Sunday, December 31, 2006

The New Year Beckons!!!

The Dawn of a new begining!
I wish all my friends (online/offline) merry x'mas and happy new year!!!

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hello THIS is customer care...

Statutory warning: The probability of you confronting with a similar situation, described below is unity if u are a Hutch user!!!

I finally am spilling out all the filth that I had suppressed within me, for the past 3 days. With exams round the corner, it was a wise decision. I have finally managed to pull some time off to key this issue and share with u all the unshared agony in mine.

It was a minute past 12:00 AM on 25th of DEC, 2006 ... I was busy messaging R, updating her abt the status of my exam preparation. The day had witnessed some ruthless messaging by me and naturally the free sms count was nearing zero. Unaware of an an unforeseen 'calamity', that stood hiding to strike my account balance really hard, I kept messsaging. As usual, I got the reports from hutch abt the prev call/msg details. Since it usually costs me .5 Re/- per msg after finishing my 100 sms quota per day, I paid little heeds to the post delivery report. But soon I realized that the reports were texted differently. There was something fishy about it!!!

There u are ... I checked my account balance, only to find that every message sent to any local network was costing me 1 Re/- I uttered, "What the hell?". Without any delay, I called up the Hutch customer care (I doubt if they really do care?), to enquire regarding such an unprecedented action. I really was fuming coz, my current balance wasn't really enticing. Finally after 10 mins of continuous attempts, my efforts paid off and I got connected to the Hutch customer care (or rather don't care...).

Here is exactly what the convo went like, with the customer care execute -u ....

CC: "Hello sir, this some 'XYZ', how may I assist u?".

Me: "I wanted to know why I am being charged Re 1/- for every message I sent from 12:00 AM onwards."

CC: "Sir, (watch his words) we have been directed by the TRAI, to bill every message sent to any local network on national holidays @ Re 1/- to avoid 'congestion'. So every message sent from ur cell to any local network, will cost you Re 1/-"

Me: Phew! (Hey wait.... I have heard of this word , 'congestion' in computer networks and I know something abt it...). I was very irritated and so continued to bug him. I said, "Well, in that that case the TRAI should have imposed the same regulation on other GSM/CDMA service providers as well, isn't it?"

CC: Yes sir, (quite confidently) its true. This billing applies on all the national holidays, to all the service providers from here on.

Me: "Okkk!" Though not fully convinced, I didn't have any other source to cross check the veracity of his claims.

CC: "Sir is there anything you would like to know?"

Me: I uttered, quite subtly, "No thats enough for the day!"

CC: With his stereotyped concluding statement, "Thanks for calling HUTCH ...." I literally disonnected the call, coz I knew I wouldn't have a gr8 day ahead !!!

Now to the investigation phase of it.

I did a bit of enquiry with all my friends, the next morning, who have subscribed to different service providers (That covers providers from 'karlo duniya mutthi main' to 'Aisi azadi aur kaha?'). I was really shocked to know that none of them had been billed (or rather bullied) as per the so called TRAI regulations!

Now thats so cheap! Mind you, u can't have employees @ Hutch customer care passing on this 'bad news' (which is nowhere close to truth) to all ur subscribers and fooling them all the way! I decided I had enough of it...

Now why I am so much worried abt? Is it suchha big crime to hike the billing on spcl occasions to aid smoothening of traffic? Is it not the 'real' way of providing customer care? Blah Blah....

Thats enough of a substantiation! I got a few questions to Hutch as well. Lemme c if they are liable to any satisfactory answer?

1. If they are so very concerned about customers, then they should have intimated to all their subscribers a priori, regarding such a change in billing, probably with a note for the reason to do so. They bug me with all sorts of crap messages abt contests and others. Why did they not do it similarly regarding the change?

2. Why was I lied about the TRAI's false regulations imposed on all service providers?

3. If their networks aren't able to handle the projected traffic on a given busy day, I say, "F**K off" with ur service, who the hell needs it? Call it off, its more of a trouble than a service!!!

4. If other subscribers india can give the desired service, on even the busiest days, without having to layoff or deviate from their billing norms considerably, why can't Hutch do it?

5. If Hutch is so customer centric, it should have ensured that its floating user traffic was well within congestion levels or atleast close to a good QOS, even on so called national holidays, when its most needed! (mostly to wish ur near and dear ones).

6. If Hutch customer care executives can mislead its subscribers so convincingly, the days are not far, when the customers will switch over to other service providers, who are on their toes to grab the pulse of the market!

With reports around that Hutch is on an offering and there are powerful bidders going for it, I just hope to get a better QOS in the future.

PS: My final take on this issue. A couple of days from now, the new year celebration will be in full swing (precisely after 12:00 AM, on Jan 1st). Now i just hope, I don't get the same crap reply from the CC, "Sir, its a National Holiday blah blah....!", after wishing my friend a happy new year!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Examination Blues!!!

Finally pulled some time off and managed to give my blog, a whole new look :) My previous template seemed to have flooded with 'too much content' or rather links. So just wanted to give my blog a bit more simple and easy to read look!!! It was always @ the back of my mind to switch over to a 3 column template, which i finally have done.

How cruel is this winter?

You gotta prepare for exams when ur mind just simply refuses to remain awake! With eyes drooping and body aching to death, u are forced to slog all thru the night. Thats a tough ask, when the winter has 'cold fired' from all quarters and nights are chilling exponentially!!!

Having said that I am haunted by the so called 'exam phobia' or rather 'exam-perfomo-phobia'; which often has brought the best out of me, I hope I extract the most out of it. Nights metamorphose in to the wee hours of the morning and u still remain firmly slouched in to ur study chair, with ur TBs.

Oh God F1 all of us!!!

My cellphone inbox daily gets ameliorated and @ times cluttered with all sorts of 'anti-vtu' msgs. But then I feel it's a sort of liberation one gets, a sense of expelling the built in 'energy', that one accumulates, over the period of study(?) holidays; by constantly forcing oneself in to the textboks.

Given the fact that many books come out of the shelves and drawers (a few from the book stalls), only during Nth minute of the examination, the above senario of night-outs, is not much of a surprise. What better can be a testimonial, than ur friend receiving ur call (after a single ring) even @ 3:00 AM.

The funniest thing being ppl, outta here run over to M's xerox shop, just in case to find out if he has got any new VTU book of any of the subject! The prescribed books for sure seemed to have failed to entice atleast 75% of my friends outta here. Well I can't really blame them for, its the time factor thats limiting them :)

Everyone is slogging and what am I doing?

Gotta push buddies!!!

"Please hold on OS... I will be @ ur service shortly!!!"

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Ek choti si SMS!!! (Sweet message service)...

I finally upgraded to blogger beta!!! So here is my first post on Blogger Beta!

Got this one from R. Found pretty nostalgic and hence posted it here. Cruising to the fag end of 7th semester, in the final year, reminded of my stay here @ BIET, davangere. Its literally been my own story (mostly), verbalized poetically...

Kuch baatein bhuli hui,
Kuch pal beete hue,
har galti ka naya bahana,
aur fir sabki nazar main aana,
exam ki poori raat jagna,
phir bhi sawal dhek ke sir khujlana,
mauka mile to class bunk karna,
phir dosto ke saath juice peene jana,
uski ek jhalak dhekne college jana,
dekhte dekhte attendance bhool jana,
har pal ek naya sapna,
aaj jo tute phir bhi apna,
ye college ke din,
in lamho me zindagi ji bhar ke ji lo,
yaad karke in palon ko,
phir zindagi bhar muskuralo.

PS: With exams due to start from 28th (Theory extrnls), and labs on 13th and 22nd (Seem to be quite an onerous task ahead....). I w'll be posting articles less frequently... Till the next post enjoy the nice little SMS :)

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Monday, December 04, 2006

SRK hits chota parda with SRK - KBC

The King Khan of Bollywood to step in to the shoes of BIG-B.

Kaun Banega Crorepati—scrumptious fodder for those addicted to the idiot box is returning back this time with the Bollywood’s biggest brand name Shah Rukh Khan.

While the much hyped quiz show is going to be a respite from lackluster saas-bahu saga on television, Star Plus is counting big time on KBC to rake in big moolah.

KBC 2 anchored by Amitabh Bachchan charged the sponsors over Rs 3 lakhs for a 10 second spot and around Rs 20 crores for each episode. This time with Bollywood’s hottest star Shahrukh Khan making appearance on the small screen, the stakes are going to be even higher.

KBC 3 will have 104 episodes and for each episode Khan will be paid around Rs 30-50 lakh. With such high figures and even higher popularity, the sponsor and spot rates on the show are bound to inflate. Star is counting big time on SRK’s charm to woo the advertisers.

"Next week we are meeting clients in Delhi and Mumbai. We will tell them about the details of the show. KBC is back four times a week from Monday to Thursday 9 to 10 pm with Shahrukh Khan in it. We are expecting a huge premium out of it," Star Entertainment India CEO, Sameer Nair said.

The show will go on air from January next years and will be slotted between 9 to 10 pm, for days a week. The channel heads say that the show timings have been positioned keeping in mind the cricket World Cup that starts in March next year.

However, with previous sponsors Nokia and LG having already invested Rs 20 - 45 crore on cricket, will KBC sponsorship run into rough weather? Is it going to be tough for the show to find big-ticket sponsors?

"KBC is certainly going to be a big thing in 2007. Post cricket it would be on top of our priority but a lot depends on the TRP’s it will be able to deliver. Since Shah Rukh Khan anchoring it, of course it will rank high but at the same time it might conflict with the brands he has endorsed," LG Marketing Head, Sandeep Tiwari said.

Star has converted the show to an annual seasonal one with a 13 week run. And with a brand new 5-year contract with former owner Celador, Star seems willing to bet on KBC for a long run.

PS: I am sure there is huge expectations from King Khan. First it was the Don, now KBC. Dunno whats next? Welcome back SRK!

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Re-(don't) view - DHOOM 2...

L to R: We all Suck in the exponential order!

The week before was spent in depression and this week in utter sleeplessness, courtesy my proj guide and internals. Literally ye dono ne to mera din ka chain aur rato ki neend uda di hai! Bhagvaan, is pyare se bandhe par kuch to rehem ka!!! I never should have made such a decision to watch this utterly hyped, desperately disappointing, mo-wee(p) called DHOOM-2. Why did I watch? (actually I just saw it...).

It was the joint impact of the happiness of having discovered that K had got back his pen drive, which was supposed to be lost, with me allegedly being the cause of it. The other big news was, tomorrow we got CIP (a crap subject!). Now thats a perfect time to schedule a prospectus hangout for a matinee show. We were 7 of us. K, S, G, V, M, J and myself. We had huge expectations from D-2.

Just to remind readers outta there, that the author resides @ a place which is semi-urban cum semi-rural cum semi-local cum semi-global village cum city called Davanagere, located @ the heart of Karnataka. So a movie @ Aruna, which is precisely 0.74536633% of a PVR version outta here (It does offer you a G class sort of thing, but only for VIPs).

Enough of the prelude, lets get to the crux of the post. I had read this review of D-2, initially I felt that the author had just exaggerated too much, but man you were damn right!

It didn't take more than a few minutes for me to judge the fate of the rest of my journey @ the theatre. But the kind of optimist I am, I didn't give up so soon! We slipped in to the seats A-32 to A-37, and me literally sandwitched b/w S and M. We were seated quite far off from the nearest fan, so it was gonna be a tough show ahead. I must say that, a few gals in front of my seat had a bit of a prob with the seating arrangements, so they shared a seat! Boy, a big big blunder, as the duo soon realized...

The movie finally began after a short trailer of Kabul express (check this one out, seems worth a balcony, @ PVR). I have got very specific comments on a few scenes of D2, so shall re-view them specifically. Here we go...
  • The crown robbery sequence, where Hrithik (Aryan/Mr.A) is shown performing a few breathtaking stunts. Well you gotta give it to the director, for coming up with succcha crap thing like that! I knew I was watching D-2, but arey Bollywood walo, physics naam ki bhi koi cheez is duniya main hoti he yaar. Koi itni short range se bullet se bach nahi sakta. Koi sand par itni kalai se skate nahi maar sakta and the biggest thing that bugged me @ the end of the seen was, why did all those black suited guys, (The ones whot resemble guys, as in blue star ad...) shoot Hrithik @ his chest or abdomen. Crap! He is a six+ footer dude, atleast one of them could have tried for fore-head or a leg. Hey wait, Hrithik is supposed to be alive, for our hero hasn't entered in to the movie yet! I just held myself from saying WTF, but uttered okkk...
  • Now to the second scene, where Abhishek, allegedly makes a perfect bollywood istle type of entry on the silver screen. By far the scene that contradicts all the laws of physics. Ask me what’s wrong in the scene; well did you observe the trajectory which he makes off in to the air, to brilliantly shoot the so called silly bollywood istyle villains. Boy! he should have come from a min of 50ft- 100ft, below water to get such a lofty trajectory (roughly). And guess what my dear, he is not a dolphin for sure, to make such a thing so skillfully. Again physics ki dhajjiyan udayi gayin he. Okkkk I am neither a physics professor nor a die hard fan of it! But what was he doing under water?
  • After the diamond robbery, I was about to say, wow! But wait... I was again haunted by another physics paradox! Hrithik escapes via a drainage opening (manhole) and @ the other end makes a volcanic eruption sort of entry! Now that’s too much dude... I mean was he fired off his feat, by tying him to Agni missile or what? A good 25ft above the ground, from a good 25ft below! Amazing buddies!!! Again the chase sequence where Hrithik is chased aerially via a helicopter by Abhishek, is yet another crap! Well I must say, that if can't shoot him (Mr. A), with a thing like a sniper or shotgun, you gotta be cooking for ur wife @ ur home and not chasing a super robber (A- that’s the sign, Hrithik leaves behind, after every robbery) like him.
  • The most insane character of the movie? U would unanimously vote for Uday chopra(Ali Akbar Fateh Khan). I know it’s a Yash Raj banner movie, but just to salvage his already drowned career, you can, in no way fit in a clown like him! Does he make you laugh? At some stages, I got convinced that he surely seemed to be a premature pass out Nimhaans, as a patient of course. You will get sick with his idiosyncrasies! His virtual fantasy with Bips, (I will come to her soon...) has been promoted as an ad for a matrimonial site or something like that! Don't get amused if you find any snap from the movie @ the home page of a matrimonial site! The guy ALI is simply wasted in the movie. If he is in the movie, simply for his excellent biking skills, lemme disabuse all your myths, he an utter waste! He doesn’t even get closer to Hrtihik's skate boards, in a chase sequence. Such is his excellence! All in all an utterly disgusting character! U will get sick of his PJs. M almost drowsed off after the interval, not to mention after watching the so called and supposed to be hot scenes of Bips, where the self proclaimed and re-incarnated hottie, makes an unwanted entry is a routine beachwear. Was the directory running short of substance? Or was he utterly confused as many of the viewers?
  • Now to the first new entry of the movie, Bips(ACP Shonali Bose). The viewers know that she is hot, as she herself admits (or rather say in her own way, a bombshell). But gimme a break, it’s supposed to be an action thriller and not a Monday night romantic comedy as in star movies! The way she needlessly hugs Uday (No I am not jealous!!!), and the way the silencer honks @ the back drop! All of them might seem good for the first few times, but u will soon start to get irritated! C’mon the director seems to have judged that anything shown (pathetically) sleazy sells in bollywood. And Uday shud not have been shown as suchhha pervet guys, he really doesn't deserve it. C’mon the guy for sure needs some respect, as he is shown to be begging for one, to the Khadoos (and at times edaaa) ACP Jai Dixit! Apart from her sleazy outfits and faked smiling gestures, Bips was a needless entry!
  • Now to the female version of Hrithik, or as he says, 'Parchayi' (shadow). I must say that, Ash (Sunehiri) has really shed a few ounces of lipids. She seems okies with her typical more of a smirking than a smiling face! The only other character (apart from Hrithik), which shows some maturity in acting. (Well I can't really blame the rest, for the script is so sick... I wud give away another 100 tickets for free if anyone could precisely explain me the exact storyline of the movie!). Ash sells gud in the unnecessary dance numbers. Her only asset to prove her presence in the movie. Given that fact that, she was there to replace Esha deol, she seems to have done her job well. Nothing seemed to end perfectly as an LL with Hrithik. She, at times tries too hard to impersonate Angelina Jolie, of Tomb Raider! But don't even think of it, she is no where close to her... All in all, you gotta bare with her irritating facial gestures, which mostly seems confused!
  • Well as I had mentioned, M got up finally, just 20 min before the movie climaxed. The first thing he utters is, "Lo maams, what happened till now, brief it lightly!” I was about to trash him on spot, but soon got conscious of the so called theatre etiquettes. I just told him, "For god sake, gimme a break, it’s not a serial, that I recap to you the highlights of it. Damn it!". We are watching a sucking movie, paying a gud 35/- bucks (That’s quite an amount, considering the fact that it’s not B'lore PVR theatre, buddies), in the last row of the balcony and here my neighbor comes up with suchaa an irritating stuff. Slouching back in to our seats, that were positioned kms away from the nearest fan, we literally waited for the D-moment of the movie! Finally after that entire chase vaas thing, Jai and Aryan are face to face at the top of an unknown falls! Hey, forgot to tell you ppl. A scene, that probably leaves even a lay man flummoxed as to how is it possible, and that finally made me utter WTF... Aryan takes off from the top of a place, probably a 1000ft high altitude, but he makes sense, the dude has a got a parachute. But what comes on screen next, is something, that will make your heart skip a beat or 2. Our so called able ACP, jumps off from the same alti without parachute !!! (God knows how he gathered suchhaa nerveand courage...). C’mon the scene blows u off ur senses, when he clings on to Hrithik’s back without even the slightest mistake effortlessly! The new bond, Daniel Craig should learn a lesson or two from our ACP yaar. Whaaa maan gaye bheedu, tumne ne to sirf physics ki hi nahi, poori aerodynamics ki hi dhajjiyan udadhi...
  • The final the thing that irritates you too much, even to the extent of forcing you to resort to bombard the silver screen with your shoes or sandals, is a pathetic ending. C’mon dude we were expecting not suchhaa crap littlie thing to happen for the past 2+hrs. No FIR, no ENQUIRY, faisla on the spot. A crap, dialogue from Abhishek, "Chalo pyaar ka case hai, isliye maaf kiya". Would you believe that?

  • The next thing I remember was me walking downstairs. With a numb feet, as they rightly were, for I literally had slouched in to the chair for those 2+ hrs. I could see my friends outside, waiting to watch the evening show. I am sure, they would have gone thru the same exp.
PS: I am worried now, really worried! Wondering, about what? If john Abraham in D1 is replaced by Hrithik in D2, think what D3 would have in store for us. I can't take it anymore. Gimme a break! Plz stop it ppl. S said that TOI (Totally Insane Journal) rated this movie with 4 stars. All I managed to say was, WTF.... Plzzz don't watch Dhoom-2, not even if you have plans to buy a cool bike like those in D2.

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