates over many years. You closed the Surface and put it in your bag expecting it to sleep. It, however kept on running at full throttle and when you got it out to use it later, you saw that the battery was dead. Microsoft blamed Intel drivers and they twiddled their thumbs, as usual.

Eventually, I sold it and got myself an iPad.

ARM and Apple M1

For those who haven’t been keeping track, Apple transitioned their MacBooks from Intel CPUs to in-house ARM based processors in 2020. We (technically, my wife) bought a MacBook with an M1 chip. After using sluggish/hot/battery sucking laptops over the years, the MacBook blew my mind away.

It is as snappy as an iPad, the battery lasts all day (My wife uses it 8-9 hours off the charger) and there’s no fan and no heat to speak of. On top of all this, existing apps made for x86 work flawlessly and with minimum performance penalty. On the other hand, my work laptop (Intel Core i5) doesn’t last more than 2 hours off the charger and any computational effort make its fans sound like a jet plane.

I would not be wrong to say that the M1 is a generational leap ahead in computing from the old/shitty X86 laptops.

The Future

All mobile phones already used ARM processors. Same for all embedded devices and IOT devices. Apple would probably transition their Macs to ARM completely within the next few years. Many custom-made servers operated by the likes of Facebook/Amazon/Google use ARM already, too. In fact, the current world’s most powerful supercomputer also runs on ARM.

Once Microsoft get their x86-64 on ARM emulation to work properly, we should see a significant chunk of Windows ultraportables and laptops move to ARM. I hope AMD embraces the ARM architecture soon, too.

That being said, x86-64 isn’t going away anytime soon. Gaming PCs, Enterprise workstations, legacy applications requiring native x86-64 and most servers would continue to be x86-64 based for the foreseeable future and Intel would probably continue to dominate this space. I just hope they are reduced to shells of their former selves soon and then eventually die.

Lazada sucks balls

Lazada sucks balls even worse than Flipkart does. It is one of the reasons I miss Amazon so much.

Lazada is one of the leading eTailers in Thailand and in South-East Asia. There are other options here, too, like Shopee, but they suck balls just as hard. Shopee doesn’t even have an app for app store regions set outside Thailand so I don’t use it at all. But in this post, let’s look at Lazada.

As soon as you open the app, you are greeted with a fullscreen advertisement that you can’t dismiss immediately.

Lazada Sucks balls
Greeted with a Fullscreen Ad

Once you get past the obnoxious advertisement, you go to the main screen of the app. Notice how 70% of the interface is actually just ads?

Lazada Sucks balls
Interface full of Advertisements

Not only is the interface full of advertisements, everything uses bright, garish colours. Its as if the designers targeted the app at school kids. Lazada sucks so hard, the interface is also full of useless notifications at the bottom.

Once you try to order something, you cannot see the estimated delivery date on the item page. You need to add the item to cart and make it all the way to the checkout page before you can see when it can be delivered.

Even when you get through all the cringe and actually order something from these bastards, your ordeal is not over. You sit and wonder why the item you order has not shipped yet. It is because once you order the item and even pay for it, you still have to sort through hundreds of messages in the spam section, find a message like below and “confirm” your order. When I paid money for the item, was it not confirmation enough for you pricks?

Lazada Sucks Balls
Have to confirm, lol

Once the item ships, you have to manually check the status to see where it has reached. This is because as soon as you install the app, you have to turn off all notifications from it, lest the spam notifications take over your life.

All the spam notifications lead to the “messages” section of the app. The app clearly has an identity crisis and cannot decide whether it wants to be a shopping app or a messenger.

The “messages” section is a quagmire of spam, as expected.

If they are using any AI/ML/targeting for the spam that the app is full of, I can’t see it, because nothing here is relevant to me or remotely close to what I would ever want to buy.

I wonder why these eTailers think it is OK to bombard someone with spam so aggressively when they are already trying to spend their money on your platform to buy something. I can’t wait to go back to India and start using Amazon again.

Social Networks & I

To say that I don’t like social networks is an understatement. I have used many social networks over the years and most have given me nothing but grief. In this post, I will lay down what exactly I hate about each social network.

WhatsApp

I will start with WhatsApp, because this is the one I hate the most. I used it because it was the most convenient way to keep in touch with people. However, I had to delete my WhatsApp account in 2019 because:

  1. Any person who had my mobile number could contact me without my permission.
  2. Everyone could see whether I was online at any point of time.
  3. There was no way to turn off read-receipts in group chats.
  4. Anyone could add me to group chats without my permission. This is something my work people exploited to the fullest. I woke up to be part of a new group every morning.
  5. Images and Videos were shamelessly compressed/resized.
  6. Archived Group chats were automatically un-archived when there were new messages in the group. There was no way to completely ignore some groups without leaving them.
  7. There was no way to get rid of the “Status” notification dot at the bottom.
  8. People sending useless & unsolicited “Good Morning” and “Good Night” forwards.
  9. People begging for things because they are too cheap to spend money

Facebook

This is my second most hated Social Network. I have used Facebook for many years but finally deleted my account in 2019. I tried again in 2021 but didn’t last more than a few weeks. The reason I cannot stand Facebook is because of the nature of posts from people, like:

  1. Attention-seeking whores post irrelevant news that people already have from other news sources. Just for likes and comments.
  2. Attention-seeking whores check-in to different airports to show-off to people that they are travelling by airplane.
  3. Keyboard activism and “social justice”.
  4. Attention-seeking whores posting photos of new things they have bought.
  5. Parents making their kids perform tricks like circus monkeys for likes and comments.
  6. Disgusting religious posts.
  7. Posts insulting people belonging to other religions.
  8. Posts cheering some sports team or sportspersons, as if they are reading these posts.
  9. “Friends” wishing each other Happy Birthday with impersonal AI generated/templated birthday wishes.
  10. People sucking up to the government/leaders.
  11. People insulting the government/leaders.

Every time I try to give Facebook a chance, I either get infuriated by any of the above posts or get drawn into arguments. Surprisingly, the only thing I liked about Facebook were the targeted ads. Normally, advertisements are irritating, but Facebook is so good at targeted ads that they are actually useful. Many times I have been looking for something specific to buy, just for Facebook to show a completely relevant ad in the app.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is supposed to be a “professional” social network, but in reality it is no different from Facebook. People post all the same bullshit things here, that they do on Facebook. And here you cannot even react negatively to posts lest some potential employers see it and get turned off.

On a related note, I have never had a job lead from LinkedIn nor have I seen anyone else get a job lead there when they needed it.

Twitter

I can tolerate Twitter as a news feed as long as I am anonymous & don’t follow people I know in real life.

Telegram

I can tolerate Telegram to chat with friends because unlike WhatsApp, I can have people not find me using my phone number. I have to give someone my User ID explicitly for them to be able to chat with me.

Keeping away from social networks as much as possible is one of the keys for me to maintain my mental peace and sanity.

Suchitra Iyer is the Indian Skyler White

Suchitra Iyer is a character from the Amazon Prime show The Family Man. I started watching the show last week. Although the show itself is decidedly brilliant, it’s this character that struck me most.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Suchitra Iyer, played by the brilliant actress Priyamani is the wife of protagonist Srikant Tiwari, played by the brilliant actor Manoj Bajpayee.

She is a college psychology teacher & a mother of 2 children. She starts off as a good wife, a devoted mother, but soon, little things about her start bothering the viewer.

Priyamani as Suchitra Iyer
Priyamani as Suchitra Iyer, PC:News18

She starts soft-flirting with her colleague Arvind & leaves her well-established college job to join a startup with him. They are exchanging messages late at night which themselves are harmless, but border on inappropriate. Soon, she takes things further by going on a soft-date with him at a cafe, then at a 5 star restaurant, eventually ending up at his home to tend for his sick daughter. Nothing inappropriate happens, but the viewer can easily notice the sexual tension between them. When Arvind invites her for a “bootcamp” at Lonavala, it is quite evident that something is going to happen.

It does, when they casually share the same hotel room, get dressed at the same time in the bathroom and eventually decide not to drive home at night and sleep over. By the time she messages Arvind (who’s on the couch) that she cannot sleep and then gets up to go to him (and presumably have sex), one cannot stop themselves from hating her. All the while their unattended daughter is almost drugged by a guy and their son almost shoots himself.

Sure, Srikant is a workaholic, doesn’t spend time with his family and provides a very middle-class existence. But the onus of hate is on Suchitra for cheating on him. Srikant get excellent opportunities to ball his boss (Gul Panang no less) but doesn’t even consider it.

The Skyler White Connection

All of the above makes me draw parallels between Suchitra’s character and the character of Skyler White from Breaking bad.

  1. Both characters start off as devoted wives and mothers
  2. They both lead a very middle class existence
  3. Both are pleasantly buxom
  4. Their husbands are considered failures by family and friends
  5. They have no idea what their husbands really do on their jobs
  6. Both eventually cheat on their husbands
  7. Both become quite hate-worthy

At least Skyler had the decency to confess to her husband about her cheating unlike the cowardly Suchitra.

Surprisingly, its Suchitra’s character that I look forward to and enjoy (hating on) the most, in the show.

If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest you watch it, as it is brilliant.

Mall Covidiots

The mall is where you get to see the worst of humanity, as I have previously noted here, here & here. These days, they are full of covidiots. On a recent trip to Ambience Mall, I decided to observe them in detail and discovered that there are different types.

The first type are the ones who wear a mask, but keep their noses out of the mask. Their aim is to fool casual observers into thinking that they are fully masked, but the joke is on you, as their respiratory tract is actually completely unobstructed. They can get away with this in 90% situations with minimal inconvenience of a mask on their face.

The second type are the ones who wear a mask on their chin. They don’t pretend to be complying with mask rules, but have a mask dangling from their chin just in case someone challenges them, when they can quickly move the mask up and cover their faces like nothing happened.

The third type are the boldest. They won’t wear a mask at all. They won’t even pretend to wear a mask, nor do they carry a mask in their hand. They are above all this pretentious bullshit. They roam around openly without a mask, just waiting for someone to challenge them, so that they can inform them who their uncle/father is.

The saddest part of all this? It took me less than 2 minutes of sitting stationary in the mall to take these photos.

Flipkart Sucks Balls

I almost never order anything from Flipkart, because, as the title says, Flipkart sucks balls. It sucks balls in so many ways that one blog post won’t do justice to its ball sucking. So, in this post, I will focus on their sucky logistics.

Recently, I needed to buy something that I couldn’t find in stock anywhere (including Brick and Mortar stores & Amazon). Having exhausted all options, I checked Flipkart & surprisingly they had one in stock. The delivery date was a week away, but I had no other option, so I bought one anyway.

To my surprise, they were quite fast shipping the item (from a place called Malur near Bengaluru). Within a few hours, the item was already packed and shipped.

Pretty strong start!

Could it be, that in the last few years, Flipkart has improved so much? Let’s see what happens next.

Soon enough, Flipkart showed its true colours. They waited 1 full day to ship the item out of Malur. The item then took 2 full days to reach Farukhnagar, which is a place near Gurgaon.

True Colours

One more full day to move the item the few kilometres between Farukhnagar & Gurgaon.

I can walk faster than this

Still, I think, the item has reached Gurgaon 2 days before the delivery date, so I should get it delivered the same or at least the next day. But it turns out, I am a fool for thinking that. The item just sits at this facility (doing nothing) for 2 more days before being sent out for delivery.

Just sitting there

Even on the last day, the package left for delivery at 10 in the morning and was actually delivered only by 8:00 PM.

Compared to other eTail services like Amazon or even regular courier services, Flipkart is just plain bad. I can see 3 possible reasons for such slow shipping

  1. They are living in some 1900s time loop when such slow shipping was acceptable.
  2. They lack the capability for faster shipping.
  3. They deliberately delay delivering the item early.

I doubt it is Point number 2 because I have used the worst courier services including this one and none of them were this bad. So, it must be the last reason, in which case, I don’t understand why they don’t try to monetise their faster shipping capabilities? I would have gladly paid extra to get my item delivered in 3 days instead of 7, but there’s no express shipping option either.

This experience proved to me, that after many years, Flipkart is still at the same level as services like Snapdeal and PayTM Mall. Absolute garbage!

I hate haircuts

For as long as I remember, I have hated haircuts. People who know me would think that I like letting my hair grow out, but that’s not true. I just hate the process of getting a haircut. If there was a device that would cut my hair exactly the same every few weeks, I would buy it in an instant and never go to a barber again.

Not me

I hate haircuts so much, I would rather look like a shaggy hobo than go to a barber.

I hate haircuts so much, I have actually shaved my head at home at least 10 times in as many years to avoid going to a barber for the next few months.

Why? Simply because

  1. I cannot stand the small talk. I have been to many-many different barbers over the years and they all seem to by infected by the same disease of yapping. They just can’t stop making small talk while they do the deed.
  2. Every single barber will try to push extra services on you. Some comment that your face looks dry and you can use a deep face something. Some comment that you have dandruff and your scalp needs steam treatment. However, the most common push in India is for a head/face massage. Why I would want my barber to rub his hands all over my head and face is beyond me. I am sure some people enjoy such things, however, I don’t. When you refuse these services, they look at you, judging you for being a horrible human being.

I would rather pay them extra just to shut up and leave me alone and do what they are told. The only barbers who don’t bother you with this crap are in high end salons, which is where I prefer to go (infrequently) now.

Sanghi Rule

The country is going to the dogs.
1 year before Narendra Modi came to power, things slowly started to change in the country. Suddenly the word “Hindoo” started getting used much more around the office and in general life.
RSS[1]
Everywhere around me, chants of “NaMo NaMo” started gaining fervour slowly, but surely. Being an atheist, I have never  been in favour of political parties with a religious agenda, but surely NaMo would be a sensible man and would focus on things that matter instead of religion, right? He would keep his party people and the RSS in check, right?
Wrong.
One year since he became Prime Minister, the following things have happened in the country

  1. Beef has been banned in my state and many other states of the country. Being a person who likes eating beef, I am not happy with this move. There have been a few incidents of mobs killing Moslems on the suspicion of eating beef.
  2. Almost all new kid’s shows on TV are now based on Hindoo mythology starring the child versions of Hindoo gods.
  3. Gurgaon has been renamed to Gurugram, Allahabad renamed to Prayagraj and talks of Shimla to be renamed to Shyamala and Delhi to be renamed to Indraprastha, soon.
  4. Ramen from Nissin and Nestle both tested positive for high levels of MSG and were banned for a couple of months. Ramdev Baba, a known BJP crony “coincidentally” chose that exact same time to launch his own brand of instant noodles and immediately filled the void in the market. Nissin and Nestle both successfully appealed and got the band removed (turns out the test results were wrong), but by then the damage was done and Ramdev Baba’s noodles were already famous.
  5. One day after the PM banned most denominations of currency, a full page advertisement by PayTM (which gained most users because of the ban) was displayed on the front pages of most Indian newspapers with the PM’s photo prominently displayed. Is the shameless endorsement of private companies by a country’s sitting PM even allowed?

The country is going to the dogs.