Friday, October 29, 2010

PLEASE… DND!!!!!!!!

Just when I am awaiting that magical SMS from ICICI bank informing me that my account has been credited with the salary, I am getting all sorts of SMS but not from ICICI  :(
On an average, in every 5 minutes, I am getting 3 SMSs from my credit card company, builders, beauticians, shopping malls, travel portals etc etc etc. suggesting me to avail their offers to make my Diwali extra special with heavy discounts !!!
"Get a manicure absolutely free on a bill of Rs. 2000 at Lakme…": If I can inflate my bill to Rs. 2000, I am rich enough to get a paid manicure….
"Get 50% cash back on base fare of 2 round trips or 4 one way tickets on cleartrip...": If I would have got this SMS when most of us were getting heart attacks with soaring ticket prices for Diwali trip, it would have genuinely helped me. I think almost 85% people have already booked their Diwali tickets by now. Rest 10% will be in such hurry that they won't even remember of receiving this SMS. 5% would, I guess, be able to avail this HEAVY discount on base fare. Try to give me this discount on the total fare.
Even when I have taken up 'their' Credit card, my name is not yet chalked off from their calling lists. Every other day I get a call from them to take up their credit card and I beg them to delete my name from their list but they won't listen. Why are they wasting their time, effort and money on the already existing customer to become their customer?
I have already taken up almost 5-6 insurance policies. No, that's not the truth but that's the status that I maintain whenever I get a call from some insurance call center because if I tell that I have taken 1 policy, they won't leave me because their product is giving the maximum benefit and cover to me. So, I have taken up non-existing insurance policies. I guess, 5-6 policies together would cover me better than their product.
I am not interested in home or personal loan and I am still a student. Oh, I am still a student because they are not interested in giving any loan or credit card to students and so, they will keep down the phone immediately without persuading me to take up their product…
On my mobile, I hardly get 1,2,3,4 or may be 5 calls in a day of my interest, that is, from my friends and family members. But I get almost 9-10 calls and 15 SMSs on a normal day from these companies which would continue to call me to sell their product or offer even when my name would be registered in DEAD peoples' list. It looks that I have bought this expensive phone (expensive when I bought it) not for my personal use but to receive their calls and SMSs :(

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The festive spirit...!!!

Every year I eagerly wait for this time of the year, 'coz that the time when celebrations start… After a break of few days, shraad- when we pay homage to our departed family members, starts Navratra- a nine day period to worship the Goddess of Power- Durga. Post which, Dussehra is celebrated. After few days, Karwachauth (my first one this yearJ), then some or the other puja and finally Diwali. Time to buy and wear new glittering clothes, eat delicacies, observe fasts, arrange puja (and get amazing prasad), watch your city spend maximum on lighting the streets, clean and decorate your home on war-footing scale and pace to welcome Goddess Laxmi- the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity and eat-meet-and-dine with your near and dear ones without thinking about your workplaces.
I have been missing observing Navratri at home from past three years. No, I don't keep fast or anything, but I love the smell our home is filled with during these days- my mother would do daily aarti with cow-dung cakes and I would wake up with that pure smell and my mother would make sure to keep aside a large portion of the Prasad of dry fruits for me, 'coz I love it. On the last day, 7 or 9 little girls (kanyas) are fed with even more amazing poori-chana-halwa and so we would also get it. These things can also be prepared on any day of the year, but somehow it tastes awesome on that particular day only. I don't know the logic so don't ask me why.
I had been in South India from past three Navratris and it's nice to see, or rather know, that these 9 days hold equally good importance for South Indians as well and they are celebrated throughout India (all regions) in some or the other special way. Bengalis celebrate it in the form of Durga Puja- the biggest festival for them in the year. They put up magnificent pandals of the clay-made deities and offer puja in their unique way. Now the various Bengali Associations in various cities also put up such pandals. We attended two such pandals in Bengaluru this year. North-Indians, as I explained, observe fast during these days. Few, otherwise non-veg eating communities, transform into pure veg category during these 9 days. Few other communities, on the contrary, offer non-veg dishes to the Goddess as chadawa, which is later distributed as Prasad. Gujaratis arrange garba  and dandiya nights and it has become famous throughout the world. Down here in South India, Ayudha Puja (8th or 9th day of this period) holds special importance. People worship their tools, workplaces, homes, vehicles and any other thing that hold special place in their lives.
The 10th day, marked as Dasahara or Dussehra or Dasara (Mysore), culminates the 9 day period of Navratri (nav-nine and ratri- nights). It is celebrated as the day when Lord Rama killed Raavan and is symbolized as the day of victory of good over evil. In North India, life-size effigies of Raavan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnaad are burnt (they are fitted with crackers). Many communities believe that this is the most auspicious day for children to start reading and writing and so they worship pens, pencils and books on this day and some schools, especially in South India, also start their yearly session on this day. I miss this day as well. We still have this child-like eagerness to go to some Dussehra mela, organized at various places in North India. Eat street food, watch the effigies being burnt and shop on special Dusshera-Diwali discounted prices.
Phew… these are the times when you miss being away from your family. Though we are undoubtedly going home on Diwali but will miss half the fun (or should I say, we have already missed it L )…
Btw, last year, Diwali was on 17th October and on 18th October our (mine and Nimit's) roka ceremony took place… Milestone, you see J
Cheers and have fun in this festive season…!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The GOD!!!

I am back from Hyderabad. That's where my brother lives and since he is not there, my parents have come to take care of my sister-in-law. Last time when we were going to Hyderabad, we missed our train by few minutes. It was all because of the cab that we had booked… Cab, obviously, cannot take secret lanes and cannot stuff itself in any possible empty patch on road. And so, this time we decided to leave well in time and take an auto.
If you want to have a Sholay experience, or, you want to feel what Hema Malini (Basanti) might have gone through when she instructed her mare, Dhanno, to run for their lives, all you need to do is board an auto during the peak rush hours. You will get the feel. Though, we never told our auto driver that we are in any hurry or we may miss the train, he took it as his unsaid responsibility to drop us in flat 1 hour and so we reached the station 2 hours before the departure time.
My father and sister-in-law had come to pick us up in my brother's brand new i20 car. I loved the car. It's the first major joint possession of my brother and sister-in-law and they are proud to have it. It's so smooth and the interiors are also amazing. Wow…
Oh, forgot to mention. The Enthiran fever. I had only heard about it earlier but witnessed it for the first time. Rajinikanth is considered God down here in South. His movie was releasing after many years (his last movie being Sivaji- a huge hit released in 2007 but these 3 years are considered MANY years by his die-hard fans). Enthiran released on 1st October, a day after the Ayodhya verdict. While passing by a multiplex, a saw hundreds of people outside the complex, police vans and flags and posters. Since I was not able to see what posters were they, I thought that some political party must be having some meeting post verdict, only to know later on that they were the fans of Rajinikanth waiting there since early morning to get the tickets. I don't know if it is the rumor or what, but the tickets were sold for as high as Rs. 5000 and one confirmed source told me that the tickets were indeed sold at Rs. 1700. While going to catch the train later that evening as well I saw huge number of people, ooops, fans gathered outside a shady theatre with police vans and media cars.
Sorry to Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, but I think Rajinikanth's fans are crazier than your fans or they might have be this crazy for you when you were young. Just read on Wikipedia (yes, I again relied on Wikipedia to gain knowledge on the superstar) that Mr. Rajini was born in the year 1949, which means he is 61 years old (he will complete 61 years in December). And he starred with Aishwarya Rai in this latest release- she is 37 years old. But who cares as Mrs. Bachchan herself is a big fan of this superstar. I honestly have no idea as to why he should be worshipped. It must be, no, it actually is for his style and dialogues and mannerisms rather than ACTING. What Rajinikanth can do, no one else can but I don't find it amazing. May be because I watch a movie to see acting but end up watching Rajinikanth running on water or in air or shooting 4 people with a single bullet or him igniting cigarette or matchstick on a bald man's head and things like these which makes no sense for me. But if I continue to write more about my personal views on his "acting" skills, I may be found murdered by his fans in next two hours so better I shut up my mouth. But yes, I actually want to see Robot (Hindi version of Enthiran) on the big screen.
Before I end up this post, just wanted to paste few lines/ facts about Rajinikanth, which my friend had just got from somewhere and forwarded them to me. Long Live Mr. Rajinikanth and best wishes for the new movie…
For those who don't know who Rajini is ………..
·   When Rajini is doing push-ups, he is not lifting himself – he is pushing the earth down!
·    Rajinikanth can divide by zero!
·    He can delete the Recycle bin!
·    He can slam a revolving door!
·   He once kicked a horse in the chin – its descendants are today called giraffes!
·    He can make onions cry!
·    He can drown a fish!
·   When he looks in the mirror it shatters, because even the glass is not stupid enough to get in between Rajinikanth & Rajinikanth!
·    He never wet his bed as a child – the bed wet itself in fear!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's UP???

So, I am back to the blog after a long time, I guess. Many historic and long awaited events have happened during this time and lots of things have come up for never ending discussions.
My office- Finally, after months of delay we have shifted to a new office premise this Monday. All the separate offices of Bangalore have now been consolidated at one place only and so, we, who have got used to meeting just 40 co-workers, are now surrounded by almost 100 more people and one more office is yet to shift. The office premise houses almost 5-6 more companies and so is properly maintained, which means that I can proudly show my relatives that THAT is my office J
Side effects of this new office are that no cabs have been provided and the office timings have also shifted which means board the crowded BMTC buses and reach office on your own; no TT table and so we are bound to grow much more lethargic than we were in our old office. But that's okay. Some positive aspects and few negatives won't make much difference.
Commonwealth Games (CWG)- The latest topic for numerous jokes, cartoons, forwarded mails, debates, criticisms, discussions by any and everyone, national pride at stake, last minute preparations, frantic appeals, blame game, view point of every prominent personality etc etc. I am planning to dig myself into Internet and know how India won the title as the Host of CWG 2010. I want to know the person responsible to propose the name of India to host this mega sports event knowing that how united we Indians (read: politicians) are when it comes to host such an event, how aggressive we are in preparations and how honest (non-corrupt) we are  when hosting an event of such magnitude. Constructing Metro train network was the only visible preparation for CWG until late last year.
The main idea behind awarding such responsibility to a developing country is that they will take up an unprivileged area and build a games village to bring attention to that area and later on maintain it. But WE decided the heart of the nation Delhi as the venue and changed the already messy place to worsen the situation. Agreed that Metro has come as a boon to Delhi but we have not thought about the consequences of the fact that we have impaired the national capital to prepare for CWG and the inconvenience that would be caused to local population and others while the games take place. Oh, by the way, when I say WE, I mean the respective people responsible for this mess. Somehow I still remember the meaning of the word WE, even when these great politicians don't. Many countries (rather many unknown countries till now) and athletes have withdrawn their names from the participations on the grounds of hygiene and safety and security. Replying to the concerns raised by our guests, our honorable in-charges blame it on the difference in the meaning of hygiene of Indians and the guest countries. Mr./Ms. Ministers, stray dog paw stains and faeces on beds, washrooms with paan stains, waterlogged corridors, faulty electric fittings- none of them are OUR (Indian) standard of hygiene, they might be YOUR personal standard- don't pull US (Indians) into this. Now time has come when everyone has understood that CWG is more of a burden for us now and praying that they get over ASAP without any further hiccups. This was not how it was meant to end. We should have been proud to host them and now… no further comments.
Ayodhya- Without putting in the exact year when the crises started, I can say that this case has been the longest running case in the history of India's legal system. Hindus claim that Lord Rama was born on this piece of land- mind it- not 1 inch here, not 1 inch there- exactly on that piece of land and so this land belongs to Hindus. Babar invaded India and constructed a mosque there. Someone from Hindu community put the idol of Lord Rama there, even when the court has put the stay orders on that disputed land. Then Babri masjid was illegally and violently demolished leading to clashes among the communities. Ever since that incident, the usage of the word "Ayodhya" in public has kind of become an outrageous act. Yesterday was the day when High court was to pass the legendary and most awaited verdict. Most of us decided to remain indoors and those who had to attend offices chose to leave their workplaces much before the verdict time. The judges have divided the land equally in three parts- One for Lord Rama (temple), one for Muslims (Mosque) and the last for an akhara. I was kind of amused as well as irritated by the Headline of today's TOI – 2 parts for Hindus and 1 for Muslims, which is sure to ignite a flame of inequality in the decision in Muslims.
Few questions to our secular leaders-
1. Can you please prove that Lord Rama was born exactly there? Even if he was, can you build a temple in Ayodhya only but not on that disputed land? I know the answer will be a big NO.
2. Can both the communities come forward and donate the land for charity purpose-like build a hospital or school or orphanage? I again know the answer. A Big NO. Because they love their religion more than charity or society.
3. Can both the communities build their temple and mosque and pray silently now? NO. Because they don't believe in this settlement. If one community is happy or satisfied, the other want to disturb it.
After 60 years the judgment had come and again they will go to Supreme Court, which means another 60 years of animosity.
Apart from these national and personal events, I want to share a small incident. I was going somewhere in an auto 2 days back. It was 12:30 P.M. and sun was shining really bright and it was hot, pollution adding further to this hotness. On one of the signals, there were many vendors selling key chains, flowers, plastic airplanes, rubix cubes etc. I spotted one young handsome boy from a well to do family carrying a dustbin and he came upto me and asked politely in fluent English- "Ma'am, if you have any waste that you want to dispose off, kindly put in this bin. Help save us the environment". I had no waste to dispose off. Then he turned to my auto driver and asked the same thing in Kanadda. He too refused. I was kind of amazed by this drive. This young man was followed by few others, including children. On going ahead, my driver puked his tobacco on the road without even looking if someone was coming on his side or not. I asked him why he did not do that in that bin and he smiled and said- "Madam, ye sab show off hai, ye log khud bhi kachra failate hai". To this I replied that don't compare but you do your own bit to maintain cleanliness and greenery and he smiled at me as if he was making fun of me and saying- "Madam, this is India. This is how we are and we not ready or willing to change. Let everything remain as bad as it is now".
I may not volunteer to carry such bins but I do my bit to save electricity and water and maintain cleanliness which each one of us can do. Please do that. CHEERS!!!