New Geography


Well I have always been amused by the statements of somebody-nobody called Raj Thackeray. Not because of the fact that I support his views and not even because I am against. I read his statements to laugh out on a clown’s imagination and self belief that he has finally become the ‘Hero’. I laugh at his mind’s radius which is so small that we can’t even see it now! I laugh over how can someone become so illiterate and backward in 2008 – coming from an influential family? I laugh at this guy’s CV expereince of vandalism in name of Indian culture by burning card galleries! I laugh at this guys amateurish and backward effort to get Orkut banned totally unaware of how his own family’s children are having profiles on the networking site!!!!
Quite frankly who is this guy anyway- RAJ THACKERAY. Is he the chief minister or the governor of Maharashtra or his local den- Mumbai? Family lineage trace him to be nephew of Bal Thackeray who was another man who imposed his dogmatism on Indians and gave us the legendary – Shiv Sainiks who are expert in vandalizing, creating new laws a la Taliban. He has got his freedom of speech and enjoys his moments of fame while speaking blatantly on the microphone amongst even sillier reporters who create a big byte out of his mindless crap.
He has been in open war against the Bachchans when the Bachchans have been polite and resilient enough to come out and apologise for god knows what!!!!! Looking at Raj T’s past records -why shouldn’t he ask the Republic of India to create Mumbai as a stand alone state and make him the self proclaimed King oops the CM.
He says that North Indians are crowding Mumbai and are still doing favors to the other North Indian states from where they hail from. But how do we stop someone from their philanthropic acts in the name of regions. Should we start asking NGOs and other social organisations to first confirm the states of the donors and then work out the fundings accordingly? And why not even ask the blood banks to ensure the blood of a North Indian is provided only to the North Indian and not South Indian?
Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and is cosmopolitan just like Delhi. People are working towards the upliftment of the corporate and financial sectors. They are contributing their efforts towards boosting the Indian economy rather than the local hub’s economy. What will Mumbai be in reality if the other region people weren’t there? Majority of them would be still doing fishing or working in Sugar mills! What does Raj T got to say to the depleting Parsi community? What does he got to say to the Gujarati community? Should Ambanins pack their bag and move to Gujarat? Does Raj T has the determination, intellect and charisma to create another ‘Reliance’ and provide jobs to the thousands of Mumbaikars who will lose the job? Will he ask the Mangeshkars to sing and compose a ‘Mumbai Anthem’, the same Mangeshkars who have created a charitable hospital with funds from all communities of India? Will Raj T allow the Indian Navy to have its dockyard and its crew members on the Mumbai port only if they are Mumbaikars?
If the answer to all the above is true then might as well give him what he needs.
And not forgetting – tomorrow, another somebody-nobody will get up from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkatta, Ludhinana. Amritsar demanding his own little state.
We will then forget the Kashmir and Eastern conflict and will solely dedicate ourselves in making a new provincial India.
So dear friends- prepare yourself for a new provincial India; the geography is about to change courtesy one man -THE LEGENDARY RAJ THACKERAY. Future beckons to him. Lets all bow in front of his extra ordinary thoughts and write odes praising his excellent policies.
‘Jai Mumbai’ ‘Jai Delhi’ ‘Jai Banagalore’ ‘Jai Kolkatta’ and please don’t put me in jail if I haven’t mentioned all the new states. You see I am still learning my Geography.

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Brand Factory- who me?? Kiddin’ me?


Well Nikhil tagged me on this one ages ago but as I was battling with my own inner thoughts this got delayed and today I thought about finishing this one to be cheerful enough for the evening- we have my firm’s 90 years of celebration Mid Winter Ball at the Sky City Grand Hotel! The dress code is elegant wear with twist of 1920s and I am donning myself in a designer hatler neck Rosewood Gown and chandalier earrings-quite perplexed!

The idea is simple. Take any day in your life and chart out all the brands you have used. I am a brand conscious person and I am not!- Confused-you bet…I believe in buying branded things which are vital like-my eyewear or jeans or shoes but for small things like tops and jewellery I am not so much conscious as I can buy stuff straight outof flea market….

Here it goes..

MORNING

Glister Toothpaaste, Body Shop, Palmolive Naturals, Bausch and Lomb- I can’t see anything without them…, Carlton London, Titan, Gilli, Elizabeth Arden, Chambor, Wrangler, Narcisso Rodriguez and Lancome…yes am a cosmetic and fragrances freak and Naricsso is my favorite smell to wear! Its divine! 🙂

Morning

 

AFTERNOON BANGING HEAD AT WORK

Afternoon

Xs Energy Drink-yes with the amount of work piling up these days…..I need it, Subway and Starbucks for lunch, Dell and iPOD- if I don’t plug in my music I’ll sleep on the keyboard for sure…..3M and Office Max supplies keep me organized with frequent calls on my Nokia phone from my hubby…

EVENING SESSION- Reunion of love strucks

Evenings are electornically dominated- with both of us checking emails, making long calls to India, me cooking, watching movies on our 50 inch plasma which I am quite proud of ! 😀 Blogging is a must……and then catching up with crazy pals on gtalk/Facebook and Orkut by throwing interesting status messages everyday!!!! Syncing my iPOD in the background~~~hubby coaxing me to eat nutriway pills and then hiting the sack!! Prepare for another day, another gruelling session with techical documents, ramblings of mind with vocabulary and vainly rejecting drawings in name of Quality Control!

Evening

Signing Off ~**~

Ok folks am off to plaster my face with some good face masks I got and also apply a wicked deep berry nailpaint -its pampering day-wish me luck- I wanna dazzle tonight at the ball……..watch out this space for my experience there…..and yes we are planning a skiing trip next week and then South Island trip in August so please pray that no one jinxes a much needed holiday I need for my depressed sagging spirits…………

And before I forget- I pass this tag to Abhinav which is gonna be his first tag post ever -I am giving the nasty soul some work to do apart from sending me annoying mails round the day and labelling me Neera ki choti behen- I am not 😦  You’re BP!

Service value and consumer awareness


Laws

It was in class IXth Social Studies text book where I first read the existence of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It made me feel powerful and vigilant about rights I held against every chocolate or pack of Lays I bought. I was so moved in those days that I even felt like complaining about the way the normal pack of Lays chips is filled with bare minimum chips.

I had so many experiences regarding Consumer rights that it provoked me to write a dedicated post for it.

My dad had several credit cards- American Express (Amex) being one of them. Amex people once sent us a mail that if we shop for more than Rs.50,000 within a specified period we will get a Gilli Pendant. We had already crossed that limit as we were busy shopping for my brother’s wedding. Three months passed on and I told Dad we have full rights to have information why hasn’t it been given to us yet. Dad called up Amex people and the helpdesk girl told us that the Gilli pendants are now out of stock and she can’t provide us with one. I mean shouldn’t they have calculated who all deserve to get it and proactively got pendants in store!!! Anyways, that call ended with me having a long face. Well now the real trauma began when one fine day our telephone went in graveyard and I was cut off from juicy gossips from my friends. The boring voice on the handset said the line was disconnected due to non payment of bill. We were quite stumped as all our utilities bills were automatically debited from Amex card. Again a call was made to Amex which started with various options being clicked through the mobile phone as per the automated voice’s orders. The Amex people told us sorry and promised to make the payments ASAP. Well ASAP meant two weeks and my dad lost all control and cancelled his Amex card and returned his torn card back to them. After a month we got a new statement quoting the pending annual charges- for what I don’t know. I wrote them a furious letter and warned to sue them for malpractices. Thank god afterwards they stopped harassing us.

March 2007 was pretty bad timing for us. I was entering into the new world out of dad’s nest and had to understand all the financial details and at the same time take care of my mum’s and my sanity when one sad afternoon a guy from ANZ Bank came to our doorstop and spoke to my mom quite brashly to return the bank’s pending amount and asked several times for Mr. Srivastava. My mom talked to him nicely and told him to have a seat and called me. I asked him about his identification card or credential which he had none. He told me we hadn’t paid last month’s payment and therefore he is there to collect and here I can tell he was speaking not in a good way! (if you know what I mean). I showed him copy of a letter I had sent to them two weeks back which clearly indicated that we will be closing the bank account as soon as we get the details of what all is outstanding as all bank papers were freezed in Dad’s lockers and we never knew the exact figure. My mom had tears in her eyes and she pitied her helplessness. I took half a look at her and half a look at my Dad’s photo on the chest and told that weird guy to call his manager and let me speak to him. God knows what all went through me at that call- I am a soft spoken person but that time I just scolded the manager and gave him a good one. I asked him how he dare send some stranger to my house knowing what emotional crisis we were going through. I told the manager to apologise to my mom who was harassed by the behaviour. He apologized to us and promised us he will support me in closing the bank account. I closed it within 3 days and paid the full and final amount.

Anyways that depressing time moved on and I came in Auckland. Being a veggie its quite tough to find choices dining out. It was a dull Friday evening and I wasn’t feeling like cooking so we decided to have a Domino’s pizza. We called the 0800 helpline and placed our order and went to the busy city street outlet to pick up. I stayed in the car as we couldn’t find a valid parking. Anyways to cut the long story short- we got two wrong pizzas from crazy Indian people who ran the outlet. They were very rude to us and didn’t replace our pizzas and told us we are now barred from ordering pizzas and gave us our dollars back!!! We were so angry-I could have almost slapped him hard across the face considering the fact I understood what he spoke in foul hindi to his colleagues in kitchen. I wrote to Domino’s and got an apology letter from them and also coupons for free pizzas.Click below to see their apology.

Domino\’s Apology letter

Incidentally few weeks back girl/boy/don’t know who- created a fake profile on Orkut and had my picture as main display pic and even in the albums. I don’t know who it was but a good friend of mine informed me about the profile id and I lodged a complaint with Google and had to even send them a copy of my passport to support my credentials- Two weeks afterwards the profile was deleted!

It is very important to voice out if services are not served in righteous manner. Trust me an accountable and ethical company will always love to listen negative points for enhancing their scope of improvement. If you go to café and don’t find coffee to your taste buds-tell them. If you don’t like the chips/cookies/ice cream you tasted- write to them…..but take action……we are paying for the service/goods and have full right on every dime spent on it. Especially when it involves Banks-voice your opinion-cry out loud for your rights……..the bank is always rich..and it makes us poorer…we have to speak and tell them we are the ones who are running their business.

You can click here to read about Complain filing procedure in a forum.

Guide

What is ethic to you, me or them?


I remember vividly the subject Business Ethics we had in third semester and how proudly our course director announced- this is a relatively new subject and not even IIM-Ahmedabad has teachers or relevant books for it. I passed the discipline with a GPA of 9 courtesy all the search I did on internet to read theories related to ethical decision making. But even standing at that surprising GPA I bear no capability to define Ethics per se.

I read Indian news stories daily, I see global news daily, I use endorsed brand daily, I make an environmental related decision daily- and they are all related to ethics. My wordweb dictionary defines ethics as ‘A system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct’. But who is to explain the context of acceptable. It’s a fancy word some philosopher used to veil his inability to measure anything that is pure right or wrong- anything that is pure black or white. It’s just a picayune excuse some genius picked up to write heaps of circumlocutious non meaning theories to hide the evil sides- the grey sides.

The topic of this post is -What is ethic: to you, me or them? When I see a poor kid in CRY print advertisement I resolve to adopt a child but never do it in reality…but when I do see a kid enjoying Baskin Robbins ice cream I nag my partner to go to parlour and take one bite. Am I ethical?

When I see my fellow friends being conscious and aware enough to dedicate a post on youth Unite about Bhookh and add a badge on their WordPress blogs…I aimlessly click on the feedthemouthxxxxxerrttsomethingsomething.com site in hope to feed the hungry……but when I don’t like the taste of a dish I vainly leave the whole dish go in trash cans with a certain arrogance. Am I ethical?

I see a movie daily- that’s my routine and a way to rewind after sitting in the comforts of my workstation and sipping endless mochachinno’s and tapping laptop glaring into the matte finished screen. I see the imaginative world of songs and dance routine- criticize them and then compare with better quality English movies safely ignorant of the situations in Somalia/Myanmar/China/India. Am I ethical?

I read about rising rates of rapes and take out my angst onto wordpress by writing a post. I read about deplorable conditions of elderly and take out my angst onto wordpress by writing another post. I read about Aarushi and her ill fated media tryst and take out my angst onto wordpress by writing yet another post. I sit conveniently in the calm comforts of my electrically heated bed and write about people I can’t help. I talk about rapes- but have I researched what’s actually happening to women in Gulf countries or Asia? I talk about elderly not doing a thing for my own mother who is alone in India. I talk about Aarushi and let some perverse people find a way to write their even more perverse ideas about horrible things and do not even attempt to moderate them in honor of Freedom of Expression. Am I ethical?

I see a larger than life Shahrukh talk superfluously claiming that how his son was upset when he couldn’t see a match and how he bought a whole cricket team for him to relish! Now you people – who treat him ahead of god can be kind enough to tell me a single just a meagre quote from this man about his daughter? Wait he has a daughter- oh yes he does…But does he ever talks about her? No…never. Way to go King Khan our Indian hero- you’re perfect ambassador to support Female Foeticide cases in Harayana or Punjab. Wait a minute- but you need to charge a crore for that..no you can’t do that..but shell out a few crores more and you can prance around in your underwear in a glitzy Page 3 private party. So why don’t we leave the ambassadorship of Polios and Female Foeticide to Aamir Khan and Mr. Bachchan and then malign them by blog-wars? Or why not smoke a cigarette in public and set an example to youngsters to take light (pun intended) and forget that others exist. So back to square one- Is he ethical?

A team in Olympics works hard and manages to win a bronze medal and we get to read about it in the sports section right under the major write up on Irfan Pathan’s love life all revealed on Orkut. A Police Officer stresses that Shruti was found in OBJECTIONABLE state totally unaware of even the poor girl’s name and dares to speaks this in front of hungry carnivorous reporters. An actor takes a cool cheque for two crores to endorse a cola brand and a physically challenged Pullela Gopichand declines few thousands to endorse a cola brand saying it’s not good for children’s health. The actor gains publicity and is seen on billboards and Pullela is lost in his own loop of same picayune excuse- Ethics. Is the actor/Police Officer/Reporter/Media ethical?

You take it from here my friend. Congratulations for coming so far till the end for this is a heavy dose post not a page 3 gossip or some perverse tips giving post. You must have felt something too or had a connection with my inner callings….still you will head straight out of this browser window and open Orkut/Facebook/MySpace/Gtalk/Yahoo/MSN/Skype and talk repeatedly- ‘Sup? Aur Batao? What’s new ‘; without even bothering to let your inner calling grow and make you aware or even write a line about it here assuring me I am not insane to write this. Here my friend the question is – ‘Are you Ethical?’ Think about it and if you know the answer then for my sanity’s sake drop a line or two.

Thanks!

Orkut V/S Facebook


Lets admit-we all are bitten by the networking site virus. Be it hi5, friendster, yaari, myspace,orkut or facebook….we do have an account on either one of them or two of them.

I opened my account on Orkut after much much pushing by my friends who thought if I wasn’t on Orkut I was out of the circle of friends !!!! duh huh…. Well being a QA person my first thoughts on Orkut were- BUGS BUGS BUGS & BUGS. My god the biblical version of Orkut was full of bugs and had several cosmetic issues. It was pain even to scrap a person because one had to first open a person’s profile and then the scrapbook to scrap. Orkut improved once adopted by Google. It still suffers from several issues-like it still can’t count (there are various communities standing testimonial to this fact, it allowed no album like structures for photos, it allowed to upload only 10 photos, there was no option to crop the display picture, there were no updates available and the serious of all- Security and privacy issues.

But even above all this Orkut has changed my life-thanks to it I landed up in NZ meeting my soulmate! Still it has given me pains several times. Till today when I very enthusiastically plan to add the latest pictures on my album-I hate doing it one by one, I hate the order it presents the photos, I hate it how I have to individually delete each and every picture, I hate it as it doesn’t allows to tag people and so many more. I hate how incorrectly it counts- number of my friends, my fans and my communities. One day I was frantically searching for a particular scrap which is another pain in the neck-cause it simply doesn’t allows you to sort your scraps friendswise. I started from the last and kept clicking previous and previous but after 2-3 clicks it simply denied to show me anymore previous scraps and kept taking me to the first page of my scrapbook.

 

Joining Facebook was entirely a matter of being in touch with my pals and cousins who stayed abroad. And I joined it like a confused kid on her first day at school. The obscure applications baffled my mind, the zillions of notifications got on my nerves and I just used it to send a Wall message to my friends. Slowly slowly I got addicted to it-the cool applications proved an instant timepass telling me stuff about myself and my friends, the Likeness application told me how much similar I was with so many of my pals, the quiz helped me prove my winning streaks, the crazy Flixster and iLike application took me by my heart.

Orkut is orkut-it does have its own charm for being the pioneer in India, for revolutionising the concept of networking sites. It encouraged so many dorks to get hooked onto internet. But it did give way to many notorious activities and pervs out there-the guys with weird english sending even weirder add requests. And how can I forget the sad cases of Adnan Patrwala or Koushami Layek?

Sample this one from my last pages of scrapbook-

u r beautiful then aishwarya rai not other girl will be challenge u in orkut . can u become my good friend if u thnen pls contact me at abc@iabcdggjgjgngjgr.com.
because only u are very very beautiful girl in orkut i have not seen any other girl like u all girls are lower then u .

THANKS xxxxx xxxxx

🙂 😉

Facebook is safer, orkut is more desi cause it has all my Indian pals there. I just wish Orkut takes security issues to the top most priority and finds ways to fix the several numerative bugs it has. Technically the difference is in just pure aspx coding and the php. But as the end user- my rights make me ask for more security and privacy.

Hope Orkut people listen to numerous users like me. And for those out there who haven’t checked out Facebook yet-do it…agree its American in all its way-but it has its own charm! Trust me.