Now’s a Good Time For Comic Lovers

Dark Knight

The past year has been quite interesting for comic book lovers of both DC and Marvel camps. There has been quite an explosion of new shows and each one keeps getting better than the previous one! I used to consider the series; Gotham as my favorite of the bunch but today after watching the first episode of Daredevil I’ve changed my mind. I can’t wait to see the next episode of Daredevil!

I’ve compiled the list of popular comic book based/inspired TV shows below;

Daredevil [link]
“Matt Murdock was blinded as a boy in a tragic accident. An accident that also gave him extraordinary senses. Practicing as an attorney in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City by day, he fights as a masked vigilante at night.”

Gotham [link]
“Explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon.  He is still a detective but he has yet to meet Batman and the villains who made Gotham City so famous.”

The Flash [link]
The Flash is the story of Barry Allen, a police scientist who is the victim of a freak accident. While working late, his lab is hit by lightning. The blast shatters a number of vials, so Barry is both electrocuted and bathed in dozens of chemicals. When he recovers, Barry finds that he has gained the ability to move at almost impossible speed.”

Arrow [link]
Arrow is a modern retelling of the DC Comic character Green Arrow. Multi-millionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing, and presumed dead after a shipwreck at sea. He is found five years later, having survived on a desert island off his wits and by mastering the bow and arrow. When he returns to Starling City however, he discovers that it is rife with corruption and crime. Oliver decides to put his skills to use by taking on the persona of Arrow and becoming the vigilante that Starling City needs.”

Agent Carter [link]
“In 1946, Agent Peggy Carter is grounded after World War II, stuck in administrative work at the Strategic Scientific Reserve. However, industrialist Howard Stark asks for Peggy’s help clearing his name when his weapons are used to spread death and destruction”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D [link]
“Based on Marvel’s fictional government organization, S.H.I.E.L.D.  It shows that not all heroes have to be super. Agent Phil Coulson (The Avengers) recruits a new team to go into the field and handle any cases involving the strange and the bizarre.”
Dark Knight at Burj Jassim

Shopping on Amazon India

Amazon India 1

Amazon launched their Indian operations a couple of days ago and I’ve placed an order with them to see how it compares to Flipkart which till now has been my regular Indian shopping site. As always, rather than write a lengthy essay on my experience I’ll just post a summary with pros and cons and its up to you to decide whether to try it out or not.

Pros:
. The name and brand – Amazon is one of the most trusted brands in the world and you can’t go wrong with shopping with them even if the product is provided by other vendors.
. Single Sign On – I was pleased to see that I could use my Amazon US account credentials to log in and then create a new delivery address for shopping in India.
. International Credit Cards accepted – One of my biggest peeves with Flipkart is that they don’t accept international cards which means I have to rely on my ICICI or SBI card. Amazon already has my card details stored on my profile and I could easily place an order with my Kuwait issued MasterCard.
. Free Shipping – As an inaugural offer they’re offering free shipping on all purchases even if its less than the 500 Rupee minimum. Otherwise delivery charge is 50 Rupee for books and DVDs.

Cons:
. Limited catalog – They’ve just launched so as of now there are just two sections; Books and Movies. Hopefully they’ll expand their departments quickly and they’ve already listed “Mobiles, Cameras and more” in the menu. 

Amazon India 2

Right now that’s all I can comment on since I’ve only just placed the order. I bought Dan Brown’s new book “Inferno” in hardcover edition and the discounted price was 465 from 750 Rupees MRP. Shipping was another 49 Rupees but since it was an inaugural offer it was free. So in effect I’ve paid 465 Rupees (2.3 KWD) for a hardcover book. 

I checked Flipkart and they too have a discount on the book and it sells for the exact amount of 465 Rupees but there’s a delivery charge of 50 Rs on orders less than 500 Rs so in this case I would have paid 515 Rs in total on Flipkart. [link]

I’ll post an update on this post once the package arrives at my home in Trivandrum and we’ll know if they were able to ship it in the promised time.

Update:
Package received back home in Trivandrum, safe and sound.

amazon India package

You can read about my shopping experience with Flipkart [here]

My Flipkart experience

A couple of months ago I has posted about ordering from Flipkart.com and since then I had placed quite a few orders. All the items were non essential so I wasn’t too worried about the shipping time. My orders were for some music Cds, movie DVDs, a video camera bag and books.All the items arrived in exactly the time frame mentioned on the website and I’m very happy with the service. Here’s the breakdown;

Shipping:
I think Flipkart has a shipping method similar to Amazon coz just like my Amazon purchases the items are shipped from different places and through different couriers. I got my packages delivered by both Blue Dart and Aramex and both parties called up my family in Trivandrum to confirm the time and date of the package’s arrival.Unfortunately at this time they don’t have international shipping but I don’t mind since we have family members flying in frequently from India although I think shipping all these items from India would decrease my cost benefits.

Packaging:
All the items including the book came wrapped in bubble wrapping and there was a thick cardboard layer on the outside. My delivery address and details were clearly printed on the wrapper along with the cost of the item since it was a COD (Cash on delivery) In my previous experience with Rediff Shopping I had a couple of jewel cases cracked by the time they arrived in Trivandrum but in this case all my DVDs arrived without a scratch

Payment:
Now this is one area with was a little frustrating for me since I seem to have some problem with my ICICI card. So as of now the COD is the only option I’ve used. I’ve written to Flipkart requesting them to allow for international credit cards or PayPal and Moneybookers since thats how I do most of my online shopping. I hope they implement it in the near future so I can pay with my Kuwait credit cards and get the benefit of the exchange rates.

I would recommend Flipkart to all my friends since its been great so far.
Flipkart [website]
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Page on [Facebook]

Xbhp Magazine

Xbhp is an online forum of bikers started by a few motoring enthusiasts and it has come a long way since its creation sometime in 2004 or 2005. I used to be a regular on the forums at the time as I was an avid biker and never missed an opportunity to log some miles on my bike on a nice weekend.

This is the first issue of their magazine and it looks very good! The pages are of a very high quality unseen on my regular magazines like Overdrive or Bike India. It also comes with a DVD containing two documentaries; ‘Superbiking in Khardung La’ and ‘The great Italian Bike trip’.  Not bad for 80 Rupees.

So many books, so little time

I must admit that extensive usage of computers and E-books diminishes your ability or patience to sit down with a good paperback.Despite my laziness I finished Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” but didnt quite like the climax, maybe I was expecting too much. Anyway I still have a handful of books that need my attention and I expect to finish them slowly but steadily. 🙂

Dan Brown – Lost Symbol – Finished!

Jeremy Clarkson – For Crying Out Loud – Pending

Requiem – Robyn Young – Pending

Jhumpa Lahiri – Unaccustomed Earth – Pending

Arthur C Clark – Cradle – Pending

Agatha Christie – Miss Marple’s Final Cases – Pending

Michael Crichton- Next

I just finished this book and I’m not too pleased with it. OK I like the plot which is about industrial espionage, Genetic engineering and bio medical research but some of the stuff in it is just like its out of a Hindi movie. Although I’m a fan of Michael Crichton this book is not gonna be in my favorites list.

Twilight Saga Books 1 & 2

A couple of new books arrived this week; Twilight and New Moon by Stephanie Myers. My wife’s a big fan of the movie and they’re for her. As for me I still havent finished the books in my reading list so it’ll be a while before I buy any for me.

Twilight on Amazon [link]
New Moon on Amazon [link]

New books

I’ve been falling back in my reading and haven’t had much time (and patience) to complete reading the books in my list. Now here are two more books to add to my ever growing list. The first one is “Six Suspects” by Vikas Swarup, this was ordered by my wife and I got “One night @ a call center” by Chetan Bhagat for myself.

There were a lot of rave reviews for this book when it first came out and was later even made into a feature length movie ! I guess now is a good time to read the book 🙂

More info on Chetan Bhagat [link]

One night @ the call center [link]

Reading list

As I was on a tight schedule on my last trip to India, I didnt get time to pick up many books. I asked my bro to buy a copy of “Motorcyle Diaries” by Che Guevara and Jeffery Archer, First Among Equals. Then I raided his comic book collection and landed myself;

. another edition of MAD’s Bathroom companion.
. Batman Nightfall part 1
. Batman Giant superspecial digest

Not really a big haul this time, but enough to keep me occupied for sometime.