November 17, 2011

Oh God! The electricity bill!

No worries, you can pay the electricity bill online! I am sure there are many people out there who would have exclaimed the same thing at some point in time or the other. The utility bills normally escape our notice. I do not have it registered on the BESCOM Click to Pay. One fine day, it turns out was the last day to pay the electricity bill. And i had absolutely no patience to run to the nearest Bangalore One outlet. It was at such a situation that the Bangalore One website came to the rescue. All you need is to register. Once you login, you can pay a variety of bills online- Electricity, water, cellone, airtel, vodafone postpaid- basically all the facilities one has at the Bangalore One outlet.
One advantage of paying the BESCOM bill payment here is that, you key in your location and RR number as per the bill, the rest of the details that are there in the bill are retrieved by them. That way, you can cross check that you are paying for the right consumer number and go ahead and make the transaction. A nominal fee of 7 rupees is charged. But it is a good trade off for the ease of paying it from home. The receipt reaches your email.

November 3, 2011

Phoenix Market City, Bangalore

The run up to the opening of Phoenix Market City saw them putting up hoardings on the Outer Ring Road and Whitefield Road. The hoardings actually put me off slightly cause they seemed to hint that the place was meant for the elite only. Here is a sample:

There was another memorable one with a chic lady in ultra high heels which said - "Corridors by day, runways by night; Get your glamor quotient right!"
I was apprehensive about going to the mall in my normal non-designer clothing. But then, what the hell! When a mall that claims itself to be Market City has opened at walking distance to my workplace, am I crazy to not check it out?!
So well, G and I went there yesterday after we wrapped up at office. Armed with our laptop bags and lunch bag, we certainly did not seem to emerge from luxury! To top it, it had just rained and the road was covered in slush. Not a pretty start to our evening.
But the facade of Phoenix Market City made up for it. Rain washed clean roads around it, and a mall that seemed to stretch endlessly. It was flanked by bill boards of svelte models endorsing brands that we had only read about but not seen much around.
Soon as we made our way inside, we saw that most of the outlets were yet to open. That meant that there were only few people strolling about the mall. In the center of the ground floor was a guy playing the piano. That is when i realized that i had never seen an actual piano so up close till date!
The mall is not geometric in structure and tends to go on and on in different directions. We really did not go store by store or explore all the places that the mall stretched. However, we did not miss out on much since there were only a few stores open. Zara takes up most of one half of the ground floor. I saw opening soon posters of Mango, Promod, Timberland, California Pizza Kitchen, Pantaloons, Bossini, Avirate and loads of other stores. The place is probably spread over 5 floors. I did not even count the number of floors in the maze of all the escalators.

The place has something called the "open door policy". They say that the doors are not for the customers to open, but will be opened for them. :) True to their words, at most stores, there were people to open doors and assist us graciously. And assistance is probably given to the right measure. Not like the not so friendly staff at many malls at one extreme or the kind that at supermarkets keeps badgering you to buy products to get rid of skin problems (They say it on the face and make you feel that your face needs to be worked on!).

Most other stores were repeats of those that are in Garuda and Mantri. There were stores selling clothes- branded clothes, designer clothes, more clothes and accessories, leather stuff, shoes. I peeped into the Crocs store and saw like a hundred colors of footwear! The food court was serving mostly non vegetarian fare. Rajdhani and Kalmane Koffees were yet to open.

I dunno about purchase, but the mall makes a place where you can do loads of window shopping. The entire market city is sprawling and has plenty of benches and cute colorful seating to rest your heels that are tired after walking the whole area.
After a short break it would be time for the well heeled to indulge in a Tissot or Tag and adorn their manicured hands with a solitaire or two. ;) And then maybe go to the foot spa for a fish therapy. I had to make do with clicking the mural at the entrance of the spa.
Does not mean one cannot shop there at all. But most of the stuff that is not common to the existing malls is all luxury stuff.
Nevertheless, us common janta can do our regular shopping, can always have a scoop of ice cream in Polar Bear and a cuppa and dine in Rajdhani. And make up our minds that some day, some day i will reward myself with that 2.5 L Tag watch. For now, am happy looking at it on the storefront!

It has been quite some time since i wrote the above post. those were my first impressions. I must say that I have visited Phoenix many times over since i wrote the post. and its a fab place to while away time. If you get used to this place, most other malls in Bangalore will induce claustrophobia, it is that big and spread out. My verdict - do visit in if you have a whole day to spend and loads of patience to check all the stores. With places like Copper Chimney, Trader's Vic, Noodle Bar, Chilly's opening here, there are plenty of fine dining options. You could go bowling at Amoeba, or simply catch a movie at the upcoming PVR. Perfect weekend hangout.

November 1, 2011

7 aam Arivu @ DRC Cinemas

I was finally able to convince my parents to accompany me for a movie at the newly opened multiplex in Mysore, DRC Cinemas. Being the first multiplex in the city, it is attracting people by the hoards. I had to return disappointed on the day of Diwali after standing in the queue for close to half an hour. When i reached the counter, the ticket vendor says, Sorry Ma'am! Sold out! I gave him a piece of my mind for not putting up Sold Out board for the movie and also for the haphazard way in which the queues were made.
I learnt a lesson and went much ahead of the matinee show on Saturday and got the tickets for 7 aam Arivu.

Movie Review:

The movie opened with a lot of promise- Breathtaking visuals, Surya in a role that made the entire audience swoon and a wonderful recreation of the ancient period. The narration tells the story of an Indian called Bodhidharma, having traveled to China to rid them of a deadly disease and also ends up teaching them martial arts. The first half hour of the movie hardly has any dialogues between Surya and the Chinese junta and surges ahead totally on the strength of Surya's contained performance.
Cut to the present. Surya yet again, as Arvind, a performer at a Circus in Chennai. Shruthi Hassan plays Suba, a genetic engg student who is involved in researching the lineage of Bodhidharma. Arvind promptly falls for Suba in the first sight (The girl is pretty, no doubt). Follows her , becomes friends with her, tries to woo her. Only to realize that all along he is the one that has been falling into her trap. Lady Gene Researcher had actually tracked his family for the past many years since they were the descendants of the Bodhidharma family. She has samples of Mr. Circus' DNA that share an 85% match with Bodhidharma's DNA found in his dead body.
To spice things up in between, there is an Operation Red being carried out by the Chinese on India. It is a one man show- a fellow called Dong Lee who is an expert at all things that Bodhidharma taught them. He can control people's minds and can break bones and kill in a stroke. He is sent to India to trigger a bio war and to kill Suba and her research. Why? Cause her research may resurrect Bodhidharma's abilities and powers and he can save India. (Wow! How are such things possible?!)
From here, the movie progressively deteriorates. The Chinese guy tries to kill our protagonists. People start falling prey to an unknown epidemic. Suba knows only Bodhidharma can save them. So they do some wiring on Arvind and rework his DNA!!! All details about the "treatment" are skipped. Man is immersed in some liquid for 12 days! The movie conveniently ends in Bodhidharma's knowledge saving millions of lives and preaches about the importance of our rich culture and heritage that has so many life enriching secrets.
Surya, for his part does a decent job. His role does not demand much as the common man Arvind. Ms. Hassan can pass off as an actress. But the lady has to work on her accent and pronunciation. I better not talk about her dancing skills. Most of the duets in the movie were unwanted. Except for first and the last half hour, the rest of the film tends to be a drag. But should give it to them for the eye opening subject that martial arts and natural medicine went to China from India. In all, an okay watch.

About the Multiplex:

1. There are 4 screens, each seating about 200 people.
2. Tickets are priced at 100 for weekdays and 150 at weekends for non-Kannada movies.
3. Elevators get crowded and one is subjected to a lot of waiting at the basement level 2 parking.
4. Seats are about okay, not as comfortable as the ones in Bangalore.
5.The POS machine did not work when i was there. Had to pay cash.
6. They need to be more efficient at managing crowd and maintaining queues.
7. A lot of work is remaining. The elevator goes up only till floor 1. There on, it is three flights of escalators to reach the multiplex.
8. Online booking apparently will be made available soon.

It is the only one in Mysore now. So it is not surprising that people will overlook shortcomings and throng the place. I would certainly go back there again once all the work is completed and check it out again. Also waiting for the multiplex in Mall of Mysore to open :)