How NOT to design a secure website – case study

Update: As of 28/02/2013 freecharge have enabled SSL in their website thereby increasing site’s security.It should be safe to use credit card as long you don’t leave the cookies behind if working on a public system. is a convenient site for pre-paid mobile phone/DTH/datacard recharge, and no doubt, my go-to website for the same. The site has a decent visitor base too, but apparently they don’t give any importance to user’s security. Casual browsing revealed seriously security flaws. My conclusion is that can be the best example of how NOT to do website security.
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Access gmail: python and imaplib with OAuth2

Recently I was doing some experiments with python and gmail.Python has a handy imap library(imaplib.And there is a good tutorial which helped me to get started.There is one small problem with this approch, you have to store you password in plain text!

Gmail supports another authentication method called OAuth2, which don’t need actual password being stored.I coudln’t find any good tutorial on accessing gmail in python and oauth2 using imaplib ,so decided to write on my own.
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A Trip to Gavi

Gavi is a village in Pathanamthitta District,Kerala – a beautiful small place in the middle of  a vast forest. A part of the many eco-tourism projects sponsored by the Kerala Forst Development Corporation, it recently gained much public attention via a malayalam movie called Ordinary. Along with a few friends, I had visited Gavi on a one-day trip in August.
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Early morning drive along ECR and a delicious breakfast

What better way is there to start a Sunday rather a delicious breakfast and the view of rising sun?, probably you will say sleeping the whole day.  😉  But if you are living in Chennai then you should try an early morning drive along the East Cost Road(ECR).I have done it a number of times and still finds it appealing to go again.

Start early from Chennai and drive towards Mamallapuram along ECR. Do drive in an easy pace and enjoy the cool morning breeze. Make sure to reach Muttukadu boat house before sunrise to enjoy the morning sun.Park your vehicles near the boat house and get on the bridge for better view.Be a little careful as the bridge offers only a very narrow pedestrian path. The view from the bridge is amazing so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Sunrise from Muttukadu bridge

Sunrise from Muttukadu bridge

After enjoying the mesmerizing dawn, get back on the  road and continue towards Mamallapuram. ECR passes through lot of beaches and is aptly named ECR scenic highway.Feel free to get down in a few and take a lot of pictures, after all pictures are the memoirs of good times.On the way you will see lots of people enjoying the scenic high way in cycles,cars and superbikes too!(ninjas,CBRs and bugattis are pretty common in sunday morning)

Continue further till you find Mamalla restaurant on your right.Its a pretty neat place in ECR to have breakfast from.Take a seat near window so as to enjoy  tasty breakfast with soothing morning sun rays.

Mamalla Restaurant in ECR

Mamalla Restaurant in ECR

This motel is a well known breakfast point along ECR, so you will get to see different kinds of people  bikers/cyclers/runners .Last time I went, saw a group of people riding our good old Yezdis.

Mahabalipuram is hardly 4 km away, if you don’t have a tight schedule for the day go further and enjoy the Pallava port city. Else return to your schedule with a calm and fresh mind :).

View Mamalla Motel in ECR in a larger map
If you got any other nice places along ECR do comment, would love to visit it some time 🙂


Went again and it still feels awesome!! For the interested there  is Radisson Blue in mahabalipuram but they charge 750+tx for a breakfast!

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For the Foodie In You : Kethel’s Chicken Thiruvanathapuram

Kethel’s Chicken (now known as Rahmaniya ) in Trivandrum is an old restaurant  estd in 1949. Its situated in a  small building  in the Chalai Maraket near  Gandhi Park.You will not face any difficulty in finding the place as its  well known ( use the words rahmaniya as well as kethels)

On entering the place you will find a small room with 5-6 desks in place,sometime you may have to stand in the queue outside for some time before getting a seat.The first thing you will notice about the place is the menu,they will serve only one item “Chappathi with fried chicken and lime juice“.

For a place thats roughly the same age as of independent India, still being a popular eat out place with just one item menu is incredible, showing how amazing the food must be. Finally took our seat after a bit of waiting, and got our delicious dinner delivered.Eight pieces of fried chicken with chappathi and lime juice.

Chicken looked absolutely amazing, friended with red chilly and servered hot.Just one bite and there was electricity in the mouth, really spicy and juicy.I should warn you that there is gonna be fire in your lips at first, but you would forget it totally in a minute.Take occasional sips of lime juice to ease your tongue.Once you are  done with it, order extra pieces and chappathy  you are not gonna get this taste anywhere else so eat all you can. No wonder even Kerala Ministers used to take parcel from here often.Average cost per person will be anything from Rs.125 to Rs.200.

You can visit their website here.Checkout the map  at the end too.If you are planning to go, get a parcel for me too 😉

View Kethel’s Chicken (Rahmania Hotel) in a larger map

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