Monthly Archives: August 2008

Fame Raghuleela Fiasco!

We were all excited about watching Rock On since the reviews were so great. We made a group of about 5 of us forced some of the hesitant ones booked tickets online at the Vashi Fame Raghuleela. There were a lot of seats to choose from so my friend booking tickets choose seats furthest away from the screen and paid online.We reached well on time, picked up our tickets and walked into the cinema hall to find that we have been given front row seats!

The front row seats in the Fame Raghuleela are pathetic… I have seen a lot of movies on the front row but I have never seen such badly placed seats. I don’t know if there is a law on the mandatory minimum distance for the seating to start from the first row….but these seats were literally into the screen.If there is no law and regulatory agencies certifying theatres they should really have some norms on the minimum distance of the first row from the screen. The theater owners would keep on adding rows upto the screen to made money!

Well the girls in the group, were all eager to see “Rock On” with all the hot dudes on screen so adjusting as women are, we were ready to see the movie sitting on the first row….but the boys were indignant on being given the wrong seats despite booking well in advance.

So we too stormed out of the all in support of the boys and demanded for a refund.
We Spoke to the booking staff…they directed us to some other staff and then to the so called “manager” ..let us call him “Mr Rajesh C” who was suppose to be the unit head and he was extremely rude and unreasonable and started blaming us about being wrong and a loud argument ensued with him pointing figers at us and telling us how wrong we were and there are so many people who book tickets online and this has never happned!!
So much for customer service. We were already irritated and his attitude infuriated us!
All we were demanding was give us a credit note so we could watch some other movie. Mr Rajesh had some brilliant ideas. He wanted us to come back for a movie on any weekday Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm! He looked at us as potential customers to fill his off peak hour slot!
After much loud heated discussion for almost half an hour…. Mr Rajesh finally agreed to give us a credit note which said you can redeem this for 5 tickets @ Rs 150 anytime.

We were royally pissed about our movie plans being screwed up and we walked out of the theatre in a huff with the credit note…but not wanting to look at the face of Fame Raghuleela again.

As we stepped out and met some college kids who wanted to buy 12 tickets for a movie on a Monday morning and someone form our group had a brilliant idea to give our credit note to them take our money and get out of the place so we don’t have to come back.We thought it would be a simple enough logical transaction…we had a credit note for 5 tickets @ Rs 150, so that would make a total of 750 and the kiddos wanted to buy 12 tickets @ Rs 70 each which totaled to Rs 840. So we though we would pay the difference of 90 bucks take our money and walk out and never have to come back again.
But lo behold…. Logical! (whats that!)
The credit note which was made 10 minutes back was examined in detail by the booking agents on the counter. They went into their back office area to find Mr Rajesh….but he had disappeared…must have been taking a rest break….after all fighting with customers who have come to have a good time at the movies can be very strenuous. So the credit note written on the back of the ticket was examined by three other people and finally after almost about 15 minutes , Mr Rajesh arrived and we heaved a sigh of relief…now we can finally finish our transaction and move on an rescue what was left of our evening out.
But lo behold…Wait..!! That was not to be…at least not so soon!
Mr Rajesh did not see the logic of the transaction required!!! (How duh!)
He said we could get 5 tickets in lieu of the credit note and not the amount!! And since the kiddos were buying morning show tickets which were cheaper tickets, they could take 5 tickets on the credit note and we would have to forfeit the rest of the amount!!If we were pissed earlier…now we got mighty pissed now!!!! The logic of 5 tickets in lieu of the credit not obviously did not hold true for tickets that were priced higher than what we had bought!!
We demanded to speak to his manager……we could not believe he was actually the person in charge there he was stupid! His boss…lets call him Mr John..was based out of Pune…we demanded to speak to him cause this man was acting ridiculous!
Our Hero called up his boss and explained the situation…I spoke to Mr Manager’s Manger…Mr John….not much use….he gave me some bullshit about the number of tickets matter….I told him that at this point of time I am an irritated customer…and this would effect not only me but 50 other friends of ours…but Mr Manager’s Manager…said he can’t do much…..
I passed the phone to my friend…who told him… “Ok thank you very much for your customer service…please remember to buy the mid-day tomorrow to check out the coverage” (Or something to that effect!) and we once again walked out.
We apologized to the college kiddo’s and told them to go ahead and buy their own tickets and these idiots don’t seem to want to see logic.

We were hanging around near the booking counter, contemplating what to do next and trying to find a group who wanted to buy 5 tickets from the counter for 150 bucks and make them use our credit note and get out of there and never come back!

Suddenly we see Mr Rajesh….coming running out to the booking counters and calling us inside! He was in a mood of a compromise…he did not want to loose us as customers…He was attempting to give us sales talk…and coming up with some stupid options…We told him…..If you don’t want to loose us as cutomers…refund our money….we are so mighty pissed now that nothing else will work….but Mr Rajesh….was unable to gauge our mood and persisted with the sales talk…” No Sir….(suddenly we were respected again!) if refund the money…you wont come back…unless we had to should at him and tell him cut the crap and give us the money back if you want to save face…get your booking counter to use the credit not in lieu of the next 5 tickets they sell…
I think it finally something struck him……(I think it was a return call from his boss)…and he came out an gave us our money back…not without saying… but it was actually your fault..and we are making a major exception your you!! Who makes people like time managers in a customer centric role!
We walked out of the place finally after almost two hours and a lot of argument…..with our evening all ruined…And I looked at Mr Rajesh’s card which had the Fame tag line printed on the back “Fame…Makes my day!” and we all laughed… ironical….
Bottom line: Honestly I don’t know who was at fault….but the way it was handled was pathetic…it was a case of horrible customer service.
Bottom line 2 : We missed the movie but ended up going to a new coffee shop had a nice time!


Filed under Experience /Incident /Activity

Teach India : Week 5 – A Disappointment…:-(

I went all enthused for the Teach India session today after two weeks of holidays (Rakhee /Janamastmi Saturdays) only to be disappointed.
There was some program going on in school and barely any children turned up. So today there were more volunteers than students!!
Since I did not have any students for my session, I decided to make use of my time and see how the others were teaching be a silent spectator and get some ideas. I did get some idea’s from other people and I also realized that I was doing a decent job with the kids!

Some idea’s I picked from other which I plan to use with my kiddo’s next week…

1. Play the shopping game- A role play in which one of them is the shopkeeper and the other a customer. This works well especially if you have girl students.
2. Read the news paper with the kids … One of the volunteers was reading the news paper his kids…I this can be used effectivly to make conversation if it is made into a game!
3. Use activity books like find the word in the maze, easy crosswords etc
4. Read out a story to the kids.


Being a silent spectator is not my natural style I was quite bored and came back home in an hour and slept!

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Filed under Teach India


Been a hectic week…. I am sooo exhausted. Looks like I am getting old. But I managed to put a blog post everyday…not bad na…..

The week that was in very brief…

Late Friday night…preparing for “ I object your honor” and dinner at good old Mac Donnalds!
Early morning last Saturday for “I object your Honor” and late night…dinner at Basalico!
Early Sunday morning….Lonavala
Early Monday morning…Review meeting at work…
Late night at work on Tuesday…don’t even remember why
Very Early Wednesday Morning…reached office by 7.30am
Very late night on Thursday….. extempore meeting on general strategy fart….reached home by 11.30 pm
Long Friday evening…..drove to Juhu from Vikroli for a Rotary Interview..ready to crash to bed…

Plan to CELEBRATE Saturday and sleep all morning…..Thank God for weekends!!! Have a nice weekend!! Good night…

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Filed under Thoughts and Feelings

Dilemma and Confusion!

I am going to be tell you a small story…it is “inspired” from none other then our very own bollywood…and how many of you’ll have watched “Bunty Aur Bubby”….well my story also has two thieves and a policeman….and ofcourse me…!

But since the story is only inspired and not copied…the similarity ends there!

I am gonna talk about…..this man and a women who haunted me for many days and nights….made me think 24/7 ….have puts me through a lot of pain…..god its almost torture….I hate it….but they are still there….this thing…I mean people don’t only bothers me….but also all my close friends….through me..
And you know what…its me who nurtured them….made them grow …

Here’s introducing to you the “thieves” or the bad guys in my story…today…..the monsters who are build in my head… who possesses me when they come….who may with a new disguise every time….and maybe with a different name….but I know the soul is the same….and I think its my fault they come….

u know what I am sure he must be possessing you guys to many a times…and when I introduce him….i am sure some of you will recognize him….

Ladies and Gentlemen here is presenting to you…the bad guys of today’s story…

“Ms Dilemma De-Cruz”

And her Chinese friend


Recognize them..?

Many of you would be familiar with the Chinese guy by the Indian pronunciation of his name confusion and Ms D-Cruz by his first name “Dilemma”

Yes ladies and gentlemen its these are the two things Dilemma and Confusion who rule and ruin my life! And I am fighting a loosing battle to get back some control!

They are born when there are options to choose from…and the .if all options are equally good or Bad….these demons have a field day…

I am a confused soul…..I don’t know what I want out of life…..and I can be very fickle minded….

I have trouble decisions…be it small ones like which topic to speak on…for toastmasters there is soo much to talk on…or big decisions as to which guy I should get married to..(not that there are too many options there to choose form! But still!)….

I’ll share something that happened with me quite recently….

May 29th 2006…I am about to get a release form my ongoing project…I get a call from one of the big bosses saying Singapore is your next assignment….30th May 2006…I get a call from another not so big boss saying Mumbai is an option and then the torture began…I was suffering….and so were all my close friends and any guesses who was the culprit….well not the bosses in TCS that comes latter … it was none other then me myself and my two ghosts …of confusion and dilemma…

I could not decide….weather I want to go to Singapore for an onsite assignment or try for a transfer back home to Mumbai…..both great options…one my first onsite opportunity….short one but still…the other the option to go back home…..something I always wanted to…

I did all the methods from the DAR session I attended in this very room…and spoke to all my friends and seniors…and as expected….came to contradicting conclusions…..would give “Go” higher priority and the other gave “Don’t Go” Higher priority…..people said..onsite opportunity…difficult to get in TCS now grab it…others said…go back home…once you go onsite and come back you will be stuck in hyderbad for a long time to come….what to do I do…confusion and dilemma prevailed strong…as both the options were good in their own way….

So what did I do …thought contemplated and agonized…..but took no action…

and then finally I could take it anymore and complained to the police force to take some action and chase dilemma and confusion away..

There came the policeman “ Mr Dession Demello”…but alas…Mr Decision was too week due to lack of exercise as he has not been called to action too often and every time and could not do much……

Ultimately after almost 2 months of agony…fate intervened to help Mr Decision Demello and removed the options….options were akin to air….for the monsters of my story and thus they died a natural death…and Mr Decision finally overcame the confusion and Dilemma and I was off to singapore and back now standing here and telling you this story!

All worked out well at the end….But at what cost…? Was the mental torture and the uncertainty and the repeated discussions…worth the trouble…maybe not… if only my policeman Mr Decision had been stronger….the demons of confusion and dilemma would not have played on my mind and ruined soo many days of my life…

Ok so what am I going to do about it….? Help Mr Decision to be come stronger…so that next time when confusion and dilemma raise their ugly head…The Police Decision can chop their heads off at the first stage and let peace prevail….

And how am I going to make Mr Desicison stronger….what do u think…well by ensuring he goes to the Gym and exercises ofcouse…

Osho says…take small decisions and stick to them….it helps to strengthen your decisions making capabilities and train you to take bigger decisions and stick to them…

So my excersise are on…!

What I do now is take small decisions and stick to them…like…I will brush my teeth every night before sleeping…or I will have only fruits for lunch for a week…and I will go to the Gym 3 times a week for the next two weeks….

I am hoping my Police Mr Decision becomes stronger…

And when it comes to the next difficult decision of in my life… maybe who I should get married to or which is the next project I should shift to… I fare better then what I did previously…

Just like excising your body…..excising your mind is an ongoing journey…. And as I stand here talking to you the journey continues!

This was a speech I had given long back at a Toastmasters meeting in Hyderabad…I plan to use this as my Project 3 speech at the Mumbai TCS club sometime.


Filed under Thoughts and Feelings, Toastmasters

Early Morning Workshop…

The TCS Toastmasters club organized a two hour Humorous speech workshop starting 7.30 in the morning!!! Crazy is’nt it…who starts a session so early…I guess they they may have though it was a humorous way to begin!

The previous evening on my way back from work…I was contemplating of I should take the trouble to go for the workshop or no…I called up a friend from the club to check who all are coming…and he was like…..”I don’t know…. I am not coming…I think just the organizers and the speaker would be there!”

And I though to myself…chuck it…why take the trouble to get up at 6 in the morning and reach work so early..So I called up the organizers to do some general talk and tell him that I am not planning to come…but he seemed quite enthu and gave me a picture that the workshop would be really good and lot of people have registered etc. So I decided I would get over my laziness and actually try and go for the workshop…and I did!

I generally love workshops….especially if there are the personality development….soft skills types for a number of reasons…
1) Get to meet new people
2) I would like to be a trainer someday….so it is a fun to see different people handle the participants
3) End up learning something new

So since I am an “enthu cutlet” (a slag used by unenthusiastic people of this world for people like me!), I actually reached office at 7.30 for a completely optional session for which the utility was also under dark clouds of suspicion!

I reached office in record time…..15 kms….15 minutes drive end to end! As I pulled into the parking lot….I saw a red color Zen..and then another car and a then a few more! I was pleasantly surprised…Looks like the trainer and the two organizers have arrived with a few of their friends…Thank God I am not going to be all alone!

I stepped into office at 7.30…walked up the stairs to get to my work area…and OH MY GOD….there was a crowd at the reception with two perplexed harried security gourds trying to get entry passes for all those people and wondering what hit them early in the morning…
There were almost 30 people for the session. It may not be a large number by itself, but for someone who was expecting 3 people early morning…it was a shock!

The session per se was not bad! A gentleman called Ajit Kamath who was a corporate trainer was the coach and conductor for the session. The basic objective was to empathize on the importance of non verbal communication to create humor.

It was a normal interactive workshop with group activities.
The key take aways were
1) Weave a story
2) Be descriptive and make the audience travel with you
3) Let the body language be natural
4) Prepare but sound spontaneous

Theoretically I understand everything…..…practically I understand nothing!!

I have signed up to participate in a Humorous speech contest at the club level….I really don’t know what to! Attempting to be humorous can be extremely tricky…especially if you tell your audience…you are going to be humorous!

The bottom line: “Humor is serious business!”


Filed under Thoughts and Feelings, Toastmasters


I got a new book to read today (“Earning the Laundry Stripes” by Manpreet Sodi Someshwar) which was highly recommended to me by someone in my ‘all boys’ sales team…(I am a rookie as far as ‘sales’ is concerned…..enjoying it tremendously for now!)

It seems like an intersting book. If and when I finish reading it I may post my version of the book review here. I have just read the dedication in the begining of the book…and I though it was worth writing about…


This book is for

Who taught me to dream
Who keeps those dreams alive
Who is a dream come true


I though this was so beautiful and it simply sums up life…
— ———————————————————————————————-
Your parents teach you to dream…
Your partner is someone who keeps those dreams alive…
You have a baby who is like a dream come true!!
So people go out there and dream…..”The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams” …and may all your dreams come true!!!




Filed under Thoughts and Feelings

Dropped my Phone….

Today looked like my lucky day… I managed to hitch a ride with boss while going and coming back from work. Boss dropped me at a spot close to home near his ‘sutta shop’ and I got into a rickshaw to go home. Half way home I digged into my bag to sms a friend and realized my phone was not in the bag anymore! I clearly remembered putting it in the outside pocket….but I checked all the various sections in the bag in vain…L My phone was no where to be found…!!
I told my rickshaw driver to take a U- turn and we rushed back to the ‘sutta shop’….looked for my phone all over the place…but did not find it…:-( I asked the people standing around and smoking if they had seen the phone. All of them denied seeing it but they were quite helpful and started looking around the place with me.
Someone suggested…”make a call and see if it rings”. Lukilly the ‘Sutta shop’ also had a PCO. Tried calling my phone a number of time but I could not get through…(Dolphin Network!). I finally got through the number…someone picked up the phone…but I could not hear anything…
I tried again….the phone was ringing but no one was picking it up any more. Discussions around the ‘sutta shop’ were gallore…”phone gaya”…”if someone picked up the phone once and is not picking up again…it is not a good sign…
Some of the local ‘men’ around the shop wanted to help this damsel in distress and offered to talk and give ‘dum’ to whoever had the phone…but no one was picking up the phone anymore!!
Finally someone picked up….the phone…I could not hear to clearly….my newly found ‘friends’ came to my rescue to talk to the person who had my phone…and do whatever it takes to get it back!
He spoke with full on josh….”kidhar ho”…”Kaha hai phone” ….and then suddenly handed the receiver to me….
The person at the other end…sounded familiar…he also knew my name….oh my god…it was my boss…I dropped the phone in his car! Thank god! Today was indeed my lucky day!
I don’t have my phone yet…but chances are bright that I will sure get it tomorrow morning!!!
Lesson learnt : Never keep a phone in the outside pocket of your bag!


Filed under Experience /Incident /Activity