Category Archives: Life chores

Register your mobile number for hp gas anytime service

Published August 14, 2014 11:37 am

Since I was disconnecting my landline, I need to update the registered number with hp gas anytime service. I could not find a way in the IVR menu. I could only delete the registered number.

When you dial the anytime number, it asks for the landline number of the gas agency without the std code. In my case, agent landline number is different than the one expected by hp anytime number. I need to call the hp gas agency to get the number. For sri sai Krishna gas agency, gachibowli – 32560557.

The agency also updated me with the process to register your number with hp anytime. You need to send the sms to hp gas anytime mobile number with following text:


For example: hp 04023005678 123456

That worked!

*numbers used in the example above – are fictitious and meant for demonstration only.

Selling some more used items on

Published August 12, 2014 10:08 am

It has been long since the last post about selling used items on In the meanwhile, I have to sell few other used items. Selling through was not getting traction and I finally decided to list them on

The money you get vs the time investment – does – raise question whether it is worth it – to sell used items through olx or ebay. Monetarily – It may not be worth it if your per hour time cost is anywhere more than INR 1k and item worth is less than say 2-3k. but sometime you do things – just for fun or want someone else to “use” the thing rather than give it to kabadi and dispose it off. I have to do that for couple of old things that I had listed on olx but not getting traction. e.g. old furniture – give it to our service staff. old chair – give to our maid. old glass top center table – did sell through olx after numerous phone calls from people enquiring but not coming to collect it.

When we are at the topic – few things about listing items on These helped me get traction on selling them or avoid getting spam calls that have very low likelihood to sell.

  1. Assert in the listing that serious buyer will get marginal bargain and they can come down to see the item. Don’t call to bargain.
  2. Sometimes – the area name – selected for the listing is not very known; you can get spam calls from all over the city checking about the location of the item. solution – Clarified the address/location in the listing details. Also mentioned that if you are not from the nearby <this location>, transport cost may not make it viable purchase for you.
  3. Also added additional cash discount over the listing price for the buyers taking the item before <date>

Coming back to ebay, I have been able to sell some of the used books through ebay. These were primarily motivated from the fact that someone else can read it as long as I can get the courier cost from the buyer. Few notes about this:

  1. Shipping through speedpost – india post – was good for the books. It cost in the range of 70-100 if the book is not very bulky and go in a green large side envelope weighing < 500gm. I need to purchase the envelope from the stationary shop. It has internal cotton thing – between the paper to make the envelope little more robust.
  2. For local (same city) – even DTDC – works out cheaper. It cost 70/- and if you have relationship with your local franchise – he comes to collect the package from home.
  3. For bulkier book, I need to pack with the cartoon cover and brown tape.
  4. There is a nice site. You can use this site to track your book journey. I had marked one of the book with their id (BCID)

I have also sold – used broadband modem, external hard disk through ebay. If the electronic item is not outdated – there are takers for the item on ebay. You need to price it competitively.

Before closing – Few notes about DTDC:

  1. I got one franchise to courier my packages couple of times; now, he entertains to come home to collect package.
  2. Insurance adds to the shipping cost. I have taken it for items costing > 1k. Shipping cost then goes in range of 200 for items in <= 500gm range.
  3. Festival time may not be right time to ship through the courier. I have faced twice delayed delivery around Rakhi time.
  4. Local shipping cost 70/- minimum. If the item is collect at home, it works better than speed post service.
  5. I have been overall happy with DTDC service.

Have you also sold your used items on ebay? How was your experience?

Visit to Psk Ameerpet for re-issue of my passport

Published July 25, 2014 6:28 pm

After receiving passport with change of name after marriage for my wife, it was time for my passport to be re-issued. Change required was – correction of name of spouse. It had already filled the whole application online and submitted earlier. I was waiting for my wife passport to get dispatched to schedule my psk appointment. I got the appointment for the next day in psk ameerpet.

After going through details and document advisor, I had gone with following documents – self attested xerox copy as well as original.

  1. Wife passport (self attested by her)
  2. Aadhaar card – I was looking for address as here. Address printed in my earlier passport was correct but compressed to exclude some important details. Since re-issue was being done, I was looking for this change also.
  3. marriage certificate – to affirm the old spouse name as endorsed in my current passport.
  4. wife old passport – to support old spouse name as endorsed in my current passport
  5. my passport

Reaching to PSK

You need to take U turn at matrivanam circle (since there is no right turn allowed there because of one way) and reach Aditya trade center following the road from ameerpet left turn. This left turn leads to the temple area where again left turn needs to be taken. Take another first left to get on to the matrivanam road (one way). It is kind of clumsy to write it in words. If you don’t get it, try google map.

Once you reach there, you can use the HUDA paid parking for four wheeler. It will cost you INR 20 per hour. You will likely incur anywhere between 60 to 100 based on number of hours at PSK. If you are lucky, you may find a parking in a tree shade.

When to reach PSK

Your reporting time is mentioned on the appointment receipt. Reach there at least 1/2 hr in advance. I entered PSK at around 1.50pm for the appointment scheduled at 2.15pm. They put a queue outside the psk also to enter. Reaching few minutes before the appointment time will not harm. Reach too early will not help either since you will be held outside the building itself by security.

What to carry

Nowadays, security is asking to sign all copies of documents (self attest) outside the psk only to speed up process. I also found many people signing their copies outside and asking other attendees for pen etc. It is good to carry your stationary like pen, stapler with you. It is good to self-attest all your copies at home on front side below, arrange in order and keep in a pouch. I suggest to keep all your originals in a separate pouch to avoid fumbling and dropping some original ids outside or inside PSK. I also suggest to carry a backpack or other bag to keep all your belongings – 1) copies of documents 2) originals 3) appointment receipt handy in hand 4) stationary like pen, stapler.

Since my appointment was around lunch time, I carried my lunch box also. Their is a snack counter serving coffee, noodles, puffs (if I remember correct) etc. but not lunch.

Token number (stage 1)

Once you enter the psk first entry gate, you queue yourself on any of the counters. This stage is to ensure that you have all the required documents and their originals. They check your application specifics and attach required copies; also verify them against originals; make a file and ask you to wait. Then, they assign a token number to your file and ask you to come to desk. You collect your token number printed on a half page of paper with some bar codes and your file. This is when you are ready to enter second entry gate of the PSK. The security swipes your token bar code and let you enter through the gate.

Multiple queues (stage 2)

Your token print will also explain that you have to go through 3 steps aka 2 queues namely A, B and C – finally exit the center.

  1. There are large LCD displaying tokens against counters. E.g. B1 – 441 that means B1 counter is requesting person with token 441 to reach him. When you see your token, run to the counter. If you are delayed, it might get skipped.
  2. Queue-A is fastest. B slower and C slowest typically.
  3. Overall it took me no wait time for A, 1hr for B, 2 hrs for C and .5 hr to collect my acknowledgment receipt near to exit door of the PSK. These numbers are roughly there. I exited around 5-45pm.
  4. Queue B n C move slowly in morning hours and faster in evening hours. This is empirical data. I founded officers on C queue to speed up as the day was closing around 5-6pm.
  5. If you enter the PSK first thing in morning say 8am, you may exit before lunch time. Otherwise, it is very likely to go post lunch time. Person sitting next to me entered around 11-30pm exited by 4-30pm,
  6. It seems volume of application processed each day seem to have increased. I found PSK highly crowded this time compared to my last visit 2 years back. People did not have enough seats to sit and have to stand. That is likely the price to pay since you are able to get appointment as soon as next day nowadays.
  7. Once you come in – you wait for you token number to flash against a counter. It flashes against counter in A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 etc.

Queue A

– is managed by TCS employees. This step is to scan all documents, edit anything in your application, take your photo, finger prints of all fingers & thumbs, and e-ready your application in their web application. There is one screen that is facing your side. As the executive edits your application, you can see everything. I kept my eyes on the screen to ensure that all data was correct.

Especially, I was looking for my address to be accurate and see what to compress and what not to. In case of address, it is tricky because of character and line limits. As you would have seen, that you might have to compress (your address) much more when submitting your application. This is your last chance to still try to edit it with the executive. Further, the address – as it will appear on passport – is little different than how it shows while editing. For example: even though the editing screen shows address as ” ..cyberabad..” – on print screen, it shows as Hyderabad. When I asked him, he did shows me in a screen how it will look – as printed on my passport. The person was patient enough to allow me to take another snap since my hairs were clumsy in my first snap. (You will have to leave with this picture on your passport for 10 years).

One edit was done in my passport application. I had selected “personal details change” -> spouse name addition when filling my application online. He edited it to use “personal details change” -> others (spouse name change). Once he is done, your application is in queue B.

I saw one person had put neighbors address as in west Bengal – not local to Hyderabad. His application got pushed back from queue B to queue A. This step is meant for all data entry.

Queue B

– is managed by government passport officers – to verify all documentation. If the application passes this step, it is likely you will get through.

  1. People who have not done full homework and missing some required documentation – will be asked to go and come next day or so with missing documents.
  2. Application with contention may get forwarded to head- passport officer sitting in the cabin “AP-01”. As far as I understand, contentious applications are resolved by him and you token will flash in this queue optionally.
  3. Because of the heavy traffic – there is decent amount of load on each passport officer. I suggest not to test their nerves. Stay calm and avoid unwanted arguments. Of course, in case of any invalid reason to reject your application, you may have to defend.
  4. If you have solid documentation backing your application, it will breeze through. Otherwise in case of minor or subjective issues with your application, your success might depend on your luck, allotted passport officer and his/her patience. He may straight off reject it, focus on minor issue or may be considerate. Needless to say – having solid documentation is must.
  5. There is a waiting hall, and wait area near queue-B counters. Stay near counter B area when your token number is in range of 10-20 from the current running token number. This is to avoid getting your token skipped.


This step handles 2-tier validation before marking your application approved. AFAIK, this stage also decides whether police verification is required or not. Officer will cross check with your original documents again here. Keeping your all originals in a separate pouch helps here also. Make sure you collect your all originals while moving out of counter A, B or C. In case of re-issue, the current passport will be stamped “extended by issue of new passport” on counter C. Make sure you hand over correct passport to the person. He might be in hurry in case of crowd. Stamping different passport will make it invalid! Keep the token number also safe with you until you exit.

Cabin before Exit

After queue-C, you will collect acknowledgment receipt from a cabin near exit door. It is opposite C counters and manned by TCS staff. He will print the acknowledgment on taking your token number paper. This receipt will mention summary of your application. Before exit, ensure you have collected all your belongings; if you need to take a leak, rest rooms are only inside psk btw. Congratulations! You can now exit.

Security outside the exit door ensures that you have left your file in psk. You can now secure your receipt in your bag, pay the parking fee and leave for your home. I did so and await the passport arrival through speed post.

Over and out.

Update: my passport currently shows status as “Passport application has been granted to applicant on 23/07/2014. Your application is under processing. You would receive an e-mail/sms once the passport is dispatched” after roughly 3 weeks from psk visit.

update: my passport now shows status as “Your Passport has been printed and You would receive an sms/e-mail once the passport is dispatched” after roughly 4 weeks from psk visit. I had also opted for paying INR 30/- to receive status update using SMS and I am receiving SMS whenever status changes.

Final update: I received the passport through speed post last week. It came after around 5 weeks since my psk visit. The SMS update for speed post dispatch was incidentally delayed and came after I had received the passport.

Change of name on PAN card and other updates

Published July 25, 2014 10:02 am

I have written about this earlier when I had updated my PAN card details. Recently, I have to update my wife PAN card details – including name change after marriage. Since the update was being done, I have updated a) Aadhaar card b) communication address c) mobile d) email id for the same. The online application is available on the tin website and can be submitted there along with online payment of INR 105 fee.

The process is straight forward after selecting the right application. It is recommended to read all the instructions to fill the online form before actually filling it. Few of my learnings from there:

  1. It is good to do in early or late hours of the day when the tin website server and your bank (online payment) server are not busy. Failure scenarios are not properly handled.
  2. Online payment failed once at bank gateway. Next attempt – bank gateway passed but failed at tin website and hence, I could not get the acknowledgment receipt. Calling their support (020-27218080) only consumed more time. They asked to send all details including the transaction number to their support email [tin_online (at)] but I have not heard back from them after 48 hours. Instead of doing follow up to save INR 105 – I have tried again today in the morning and payment went through properly.
  3. save the transaction number before proceeding with payment.
  4. in case of failure of payment – transaction number can be used to retrieve your application again. Otherwise, whole of the application needs to be filled again.
  5. Before submitting the form, carefully review all fields for typo.
  6. Carefully evaluate all supporting documents reading through the help on the website. Otherwise, application will be rejected and need to send again the required supporting documents.


I have attached these supporting documents (copy) when applying for the name change after marriage:

  1. Old pan card (with name before marriage)
  2. passport (with new name after marriage)
  3. Aadhaar card with latest address
  4. marriage certificate

We received few SMS whenever the application status changed; also I checked on the website for status update couple of times. Application was received; then initial verification; then verification by ITD (income tax dept) completed. I took order of 3 weeks before the PAN card arrived by courier yesterday. In this application case, there was no issue with documents and it passed all verifications.

Did you also go through updating your PAN card? Do share your experience below.

Filing your ITR for FY2013-14 (aka AY2014-15)

Published July 18, 2014 6:34 pm

Last year, I have written about ltcg computation from indian stocks in ITR-2. IT returns filing time for FY2013-14 (aka AY2014-15) is here and I had to again pull up my sleeves and get to work to deal with this thing. I am sure – not many geeks – will like this task. Nevertheless, it needs to be done.

First reaction of the geek is that can someone take care of this for me? Can I “offload” or “outsource” this? Very soon you will realize that you-can-not-get-away-from-this. Best is to understand little bit of this since this task like writing performance reviews or investing your saving – will come each year. Nobody will take care of this in-total keeping your best interests in mind. You will be really lucky if you found someone to take care of this.

Much has been said about simplicity of filing income tax returns. Yes – it is simple if your “income sources” are simple. If you have only “salary” income source – process is simple and it even got simpler this year. Income tax web site this year has got a wizard like UI for ITR-1. All you need to know is chapter vi few sections like 80c to save tax. There is plenty of material on web. Little bit reading can suffice and then, you can decide where to put money to save tax before march 31st. Before july 31st – file the return directly on income tax web site using the new UI.

Next – you buy house and take a home loan – you add little more complexity. In ideal world – bank (home loan) data should have been “connected” with IT department’s IT backend. to make the life of borrower simple. but we are not yet there. With this, you need to understand taxation rules around home loan – principal, interest, pre-emi and sometimes changes in max. exempted interest amount. Download/get the home loan certificate from bank and archive it for future reference (taxman can open your file anytime for review. Archiving relevant documents digitally or in original print copy is good idea.). Again there is enough material on web about this. but you need to spend sometime to digest it and remain abreast. You are still ok to use ITR-1.

Next – you put some money in FD (fixed deposits) and/or trade some stocks. Welcome to the world of STCG (short term capital gain), LTCG(long term capital gain) and taxation gamut around this. In ideal world, we can wish if our demat account and bank FDs data was linked to income tax system and IT dept. website presents computed tax liability to the user. but we are not there yet. My last post was only about how to put LTCG from Indian stocks in ITR 2. Further, You need to compute your interest income from FDs including interest credited in your Saving bank (SB) account. Collect form16A (TDS) and interest certificates from banks where you have FDs. Match data in form 16A and interest certificate to ensure that data uploaded to traces site by bank is correct. I have to deal with one case in past years where data did not match and hence, I have to wait for the correction by the bank before filing IT returns. I also maintain my own excel to compute the “expected interest income” from FD in FY. That serves two purpose – a) know your income from “interest source” and pay advance tax payment before march 31st. otherwise – you will need to pay interest when you file return by july 31st. b) check any gross mistake by bank in interest computation or TDS for FDs. I have one case in past where bank deducted 20% TDS for FD and because of this check in place, I could find that out. I doubt even if I take a service of a CA – if he/she will pay attention to the detail like this. Some of his staff will very likely put the data available in ITR-2 and submit my IT returns. If you have staff to support you – you may take their services to handle few tasks like interaction with banks – with proper checks at your level. Nevertheless – knowing the taxation rules and system – is required. Once you have money – managing the money do take some of your time. more money – more time required to manage it!

If you have ESOP (employee stock option plan) as a benefit – it also adds its own complexity to taxation. There is not great clarity on this topic when the company is MNC and you own stocks from foreign stock market. In some cases – TDS is cut and in addition, you have additional tax liability in India. USD to INR conversion is also applicable. I had built a excel for myself to compute tax liability. I am no guru on this topic. you will need to manage your case. I tend to suspect that your income tax file becomes “more of interest” to taxman with such transactions. Taxation demands and their review by taxman is another chapter by itself! Needless to say – archiving all data digitally or in original paper form is good idea (while I personally believe it is MUST). My father has data still from 2000 in archives. I think maintaining last 10-15 years data is good.

On a side note – keeping your data one copy on an external hard disk and one on online drive like dropbox, google drive or onedrive might be good idea. Hardcopies (like TDS certificates from bank) can be archived in a box file sorted and grouped by FY.

Saving taxes within the bounds of taxation rules is another topic as you build corpus of assets and savings in bank. This is still an area of research for me. It requires your time. Being a geek – it may not interest you. but it needs to be done if you care for saving that extra money.

Instead of staying in denial, it is good to build your knowledge about taxation and tax filing slowly as you progress in your career (with progressing income sources). As your income sources increase – taxation get complex. Like there is no simple route to gain years of experience in your domain – it requires hard work – there is no simple route to managing your money. The knowledge and experience needs to be  gained over a long period of time. You cannot “offload” it without knowing ABC of it.

Coming to this year – few things changed.

  1. java utility to prepare ITR-2 is welcome change. It automates pre-filling your form with your “personal details” from IT dept. backend that already has the data indexed to your PAN id. It also automates fetching TDS details from backend. Saves you “error-prone” manual copying of these data.
  2. It still does not fetch few details like your INCOME tax ward/circle. You need to check your old ITR-2 and fill it.
  3. Excel with macros was error prone. I had done mistakes in past even when being extra careful. Like not hitting “re-compute” which left tax calculation stale and I got a demand notice later! I have to go through process of “rectification” of submitted return.
  4. java utility output is a xml file. you can submit on site and also archive it.
  5. ITR-V submission through post is still a loose end in the process. I post it through speed post to the CTC center blore. I once forgot to sign it before posting and my returns were not processed. This task can probably be eliminated by income tax dept. without requiring people to acquire costly digital signature – with some thinking. This can also eliminate printing these many papers and extra load on our India postal dept. When I was in post office today, there were 3 other people in queue posting ITRV through speed or ordinary post.
  6. I learnt about 80TTA exemption up to 10k on interest on SB account this year. I also learnt about 80DD for saving on medical insurance / health checkup for self and parents – helps self employed who are not covered as an additional perk from their employer.

I am not a CA or authority on this subject. but I am certainly one of you – who has to deal with taxation every year and wish if more was automated, if I can just click few buttons to know my tax liability, if taxation rules were simple and did not require exercising problem solving skills to save tax money, if after paying tax mostly through TDS I don’t have to make visits to taxman myself (or through a CA in between), if I don’t ever get a demand notice from IT dept. after filing returns through its tool. On that note  – I am putting effort to understand taxation, handle me and my family finances and ensure that I meet our country’s legal obligations.

What are your learnings – to deal with filing income tax returns?