Thursday, 21 October 2010
Thursday, 12 August 2010
* Call up their call center
- Promptly attended by a very polite and courteous agent
- Very professionally dealt with the problem
- Card blocked
* Card reissued (earlier than the proposed date, with extra charges)
- Pin issued (earlier than the said date, with no extra charges)
* Call up their call center
- Card activated
* Call up their call center - Prompty attended by a very polite and curteous agent
- Card blocked* Card reissued (later than the proposed date, with extra charges) - Pin issued (later than the said date, with extra charges)* Call up their call center for reactivation - Advised to visit the nearest branch again for reactivation
* Visit the branch
- Promptly attended
- Card reactivated
State Bank of India
I look up on the net for their call center number, two different numbers turn up! One is a toll free and another is a land line number, needless to say, both the numbers were not attended to when called. I get frustrated and go to the nearest branch only to find it deserted. It was apparently lunch time and all the staff had decided to have lunch together and then sit in a corner to yap about their wives/husbands.
After an agonizing wait in a deserted branch with no customers some guy decided to return to his seat. I approach him and tell him the issue, he listens and after much deliberation tell me to call their call center. I prompty tell him that i did but nobody answered, he smiles and says 'lunch time boss!' He dials the toll free number from his desk and hands over the receiver to me. The IVR asks me to press 2 for English, i look up to ask the guy to press the number for me and he is gone! Im stading over a counter with just a receiver expecting somebody to press a number on frikkin phone a good 5 feet away. I hang up and wait, the guy comes back. I ask him to hand over the phone so that i can do the sync without me shouting orders at him to press numbers.
After the usual ritual of pressing a series of numbers, a very sweet girl answers the phone. The conversation goes like this:
Girl: Hello, Sheetal speaking. Welcome to SBI, how can i help you?
(without any goddam emotion, am i calling up an escort service for Christ’s sake!)
Me: Hai, my name is Abhishek, i've lost my card can you block it please?
Girl: Give me your accnt number. (idiot!)
Girl: Where are you calling from? (dumbass)
Girl: Which branch? (do I have to ask you all the frikking questions myself?)
Girl: Is T.Nagar in Chennai?
(i realize she is sitting up in Delhi or Mumbai)
Girl (after much thought): What does T stand for?
Girl: Spell it for me
Girl: Im sorry, i dont have anything like that on my system, can you spell it again?
Me: I try again
Girl: Sorry sir, i can block your card only if you give me a correct spelling
Me (dumbfolded): How does a spelling for T categorize as a security setting!! Ask me a personal question on the account for you to confirm. (Only now I realize that the girl is actually asking me a Security question)
Girl: Ok, Give me the bank code for ‘T’ Nagar?
Me: How would I know that?
Girl: Ask the bank guy. (dumbo)
Me: (totally confused) But u said it was a security question?
Girl: (agitatedly) Sir, can you please give me the bank code?
I ask the bank guy for the code of T nagar branch and he promptly hands over a sheet to me with all the branches of SBI in India. I filter through 100’s of branches of SBI to locate T nagar branch which is invariably listed as Panagal park branch when all the while I was search on branches starting with ‘T’. After much deliberation I manage to find the branch code and tell it to the girl.
Girl: Your card is blocked now. I’ll give u a 13 digit number using which you can reapply for your Debit/Credit cards.
Me: Thank you
Armed with the 13 digit number I visit the T Nagar branch of SBI for reapplying my cards. Invariable i go on a lunch time and wait for the pan chewing ‘almost retired’ uncle to help me reapply. He advises me to fill up an application form situated somewhere between the printers. By the time I find the form and return to his desk, the uncle is gone! I duly fill up the form and wait for another agonizing 15 mins when a ‘I am still young’ maami asks me to leave the form on the table and that she will inform the guy. I thank her and leave.
[2 months later]
I have no clue about my card status……. The wait continues!
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
I sat on the couch and watched my gang of absolutely idiotic friends dance to "My dream is to fly" by Yves Larock. We were at Havana, Raintree hotels, Chennai celebrating friendship and all that comes with it, laughter, fights, jealousy, joy, sharing, crying and the last but not the least the joy of knowing we will there as friends forever.
They danced without a care in this world, the laughter, fun, gossiping, drinking was all so spontaneous. Nothing looked artificial, i could look into all their moist eyes and see the truthful innocent bonding of friendship. We have always been together in spite of the grossly different attitudes we carry as individuals. But the time had come for us to bid our goodbyes and everybody knew that on that very night.
Niteouts were never planned, Blore, Kodai, Pondy was always at a cruising distance. Drinking chai was always an excuse to drive down to Kovalam on the East Coast Road. A planned dinner will invariably be at Moonrakers in Mahabalipuram. A planned niteout will be in Bikes n Barrels and unplanned ones will always be a drinking session on the Besant nagar beach parking lot inside the cramped confines of a car.
As i watched them smile and dance and tease each other on the dance floor my mind went back to the memories and moments which will forever be etched in my memory about this gang. Its the last few days we'll all be together as individual friends. She is getting married, He is relocating to Bombay, She is flying to US and I might relocate to B'lore leaving just one guy stuck in Chennai. In effect we are celebrating the spirit of friendship and separation with equal joy and sorrow respectively.
We will thread different path, each will find his/her own circle again, we will go partying/drinking/dancing again, but for sure....if i would like to dissect my life into phases; I've just lived the best phase of my life, the guys will agree it too on their part. It can never gets better than this. Life is beautiful!!
Friday, 23 April 2010
Soon the needle was inching 190's, the car was gunning for glory with all its mighty 150+ horses going flat out. I realize suddenly there is absolute silence in the car, my passengers are dead silent. The only muffled sound was that of the turbines spinning at a furious pace. I look at the needle, its 200kmph and still there is a lot of road left and strangely the car seemed to kidd me on. It was like a galloping pure bred stallion happy that its caged life is over, moving at a frantic and controlled pace with vigorous enthusiasm which can be easily mistaken for aggression. I could literally hear my heart thumping at a 1000 beats per minute as the meter now read 210kmph and was still on the upward spiral. The Chevy Cruze was infact cruzing to glory. I realize either i have to be completely mad to listen to the car or equally insane to listen to my heart to go further. I decided neither and took my leg off the pedal. The closing meter was 210 kmph and the meter had only another 10kmph left (220kmph)!
As i crawled to a steady 100 kmph i realized driving gave me a better satisfaction than anything else in the world. Also realized, life has to be never taken seriously....you make your choices and dont f*c#$%in look back!!
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
I watched her transfixed and with great interest (obviously!), partly coz she had those mesmerizing eyes which seemed to tell a strange tale and partly coz I had nothing much to do and ogling at a beautiful girl is the best way to kill time. It had to compensate for the train delay , afterall it was already past midnight and my 11:30 pm train was late by another 20 mins.
She caught me looking at a her and I gave a sheepish nod to which she responded with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Having been fully occupied I didn’t notice the train pulling into the platform.
It was when I caught the reaction of the pretty girl in the black dress my heart sank. The same feeling when you fail for the first time, when you hear a terrible news, when you drink and end up calling your ex-girlfriend (and repent in the very next morning) etc etc you get the drift. The pretty girl picked up her baggage and with a series of animated hand movements mentioned to somebody next to her to help her out with the luggage. Yes, she was probably speech devoid, I stood there frozen, the world seemed to move around me. It was like waking up to a bad dream only to find the dream to be true. It was less than 10 mins back I see this extremely pretty girl all lively and beautiful and now I realize she is speech deprived. How can god create something this very beautiful only to deprive it so something so basic to exist in this world? I’ve always been an antagonist but that day I was an atheist!!