Third time unlucky with Airtel

Despite hearing so many stories about Airtel being good at customer service and more such, I may be a part of a few unlucky who always received the short end of the stick. The first two times it was with the Internet and now it is with their dish TV. For Internet, the first time they took my money and never got back to me. It took me a few phone hours and countless recitals of the details of my request to convince them that I indeed made the payment and never got any response back. I did get my cheque back but after a couple of months. The second time they took 15 days to respond on the feasibility of the connection and by that time I had already taken the lesser of the two evils - Reliance.

Now it is the DTH connection, and it is turning out to be an endless wait yet again. I am searching for the call center number for ICICI to block my payment and cancel my connection. I hope that doesn't turn out be another painful series of music tones I hear while I get my call transferred to the 'relevant' department (which I am sure doesn't exist).

I hope everyone else has a better luck with them.Let me get back to dialing 1800...


I am convinced that I look really gullible after being attacked by folks from amway thrice in my life. I have nothing against them and I think they are doing good for themselves but its funny that they are so easy to spot and predictable. After the first encounter, I almost felt like asking if the person is from Amway the moment he asked for my phone number, but I stopped short. He almost proved me wrong by never reaching out to me again until one day after three years I get a call from him (yes I did save all their numbers and I remembered them). The third time, I did the rude thing, the next day as soon as I got a call from the friendly guy I asked him if he is by any chance associated with bww and it ended abruptly.

They are all trained by Britt World wide and use a template based approach to (s)talking

- They will always stalk you in a mall in the checkout queue or a book shop or on a road on the pretext of asking for directions.
- They will find a way to complement you - your job or your clothes(?) or anything at all.
- Then they will ask for your phone number and promise you to keep in touch.
- Then wait for x amount of time before they will call you with a business plan for which they are looking out for ambitious young people like you. This x varies from one day to up to 3 years based on my experience

They tend to oversell their idea to the point that they make rudeness the easiest alternative, which I haven't tried.

Also, there is a flaw in their basic advice that it is easy to sell stuff to friends and family. In fact it is the worst thing you can do for your relations. The moment you exchange money with your relatives or friends you start on a journey to screw your relations.

While dealing with your relatives in the domain of lending/borrowing, here is the sequence of events in increasing order of disastrous-ness.

- Lend without charging interest and never ask it back. Not even a possible time line
- Lend without interest and ask it back
- Not lend any money
- Lend and charge interest (doesn't matter less than the market rate)

These experiences have made me really suspicious of any stranger trying to make small talk with me any more.

Captains in the fray

So many times has Sachin been accused of not playing when required and most of the times the exercise of determining whether his playing well was required or not happens at the end of the match when all is done and dusted. I don't think today was the day when he was required to play given its not a final/qualifier/do_or_die situation. In any case, Ind - SA match is going on and our current captain and potential future captain are playing against a tough target. Let's see what comes out of it. Hope my cynicism is proved wrong.

IPL is Back (Auction)

It is a self sustaining nuclear reaction now and things can only get bigger in years to come. When IPL came in the first year, it kind of caught me unawares and by the time I could predict or analyze what will happen to it or whether I will like it or not, I got sucked in the whirlpool of DLF maximas, cheer leaders and KKR's mysterious ways.

This time, I got hooked to the auction even though I missed the meaty part due to my uber-lazy Saturday routine. All these years we have seen people changing. We have seen Mandira Bedi turning from a bimbette asking cute questions about cricket to an 'expert' talking about all rounders, consistency and conditions. Gaurav Kapoor and Sameer Kochhar are joining the rank of Arun Lal in doling out bullshit. It was so lame when they would comment for 20 seconds after every auction saying the same things in different words. They were surprised that Ganguly and Lara had no takers even though post auction analysis they shamelessly said that was as they had predicted. They can actually be hired to run some of the corporate meetings, press conferences where they have to talk about the great works of the team and the long way to go and some such.

Neeta Ambani came in her corporate avtaar in her black rimmed padaku glasses to give you an impression that she was the one who developed models to decide on the players to bid for. Siddhartha Mallya was pretty animated in his expressions and was showing surprises at Vijay Mallya's actions as if he was really getting what was going on.

One of the other things I like about IPL is that it puts India at a place it should be, a place of might and power. No longer are Indians at a disadvantage just for being Indian. At the risk of sounding xenophobic, most of us attribute our job to the currency arbitrage or at least that is the perception, but not in IPL. All are paid in the same denomination and yet being an Indian places you at an advantageous position.

The auction numbers reek of a valuation bubble, even more than Facebook :) Not sure when people will make the money they are hoping for. More on that later, maybe. Few interesting numbers that came out of the auctions were for Angelo Mathews and Saurabh Tiwary, who went for more than 60 times their previous prices and Gambhir went for a whopping 11 crores, highest ever in IPL and there are a few more. I am waiting for cricinfo to do some stats pieces on the auction. However, none of this means that Gambhir is a greater player than every other, hell, he is not even in the top 3 in his own team. It's just a matter of chance and reasserts what Warren Buffet has always said -"Tide is always more important than the swimmer"

It is still some time before it actually starts, but it definitely is off to an excellent start, yet again.

Economics of my dhaba

My dhaba has different menus for eating in and take away. Now, conventional wisdom would suggest if you are ordering a take away it should cost less unless you are giving away containers which cost. My dhaba does no such thing yet the cost of eating in is less than the takeaways. The only explanation I could think of was that having more people on the dhaba is good for business. Strange as it is, I am still stuck given that it is the most convenient.


Here comes another customary new year post as cliched as the phrase "Time flies by so fast".  For those who say time flies very fast, I would ask what is their benchmark. Would you like a year to last two or what?

So, in an attempt to break the cliche, I don't have any new year resolutions like every other year. I am not a big fan. However, it is nice to have things like new year. They are like commas in an endless sentence called life. It will be really hard to make sense had it not been for these breaks.

For me 2010 will be known as an year of insignificance, which isn't bad even though it does sound so. Saving more details on this for my autobiography ;) so in a way you are lucky having escaped the boring details for now.

Lets see what I have in the next year, like every other year Bejan Daruwala says this will be my year. Had it been him writing my destiny, I would be Barack Obama or Siddharth Mallya. Since I am neither of the two, I hope to go about my business as usual enjoying the little break on the pretext of new year. For, tomorrow is another day.