Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA SIRJEE?

For all those people who think that they are lonely and feel that nobody in this planet cares whether they are alive, well I would say, think twice. Just try missing a bill payment for the month and you will realize that a lot of people do care about your existence! Infact they would care so much that you might get a bit overwhelmed by their love and affection over the phone.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the love and affection shown by “idea cellular” because my bills were overdue and had to be paid.So I decided that I cannot handle any more love and so went to the idea office in Vellayambalam ,Trivandrum to pay my bills.On reaching there, I also decided that since nobody was using that connection anymore, I might as well cancel it. So I asked the executive as to what is the procedure to cancel and this executive, well lets call her Vidya, told me that I cannot cancel here and that I had to go to one of their other outlets (In Sreekaryam) to get it done. I dint argue, and just went back .On the way back, I call up this idea manager (who has been calling me to pay the bill) telling him that I wanted to pay and then cancel and I was told by this executive that I cannot cancel in the Vellayambalam branch and that I had to go to the other branch .The manager was surprised and he immediately told me that You can cancel it in the Vellayambalam branch itself and that I needed to go back .

Ok, the fun starts when I get back to their office.Vidya is all heated up and and then has the audacity to create a scene there telling me that she never ever mentioned that I cannot cancel their connection in this outlet!! She even tried to gather crowd support there by telling the other executives and a few customers there that she never mentioned anything like that and that you cancel any idea post paid connections at their outlet. For a minute, I dint realize what hit me , I was at a loss of words to respond. I couldn’t believe that in a matter of 10 minutes, how can someone back track on what they said with so much of confidence?After some reciprocation from my end, I felt ridiculous at the way I was being treated and even more ridiculous at the conversation I was having with Vidya.I mean she was saying “No I never mentioned that at all” and I was saying “:Yes,you said that because if you dint, how would I know that Idea had an office at Sreekaryam?”After all this hassle. I finally managed to get my hands on the cancellation form, which I happily filled and settled the pending amount.

Well, I decided that I will send a feedback to the “Idea” team regarding my experience and sent in an email. They responded back in 24 hours . here’s their response:-

“Dear Mr. Rohit Krishnan,
Warm greetings from Idea cellular Kerala and thank you for writin g to us.

With reference to your mail, it indeed saddens us to part with this relationship. Mr. Rohit, since you are one of our valued subscribers, we would like to suggest you a few options to retain the number and continue our association

• You may transfer your connection to your friend or relative.
• You may convert the postpaid connection to Prepaid and retain the mobile number.

We have taken a note of your feedback regarding the intricacy you faced with our executive when you visited Trivandrum showroom . We are constantly updating the feedback received from our subscribers and using it for improving our service.We urge you not to form a lasting impression of our services based on your unfortunate experience”

Well, For all the hassle that I had to go through to cancel a connection, I may not be looking at any idea connections in the future. God made relatives, but Thank God that we can choose our Mobile connection providers!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NERVOUS WITH KIDS

I ‘ve always found children very hard to deal with and interact with especially kids in the 5-10 agegroup .Infact ,I’ve put it mildly; I get quite nervous when a kid stares at me because I don’t know what its gonna ask me now ! hmm..yeah as much as I hate to admit this fact ,there it is , in the open !

There’s this kid who stays in the same building as mine ;his name is Rahul and he’s in 3rd std.When’ he’s around , I always try my best to dodge him and then get in to my house (Indian black commandoes can always approach me on free tips on infiltration!)I would like to believe that I was pretty successful in my operations ,but then good things in life never lasts ;It always has to come to an end . I got caught today ! OK I thought,just smile to the kid, say byeee and it will just be alright ..dont panic…Its amazing that at times of distress or panic ,your brain tells something and you speak out something completely different . Dread of disaster actually makes you act in a way that increases all possibilities of the disaster.I asked him “entha rahul,ennu school ille?”(Don’t you have to go to school today?) Bad question! He had taken a leave .Rahul asked me “Uncle , have you played spiderman games”? ..another thing that I find so common is kids these days start speaking English at a very young age and they speak quite well .His mom is very nice lady and because she got fooled by my confidence levels, asked her son to force me to have a look at his new video game .

Ok , I decided to spend a max of 10 minutes(Not that I had a choice) with the video game and get out.So Rahul took me to his room and in no time was explaining to me how to play the game .Well , it dint take him long to figure out that video games are not my cup of tea.I tell you, kids these days are very smart ,they read you very well from your body language.Immediately, it struck me that I am the adult and not him, and so I needed to push the conversation. So I asked him who is his favourite cricket player (safe question I thought..I mean ..cricket , boys ..it should connect )Rahul just looked at me with complete disdain and going by the look on his face, I even started to feel guilty .There was this uncomfortable moment of silence and then he asked me “Uncle , you have girl friends ?”I said no and pat came the reply as “Why , uncleinu tune cheyan ariyille (yeah basically asking me if I don’t know how to tune a female)” Ouch ! kids can ask you the most embarrassing questions with a lot of innocence. I was just smiling and kind of waiting for any kind of help .

Help came in and in the form of his mom and that too with a cup of tea ! Thank God for small mercies! So now all of us shifted to the drawing room and we were watching TV .Just then Rahul changed the channel to MTV to watch his favourite “Splitsvilla”.Splitsvilla is one of those reality shows where a bunch of young boys and girls match each other to win a game .So you do hear a lot of abuses for free! Just at that moment one of the girls in the show abused another saying that the other was a “whore “.Again OUCH!..not something you would like to hear now (infact anytime ) but definetly not now ..My worst fears were realized at that moment when Rahul again asked me “Uncle , what is the meaning of Whore”I initially tried to ignore Rahul and concentrated very strongly on the cup of tea..but the kid was persistant . I just gave an uneasy smile , and his mom gave me an even better version of an uneasy smile .So there were smiles all over ..but definetly NO TALK. Trapped ! No way out…
In minutes ,we heard a few more abuses on TV and few more uneasy smiles were exchanged . Sanity prevailed ,when Rahul’s mom snatched the remote from Rahul’s hand and for the love of God and all things Holy, changed the channel.

This episode today has got me thinking about the impact such programmers have on kids .Rahul in due course of time will definitely know the meaning of “whore”.The question is how soon is an acceptable time ? Is there an acceptable time or should kids know things as they are when they ask ?But the whole aspect of growing up is so fast these days ,that somewhere down the line a kid ceases to be a kid after all .His innocence lost some where .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ELECTIONS AND MANIFESTOS

Election time , that time of the year when your valuable vote makes a difference! Well Election days are on and are reminding us once again that we are living in a democratic country (Not that we needed any reminders anyways !). Good old democracy!

Media,and television,in particular has made dictatorship almost impossible but it has also made democracy unbearable at times . With all the campaigning going on and election manifesto’s released by different political parties, the one that caught my attention was Samajwadi party’s manifesto(albeit for the wrong reasons )

SP chief ,Mulayam Singh Yadav released his party’s manifesto last week which according to me (and hopefully many) shouldn’t have been allowed ;but then again,its democracy . http://elections.ndtv.com/news_story.aspx?ID=NEWEN20090090458&

Below mentioned are three main points of the party;s manifesto among others

1. The use of computers in offices is creating unemployment problems. Our party feels that if work can be done by a person using hands there is no need to deploy machines," Mulayam Singh said at a press conference after unveiling the manifesto.

2. The party is also against the use of agricultural machines and high corporate salaries.
"A harvesting season brings employment for the labour class for at least six months but these harvesters will snatch their earnings.”

3. The party's manifesto also mentions that it will work to abolish schools providing expensive education in English medium and provide free education for girls till graduation.

It would also be interesting to know the kind of education the sons/daughters of the SP leaders are undergoing /have already undergone .Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions,it only guarantees equality of opportunity. But I strongly feel , there should be conditions or parameters based on which atleast an election manifesto should be handled. If manifesto’s do not pass some kind of a quality check,those shouldn’t be allowed nor published.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

VADA WITH VINODH

Vinodh and me met up today and we decided to stop by at a hotel to have a cup of tea and some vadas which happens to be his favorite snack .He never misses a chance or opportunity to eat vadas Infact he even considers eating vadas to be his birth right.So while we were waiting for the vada to be served,Vinodh as usual was giving me some gyan sessions ;he was telling me “Rohit ,as you say in engineering ,distance gives perspective “(For the life of me ,I couldn’t recollect anything of that sort being told in my 4 years of engineering ,but then I was seldom in classrooms when such valuable pieces of wisdom might have been shared ;anyways that’s another story altogether)Vinodh continued , “da , look at what you want to calculate from a distance and from different perspectives ,you will see that efficiency is directly proportional to optimal work load “He was basically answering my question on calculating workload and I was just wondering as to why wasn’t the vada arriving ;it was high time you know ..

The conversation some how got diverted to the economic crisis and the recession and both of us were off the opinion that nothing has changed much .I mean where is the recession?I still see theatres running to packed houses , jewellery shops still crowded , new cars being launched and cars being booked,Still see all shopping malls in Cochin buzzing with people and shopping happening (The newly launched Oberon mall is a prime example ).I still find it difficult to find parking space for my car during weekends .Levi’s registered a record number of sales for its brand of Jeans last month .Go to any Archie’s showroom , you will still see teenagers spending ,Exhibitions still finding takers .My friends in Bangalore say that the pubs are still crowded .So was anybody talking about the global credit crunch ?How long will it take to hit us (Not that I am desperate!)

Infact, it dint take long to hit both us though! Our wait ended and the guy served us vada and almost immediately, things started to fall in perspective (well, as you say in engineering, distance gives perspective!).Holes in the Vadas were larger, the chutney was thinner and sambhar looked and tasted more or less like colored water .When we asked the guy for a second serving of the chutney, the guy just stared at us .Infact the look on his face gave us his explanation; allow me to read out his mind “Respected sirs, please find a coconut tree, climb it, take the coconut and make the chutney yourself”
Anyways, the vada triggered our thought process at Godspeed and we concluded that recession is everywhere around us. Look at the number of layoffs at work , number of pink slips being given to employees , land prices coming down ,incentives and appraisals in most work places being stalled, interest rates being cut down ,the sales numbers of all the major car houses have taken a dip ,the “opportunities “section of “The Hindu” being limited to a page or two and even in those two pages they end up giving advises as to how to hold on to your job during the recession.

Anyways , we finished our tea and vadas and decided next time we come, we’ll have Masala dosas because at least you don’t have a hole in it.