Photobucket had recently made a very dick move by disabling all third-party embedded pics unless I pay $399. I've been blogging for 13 years and have 2000+ embedded pics across 650+ blog posts, which are now all unviewable. I'm working on moving my images to a new host, so until then, please do bear with me if you cannot view any images on my older blog posts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chp 436. 12.12.12.


No I am not one of those people who puts up pictures like “OMG, today is 12.12.12! This will never happen again in your lifetimeeeee!” and tag all their Facebook friends to that pic. All I feel like commenting to such tags is “OMG, tomorrow is 13.12.12! That will never happen again in your lifetime eitherrrrr!” but don’t wanna sound like a douchebag so I just keep mum.

I’m using 12.12.12 as the title of this post maybe because 12 is my favorite number and throughout my basketball career, from School team to College team to University team to playing for various Clubs, I was always jersey number 12.

Or maybe this post is entitled 12.12.12. because I just can’t think of an appropriate title.

This is my 51st blog post this year, and I just realized I’ve been consistently publishing around 50 posts a year since 2006 (I managed only 42 posts in 2005, and just 9 posts in 2004 because I started blogging at the end of that year). To me, that level of consistency and dedication is something I am proud of (all humility aside), even though my blog is nowhere near where it used to be a couple of years ago.

Back then I used to visit at least 20-30 different blogs every day and comment on all their new posts. My own posts too used to see a flurry of activity in the comment section. Today, I hardly visit my friends’ blogs anymore, and even if I do, I rarely leave a comment after quickly reading their updates. Likewise, many of my posts too do not receive comments anymore and I am actually not bothered by that. Times are a changing. New job, new wife, new kids, these are the reasons why many of my old blog friends do not blog anymore. Same with me, I guess, except for the new wife part.

And now you’re wondering why I didn’t mention the new kids part :P

I guess for me, my entire blog life took a big hit back in April this year (End of an Era) when I left the advertising sector and took up a new project on a completely different line of work, which is still going on today.

Check out my blog traffic below. I was consistently getting more than 3000 visits per month (and around 5000 page views per month). And then BAMMMM, April happened and now look at my sorry stats! :(



After April, I managed to get my usual 3000 visits per month only once, on August, and that was only because of my post A not so “Happy Independence Day” post which was cross posted by the Editors at FirstPost.com

I always thought an R&D project would give me more free time, but oh I was so wrong!  Yes of course it is much less stressful than working in the advertising sector, but TIME, that is found wanting every single day. Yup, the only thing worse than deadlines is when you have no deadlines.

With that, I close this yet another fruitless blog post.

Happy 12.12.12 everyone. Remember, today happens only once! *go kill yourself Kima* :)

Cheers!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Chp 435. Where there’s a will…


… there’s definitely a way!

So have you ever experienced that extremely frustrating moment when you try to recollect the name of someone or something but suddenly cannot? That you completely blank out and no longer remember a name you used to know, even though it’s right there at the tip of your head…

Tormenting, ain’t it?

You just feel like banging your head on the hard concrete floor or thrashing it with a frying pan in the hope that you might be able to beat out the name you’re trying to remember.

I experienced that a few days ago, November 25th, 2012 to be precise.

So it was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Was just recovering from a hard night of partying and binging, and it was one of those surreally peaceful moments, with the cool sea breeze blowing across my room while I was just listening to Kiara and Kong by Bonobo, setting the trippy relaxy mood just right.

And then suddenly, for lunch, I had this huge craving for South Indian food from a particular restaurant I used to order from!

Being brought up in Tamilnadu, I am actually very finicky when it comes to South Indian dishes. I do not like any of these Shiv Sagars, Sur Sagars, Shri Sagars chain of restaurants in Mumbai as their Sambar style is too sweet for my liking (do know that not just every South Indian state, but in fact many of the regions within a particular state have their own unique recipes and flavors). Oh I really miss those Saravana Bhavans, Hotel Aryaas, Sri Annapoornas etc. chain of restaurants.

Hence, I loved the food served from that particular restaurant whose name I couldn’t remember. And I couldn’t find the menu anymore, which made things worse.

And then, the “Forbidden Apple” syndrome set in… Just when you know you can’t have something, your desire to have it increases a thousand times (The same reason why we suddenly feel like drinking when we realize that particular day is a Dry Day, or why we are sometimes attracted more to somebody who doesn’t return our love).

I tried Burrp, Zomato, Google, Titbit, TastyKhaana, but none of the search results I got rang any bell.

Meanwhile the desire to eat from that forgotten place intensified further and further.

And then suddenly I had an Archimedes moment (without shouting EUREKA and running down my apartment butt-naked of course, because that would mean immediate eviction from our Housing Society! Ahhh, Archimedes was so lucky not to live in Mumbai back then :P )

I suddenly remembered I took a photo of the dish I ordered from that restaurant because I wanted to share it with somebody on Whatsapp. And so I went to my Whatsapp folder immediately and found the photos!



That was the day I decided to have full South Indian “Meals” (or as North Indians call it, “Thaali”), while I watched Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Hehehe, this picture I took is really funny, it looks as if Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are shocked to see what I was eating, lolz..



I clicked on the photo property and viewed the date that particular photo was taken…



21st October, 1:55PM.

I went to my call history but since it was more than a month ago, the record was not there.

I was almost depressed, when suddenly I had another epiphany *TING*

I called up Vodafone and requested them to send me my previous itemized bill on my e-mail asap. I explained the gravity of the nature, about how I needed a very important phone number I dialed on a particular day otherwise I would have to sell my Pvt Ltd company and render 500 employees jobless.

Within 20 minutes, I received an e-mail with my itemized bill in the form of a PDF. Nice work, Vodafone.



I went to that exact day (21st October) and looked at all my dialed calls on that day. Thankfully, there was only one LAN-line number I called, and the time fit in perfectly too, 1:24PM (Remember I took the photo at 1:55PM, that means around 25 minutes to deliver which is standard here at Carter Road).



But still, I crossed my fingers as I dialed the number…

After three rings, a man with a deep voice answered, “Southside Café.”

Ahhhh yessss, Southside Café! The name immediately rang a bell huge titanium made gong.

I ordered one Mysore Masala Dosa, one set steamed idli and one set medu vada, and told them to send their menu card along as well.

As I hung up the phone, I was suddenly filled with this powerful feeling of achievement and sense of satisfaction. Boy I really went through a lot just to order from that restaurant.

Oh and yes, it was so worth it.



So, remember, where there’s a will (and hunger, and internet), there’s always a way :)

Cheers!

Ps. This entire blog post was summed up in just 12 short points on my Facebook status, but what the heck, a little more description with images make it a little bit more interesting too, right? :P



Cheers again! :)


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chp 434. My encounter with the Police [UPDATE]


Ps. DO NOT MISS THE POST UPDATE AT THE END!!! Updated today, 7pm. You'll shit bricks, just like I did!!! OMG!


Ok now back to the original post first - 





My encounter with the Police (Cyber Crime cell)


Or…  a comedy of errors.

Or… two wrongs DO make a right.

This morning I received a mail that made me sit up and almost choke on my coffee. It has been almost two years since somebody posted vulgar expletive material about somebody on a blog, and I was a part of that investigation.

Being an admin of misual.com, I am no stranger to receiving phone calls from our Mizoram Police (cyber crime cell), usually because somebody took an offense to a comment made by one of our forum members and filed a complaint. We try to moderate such comments and the police are well aware of the difficulty we face in managing the non-profit website as we all have our respective occupations too. But my encounter with the cops that day was different.

So this morning I received this mail –



Yes, somebody sending a foursquare invitation at 4 in the morning may be a bit odd, but I was more focused on the name - Sangg sangi. There’s a double g in the name probably to stylize it (like snopp dogg) or maybe because “Sangsangi” was already taken. But the very name “Sangsangi” brought back memories of those police investigation days.

As most of you may not know, apart from managing misual.com, I have also taken up the responsibility of collecting all the weekly blog updates of Mizo bloggers and promoting the links at misual.com and Facebook. I do this so that more people can read their blogs, hence encouraging them to keep blogging.

Currently, I am subscribed to more than 500 Mizo blog feeds, but the job of updating the links of new blog posts every week is not that difficult because at least 70% of these bloggers are inactive now.

So imagine my surprise last year (30th July 2011 to be precise) when I was reading and collecting all the new blog updates of that week and suddenly there was this update from a Mizo blogger who had been inactive for more than a year! The owner of that blog was Sangsangi. I clicked on her new post excitedly, only to find extremely vulgar material posted on her latest update!

Here is a brief extract from that blog post which is still visible on my Google Reader as of today even though the blog had been taken down…

“Hey guys of all races, I Zothansangi Khawlhring (Sangsangi) warmly welcome your ***** inside my…” (I cannot quote the rest of the extremely profane and despicable post for the obvious reason, and out of respect for Pi Sangsangi and family.)

My immediate reaction then was that her blog account had been hacked!

And so I posted at misual.com immediately, directing people to the “hacked” blog and asking people if anybody knew her and whether they could inform her that her blog had been hacked. The news spread like wildfire and Facebook Mizo groups were abuzz over this scandal. And finally, the person (victim) concerned was identified and alerted, and she filed a police complaint immediately.

She got my phone number from a common friend and called me up. Now here’s the TWIST. She had never blogged in her entire life before! In fact she’s a teacher at St. Pauls, one of the most reputed schools in Mizoram, and no way could she have written those earlier posts which were written casually in slang. Hence, all those posts I was following for many years on that particular blog – sangsangi.blogspot.com, written by a certain Sangsangi, were apparently not written by this teacher! Crazy… So now, from a case of hacking, it looked more like a complete identity theft.

From the police side, Pu Vanlalfaka (Additional SP) called me up regularly, and I explained everything from my blog expertise point of view and even submitted all the earlier feeds of that particular blog to the police. They too contacted Google and other agencies.

Apart from that, I mailed a few close friends of mine, and we started analyzing her old blog posts from my Google Reader archive, tracing her location based on the people and places she mentioned in her earlier posts, her emotional breakdowns, we even logged into Orkut (after yearssss) only because some of the people she mentioned in her post were apparently on Orkut. Then we started looking for certain Orkut profiles on their friend lists who have the same names mentioned in her posts, and my contacts in Delhi actually went to the said locality in Delhi to inquire if such a girl still lived in that area. Oh the extent we went to, we armchair detectives. :D

Maybe we’ve watched too many Criminal Minds episodes, but we started profiling this UNSUB (unknown subject, as they are called in the TV series), and came to wild conclusions like he or she probably had an abusive childhood and being rejected by friends in school was probably the trigger that brought out repressed emotions and turned this person into a sociopath and hence vehemently attacked his/her teacher Pi Sangsangi etc. Ahhh Television shows, the things it make us think! And of course I was careful because Criminal Minds also taught me that UNSUBs try to inject themselves into an ongoing investigation so as to know what progress the cops have made so far! Hence I didn’t want Mizoram Police to suspect me if I happened to sound too interested in the case, especially since I was the one who discovered the blog, lolz.

One of our suggestions to the Mizoram Police was that, after going through the old Sangsangi posts and the new abusive ones, we have noticed a vast dissimilarity in the language and tone used. Hence could it be possible that there was indeed an actual blogger called Sangsangi, who created this blog and then deleted it, and then this other person created the new blog with the same name coincidentally, which was the only logical reason because if you look at my Google Reader right now, both the old posts and the new ones still point to the same blog permalink address.

However, Pu Vanlafaka called me up to tell me that they asked Google office that question and Google told them it was not possible because once a blog has been deleted, the particular blog name is not available again for new blog registrations.

Makes sense.

And this is quite true because one of my blog friends, Vered Puii, deleted her blog, and if you visit her blog now - blogs1870.blogspot.in you will get the message  -


Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at blogs1870.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.


Still not convinced, I called up my dear friend Jerusha who was working at Google (Hyderabad office) then, and she personally went to the head of whichever department handled this kinda stuff, and later told me the same thing, that when a blog is deleted, the name is locked and is not made available again for registration.

The madness continued and so we amateur investigators finally gave up.

But Mizoram Police didn’t.

On January 12th 2012, I received a phone call from Pu Vanlalfaka, informing me that they had finally caught the person! He was apparently an old student of Pi Sangsangi, who probably had a crush on her or something. They traced his IP address and from various ISPs and other sources, they got more than 300 pages of data and document that finally led the police to him.

Kudos to our Police!

Pi Sangsangi and her husband also called me a few minutes after that, thanking me for “discovering” the offensive blog and for all the attempts I made to trace the person, even though I kept saying I contributed nothing in the investigation. But I was really happy to hear her voice which sounded so genuinely relieved.

And then came the FINAL TWIST.

Pu Vanlalfaka called me up the next day to inform me that the culprit had indeed confessed to writing all those derogatory posts about Pi Sangsangi, but he had NO IDEA about the earlier posts made by the “earlier” Sangsangi on that same blog url. All he did was register the new blog and write those vulgar posts.

As I hung up the phone, I snickered. It had indeed been a long comedy of errors. Yes, no matter what Google says, I’m afraid they screwed up on this. It was by sheer luck that I came across that blog post, just because it happened to belong to a blogger I used to follow many years ago. Google made the mistake of making a url that had been deleted available again, and the perpetrator (unfortunately for him) made the mistake of registering a new blog using that exact same url. Two implausible coincidences. Hence, yes, in this case, two wrongs did indeed make a right. :)

Still don’t believe in my theory that Google’s wrong when they claimed people cannot register new blogs with the names of previously deleted blogs? Visit the (now TWICE) deleted controversial blog sangsangi.blogspot.com. What message do you see?


Blog not found

Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name sangsangi is available to register!

I rest my case :)

Have a great day y'all.


------------------



UPDATE UPDATE!!!! THIS IS FREAKISHLY IRONIC, but the girl who sent me the Foursquare request, Sangg Sangi, the one who made me recollect about the Sangsangi incident and ended up blogging about it this morning, well I’m pretty sure is this same girl I just traced on Facebook just now Sangg Sangi (easy to find because not many girls use the double “g” and yup, it’s a good unique identifier from all the other Sangsangis out there as it is a common Mizo girl’s name).

She’s not on my friend list (I’ve just sent her a friend request), and from her blog listed on her FB profile – mykindofthoughts.blogspot.in I visited it and compared some of her old posts with the posts of the controversial SangSangi blog on my Google Reader (the earlier normal posts, not the abusive ones), and THEY INFACT ARE THE SAME PERSON!!!! :)



I wish I could let Pu Vanlalfaka, Jerusha, Fonz, Amos and all the others know about this as it baffled us for sooooo long. Stupid Google screwing up! Lolz, so she IS the original owner of the blog sangsangi.blogspot.in! In fact she is still following that blog on her current blogger profile.



I really hope she accepts my friend request and read about the experience we went through back then. If only we found out earlier that Blogger (Google) screwed up regarding the permalinking url, we would have saved so much time instead of chasing pillars. Anyway, I am so glad I now finally know who the original sangsangi is, and lolz, yeah, this is foooking amazing, that I was indeed blogging about the very same person earlier this morning!!!! Faaaaak!!! :D



UPDATE 2: Yup she is very much the original owner of the first blog sangsangi.blogspot.in. Small freaking world! And she accepted my friend request. Apparently, she was in a hostel in Chennai when this whole incident happened last year and she had no idea what was going on. She just assumed somebody hacked her blog, without knowing somebody actually registered and got the same url and posted derogatory details about the other Sangsangi. And lolz at Tetea’s comment below. Hahaha. OMG, such a tiny world, and such an irony!!! What are the chances of this happening again to me!!!??? :D


So in conclusion, it was by SHEER luck that I discovered the offensive blog posts because the culprit registered it as sangsangi.blogspot.in which I was still subscribed to, and Google made the mistake of making that url name available (which it still is today too), hence he was eventually caught for posting vulgar things about Pi Sangsangi (the teacher) and if the culprit now knows how I happened to discover his posts, he must be face-palming himself in prison right now, lolz. And again it was by sheer coincidence that I was reminded of this incident by a person today, who in fact turned out to be the very person we were looking for all this time, the original owner of the blog sangsangi.blogspot.in!!! HAH!!!! Whatayyy day!!!!