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Old 22nd May 2014, 19:34   #1
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Default Moving to Bangalore

My wife and I just moved back to India (Bangalore) after around 25 years of living all over the world. I am a Canadian citizen and my wife is American, but both of us have OCI.

We have certainly been back every couple of years or so, but as short-term tourists/visitors etc.; and we all know how different it can be to visit a place from living there.

The India that we have come back to bears little resemblance to the India we left all those years ago, and we are finding that we have to learn almost everything again almost from scratch - things like cell-phone plans, bank accounts, taxation, the prices of various everyday things, Cable TV plans, online shopping etc.

And so, we have questions, and I am looking to the good folks here to point me in the right direction.

So, here goes:

1. We inherited a flat here, in Malleswaram, Bangalore, that is fully furnished etc. There is a lot of stuff that we want to discard - either sell or give away or just throw. Are there websites that we can list stuff, either for sale or for free? I have heard of OLX and Quikr, but are they reliable? And any other websites that people here might recommend, preferably something that specialises in Bangalore?

2. Are there any organisations that might accept donations of, say, used kitchenware or clothes or footwear or curios or books etc.? Will they come and pick up stuff or have we to deliver these to them?

3. Online shopping seems to be big now - I hear people are always buying everything, including groceries, online. Any specific websites that are trustworthy and local to Bangalore that you can recommend?

4. The apartment has an existing Tata-Sky+ subscription; but I have brought in an NTSC TV that I would like to use if possible. I know Tata Sky does not support NTSC. Are there any TV Service Providers that do support NTSC and operate in Bangalore? I have browsed the DTH thread, but it is quite long and not too easy to find the relevant info I am looking for, hence this question. And by the way, I am anyway planning on changing away from Tata-Sky, so I do need to identify other providers.

5. ISPs - The apartment is currently on BSNL, bundled with a phone plan etc., and the speed is abysmally slow. It actually feels like a 2400 baud dial-up (and yes, I have lived through 300 baud modems on a BBS before the internet even took off). So, I am also looking for broadband that actually lives up to the broadband moniker, with preferably unlimited data cap per month (or at least a lot of gigs instead of 2 gigs a month). I go through 2 gigs in 15 minutes, just downloading one episode of a show.

6. I have a Canadian driver's licence, and an IDP. I also recently discovered (while cleaning up my Canada home) an old Indian driver's licence of mine that expired a few years ago. Can I either (a) exchange my Canada licence for an Indian one (the government website does not seem to answer this question); or (b) do a delayed "renewal" of my expired India (from Madras) driver's licence?

7. Can I buy a car (and car insurance) in Bangalore without a local driver's licence? Can I get the car registered without a local licence?

Thanks for your patience, and cheers
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Old 22nd May 2014, 21:00   #2
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Quote:


1. We inherited a flat here, in Malleswaram, Bangalore, that is fully furnished etc. There is a lot of stuff that we want to discard - either sell or give away or just throw. Are there websites that we can list stuff, either for sale or for free? I have heard of OLX and Quikr, but are they reliable? And any other websites that people here might recommend, preferably something that specialises in Bangalore?

2. Are there any organisations that might accept donations of, say, used kitchenware or clothes or footwear or curios or books etc.? Will they come and pick up stuff or have we to deliver these to them?
If you have to give away any stuff post it here for BHPians who may be interested.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ow-bhpian.html (The Giveaway Thread: Post up anything you want to give away FREE to a fellow BHPian)

OLX, Sulekha, quikr post what you want to sell.

There is a orphanage in Malleshwaram, they can use the utensils, shoes and other stuff. I'll try to find the address , I donated a few stuff





Quote:
3. Online shopping seems to be big now - I hear people are always buying everything, including groceries, online. Any specific websites that are trustworthy and local to Bangalore that you can recommend?
Myntra - Apparels
Flipkart- Electronic good among others



Quote:
5. ISPs - The apartment is currently on BSNL, bundled with a phone plan etc., and the speed is abysmally slow. It actually feels like a 2400 baud dial-up (and yes, I have lived through 300 baud modems on a BBS before the internet even took off). So, I am also looking for broadband that actually lives up to the broadband moniker, with preferably unlimited data cap per month (or at least a lot of gigs instead of 2 gigs a month). I go through 2 gigs in 15 minutes, just downloading one episode of a show.
Look for Swan Vision, ACT

Hope this helps
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Old 23rd May 2014, 00:02   #3
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

And so, we have questions, and I am looking to the good folks here to point me in the right direction.

So, here goes:
1. OLX/Quickr are reliable. Depending on the items you are planning to sell off the responses might be varied. I have put up a few items earlier, the transactions did go smoothly. However, there were a few "fake" enquiries as well! So you might want to be prepared for that!
2. There are a few NGOs which accept clothes/books etc. I am not sure if they do a pickup, but you can easily drop them off at their office. I think there are a few organizations in Malleshwaram area itself. My mom and Dad does some donations to an "Abalashrama". Let me try to get their phone#/address.
3. There are a few websites which offer groceries online. Few of them - bigbasket.com and http://buygreenz.com. Alternatively, you can go to the nearest store and give them a list of things you want to buy they home deliver it for free. This is what we do!
4. I don't think TataSky offers NTSC. Videocon D2H, i have heard support this. If not, you might have to buy a converter. You can also try hifivision dot com for "expert" opinions. I personally use TataSky and find it better than other DTH services.
5. I use Airtel. I am "ok" with it. You can get speeds upto 16Mbps. I have 8Mbps and can watch HD streaming movies. They have a 80GB limit after that your speeds go down to 512kbps!
6. I am not sure if you can convert your licence but it very easy to get a DL. If you think its a hassle just walk into the nearest "Driving school" they will be more than glad to help you out.
7. I don't think you need a licence to just buy a car. You can get it registered in your name without one. See this link - http://rto.kar.nic.in/newreg-proccss.html The place where you buy a new car, they will get it registered for you.

I have been staying in Vijayanagar for looong time, If you need anything, just send me a PM.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 06:05   #4
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

@Tilt, welcome back !

My Suggestions:
1. Licence - take your old Indian licence & ask for renewal / fresh licence. I dont think Canadian licence will help you renew the Indian licence, though you should be able to drive with IDP

2. Insurance:
Insurance is for vehicle. Drivers Licence is to drive. Both are mutually exclusive.

Just that, to buy the car & for your new licence, you will need an address proof. I hope you have at least one more address proof - other than your bank account showing your flat as the address. It will help greatly to have the flat in your name.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:08   #5
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Welcome back! and a special bumper to bumper, traffic snarled welcome to Bangalore!
Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
1. There is a lot of stuff that we want to discard - either sell or give away or just throw. And any other websites that people here might recommend, preferably something that specialises in Bangalore?
You could try this Facebook Group called Second to None (220). Its Bangalore specific and I have used it to sell a few things and most people who respond are genuine buyers

Quote:
3.Any specific websites that are trustworthy and local to Bangalore that you can recommend?
I have been using Big Basket for my monthly shopping and am pretty happy with their products and service

Quote:
5. So, I am also looking for broadband that actually lives up to the broadband moniker, with preferably unlimited data cap per month (or at least a lot of gigs instead of 2 gigs a month). I go through 2 gigs in 15 minutes, just downloading one episode of a show.
Try ACT Broadband. Their plans are very well structured and I usually get 5-6 MBPS download speed when I download shows

I have spent most of my life in Malleswaram. If you need any other info, please do PM.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:10   #6
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Thank you all for the prompt responses - I knew BHPians are experts and have seen ample evidence of their willingness to help.

@Condor - my bank account is my only address proof. The house is in my wife's name, not mine. I do not have a PAN or ration card or anything - it's the classic chicken and egg syndrome. I need address proof to get all these and I need at least one of these to get address proof!

@bond_bhai - re. Airtel as ISP etc. - is there anyone who does not limit speeds after a certain capacity? I do not mind paying but it is important that speeds do not drop after a few gigs.

Re. driver's licence - thanks to all re. the driving school suggestions. I hope they do not ask for any other address proof!

Also re. driver's licence - after posting I did find info on the Karnataka RTO website that I can get a licence just by taking the written test alone since I have a foreign licence, so that's another option for me to look at I guess.

Re. organisations picking up stuff from my house, unfortunately I do not yet have any transportation to drop off stuff, plus I do not have help to lift and carry stuff downstairs, hence the requirement for them to pick up. Still, thanks for all the suggestions, they are indeed helpful.

@bond_bhai, I do not know where Vijayanagar is but thanks for your offer of help, I am sure I shall take you up on it.

@motorpsycho - thanks re. putting free stuff on Team-BHP itself - that's a great idea!

@procrj - one more Malleswaram man. Yeah, I have seen the traffic here, and I still want to drive! Certifiably insane huh!

Once again, thank you all.

Cheers

Last edited by tilt : 23rd May 2014 at 10:12.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:26   #7
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Only if you prefer, nearer Malleswaram, please try:-

Bangalore One center next to 18th cross Bus stand is nearby for many conveniences.

PAN:
Contact Chanakya Financial services (diagonally opposite to Basaveshawaranagar post office ) to quickly get you your PAN card , based on an affidavit , etc within two weeks.

Car Insurance Policy :
NATIONAL INSURANCE BALU MOB 09845268413

RTO work ( renewals,etc) :
AGENT NARASIMHACHAR MOB 09845368523
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:35   #8
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

Please see my responses inline

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post

The India that we have come back to bears little resemblance to the India we left all those years ago, and we are finding that we have to learn almost everything again almost from scratch - things like cell-phone plans, bank accounts, taxation, the prices of various everyday things, Cable TV plans, online shopping etc.

And so, we have questions, and I am looking to the good folks here to point me in the right direction.

So, here goes:

1. We inherited a flat here, in Malleswaram, Bangalore, that is fully furnished etc. There is a lot of stuff that we want to discard - either sell or give away or just throw. Are there websites that we can list stuff, either for sale or for free? I have heard of OLX and Quikr, but are they reliable? And any other websites that people here might recommend, preferably something that specialises in Bangalore?
Olx and quickr are very good. You can sell stuff pretty quickly if you price it competitively.

Quote:

2. Are there any organisations that might accept donations of, say, used kitchenware or clothes or footwear or curios or books etc.? Will they come and pick up stuff or have we to deliver these to them?
You can donate stuff to organizations. You will have to go and deliver. I live in south bangalore so I know a couple this side of bangalore. I recommend that you reach out to your neighbors. If you are planning to hire a domestic help, you could give away bunch of stuff to them as well. Also to people who work in the apartment like security etc.

Quote:
3. Online shopping seems to be big now - I hear people are always buying everything, including groceries, online. Any specific websites that are trustworthy and local to Bangalore that you can recommend?
Big basket and town essentials are both good for groceries. For rest of the things, between flipkart and amazon, you got it covered. Personally I enjoy buying veggies etc myself from a vendor near my home but till you figure that out, online might be the right way.

Quote:

4. The apartment has an existing Tata-Sky+ subscription; but I have brought in an NTSC TV that I would like to use if possible. I know Tata Sky does not support NTSC. Are there any TV Service Providers that do support NTSC and operate in Bangalore? I have browsed the DTH thread, but it is quite long and not too easy to find the relevant info I am looking for, hence this question. And by the way, I am anyway planning on changing away from Tata-Sky, so I do need to identify other providers.
Tata sky is actually pretty good. I would consider buying another TV here and using it with Tata sky. IMO, they are best DTH provider in India.

Quote:

5. ISPs - The apartment is currently on BSNL, bundled with a phone plan etc., and the speed is abysmally slow. It actually feels like a 2400 baud dial-up (and yes, I have lived through 300 baud modems on a BBS before the internet even took off). So, I am also looking for broadband that actually lives up to the broadband moniker, with preferably unlimited data cap per month (or at least a lot of gigs instead of 2 gigs a month). I go through 2 gigs in 15 minutes, just downloading one episode of a show.
If you want good reliable connection, I would stick to airtel although that doesn't satisfy your requirement of unlimited data. I have a 60G plan that is enough for my needs. In my experience, I value the reliability of connection more because I work a lot from home in the evenings.

Quote:

6. I have a Canadian driver's licence, and an IDP. I also recently discovered (while cleaning up my Canada home) an old Indian driver's licence of mine that expired a few years ago. Can I either (a) exchange my Canada licence for an Indian one (the government website does not seem to answer this question); or (b) do a delayed "renewal" of my expired India (from Madras) driver's license?
Either renew or just get a new license. It would be good to reach out to a local agent to understand your options.


Quote:
7. Can I buy a car (and car insurance) in Bangalore without a local driver's licence? Can I get the car registered without a local licence?

Thanks for your patience, and cheers
That should be possible. There are lot of people in India who don't drive themselves and have a driver.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 11:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
@Condor - my bank account is my only address proof. The house is in my wife's name, not mine.

I do not have a PAN or ration card or anything -

.. info on the Karnataka RTO website that I can get a licence just by taking the written test alone since I have a foreign licence, so that's another option for me to look at I guess.s
1. Bank account can be starting point for address proof
2. Apply for the PAN card. It becomes important for financial transactions. And please treat it as you would treat a SSN.
3. Try to approach the RTO directly - you may even be able to get the licence smoothly, without getting "help" from the agents.
4. If you are planning to continue your career - then a letter from HR showing the address can be used as address proof in some instances.

I suggest your wife also try to get the id's - she has a head-start since the addr is in her name

You can get a BSNL Landline for additional proof. You could apply in both your names, and use the residence addr as proof for your wife's address. In some cases, an self affidavit that you are living at that address may be accepted as address proof. Where ever you are asked for address proof, you can ask if this option can be used.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 11:52   #10
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

@Hondadude, thank you, good information.

@vinay Kamath - thank you for the contacts - I shall get in touch with them.

@condor - thanks again. Re. career , no, I am recently (and very happily) retired, though I might try and look for some part-time non-stressful jobs like being a department store cashier or a corporate trainer or a guru/swamy/life-coach or something

Re. BSNL phone line, we have one already, inherited by my wife, but my name is not there anywhere. Same with the apartment. But, she already has a PAN card.

Good advice re. self-affidavit - I shall remember to ask that question everywhere.

Some really great advice coming here in this thread folks. Maybe this could be made into a sticky for others like me who are returning to India - I am sure I am not the only one who desperately needs this kind of info!

Cheers
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Old 23rd May 2014, 11:59   #11
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Default re: Moving to Bangalore

For license - Become a member with Automobile Association of South India located at LORDS building , St Marks Road. This is a semi official organisation which handles all issues with RTO.
For online purchase of Groceries & vegetables - www.naturesfeast.in or www.bigbasket.com
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Old 25th May 2014, 06:30   #12
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@Tilt

Selling second hand stuff - Team-BHP classified is great help. Also check out facebook group called Secondtonone. I have had some good experience when i shifted and did a spring cleaning. Real people and real deals.

Orphanage - There are multiple institutions that collect old clothes and items. Again please check in secondtonone as there are a lot of people looking for charity. Seems facebook is the place to do some of these now !

Online Shopping - Lots of stuff. Dominant ones are amazon.in and flipkart. Myntra and flipkart are now one. Also for groceries big basket it best. Although i would say get to the market. You can listen to the hustle and bustle and also meet people. And Malleshwaram market is a great place to be for experiences

Telephone/Internet - Try airtel, Hassle free. I have had it for 12 years now and 1 issue in the last 12 years. Great speeds for nominal amounts. Same goes for mobile too. Their network seems a bit better than the rest

License - Keep your canadian driving license and IDP intact. That should be enough for you to drive here. If you need an Indian license, just apply for renewal. You can do it directly in RTO. You can also try out agents who might charge you a bit more, but it beats the hassle of standing in queue, chasing up, language barriers etc

Address proof - Telephone is one. If your wife has a bank account with the address, become a joint account holder. That would help and then you can apply for a PAN card. This is a must, esp since you would be buying a car. For e.g any transaction above 50k incoming or outgoing requires PAN number. It helps.

Buying a car - You do not need a DL to buy a new car. You need to show ID/Address proof for sure and then obviously PAN. Alternatively buy it in your wife's name. I did that for taxation.

Do shout in case you need any assistance and great to see you back in India.
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Old 25th May 2014, 07:06   #13
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Default Re: Moving to Bangalore

Tilt: for most things Automotive, take that membership of Automobile Association of Southern India, located on St Marks Road.
Its one heck of a decision you seem to have taken, coming back here after all those years abroad.
Truly India of 2014 is a completely different country from the India of the 1980's.
All the best in your move and re-settlement and re-adjustment.
Have patience and be tolerant - these are the two attributes you will need, in order to survive here without stressing yourself seriously.
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Old 25th May 2014, 14:28   #14
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kjrohit, subraiyr and shankar.balan, thank you very much for the info and for the kind words/encouragement - it is much appreciated.

I am a member of CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) and that should let me use AASI's services I am sure. Or I can become a member here anyway, it cannot hurt.

I am amazed at all the online activity going on here - there isn't such a level of online activity (in terms of shopping for practically everything) in Canada or even in the US.

I have lived all over the world and have never experienced culture shock, but coming back to India is a major culture shock for me.

Like you said, patience and tolerance are the need of the day

Thanks again and cheers
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Old 25th May 2014, 22:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Are there any TV Service Providers that do support NTSC and operate in Bangalore? I have browsed the DTH thread, but it is quite long and not too easy to find the relevant info I am looking for, hence this question. And by the way, I am anyway planning on changing away from Tata-Sky, so I do need to identify other providers.
Somebody mentioned this earlier, but again

Videocon D2H set top box supports both NTSC and PAL. I brought a Samsung 3D TV last year from US and using Videocon service since then without any converters. Very very happy with the quality of service and cost of service too. They provide one 3D channel as well.

But remember to have a very good quality step down transformer (if needed), very good voltage stabilizer and very good earthing in your home/apartment before connecting your TV to mains.
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