Thursday, April 24, 2008

Airlines : Low cost carriers, other carriers and other flying related issues

The number of flights i took in the last week was quite a flux of various airlines...of the Low cost carriers, both Spice and Indigo were very NO fact they charge for water even on indigo..If u say low cost, it maybe say inr 500 less than the "others" on a comparison.

Have you noticed how there are these stores in the airport that sell ONLY the imported COke/Fanta etc..ever wondered why ? they dont have a single INdian product(other than the old sanwiches and samosas)..that too in the domestic airport..inr 70 for a fanta, and inr 60 for a dry sandwich..highway robbery! since we cant get in any liquids, one cannot get our reular priced water etc, since it would be thrown out at security check in, in the hand carry luggage..whatta money making racket!!

The flight fromBOM to KOL on 23rd was an IC 675. The flight was to take off 06:10 and guess what till 07:00 hours, we were still being checked in. The reason ? there was a system failure. The staff looks lethargic. Most look like they are doing you a favour. So many agitating passengers but of no avail. The duty manager reluctantly came in to meet the passengers after a good 30 minutes of heckling,. and on the side was Kingfisher. The staff is prim and proper. Agile and active. And also very efficient. Come to think of it, i lost out on the Kingfisher flight as most corporates we are on a cost saving spree. So tos ave inr 600, we have had 3 managers who were delayed. Our flights landed at 10:00 as opposed to 08:35..half a day ruined..was it worth the inr 600 ? i thnk the next time, i will just pay from my pocket.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Colds, sniffles and sore throat

The summers and the constant switch between airconditioning and the hot sun, cold water all added to my severe cold and running nose..gosh whatta sight i was..

Everyone recomended something or the other as a remedy..right from warm water, warm tea, some tablets, D cold total (?!), bottom line, i was just barely able to talk! I conked off on my flight from Kolkata to chennai.Then on more travel from kolkata and then bombay and back...whew..ears blocked and jet bloat only add to the malady :)

Well a cold just takes care of itself..over a period of 2-3 yes, am feeling much better thank you for asking...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kolkata .. Vishu and Poila Boishakh

This weekend i had very close friends who are more like family..While the stress at work and the goings on have certainly sapped me..the family visit was a welcome relief..

One of the first things they noticed is that Kolkata is not as we imagine it to be..its not dirty, or crowded or just plain is the perception...the wide roads at rajarhaat from the airport, pasisng thro the IT hubs is a sight in itself..while the flight lands, the lush greenery and the ponds/lakes in Kolkata...simply lovely..

Their little daughter had a list of places she wanted to see in Kolkata..victoria, howrah bridge, howrah station, botanical and so cute :) We ofcourse did the typical Kol sights and sounds..right from Brunch at Flurrys, to dinner at Oh Kolkata...street markets of Gariahat, and of course biryani at Arsalan..Chinese dinner at Tangra...yummy..
They went to see dakshineshwar and were surprised at the serpentine queues....well it was poila boishakh after all..

But the scorching summers of Kolkata gets to anyone..thank god for air wait, doesnt that also add to global warming ? sigh...

As for me, new years was a very subtle affair..i was at work for a bit and thereon met my pals for lunch at Barbeque..(all the cult eating places at good old Park Street) the high ceilings, the old affable waiters and the general sights of the city passing by simply relaxing..

Well i did miss my Vishu Kani, but thanks t a friend who send me an email with a picture, it was a good start to the year...

Friday, April 11, 2008

A very cute email recd on Faith

In a small mid-western conservative town (USA), a new bar started constructing a building to open up their business.With petitions and prayers the local Baptist church promptly started a campaign to block the bar from opening.

Work progressed, however, right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was, through its prayers and congregations, ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented:
'I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Agitated Customer of Banks, Financial instituitions, and other Nuisances

Working with banks should be easy right ? wrong!
  • HSBC/HDFC phone banking : Some of the most IMPERSONAL banks i have ever known. Its the toughest to get thro to a "phone banker" if u forget your phone code, god save you. By the time one gets thro the maze of dial one, dial two, dial 3 for etc etc , one is at ones wits end. The result ? you make a trip to the bank to do your transaction. and Then ? the Bank CHARGES you for it!! like hello!! Whatta scam!

The other day i had a make a deposit, but didnt find the time. Sent an assistant only to be told that the Bank will levy inr 100 for that transaction since it was depositted by someone Other than the account owner. Another lovely scam!

  • Phone sales callers:
  1. I usually make it a point to return all missed calls.(yeah yeah, some i miss out deliberately, and conveniently forget to call back)I Had 4 missed calls the other day(was in trainings). I tried desperately to call back only to hear an engaged tone. I feared the worst. Assumed it was my domestic help who was unwell. But no, it was State bank of india. I politely declined their services. and then what ? they call back a week later. New person, obviously the old list was not updated, that i was NOT interested. ANd then again a month later. One wonders if the Bank is stupid or the staff
  2. Then there were calls from this lady from one Gurgaon number. The lady says " i want to offer you INR 50,000" i said, why ? and she says "if you want" and went to drone about services from ABN Amro bank. One of the worst banks to deal with in terms of back office function.
  3. A lady called for a colleague who had left from Citibank wanting to speak to my colleague. I said he has left the company and please don't call here again. She asks me "WHY"? I just asked her if they didn't learn from banks being sued for disturbing customers ??
  4. Some of the most nagging callers are from ICICI or mocked as Aisa Waisa bank on the Matrix advt!

Website usage

One of the worst websites is HSBC/HDFC and of course ABN Amro. Not the easiest to navigate. and not the easiest to get started on in the first place. Right from filling a form, which i have done 4-5 times a year and still not recd an access!!

Email Apology

One thing you can learn from these banks is HOW to write apology letters to the customers. Very well drafted. Standard, one size fits all. Usually reaches no solution untill escalated.

Working over the Counter :

Beware the angry cashier at the counter at a canara Bank or an SBI. It seems like it was a mistake to have gone there in the first place. I remember on two occasions when i took it up with tye branch manager at Canara Bank and at Corporation Bank(Dahisar) about their staff being rude to my mother. The Managers ofcourse apologised and mentioned "it will not happen again" Which didnt. So, well done on that front.

Customer Services One thing is for sure there is a sure scope for improvement. Give me a co-operative bank like Greater Bombay anyday. Not so much as a musty smelling SBI, neither is it intimidating as an HSBC. Its truly service with a smile. One knows your job will be done if you walk in there,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Be The Best of Whatever You Are

Be The Best of Whatever You Are

By Douglas Malloch

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill, Be a scrub in the valley-but be

The best little scrub by the side of the rill;

Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,

And some highway happier make;

If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass-

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,

There's something for all of us here, There's big work to do, and there's lesser to do,

And the task you must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,

If you can't be the sun be a star;

It isn't by size that you win or you fail-

Be the best of whatever you are!

I still remember this poem was recited by my clasmate in standrad II in an elocution/recitation contest :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Secret

Bought a book over the weekend The SECRET by Rhonda Byrne. I heard of it first on

As the Webpage says

The Secret reveals the most powerful law in the universe. The knowledge of this law has run like a golden thread through the lives and the teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages and saviors in the world's history, and through the lives of all truly great men and women. All that they have ever accomplished or attained has been done in full accordance with this most powerful law.

Without exception, every human being has the ability to transform any weakness or suffering into strength, power, perfect peace, health, and abundance.

Rhonda Byrne's discovery of The Secret began with a glimpse of the truth through a 100 year old book. She went back through centuries, tracing and uncovering a common truth that lay at the core of the most powerful philosophies, teachings and religions in the world. What Rhonda discovered is now captured in

The Secret, a film that has been viewed by millions around the world. The Secret has also been released as an audio-book and printed book with more than six million copies in print.

The Secret explains with simplicity the law that is governing all lives, and offers the knowledge of how to create - intentionally and effortlessly - a joyful life. This is the secret to everything - the secret to unlimited happiness, love, health and prosperity.

This is the secret to life.

I would actually think it is so true for myself..i am one of the most optimistic people that i can think of. And good things just come to people who believe it. And its so true. Its a bit like saying i am going to look out for a black Hyundai Santro on the road. In fact one will find so many Black Hyundai Santro cars on the road. Its because the minds, antenna is out looking for it. Think about it, the time you by a certain dress, seems like the whole world is buying something even a Brand of TV for that matter..the mid searched for the similar and attracts it to us. How reading this book chapter by chapter each day..its one of the most inspiring or life changing books, if i may say so.

Life changing because its come along when i was looking for some answers in my life... i would suggest to read the book or visit the website for some inspiring stories.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

Yes, its another 3rd april, and another birthday..I must say this year it just feels so much more optimistic..i think i know why :)

I was in chennai for two days prior..spent the earlier evening with good friends with dinner at Murugan Idli kadhai.i would give them the award of the worlds best yummy..the variety of chutneys and the podi..yummy in the tummy :)

The next day was the 3rd..First of all, the day started with the red eye flight from chennai, waking at 03:45 for a flight of 05:50. reached Kolkata in time to get to work..So many wishes, and greetings..i took my team out for some happy hour drinks and of course dancing..Well like one of my friends said, so where will you be the next birthday ? i said Chennai i hope :)

Yes, now i would certainly like to settle in one city. Tired of being a vagabond..It was a good birthday evening...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stye in the eye and other maladies

Well I was struck with a stye in my eye(after probably many years)..The eye was swollen, and painful, and smarting..Then started the various remedies and home help from good natured family members and friends :

  1. Garlic : yes garlic is supposed to add "heat" to any such boil and allow it to heal after it has been discharged. Trust me the garlic only burnt my skin more than anything else
  2. Black Thread : my best friend suggested to tie a black thread on the toe of the opposite foot, while my aunt suggested to tie a black thread on my wrist. I tried it both.
  3. Then came the sugegstion for warm compress which i did. Straight from the tava, warminga towel and placing on the eye.
  4. Some one suggested saliva. Yes. supposed to help to heal
  5. The other suggestion was taking two handfulls of salt and rotating over yourself, three times and then throwing it out. "removes the evil eye"

Well i was desperate and tried everything! and finally went to an eye doc, who suggested eyedrops and ointment, and ofcourse some warm compress. FInally it healed after giving me this headache, earache for 4-5 days..i must say, we take a few things for granted..just the eye swollen made me feel so bad about looking into the mirror. yes yes, i am a bit vain that way..but the pain was horrible..Finally all's well that ends well.

Am doing good, thanks :)