Category Archives: Rantings

Why Game of Thrones is no different than an Ekta Kapoor Soap

My history with Game of Thrones is a bit patchy; I had always found it slow and for the first 8 attempts to watch it I couldn’t even finish the first fifteen minutes of the pilot or the first episode. However, on the insistence of a very dear friend, who made me watch it sit through season one and two forcefully I did complete watching season 6 which is the last telecasted season as we write this.

I liked Game of Thrones for a lot of things but somehow I find it overhyped and the storyline a tad slow for my personal liking. Nevertheless it is a good series and worth a watch once at least.

One of these days when I was thinking why we don’t have series like Game of Thrones in India (mythology Ramayna & Mahabharata doesn’t count).I realised that we had series on Indian TV which had striking similarities to Game of Thrones and apparently they were all made by the likes of Ekta Kapoor of the Balaji Telefilms.

If you would have seen the series Goodness Gracious Me, I would even claim that GoT is Indian. and probably written by the scriptwriters at Balaji Telefilms and directed by Ekta Kapoor herself. The GoT is:

  • A Series are about powerful families which hold considerable influence and power. Sounds  Indian.
  • Both have females which are hatching conspiracies after conspiracies and other females/males trying to save their families from the aforementioned conspiracies. Again every Indian TV soap which was or is running absolutely Indian.
  • When there is a build up of possibility of truce between the warring families there is a death removing the possibility and also extending the length of the time show can run. Only an Indian Television series could do that. Remember where everyone except Ba was dying in one of the Ekta Kapoor series
  • They run in parallel universes where black magic, dragons, fortune telling, changing faces and the dead being alive again exist as a fair possibility. Is there anyway this could have been based anywhere out of India?
  • The family money running out seems to be one of the common themes. Again Indian.
  • They feature children being born out of the wedlock which eventually start having a say in the family matters. Seems like Indian to me.
  • Mothers influencing son’s against the Daughter in Law. Come on, can it get more Indian than that?
  • There are lavish weddings and conspiracies are executed during the wedding. Does anything says more Indian than a conspiracy filled lavish wedding.
  • The devils which rise from the dead have shiny blue eyes and are killed with dragon glass ( don’t ask me what it is) and Valerian steel. Somehow reminds me of Shiv Mandir ka trishul which can kill the blue eyed demon.
  • The traditional expectation from the women is to work in the household and provide the family with a son who is an heir. However, there are a few girls/ladies which are defying these traditional roles. I don’t need to convince you anymore, do I?
  • People seem to wake up with swords and armours as the ladies in Indian series seem to be waking up with their makeup and jewellery on.
  • If you translate the title to Hindi it translates to “Khel Kursi Ka” “KKhel Kursi Ka”. From the point where I see it has written Ekta Kapoor all over it.

So this is my motivation for following Game of Thrones, it is a drama series which packs all the bells, whistles and the punches from an Indian television soap which makes it a very interesting watch. What makes it perfect and go beyond what an Indian soaps offer, the number and detail of beautiful naked women they show on screen. Yeah so my categorisation for Game of Throne is soft porn setup in the context of an Indian drama or vice versa if you like.

Distortions and Discourse

It is a tough time to be an aware Indian these days. No matter which side is your ideology left, right, or centre these are the times of turmoil. One of the key features of any democracy is the political discourse, and the irony of our country has been, that despite being the largest democracy in the world, the situation of our political discourse has become extremely frivolous.

There is a lot of processing and reprocessing of information happening these days. I call it reprocessing because a lot of information that is being processed as opinions, inference and sometimes modified truth. Couple of decades back, there used to be three sources of news Doordarshan the state owned television broadcasted news every night, All India Radio which again run by the government broadcasted news, and the news papers large and small across multiple languages which mostly did factual reporting with a page for editorial opinions. So the major media was either a government mouthpiece or a fact based channel.

The came the age of cable television where we had a new breed of news channels cropped up. This was the era of breaking news and making sure the people knew the news upfront, creating major celebrity news anchors/reporters/journalists like Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Ravish, Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami etc. The news channels were the gold standard of truth in the decade in a race to uncover the shady story in echelons of the government. The holy grail was exclusive news and coverage, the better news channel was the one to break the most shocking news story at the earliest.

Then came the age social media, which almost killed the breaking news stuff. The fact is if you are on one of the social media bandwagons like Facebook and twitter you would probably hear the news breaking there. News like 26/11 attacks and the killing of Osama were in fact first reported on twitter. Initially the social media was primarily crowd soured. There have been a lot of controversies which have been of mainstream media and reported by the social media primarily. One of the key controversies was Barkha Dutt & Nira Radia tapes. The problem started when the social media caught up with masses and the political parties realised how effective this can be a tool. It probably started with Obama’s election campaign and quickly adapted in India before the 2014 general elections.

The problem started when the political parties started the propaganda speech and fact manipulation. It started with a harmless modification of images to make the crowd larger, change the global forwarded messages to reflect their own leaders. This has gone to an extent that doctored videos are broadcasted by mainstream media and reach the court as evidence. The fact is anything on the social media today is a difficult to believe; this has been a far reaching consequences for the country in general. The fact is so much of content being shared on the social media after modification either to reflect pro-government or pro-opposition that has ended up polarising the social media and the society in the factions which believe different versions of the same event.

The fact remains there are things happening in the country, and these are really important things. There are things which need to be appreciated, other things which need to be criticised and some which need to be debated. The fact remains or either of the discussions to happen people need to know the facts on the truth, not interpretations.

So next time when you read something, look for facts and skip the distortions.

Why Mia Khalifa Should Not Come OnBig Boss

If you have been a reader of this blog, then you must have already realized that this is another desperate attempt by me to stage a comeback. This time around I intend to do a lot of serious blogging, around serious issues. For my not so grand comeback I decided to use the strategy which our Indian media uses to bring to you the best and most important happenings across the world. So, like any mainstream news channel I will take up the most important issue which needs to be discussed and debated for our national interests. Is that issue-

  • The Syrian immigrant situation in Europe. Not really 80% of Indians will not be able to locate Syria on the map; and we all know if you can’t find it on the map it is not important.
  • The Floods in Assam. Well that happens almost every year and nobody thinks it is important enough to cover
  • Meat Ban; Hmmm are you kidding me? You think anybody can cover the meat ban in Indian media when the main stream Media like Times is owned by Jains themselves, HT is owned by Sobhana Bhartia who is a Marwari, and Network 18 which is owned by a Gujrati Family. You really think we can discuss meat ban. You know the Free Speech comes with a small asterisks which indicates conditions apply.
  • So, like the Indian media we will contemplate on the most significant topic which haunts India today “Should Mia Khalifa become a contender for Big Boss season9?”
    The answer to this question from the Indian viewer’s perspective is quite simple. Where else it can happen the entire family gets to sit together in the living room while eating chips, drinking tea while watching one of the best porn star in the world on the 42” television in HD quality. The last time it happened was only during BB S5 and even then a lot of people did not have the HD set top boxes. So the answer from the vehement yes, why should the father and son have to watch them separately hiding under the blanket or in the bathroom on the 5” small screens of cellphone or 12” screens of the laptops. India deserves better, it deserves to be in the living room with the family to enjoy their porn star in full HD.
    So, you must be wondering then where is the debate in this, it is for Mia? Is it a good move for her to become a contestant on BB S9?
    In the interest of full disclosure, which I hope Mia will appreciate too, I would like to mention that I will be completely objective in my analysis. Irrespective of being a fan of her and a recipient of immense pleasure out of her past and current work which she has been doing.
    So coming back to the original question, I believe she should say no. if we take a stock that how she compares to the last year’s winners. The Wikipedia page of Gautam Gulati last year mentions “In Darpok (‘Coward’ in English) Gulati played the role of a 28-year-old man, living under trauma for not being able to prevent his mother from being raped when he was a child. His helplessness continued to haunt him until he planned to avenge it”. Apparently being a part of big boss wasn’t enough and he had to play this role too. Now compare that with Mia who has already done numerous short and long films with variety of roles with great intensity already; her films and videos have more than 1.5 million views which is 20 times the population of Cannes itself. What can winning Big Boss provide her which she hasn’t done already?
    The other factor can be a career in Bollywood, which can be quite glamorous and luring. The fact remains that we will get her and either make her do cameo appearances in films or work with the directors who have the uncanny ability to make flops like Mahesh Bhatt and Bobby Khan (if you haven’t heard of him; Google him right now and take notice of the incredible pieces of motion pictures he has been involved with). Anyways, the so called mainstream and posh production houses will not caste her in a movie; aakhir Indian culture or values naam ki bhi to koi cheez hoti hai.

    The third criteria might be that she might have an old Indian aunt who I more than eager for her to get married with a “Seedha Sharif Desi Munda”. Apparently, Mia doesn’t have any such aunt and additionally it breaks my heart to write this; she is already married and that too with an American guy named Vaibhav Singh (sounds like an Indian Origin guy to me). So Big Boss cannot offer her anything in the love & personal life department either.
    So take my advise Mia, stay where you are and keep doing the great work you have been doing. The Big Boss won’t get you anywhere you are the queen of the hearts already.

    Unlike The Like

    I don’t know if anybody is still reading this blog, if you are then probably you might have noticed that I have been AWOL for quite some time. From the looks of it, I have made more comeback attempts than Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra combined. As you would have guessed that this post is akin to the Dhoom 3 with only a minor glitch, that none of the Aamir Khans of the blogging world agreed to feature in this one. The result you see, is that you will have to sit back and listen to my ‘longish’ rants.
    So the fact that I have been absconding from the blogging world is in some parts due to the fact that I have been busy and occupied. The remaining parts is a different story of sorts, I believe the decline in blogging is not limited to my blog. A lot of great and regular bloggers which I used to look forward to read every day have slowly pilfered because of the other conquest of life into oblivion. Some of these blogs and the reason of decline in blogging has been very well listed by Smita, which kind of inspired me to write this post.
     photo FBLike_zpsb0bfa517.png
    I believe a big reason for the bloggers to reduce is Facebook; after all it provides what our generation thrives on “Instant Gratification”. There used to be days when we used to get a nice punchy idea and we noted it down; develop an entire post around it; and then wait for the comments from the fellow bloggers and readers. Now the punchy idea is crushed into a few lines tapped on the smartphones for posting on FB and then follow the likes, “Instant Gratification”. The fact that at any point of time somebody is online in our FB friend list and people get notifications on their smartphones makes it quicker. I have been trapped in the deluge of these likes only to realize how superficial they are.
    After not so deep thought and analysis in which I must state that no animals were harmed except for the brain of yours’ truly the following is a list of type of like which are commonly seen on Facebook. Feel free to add some if I have missed a few.


    1- “He/she was such a loser in school/college how come he/she turned into this stud/babe” Like
    2- “How does such a loser land up with a hottie like this” Like
    3- “Is that a Mercedes/Audi/BMW, must have married for the money” Like
    4- “I think you are hot” Like
    5- “Why the F**K this loser gets to have a destination vacation and I don’t?” Like
    6- “Everybody is settling abroad except me liking overseas pictures out of frustration” Like
    7- “You had a baby but I don’t care but still pretend to care” Like
    8- “You are in my city but I hope we don’t bump into each other” Like
    9- “Have to like otherwise dad/mom/relatives/nagging friend will call and ask why I didn’t like their post” like
    10- “I like everything on my wall, obsessive compulsive” Like
    11- “You are my boss and I have to suck it up” like
    12- “I am a stalker and will like all your pictures posted on FB ever” Like
    13- “You wished me birthday on FB and I acknowledge” Like
    14- “You launched a hobby/startup (which I am not interested in and hope it never sees the light of any VC funding and IPO) and forced me to like your page” Like
    15- “You bought a DSLR, now have photography page” Like
    16- “You posted something and I have an obligation to acknowledge” like
    17- “Reassurance that I still exist” Like
    18- “I don’t remember “Who the F**K are you” just pretending to know you” Like
    19- “That was the easiest button to press” Like
    20- “Liked by mistake, now embarrassed to Unlike it” Like

    And if all these types of likes weren’t good enough, then you can always like my page on Facebook.

    Slim Fit

    Before I write this post out, I want to clarify that I am a huge guy. When I say I mean literally huge with 6’3” in height and weight crossing over the century number. It is not that I am not aware of the ill effects of being obese, but over years I have realized one of the toughest things to be accomplished by a person is to lose weight and I have grown an immense respect for people who have managed to lose weight, something I have been trying hard since last few years.

    But this post isn’t about being overweight; it is about one of the problems of having a huge body frame. The problem is buying clothes, for one the large sizes are extremely difficult to find. You go to a showroom, ask for a jeans with the waist size of 32 and there are at 50 different pieces will be floated around you to choose from. The moment you utter 40 they take 2-3 pairs and that’s all you get to choose from and the irony you would already have those pairs in your wardrobe.

    If that was not all, I believe the sale season is one of the most discriminatory practices in the Indian free market. You hardly find any discounts on the clothes for extra large sized. I went to the Levi’s store which had a tempting buy two get two free sale on jeans. After half an hour long ordeal of trying through all the stock they had in stores for my size I managed to select four pairs (2 of which were almost similar to what I already had), when I went to the billing counter the sales girl tells me “Sir no discount on XXL size”.  There is nothing which infuriates you more when you have wasted your time in the claustrophobic trial room and then finally somebody tells you that you will be paying extra as compared to rest of the world.

    As if all these tortures were not enough, the fashion designers the devious of the lot have been conspiring the so called “Healthy” people. Can you believe when you go and ask for a 44 size shirt and a 40 waist jeans and they show you a “Slim Fit”. In what parallel universe a guy with that kind of frame needs a slim fit? A 40 waist slim fit isn’t it an oxymoron? I sometimes wonder what these designers are thinking when they design clothes, you make a shirt of size 44 it means that the chest would be around 48-50 inches. Now by what law of probability will the waist/stomach will be 43, for god’s sake at least make clothes which probabilistically going to sell more.

    I think enough of these moronic brands and their designers, it is time to find out the good old tailor who will carefully measure you and make clothes that fit all without being judgmental.

    Report Card 2013

    I am glad that 2013 is ending, while this has been quite an interesting year but somehow it has been tangential to what I thought I was heading towards. There things which I probably did well and some things which I didn’t. Before I put up what I intend to do in 2014 there are quite a few things which I graciously screwed up in 2013. So it is the time to publish the final report card and own up some of the things which I didn’t do effectively in 2013 and some things where I have managed to scrape through. So here goes a laundry list-

    1. Working Out– 2013 has been an exceptionally worse year as far as working out was concerned. Previously I used to manage 3-4 months of some form of workout, exercise or sports as bare minimum. This year the figure wouldn’t have touched even 30 days in 2013, I managed to gain back the weight I had lost last year and I would be posting a really shameful record for Biglsr which I am participating in. This has been one of the worst year as far as investing time on my physique and general well being goes.
    2. Maintaining Personal Relations– I have been really stingy on managing the personal front. There have been multiple times when I have not returned calls from people who mean a lot to me. I missed the wedding of one of the closest friend/brother I have and I cannot even say how sorry I feel about it.
    3. Wasting Energy & Time on Sinks– I have always managed to balance my time between productive work, effective personal time and indulged in time sinks, things that just consumed time to waste. This year the balance has really gone for a toss with hell lot of time being spent on the time sinks, majority of them being Facebook (I am bordering addiction and have serious risk of withdrawal symptoms if I quit), Candy Crush (I can, actually I will write an entire blogpost about how pathetic is this game) and Online Deals (Countless hours of tracking deals online for the products which I was never going to buy in the first place).
    4. Lack of Reading– Over the years I have generally averaged reading 60-80 books in a year. This year the number has been embarrassingly low at 32 books which I believe is a result of all the time waste I have mentioned already. Hopefully this number will improve in 2014.

     

    Now to talk of things which I feel I have done well this year-

    1. Professional Learning– 2013 was a year of great professional learning and experiences. The year taught me how to take risks and decisions under extreme pressure and hostile circumstances. Hope that this streak will continue and my decisions will pay off in 2014
    2. Taking Time off– This year I did manage to take time off from work where I managed to take a few vacations; visited some nice places like Munnar, Mt Abu and Udaipur. And as I write this on the last day of the New Year I am in Hampi for the celebrations. 2013 has been a successful year as far as travelling and vacations are concerned.

    So this is my report card of 2013. How did the 2013 went for you?

     

    C’est La Vie

    And I am back again with a long hiatus yet again. I have to be ashamed with my lack of drive to post things on this blog. There are two things which I have kind of procrastinated for more than a year the first being updating regularly on this blog and the second obviously being to start working out.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about, there is politics where we are still living in the world full of comical entertainment, then there are short stories and poetries ideas which come to my mind but are killed by procrastination and then there are general happenings in my life which mostly wife inflicted torture on yours truly with television shows like “Big Boss”, “All Random Singing, Dancing, cooking reality shows” all reality shows. To be honest I kind of stepped into the rarified bubble of corporate workload driven self worth, not that I have stepped out of the bubble now but then kind of realized the existence of the bubble and acknowledged the world beyond it yet again.

    Surprisingly this year 2013 has flown by so fast that I couldn’t even start going to gym which I could stop later in the year.  For a person who hated Hum Apke Hai Kaun from the bottom of his heart, I kind of live in an extensively large Rajshri production kind of environment where another family function/event engulfs you before the first one is over. For the uninitiated this is more tiring to attend to than a 60hrs+ work week and in some sadistic turn of events I am subjected to both.  I don’t know why but I have hardly watched any movies in the theatre since June, which is kind of record of sorts for the person who even watched Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag (If you are not aware of this movie, I would suggest you buy the DVD as it will serve well for your private torture chamber).

    As I write this the New Year is less than 6 weeks away, the 2013 will become a leaf in history. I have had a good year with some significant landmarks but wish I had achieved some more and not at the cost of losing my joy of writing and reading, losing the spiritual side of me in the humdrum of extensive work. No point crying over the past, time to set ourselves to the next set of goals and the plan to achieve them.

    Before closing this post it has been more than 8 years since I have been blogging and 8 years of Ginger & Cardamom. How has your 2013 been till now?

    Why Are We Such A**holes?

    I sometimes wonder that what is it about us that make us Indians a pathetic bunch of people we are. Is it in our genetics or in the method we grow up or is it a part of our culture? I know a lot of people will disagree with me but if you are going to put a nasty comment before reading the entire post then I am sure you belong right there in the title, you know between those stars and the hole.

    Coming back to the point, what is it that Indians in India are stickler for not following the rules at the cost of fellow human beings, citizens, and neighbors? Think about how many times you find that you are in a queue for billing, buying a movie tickets getting in the trains and people will treat it as their right to break the queue. All the more funny is at places you will find that there will be a queue or a file of single person, after 5-10 people it will become two people queue converging to a single file and then 3 people queue and this goes on till at the end of the queue you have a large chaotic crowd.

    The situation becomes all the more funny when you are on road stuck in the traffic. Imagine a two lane road, one for incoming and the other for outgoing traffic. Now some block/traffic signal/accident happens and the outgoing lane is stand still for some time. What makes us think that in such a situation the best solution is to take the incoming lane and drive on the wrong side while blocking the incoming traffic too. Why is it people driving expensive cars, speaking impeccable English, well educated and employed in honorable jobs also do that? What makes them think their time is more important than the others? The fact that they are intelligent and responsible for handling businesses of major corporations but they fail to see that their acts on the road are only going to make the situation worse.

    What is it that we find an unruly child of someone else a nuisance and when our own child creates a chaos he is small, innocent and naïve to understand and correct his behavior? I was once in a meeting with the India CEO of one of the most prestigious companies globally where he mentioned an incident. In an informal discussion the senior management of the company was complaining to him about how the youngster today are not hardworking and do not put in enough efforts. There was a general perception that the entry level crowd was unruly and over smart in attitude. The CEO then asked “Do you think same way about your children who are of similar ages?” and the answer was no. We have a different yardstick to measure people working for us as compared to people who are close to us?

    I wonder what is it about Indians that make us the kind of A**holes we are, when I look at the Indians travelling abroad I feel that it probably is the air, water and climate. You hardly find an Indian on the wrong side of things when they are outside India. I kind of agree with our current Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shashi Tharoor when he says “India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.”

    Ranbaxy Saga What Happens to the Indian Consumers

    The newspapers these days are absolutely filled with negative, depressing followed by more negative and more depressing news. There have been scams, controversies all across India, but there has been one controversy which has been subdued in India, where the focus is currently on the IPL spot fixing, and Phaneesh Murthy controversy. The controversy which I am more worried about is the fact that Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs that didn’t meet specifications. The US courts have fined Ranbaxy to the tune of $500 Million for duping the American consumers with the adulterated drugs.
    I have always felt the healthcare business is one which runs on faith and the people in this business are no lesser than gods when it comes to patients. Imagine you are suffering from a fever, ache or any other ailment and you visit a doctor who looks at your symptoms and prescribes you some small tablets. These tablets work as magic inside your body and in a few days you find yourself cured. When a company which makes these drugs indulges in action like these you tend to question that faith. Personally speaking whenever I play squash or go for a run and there is an ache I use Volini spray which is a product of Ranbaxy and now I question if the product is authentic, does it really works on my ache or is it my body itself recovering? I don’t even know how many times doctor would have prescribed me a Ranbaxy medicine and I am not sure if it worked.
    My heart goes out to people who had critical diseases, who lost out people because the medicines they trusted on were adulterated and the company sold them in the market faking specification. The fact that they were are penalized in US for the malpractices; I have my doubts if anything will happen to them in India. The people in our country who suffered by their lack of ethical practices will never get justice or even understand what has been done to them. At times when all the media is talking about other controversies I am wondering is there an enquiry happening on what Ranbaxy has been selling in India. Are there steps being taken so that until things are cleared people don’t use adulterated and drugs made not up to specifications?

    It is high time government and the Indian judicial system takes up the task of delivering justice to the common man against corporate greed and unethical practices.

    You can read more about the controversy and the case here.

    How I Got Robbed in Broad Daylight

    You know how bad things always happen to somebody else but never to you. When you narrate or hear the tales that somebody got conned, mugged or robbed it is always a friend of a friend or somebody who knew somebody are people but in a surprising turn of events it happened to me.

    I was coming back home from the office in Whitefield to my home in JP Nagar, I took my usual route on Outer Ring Road passing through Marathalli, Belandur, HSR, Silk board and BTM layout. Silk Board for the non Bangalore Silk Board is one of the busiest crossings in Bangalore it connects the two IT hubs of Whitefield & Electronic city with two entrances to the city south and central Bangalore. On a Normal day during peak hours one has to wait for at least 25 minutes to half an hour to cross the junction. The time was around 6’o clock, and mine was the third or fourth car from the signal. I checked the mails on my cell phone and kept it on the non-driving front seat (I don’t do it generally but somehow I did it). A road side peddler who sell fake Rayban sunglasses  cam next to my car and kept on showing the glasses next to my window despite my waving him off.

    Then after a minute when the red light just changed to green there was a guy who came  next to the non driving seat window and starting banging the glass pretty hard. I opened my window slightly to check what’s wrong.  At that moment someone started banging the rear side of my car, as if some other vehicle a bike or a car has come and hit from behind. I got distracted for a couple of seconds when I looked into my rearview mirror and back to the guy on the window. By that time all of them were gone and so was my brand new cell phone which I had got this morning. I immediately parked the car to the right and went to the police & traffic police who were standing on the signal.

    They didn’t do anything except advising me to go to the police station and lending me their phone to check my phone (which was switched off by now). I finally went to the police station lodged a complaint, 24 hrs there hasn’t been any major development. I am not very optimistic about getting the cell phone back neither was the officer who registered my complaint.

    So it was me this time, not somebody I knew who faced the incident. On hindsight I am pretty sure, though I don’t have any conclusive proof, that the location and the fact my phone was on the non-driving seat was tipped by the guy selling fake Raybans. The entire incident was a result of solid team work by professionals.

    The cell phone I lost was a brand new Google Nexus 4, which my friend had sent from US. I had only collected it on morning and just had it for 6 hours or so, and the phone is not available in India so I can buy another one.

    The idea behind sharing the incident that happened with me is so that I can warn others how the gangs are targeting people. Few precautions I could have taken in hindsight-

    1-      Never keep expensive stuff, phones, laptop bags, wallets  in the non driving seat

    2-      Be more cautious when the hawkers come near your car check if something is kept on the seats or dashboard

    3-      No matter do not open the windows or the doors of the car for a stranger

    4-      Always drive with the doors locked

    5-      Never leave Ladies Bag/Laptop Bag/expensive items in the car when you are going out. Store things in the boot or under the seat where it is not visible.