The Changing Face of Women


LightBearer
Originally uploaded by lighttripper

This photo was taken by Lighttripper in Jhansi when we had gone there for a wedding in our family.

Coming from Delhi, this was the first time when I saw women being a part of any Band Party and carrying  heavy lights on their heads. Traditinally, it has always been a “man’s job” so to say and that is what had struck me.

I don’t know if I should be happy about the fact that women afterall are getting into jobs which were otherwise known to be as man’s forte and thus becoming financially independent.

The question is why are women taking up these petty jobs?

I guess one reason could be inflation.

Single income is not enough to make the ends meet hence women (even if they don’t want) take up whatever comes to their platter and it is all the more safe for a woman to work with other family members or husband in a big city.

It is good to know that with two incomes the standard of life may increase, the children will get education and thus be smarter and aware but does the income of the wife (woman) bring her any independence or not is still to be seen becuase who knows at the end of the day the husband is taking all the money from her for alcohol.

But her job definitely is bringing her more confidence to face the world and an option to walk away from a bad marriage becuase she is not at all dependent on her man any more. However, single women that too from villages or without a man as her guardian has a difficult road ahead to pave because our men have a long way to go interms of mental liberation.

But the Colour is the Same no Madam

How silly is the business sense of Bangalore? 

To make our 1st Valentines special, I went to “Floral Designs” on 42 Vittal Mallya Road, to order flowers to be delivered to my husband. 

I was asked to place the order on 12th itself because of Valentines rush. So I did as was asked, made the payment and kept waiting for my husband’s phone call on 14th

Feb. 14th Feb:-  Vinayak calls me to thank me for the flowers. I ask him, “what flowers have you got”? 

He says, “5 pink roses and 5 white carnations.” 

But I asked for 10 pink carnations and 5 white carnations, not roses. 

Disappointed I call up their number 080-22997444. The phone was answered by a girl. What followed after that is comical.  

I called up the person who was to deliver flowers. 1st the call was handed over to this girl who could hardly speak English (this girl is talking on phone to an irate customer and that is me).  I tell her that I ordered for 10 pink carnations and 5 white carnations and they have sent roses.  

She replies, “uh….oh….mm…am….” 

I repeat myself by paraphrasing my sentence in 5 different ways thinking something will get inside her skull.

Her response still is, “oh..um…am…mm…” then she gets the idea of “tarkaoing” or getting rid of my call by saying, “What is your number madam we will call you back”.  To this I scream at her, “Why do you need my number?” 

And then she sets an exemplary example of Bangalore’s customer service  She hangs upcan you believe that? 

I call up again, this time asking for a manager or a supervisor straight away… She says, “No one is here”.  I tell her, “Give the phone to someone who can at least talk”. This hurts her ego, she says a loud YES. I say, “What yes? I don’t think you can talk”. 

She gives the phone to a man. I tell my story to him  again that I asked for carnations and you sent roses.  

He replies, “Today lot of order mam that’s why confusion”. 

I tell him, “This is your job.  You can’t expect me to accept your mistake”He says “Sorry sorry, give me your number I will check and call back”. I scream at him and say, “What will you check when I am telling you roses have been delivered.  This is the 1st time I have used your services and I am disappointed”.  

The man  says sorry and says something really funny. He says, “But the colour is the same no madam?” To which I lose my temper and say, “I ask for cabbage you give me cauliflower and say the colour is the same na madam? But isn’t it a different vegetable?” 

He says, sorry again and I say, “Thank you very much” and keep the phone down. 

His logic was, give me Sita or Geeta, how on earth does it matter? After all both have holes.  

This incident is not the 1st of its kind. Bangalore has a long way to go in terms of business sense and customer service. 

The burning example is the attitude of the Autowallas, on which I have already written a blog post. The CCD that you visit anywhere in Bangalore deliver your order on the table and give you the bill with it without bothering to find-out if you would want something else.  They don’t mind giving 100 bills and (thus waste paper) if you order 100 times but it is like a way of saying, “have your coffee fast and fuck off.” (at-least that’s how I would like to interpret it) 

Go to any hi-fi restaurant, to compete with Delhi Mumbai, they will have an elaborate menu, but ask them something from the menu, their usual response is, “we don’t have it ma’am.” (If you don’t have it why do you have it on the menu”?) 

Recently I went to buy sarees for my wedding but the shops that I went to were least interested in showing their stuffs to me. And when I talk of ‘them’ I am talking about places like, Deepam, Nalli etc on M.G. Road. Later I bought sarees worth 13,000/- Had it been Delhi, Kolkata, there comes complimentary  gift packing of saree, fall stitching and Tea or Coffee or soft drinks with a bill of that huge an amount. 

The tele marketing calls that I get also comes from people who can not even talk in either English or Hindi and they are sitting there to sell products. (how on earth does HDFC, SBI, Barclays etc think that they are going to get customers when the tele caller can’t even speak properly)

I with my friend were served fried rice in a restaurant in Vasanth Nagar which had cockroach. In Delhi, as a customer service gesture, a shop keeper will not charge you the money for that item and will replace it for free.  Here we had to fight with the restaurant owner with the bill. (Off-course we simply walked out without paying)

This post is going to continue because I am kind of on a mission to name all those people who cheat people (customers). In case you faced any such bad customer service or cheating please leave your story in the comment section.  

01-Feb-08




TeaGarden

Originally uploaded by lighttripper

Life is full of surprises. My birthday this year became the most memorable birthday ever. Thanks to Vinayak. This was the first time that the birthday celebration started from 31st Jan 11:45 p.m. and lasted till 3rd February.

The celebration started much before when we went to get our puppy on the 29th of Jan. I have always been fond of dogs and was pestering Vinayak for one. To my happiness, Vinayak also loves dogs. He was planning to gift me a puppy on my birthday but could not do so. So we went to RT nagar to pick a lab puppy on 29th Jan but did not bring it home because Vinayak told me that we will not be in town for the weekend. We were too excited none the less.

31st Jan:- We were watching Om Shanti Om at home, when at 10:00 p.m. the door bell rang to my surprise because I was not expecting anyone. I opened the door to see Sanju, who came with 3 pastries and sandwiches from our favorite joint “Sweet Chariot Cafe”. Both Vinayak and Sanju said sorry to me for not getting a birthday cake but I was happy anyway, because this had come out of the unexpected. Never in my life I celebrated my birthday at midnight.

At 11:20 p.m. the bell rang again, and I again wondered who could that be? It was my cousin Soma Di with a broad grin who stood there with 2 5star chocolates in her hand.

Vinayak was all bouncy and excited and was eagerly waiting for the clock to strike 12 so that the date changes to 01 Feb and he could start the party. I was touched by whatever little, big, significant, not so significant each of them had planned for me.

By the time Om Shanti Om reached the end, it was 12 already. The 3 pastries were decorated with bananas, corn flakes and small candles were put on it. I was called to do the honors and was taken by surprise when Vinayak took out a big chocolate cake which he had hidden in the Wine closet.

I cut the cake, got smeared with cake. Loved it all. Since I had cake allover, I had to go upstairs to wash my face when Vinayak asked me to look under the bed cover. I removed the bedcover to discover there were cards kept, neatly laid with serial numbers and hand written notes. Each card had a message of how much Vinayak loves me. The 6th card had a beautiful pendant hidden inside which Vinayak had picked up for me and the 7th card startled me with a song “because you are gorgeous” We both laughed and I remained in his arms for sometime.

Then we all sat down in the lobby and decided that we all should have a theme song so that in case we also get re-incarnated we should have a song that will help us identify each other when sung. 4 pf us brainstormed and came up with a nasty song, which has been circulated to many of you. The orchestra consisted of Vianyak on a “Ek-Tara”, Shoma Di on a gramophone speaker, Sanju on a discarded guitar and laptop and me on a “Bang-Baddo” which is a wooden frog with a wooden stick. The concert continued till 3 a.m. and we had put all the street dogs to silence.

01Feb, 08:- Morning started with phone calls from all of my in-laws. Wishing me one by one. My parents also wished me. Reached work at 10:30 a.m. The day passed quickly. In the evening Vinayak had invited few of our close friends to Hypnos, a Mediterranean lounge. I was wearing a Maroon dress which looked nice and I think I also looked good. Though, Sunil kept saying that I looked small, I don’t know what does that mean? We drank, ate, teased Sunil and Danny and at 11:45 p.m. was asked to stand on the table of Hypnos, by Sunil. I got up on the table and then everyone started singing “happy birthday to you” The staff joined in the chorus along with the other guests in the restaurant. It was fun and something I had never done before.

2nd Feb 2008:- Vinayak woke me up at 6 a.m. and we got ready as Vinayak’s surprise was still on. He asked me to guess the name of the place where he was taking me. I took all the names that I knew and was finally taken to a beautiful tree house in Wayanad, Kerela.

A cozy tree house, a small romantic place where 2 people madly in love can do naughty things. In the evening, Vinayak lit up the entire place with aromatic candles and opened a bottle of champagne. What followed after that is very personal and private.

3rd February:- We checked out and went to see tea gardens of Wayanad and started our homeward journey.

All the way, I kept falling in love with this man, who was driving me back. I told him that he made my birthday a memorable one and he makes my life so beautiful. Something he does not know is, my parents used to celebrate my birthday with a lot of fanfare till I was a kid after that it was always me calling my friends over, treating them. But never did I got to feel special on my birthday. Vinayak is the first person who made it so special. I had a wonderful time of my life after 20 years.

Sanju and Kreeti kept their G talk status message reserved for me that day for the entire day. Sanju thoughtfully got a card and a very cute gift for me. Shoma Di kept a nice surprise in my bedroom. Ammo, our maid, got me a rose and a chocolate. Vinu, Tanika called me to wish at 12. Sunil, Danny took time out to be there for me. Ansi took time out and called, after so many days, just to wish me. You guys really made my birthday very very special.