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Monday, September 26, 2016

Chp 629. Arsenal Membership

On Saturday, two awesome things happened. First, Arsenal totally outplayed Chelsea with three beautiful goals (much to the pain and dismay of Chelsea ManUtd fans).

Secondly, my AMSC membership renewal kit finally arrived by mail.

For those who are unaware, the AMSC - Arsenal Mumbai Supporters Club is the first Indian Arsenal fan club to be officially recognized by Arsenal FC. You can read more about it at Arsenal's official website here - Arsenal Mumbai.

I used to be a part of the AMSC for many years when I was working back in Mumbai, before I moved to Pune and lost track. This year, I decided to become a part of it again and applied for a renewal.

The membership renewal process was simple, I didn't need any vetting as I still knew most of the admins. I just had to make an online transaction to pay for the renewal fees, and just like that, I was back in the fold again.

I received a couple of official merchandise as well, provided by Arsenal FC.

I like being a registered supporter for Arsenal because the club is close to my heart and this is my way of giving something back to the club. Plus, it kinda gives me bragging rights over those other rival fans whose club won't even know they exist, while my name is proudly there among my club's supporters' list :D :P

Nyah nyaah :P

So, here's to interesting times ahead, as Arsenal prepares itself to clinch the title this year :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chp 628. Bring Me To Life - India to Brazil

Four years ago, I wrote this blog post - Those good ol cassette days, reminiscing about the golden era of tape cassettes. In that post, I displayed photos of my cassette collection (which I still have with me to this day).

A few months ago, I received a mail from somebody who stumbled across one of my cassette photos in that blog post via online search. He is a huge fan of Evanescence and he collects their CDs and cassettes from all over the world. He asked me if I was willing to sell my "Fallen" cassette to him, as he didn't have an Indian version (Sony Music) yet.

His name is Helton Araujo, and he's from Brazil. I sent him photos of my cassette again, as requested -

When he found out that my cassette even had a lyrics sheet on the cover, he was even more excited and asked me how much I was willing to sell it to him for.

I mean, I'm not a big fan of Evanescence, I just like some of their songs because of their Gothic influenced style of music. I am a huge fan of Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal, especially female-fronted bands like Sirenia, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Theatre of Tragedy, Visions of Atlantis, Macbeth, Xandria, Atargatis, Lacuna Coil, Lunatica etc (as obvious from some of my old posts like Sweet Gothic Love and The women in my life).

Though I don't consider Evanescence to be on par with some of my favorite symphonic gothic bands as I treat it to be more of a nu-metal punk rock gothic band, I still like some of their songs, especially "Bring Me To Life", "My Immortal" and "Going Under".

And that is why I was quite honoured to meet a hardcore fan of Evanescence and I truly understood what it was like to be crazy about a particular band. And so I told him I wasn't going to sell the cassette to him, I was going to give it to him for free :)

For me, I would rather see my old worn-out cassette lying in the hands of a genuine collector who treats it with utmost care, rather than collecting dust on my bookshelf.

He couldn't believe it when I told him that. I mean, comon, there must be a catch to it right? Somebody you've just met for the first time online on the other side of the world said he'll give you something for free, pretty much sounds like one of those Nigerian 419 scam cases, tbh. But yeah, he trusted me, and I told him he only had to pay for the courier.

It was then that I learnt a lot of things about sending stuff from India to Brazil by parcel :D

All private couriers like DHL, First Flight etc were super expensive! The minimum cost to send that small piece of cassette to Brazil from India was around INR 6000!


Hector then told me to send it to him via Post Office, as that would be much cheaper than private couriers. And so during one of our office lunch breaks, my colleague Amit took me to the Post Office here in Pune (just in case Marathi needed to be spoken).

 Took one last photo with my "Fallen" cassette at the Post Office.

We found the parcelling division. There were a couple of people ahead of us, and they were all sending really huge parcels to different destinations, while there I was, with a very small cassette in my hand :D

They asked me to put the cassette in an envelope...

After that, the Post Office clerk typed in a couple of stuff and handed me my receipt. Can you believe it, it costs only just 156 bucks to send that parcel from India to Brazil!!??

Compare that to the INR 6000+ charged by private couriers! I even told Hector there was no need for him to pay for the courier cost. He was happy :)

But the downside to using the Post Office service is that, it takes a lot of time. I sent the cassette to Hector on 10th June. He received it on 24th July. 45 days. But still, for 156 bucks, I still think that was a very good deal.

Hector was happy anyway. He sent me these photos the moment he received the cassette :)

And so just like that, another good deed was done across the globe. I love how technology makes this so simple. Do check out Hector's amazing collection of Evanescence CDs and cassettes - Hector Collection. He has more than 150 of them, and it sure feels good to know my cassette is now among one of them :)

Cheers everyone, and do reach me in case you need any cassette for your collection :D


Monday, September 05, 2016

Chp 627. Reaching 500 Games + Level 50

Today, September 5th, I reached another very big milestone in my gaming career. I now own 500 games on Steam! :D

It wasn't very long ago when I blogged about reaching 250. But before you think I'm spending too much on games, most of the games I have bought were on discount. Big huge discounts. Like for example, the recent Steam Summer Sale. Yeah, I too have my bills to pay just like you.

The thing is, I don't have a social life. And being an introvert, I like to be on my own most of the time. So, I usually spend my weekends watching TV show marathons via hotstar premium subscription. But as I have blogged recently, I didn't have internet at home for the past 3 months. During those dark times, playing games was the only thing that kept me from losing my sanity.

I'm not going to make this post boring by writing a review on some of the new games I have bought. You can check out my profile on Steam - [link] anytime and see my games collection. I'll leave the reviews for another post.

Another big milestone I reached today was reaching Steam Level 50!

And not only that, I have managed to craft exactly 50 badges as of today. Very nice coincidence. :)

I feel kinda nostalgic, and quite accomplished to know that I have bought all these 500 games out of my own hard-earned money. It made me recollect all those years when I used to beg my dad or mom over and over again to buy me the latest Nintendo or Sega game cartridge out in the market, and I would throw a tantrum or sulk in a corner if they didn't buy it for me :D

I wish I could go back in time and bitch-slap the young me and say, "Listen son, you wanna play Contra or Mario bros, you better work your ass out. Work hard and years later, you can buy any game you want." and then I disappear in a puff of smoke while Britney's song "Work bitch" plays in the background :P

To keep this post short, yeah to me, collecting and playing different games is important, especially in my line of work. I like playing all sorts of games ranging from Casual to Action to Strategy to Tower Defense to RPG to MMOs to FPS to Simulation and so on (I think the only genre I don't play are car racing games :D ).

What is important is, at the end of the day, it makes me love my work. I don't hate waking up early to go to office every morning or staying back late in office after work. And that is a luxury most working professionals don't have.

So until my next post then, see you all, cheers.