How To Overcome Driving Phobia ?

I know how you will be feeling right now, because I lived with driving phobia for 7 years. Before that, I was a pretty decent driver. I used to drive through congested city roads to straight express highways. Until I met with an accident on a mountain road. The worst thing was that, I was driving my friend's car. The accident was not life threatening, but it left a huge dent on the car's front portion and we ended up paying a huge amount of money on repairs. That incident had a huge negative impact on my confidence as a driver. But I decided not to give up and was again on the road within a few days.

The second major accident was on a beach road. That too was not life threatening, but ended up draining my pocket. After that there were a couple of minor scratches and accidents. All these things eventually led me to driving phobia.

Symptoms of Driving Phobia ?

The first symptom is the nervousness that sets in whenever you think of driving. Rising heartbeat and sweaty palms accompany. You would try and avoid situations in which you have to drive. You will start making excuses for not driving.

For me, driving phobia had a huge impact on my overall confidence as a person. I started avoiding family get together where I am the only driver to take my younger cousins for an outing. Even when I try and drive, I am unsure. I always feel I am gonna hit a bystander or another vehicle. It is a feeling that others will never understand unless they have experienced it before.

In most cases you will have to use public transport which is a huge inconvenience and wastage of time. The other way is to appoint a driver, which was not financially viable. Another way is to get your friends or relatives to drive. For that you will have to do a lot of compromises according to their availability and convenience. 

The only way to overcome these issues is to overcome the driving phobia. You need to kick that phobia out of your mind.

How to get rid of Driving Phobia ?

There is only one way to get rid of driving phobia, drive your way out of it. The best way is to relate driving to something you are really good at. I learned it from a YouTube video done by Joseph. The video is given at the end of the post. I was pretty good at playing cricket, so I related driving to cricket. I considered driving as if I was playing cricket. I considered every kilometer I cover as a run I score. One by one, I tried to get to 100 runs, which means 100Km and then 200Km and then 300 and so on. This really worked out for me. 

I think it is the best way to get rid of driving phobia. There must be some activity that each person loves, just relate driving to that activity and you will be fine. It really worked for me. Now I am cruising through the highways without any worry. Below is the video from Jason, hope it helps.



BSNL 3G Unlimted Plan Kerala

Bsnl has discontinued unlimited 3G plans. It is no longer providing unlimited plans in Kerala or anywhere in India for that matter. The plan that will get you anywhere close to unlimited is the Rs.1949 plan which has 20GB 3G data for 60 days. That is the best you can get.

Other Bsnl 3G Plans in Kerala are given in the table below 

BSNL 3G Unlimted Plan Kerala



Bsnl Landline & Broadband Customer Care Number

If you want to book a complaint regarding your Bsnl landline or broadband, you need to call 198 from any landline or 1500 from any Bsnl mobile. Follow the instructions from the customer care and register your complaint. A Bsnl employee will come to house or office within 24hrs.

For faster service, always book the complaint around 9am in the morning. Normally, Bsnl technical staff will collect the list of faulty numbers from exchange when they sign the register at 9.30am. So if you book the complaint around 9am, your number will be among the first few numbers and you will get faster service. If you are registering the complaint after 12.30pm, they will not take up the case until the next morning.

How To Reduce Mobile Phone Bills

Almost all mobile network operators in India increased the mobile phone charges recently. For a person who makes a lot of calls every day will have a huge hole in his pocket by the end of the month. I am a person who make calls worth Rs.1100 (not exact) every month on my Idea prepaid connection in Kerala. I will take my experience as a case study and give you tips on how to reduce mobile call charges. Different ways to reduce mobile call charges are

1. Special Offers For Reduced Call Charges

How To Reduce Mobile Phone Bills


This is a straight forward solution offered by mobile operators for reducing call charges. For eg: On my mobile, STD calls are charged around Rs.1/min. I make a lot of STD calls, so I took a special recharge to reduce STD calls to 35p/min. The trick is to take the offer for bulk months, so that you can save some money. I took the STD offer for 3 months and saved a lot of money.

2. Move To Postpaid

Postpaid plans are much more profitable than it seems. We Indians are not really fond of postpaid plans. But when you take a close look at it, postpaid plans are way better than prepaid for saving money. Yes, the charges beyond the usage limit are insane, but if you can manage your calls within the limit, you will be saving at least a couple of hundred rupees each month. I used to save around Rs.300 each month when I switched to Idea postpaid. There is a decent usage limit for calls and data, so you should be fine. This is a workable solution for people who make a lot of business calls.

3. Use Internet For Making Calls - Best Trick

This is the best trick of all. You can save loads of money on call charges by using this method. This will work even better if you have a Wi-Fi connection at home or office. The trick is to buy an unlimited data pack and route all calls through internet. Unlimited data pack from Bsnl Broadband starts from Rs.500 I guess. Use free call facilities provided by Skype and Facebook wherever possible. Nowadays everyone has a facebook account and most people have a smartphone. Why not make most calls through Facebook? Facebook calls work even on 2G networks, the call clarity is excellent. Skype doesn't always work on 2G network, it works fine on 3G network.My biggest savings came from routing calls through internet. Now I save around Rs.600 each month on my telephone bills. This method works the best for lovers, who spend hours on the phone romancing.

Cashing Amazon Affiliate Cheque In India - Everything You Need To Know


I have been an Amazon.com affiliate marketer since December 2013. Recently, I received my first cheque. Since it was a cheque in foreign currency, I wasn't sure how to cash it. I searched the whole of internet for help. Unfortunately all information were in bits and pieces. I couldn't find a good answer to my questions. So I believe, as an Amazon.com affiliate no one else should have the same kind of experience as mine. So I am going to give you all information required to clear Amazon affiliate cheques in India.

Cheque Arrival

Amazon sends cheques to its affiliates once the amount reaches the threshold of $100. The cheque will only be send after 60 days on reaching the threshold. So if your earnings reach $100 in December, Amazon will send the cheque by the end of February.

I am living in a rural area in Kerala. Amazon sends the cheque to me on 30th of every month and it reaches me on 10th of the new month. So it takes 10 days for the cheque to arrive by speed post.

How To Cash Amazon Affiliate Cheque In India?


Amazon sends cheques in US Dollars drawn on Wells Fargo bank. Unfortunately Wells Fargo bank doesn't have a branch in India (they have plans to start one soon). But almost all Indian banks have tie up with Well Fargo. So you can cash your cheque through any bank. If your bank doesn't have a tie up, you don't need to worry, they will send the cheque directly to U.S and cash it.

All banks in India accept foreign currency cheques. SBI, SBT, HDFC, ICICI, AXIS are some of them. You can deposit the cheque as if you deposit the normal Indian rupee cheques. I have heard that some people saying that you need to fill and sign special forms to deposit foreign currency cheques. Actually you don't need to. 

I had a bad experience from ICICI bank. I think it is worth mentioning here.Once, ICICI bank asked me to sign a Foreign Currency Deposit form and I deposited the cheque after signing it. It was my first cheque and I didn't know the drill at that time. Finally, after keeping the cheque at the branch for 1 month, they returned it to me saying that it will take a lot of time (45 days) and you will have to complete quite a lot of formalities. Till that day, I had a lot of respect to ICICI bank guys. Not anymore, I have withdrawn all my funds from ICICI bank and is planning to close the account. At that time, I was more worried about the validity of the cheque, as 1 month has already passed sitting idle at ICICI branch. Cheques in India are now valid only for 3 months, formerly it was 6 months, RBI has reduced it now. I was panicking a bit, I wanted to clear my cheque before it expires. Meanwhile, I wrote to Amazon asking about the validity of the cheque. The reply mail is given below,

"I received your email and understand you'd like to know how long the checks are valid for. Our check payments are valid for 1 year.

If you are unable to cash your checks within that time, please let us know and we'll take further action, such as reissuing a new check. You can contact us again by using the secure form on our website located here:

affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact

Should you need to contact us again for this issue, please provide your complete mailing address with your message and the information about the check that is missing or unable to be cashed.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,"

So now, I can breathe more easily as Amazon cheques are valid for 1 year. I have ample time to sort out all the issues.

Depositing Amazon Cheques

I have already said that you can cash Amazon or any other foreign currency cheque through any bank in India. Even if I had an issue with ICICI bank, I know other guys who cleared amazon cheques through ICICI without any problem. 

It will take around 21 - 30 days to clear the cheque. I normally deposit my cheques at HDFC bank and it takes 29 days to clear. I have heard that SBI clears the cheques faster in about 21 working days, I am not sure. I always prefer private banks, as it is easier to track back just in case it is overly delayed. Tracking your deposited cheque at nationalized banks can be difficult. 

Always choose a main branch to deposit foreign currency cheques. Bank officials in rural areas might not know the correct procedure to clear FCY cheques and they may cite some petty reasons for not accepting them. HDFC bank has some branches that specialize in foreign exchanges called FOREX branches, they know how it is done. Most district headquarter branches of all banks tend to be FOREX branches, you will be better of depositing the cheque there.

Before depositing the cheque, take a photocopy just in case if there is any unnecessary delay. Some banks like SBI will ask you to give a photocopy along with the cheque. In my opinion, you should wait at least 40 days before asking the bank why the cheque is not credited. Foreign currency clearing does take time.

One more thing, you should not deposit the cheque at cheque drop box at ATMs or branches, as you won't have any proof that you have deposited the cheque. Deposit the cheque at branch cash counter and keep the customer copy of deposit slip with you for any future reference. Do not forget to sign at the back of the cheque. A copy of deposit slip is given below



You don’t need to fill or sign any special forms to deposit foreign currency cheques, unless it is of huge denomination like $1000 or so. If the bank official asks you to submit the form, he/she probably is not experienced in handling FCY cheques.

Finally, the bank charges. HDFC bank charges me around Rs.280/cheque as collection fee. It may vary according to the cheque amount though. Below is the proof of cash credit I got by clearing my Amazon affiliate cheque. It is a cropped version of mini statement by the way. Of course I am not going to give away my personal bank account details lol.

UPDATE : RBI has changed the rules now. HDFC bank after couple of cheques, are asking about the source of the cheque. If you don't provide the source, they will keep it on hold. In this way, my cheque was kept on hold for 27 days before sending for clearance. You just need to tell them that it is your affiliate commission earnings for Amazon's affiliate program.

YouTube Connection To Server Lost Touch To Retry Error - Fixed

Couple of days ago, I noticed a new issue with YouTube on my Nexus 5. I was not able to stream YouTube through Wi-Fi on my mobile. It started showing the error message 'Connection To Server Lost Touch To Retry'. The ad that you get before the video was all working fine. The issue was with the actual video itself. Nothing happens even if I touch it multiple times. I started searching the internet for solutions.

Some of the solutions were to change the Wi-Fi settings, uninstall updates, factory reset etc etc. Among them, was one interesting solution 'Just wait it out', which I didn't give much attention to. So I tried changing the Wi-Fi Settings, uninstalled the updates and nothing really changed. The issue was still there and I was getting the same 'Connection To Server Lost Touch To Retry' error message. I was not sure about resetting the phone as I will lose all data and the pain of customizing all of them from scratch was not really appealing to me. I would rather live without YouTube on my phone.

youtube connection to server lost


Days passed and nothing changed. On the 4th day or so (by that time I had already uninstalled the updates, YouTube was running on the factory version) I tried opening the video and all of a sudden it started working. The phone fixed the issue itself. Then I remember one guy advising all others to 'Just wait it out'. I think he was right. But I was in a panic mode at that time, that I didn't really listen to his advice. I tried the more 'workable' fixes and it didn't solve the problem for me.

If Wi-Fi settings change, uninstalling updates and nothing fixes 'Connection To Server Lost Touch To Retry' error, the best bet is to wait for at least a week. The phone will fix it on its own. At least that is what I learned from my experience (and the other guy's).

How To Change Car Remote Key Battery - Solved

When the battery of the car remote runs out, it will stop responding and the result is your car theft alarm goes off without you being able to stop it. The battery inside your car remote normally will last for around 3 years. In order to change the battery, you just need to go to your nearest watch repair shop and buy the battery, which in my area costs around Rs.30 per piece. In most cases, there will be two batteries inside the car remote key. Replace both and your remote should be working fine.

What do you understand by the term ‘digital divide’? Discuss?



A term used to describe the discrepancy between people who have access to and the resources to use new information and communication tools, such as the Internet, and people who do not have the resources and access to the technology. The term also describes the discrepancy between those who have the skills, knowledge and abilities to use the technologies and those who do not. The digital divide can exist between those living in rural areas and those living in urban areas, between the educated and uneducated, between economic classes, and on a global scale between more and less industrially developed nations.

The term "digital divide" has traditionally described inequalities in access to computers and the Internet between groups of people based on one or more social or cultural identifiers. Under this conceptualization, researchers tend to compare rates of access to these technologies across individuals or schools based on race, sex, disability status, and other identity dimensions. The "divide" refers to the difference in access rates among groups of people. 

The rich countries and the rich people even in poor countries can afford to make use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services and would be able to survive in the technological era but those who cannot afford would slowly lag behind in the race towards development. Wealthy people will become wealthier and poor become poorer as a result of digital divide. It will have huge implications on individuals, families, societies and even nations. ICT may have created a new class of untouchables living in information poverty at one level and a new cadre of high technology entrepreneurs on the other.

Social Stratification - Short Note



In a society different occupations carry different levels of prestige and different economic rewards. This system of inequality is called social stratification. It is an important element of a society. Sociologists like Davis and Moore believe that some jobs require more skills, responsibility and specialized training and are more difficult to learn than others, so they are rewarded much higher salary than others to encourage them.

Functionalist schoolers believe that economic  stratification exists because it meets societies needs for productivity by motivating people. However, conflict theorists argue that inequality exists because the wealthy make the social system work in way that it protects their interest. Moreover, they say that it is not motivation alone that drives people to difficult jobs which pay high, it is because the wealth is unequally distributed. For example. it is easier for a person born in a rich family to become a doctor than a person born in a low income family.

What do you understand by the term renaissance? Discuss?



The term ‘Renaissance’ literally means rebirth, in a narrow sense it is used to describe the revival or interest in the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. Renaissance was marked by a series of new developments in the fields of art, literature, religion, philosophy, science and politics. The period served as a bridge between medieval and modern West Europe.

Renaissance began with the rediscovery of Greco-Roman civilization which had been neglected during the middle ages. It emphasized reason, a questioning attitude, experimentation and free enquiry. This is contrasted with medieval concern with faith, authority and tradition. It glorified the individual and approved worldly pleasures, viewing life as worthwhile for its own sake, not chiefly as a preparation for the afterlife. The era focused attention upon secular society rather than the medieval preoccupation with the Church and religious affairs. In the 15th Century, Renaissance ideas began to spread from Italy to France, the German states, Holland, and England.

Humanism illustrated the spirit of renaissance. It was not concerned with religious matters, but with everyday human problems. Renaissance drew inspiration from classical civilization, eagerly seeking, studying, and publicizing ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts. It revived interests in literature and writing among the educated.

Art and architecture during renaissance was influenced by classical Greece and Rome. Renaissance painting emphasized realism, attention to detail, and a desire for perfection. Leonardo Da Vinci was one among the popular artists of the renaissance period. There were many other popular writers and artists who made their names in the history during the renaissance.
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