Another Cheap Trick

June 25, 2006

Yesterday we had another meeting at the site with the AGM. I met surendra who apprised me on the registration process. Finally after giving in to RHDPL's demand and signing the agreement Mr. KK of RHDPL got everyone to the registrar's office for getting the flats registered. It turned out that RHDPL had another cheap trick up their sleeves. I don't know how it exactly happened, but they got another paper slipped in the agreement which was signed by RHDPL and the flat owners. It was done so stealthily that most of the owners could not even detect the anamoly. And those who realized the trick, didn't really have time to go through the extra page. But still if they would have read it what could they do ?

All the other's are signing the paper and nobody likes to be singled out. Even if he wants to raise his voice for his own good. This reminds me of an article i read long time ago by Subroto Bagchi. It said, how we Indians find it easy to do things in a group. If one of us is singled out and asked for an individual opinion, we would rather give a group opinion with proper disclaimers.

How much can one put up with such behavior ? It just seems that RHDPL is testing the waters and checking if we would resent. The moment it see's we don't resent, it pulls up another trick. When they see that we have not even resented to that trick, they bring another one, until we are striped of all our rights to the apartment complex.

The extra clause that RHDPL has added was something to the affect of the land owner having the right of passage to the driveway that is being built for the flat owners. The owner of the land on which the apartment complex is being constructed stay's adjacent to the apartment complex. He must have had some understanding with RHDPL to allow him to use our complex's facilities even though he does not own an apartment. RHDPL wouldn't mind acceding to it's demand. All it has to do is to cheat us once again. And we who no longer mind getting stripped again would happily accept the demand.

I am seriously considering pulling out of this project. The tax implication's would be rather heavy if i plan to sell my house immediately. So i may not be able to sell it off immediately. But let's see how the project turns out.

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Riya and my personal thoughts

June 18, 2006

The other day while browsing through a friend's blog i happened to stumble upon Riya. Riya is an online photo organizer, where you can upload your photo's and share them with the world. But there are so many in the world that do the same thing, so whats special about Riya ? Well there is one area of categorization where Riya excels among it's competitor's. That's photo recognition and searching/categorizing your photo's based on who is there in your photo.

I myself had this idea about categorizing photo's based on the person in the photo. With thousand's of photo's in my laptop, i always had difficulty looking out for specific photo. For example i wanted to see all the photo's of Ishita when we had gone to the mysore trip. First of all i had to organize all my photo's in a folder, and then go one by one to see where is ishita's photo. That's when i thought about indexing photo's based on the people present in the photo. I did not think of face recognition, but i was thinking more on the lines of tagging the photo based on the people present in the photo. Again tagging is also widely used. But i don't know why tagging is not built into the images themselves. With the EXIF format, it is possibly to insert any meta data in the photo. It's like your MP3 collection. You have meta information about artist/album/genre etc.. Then you can use your music playing application (iTunes for example) and easily search for your music based on your criteria (artist/album/genre). Simillary with each image if we can insert the meta information about the people in the photo, the place where the photo was clicked, date and time (if it is not present), the occasion. It will be so easy to categorize the photo's.

The reason for storing these meta information in the images itself is so that the information resides totally with the image and you can use any third party application that you like to categorize them according to your tastes. But apparently there will be an iTunes like application which will become the defacto application :).

About Riya itself, i personally liked the website quite a lot. The people behind Riya seems quite a passionate lot of people, working day in and day out to get this cool application out. Munjal Shah, CEO of Riya himself maintains a decent blog of Riya's activities which is an interesting read. But as he mention's himself, Riya is two year old baby. Riya has got an amazing technology at hand, but somehow the delivery has not really been upto the mark. I personally find Flickr's interface much more better. Riya is not as restrictive as Flickr (non-pro) is, but still i think it will take Riya some time to reach that level.

Riya themselves realize this shortcoming and they are trying to fix this. The other day i happened to saw Munjal's blog holding an informal competition to redesign the web site. Or atleast the structure of the website. Now personally i am not sure how good is this idea of asking someone to redesign the website. Designing a website would require lot of brainstorming between the designer and people at Riya, ideas thrown back and forth until something good comes out. How can you collect some hundred different design's and chose the best out of them ? Anyway it will be interesting to watch what Munjal's competition yield's. Now i am not an expert on web technologies or how exactly these competition work's. But i have personal reservation against such methods.

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Renaissance Brindavan – Painful experience

June 16, 2006

Everybody shares their own story while buying a house. There are always arguments with respect to building your own house as against buying a flat. The second option always win's when the argument revolves around how much tension you would have to go through for sanctions and other things when you are building your own house. Well i learnt the hard way that buying a flat is not tension free either these days.

I bought a decent flat (Renaissance Brindavan) in a decent locality(Padmanabhnagar) from a decent builder (Renaissance). Hoping to get an accommodation by at least March 2006. Currently it is June 2006. The promise is that it will get completed in July end, But even the site engineers accept that that's not possible. The delay is not really the worry as much as the fact that it comes with so much tension.

During these last couple of months, i witnessed how shadily the way these developers work, holding us (literally) on ransom to deliver our flats. RHDPL is supposedly a reputed firm having all sorts of approvals. They just force you to sign the sale deed, which happens to be different from the build agreement that we signed earlier. They add more clauses to the deed to reduce interest of the owners, and have their own financial gains. They even strip us of our right to defend our rights in the deed. Everything is planned so beautifully, that people inspite of the glaring fraud are forced to sign it. The project is delayed by considerable amount so that the flat owners get restless and their financial burden increases. The copy of the sale deed is shown just a day or two before the flat owners are supposed to sign it. They can't even get their lawyers to read it if they want a legal opinion. And if objected, are threatened that the registration process will get delayed. Most of us succumb to the threat and give in.

The whole situation is so laughable. These guys are just whipping us and we can hardly do anything about it. The boom in the real estate industry, and the high demand for it has just left the common man to the mercy of these new age don's. The way their legal documents are designed, just leaves them with zero liability and we can't even question them. If we try, the answer come's, "you don't want to buy it ? don't buy. I have hundred's of people coming in everyday. I can sell it to someone else at a higher price".

I would try and list down specific instances in subsequent postings as and when i have time and am able to pen them down.

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