A New Dawn

Hello friends! As you may have noticed I was missing from my blog for a while now. Over the past few days I was busy with my short story. I was writing it for the Amazon Kindle Storytelling Contest 2017. I read about this contest sometime in April when I was in Mysore. I started off writing for the same immediately. It, however, took quite some time to streamline it and take it in a proper way.  I hope to get feedback on the same from all of you.

A New Dawn is a short story. It is not a thriller or mystery. It is just a story of Disha, the girl next door. She is very simple and down to earth homemaker. Then comes in her husband, Sameer. A normal ambitious businessman who travels a lot. Sameer’s frequent trips on business leaves Disha home alone. Is she happy with the way her life is going ahead? Or does she regret living this way?

Only time will tell! So make some time to read this short story to know this relationship of trust, love and lies as it unravels.

Follow the link given above  to download the book on Amazon.

Why are you still sitting here? Rush to read more about Disha and Sameer and how their life goes on.

Do get back to me with your feedback.

Cheers!!!

Note: The Cover Page for the book is created by Mayur Sarma 🙂

My Experience in a Public-Sector Bank

Hi friends! Hope summer is at its peak and troubling all of you equally (insert evil laugh emoji). I have been blogging more about recipes and book reviews these days. I thought it’s high time I blogged about something different. As you guys are aware, I have always shared my personal experiences which have had a lasting impact on me. So here I am today, with one such experience.

Few things are so deeply etched in your head, come what may, you will never forget it. This is one such incident which, how much ever I try I’m just not able to erase from my head. Okay, it’s not like I want to erase it. It’s just too funny. I, generally, avoid going to Public Sector Banks. It is not that I have a bias towards Private Sector banks. It is just that I have always had some sort of lethargic experience at my Public- Sector Bank. It always so happens that either the staff is too lazy to do something I ask for or they are busy in some personal conversation.

Last Thursday, I suddenly realised that I must go to my Bank, come what may, as I had some urgent work. I headed to accomplish the same along with other small things at the same bank. As I entered the bank, I had a funny feeling because all the staff members were out of their seats roaming all over the place within the Bank to my irritation. I wanted to go to my locker. So, I specifically asked for the same. They told me to wait. Then after about ten minutes, a lady started accompanying me to the locker with a lot of pit stops. She was a chatterbox (Okay, people who know me from close also know that I am a big chatterbox as well, but there is a difference between chatting non -stop when you’re free and jobless and chatting when you’re at work). Somehow, I managed to reach the locker with the pit stops and was relieved to be there, when she told my signature doesn’t match. Hmm, there was no difference whatsoever in my signature, but she went to re-check it in the system. Fine, she was doing her duty, I thought. She went all the way without asking my name. She came back with the query – Madam, what’s your name? I answered. She, then, returned with a smile saying – Your signature matches. I don’t know why, I felt it didn’t. It is all system scanned right, I think it was blurry when I saw it the first time. To which I replied with a fake smile – No problem. I finished my work and ran out of the locker room, as I didn’t want to waste my precious time in this place (I know I am being mean, but this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me).

After the locker room, I had other pending work to be done – passbook updation and cash deposit. The bank is all well equipped with machines for everything nowadays (it is just that the machines are out of order half the time). I wanted to try my luck at it. I went to the cash deposit kiosk which looked alright. I started my transaction; it went on telling me that the account number is wrong. I tried twice or thrice and gave up. I, then, moved towards the passbook updating machine. It also looked perfectly alright, but it didn’t work despite my numerous trials. I gave up and finally, went into the branch once again (sigh!).

I asked them whether their machines were out of order, to which they replied affirmatively. Hmm, the next question I asked was whether their manual cash deposit system was in place. The Manager assured me that it was. So, I went ahead and filled up the counterfoil and challan and went to cashier to hand it over, when he looked at me in shock (he looked as if I showed him a gun). He told me that their systems were down and he couldn’t help me. To which, I said – But the Manager told me that it is in place. He called the manager and said – Sir, the system is down, so how I can accept cash deposits and the Manager was like – Oh I didn’t know that (I was about to ask, aren’t you the manager, but somehow shut my mouth). Disappointed, I turned to walk away from the branch, when I saw one of the staff, who happens to be a youngster just resting on his chair (as if he is sleeping at home) just staring at me. I turned away the first time, but I could feel him staring continuously. I was like what the hell is wrong with this guy. I wanted to ask him, but, yet another time, I forced myself to shut my mouth. I just ignored the entire situation and rushed out of the bank because one thing I’ve realised is how ever hard you try, some things are never going to change, public-sector banks being one of them.

I kept thinking about what happened at the bank until I came home. I couldn’t control my laughter when I narrated the entire incident to everyone at home. That is when, Mummy (my mother – in- law) suggested that I blog about it. Why not, I thought! It would make a good experience to share, with hundreds of people.

Though I enjoyed narrating it today, I was super irritated that day. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it.

Note: I have deliberately omitted the name of the Bank for various reasons. One more thing I would like to specify here is, I am in not promoting any private sector bank over a public -sector bank. It is just my personal experience.

Cheers!!!

My Bitter Sweet Experience with Uber

New-Logo-Vertical-DarkHi friends!!! I am two days late this week. It’s been a long time since I blogged generally. It has always been either some recipe or some book review. I hope you guys are enjoying what I am coming up with. I will slowly improve and do a lot more things in the coming days. Life has become so easy for everybody with Uber and Ola these days. I remember the days when one would struggle finding a cab. Uber and Ola have surely been a boon to metro cities where commuting from one place to another in normal cabs would not only be strenuous but also super expensive due to heavy traffic. It has, surely, been more than a year now since I have started using Uber for my commute to places little far off in Mumbai. Before Uber I used to rely on Ola and Meru. They were pretty good too, but not as efficient and fast as Uber at least in Mumbai.

Mumbai is a really huge city. The transportation here is the best we can find in any of the Indian cities. You can hop into a cab or a rickshaw (excepting for people living in South Mumbai) or a train or bus or even metro (only in the suburbs). The Kaali Peeli cabs and the trains being the famous out of the lot. You can confidently step out of your place and hop into a kaali peeli and get to your destination at ease, but there have been times when your kaali peeli drivers refuse to come to certain locations (the farther the destination the better for them). It causes a lot of inconvenience because at times when you’re in a hurry, you end up being in a fix. There have been times when I have stepped out of the house after 6 pm and none of the cabs which passed by me have accommodated me. That is when your Uber comes to your rescue. I started using Uber for this reason.

The first time I took an Uber to my husband’s office which is about an hour’s drive from home (sometimes more than that during peak hours), I was astonished. The price was really reasonable. We started using Uber often after that. The discount we were being given was like an icing on the cake. Everything went well up to a certain time. After that I started facing a few problems. Once when I was to be picked up from Chembur at 10.30 am, I booked an Uber. While I was waiting for him to pick us up, on the App I saw that guy had taken the wrong route. I immediately called him up and told him that he was going the wrong way. He then told that since he has already gone the wrong way, he cannot come back. I had to cancel my ride. I booked another one. The second guy was almost near my location, but for some reason he wasn’t able to figure out where to head. I gave him the directions on the phone, but he somehow couldn’t get it. I cancelled the ride and booked another one. The third time it got a little ridiculous because the guy picked us up from our location but he wasn’t able to start the trip as the location was not matching. We had to get out of the cab and cancel it. I booked the fourth one. Finally, the guy came to the location and picked us up.

After heading home, the first thing I did was try to give a complaint. I put up a complaint on the app, but there was no point doing it. They did not respond. I tried to search for a Customer Care number for Uber India where I could call up and personally give my complaint, but I did not find any. Since I faced the problem for the first time, I ignored it. The inconvenience I faced that day was something which cannot be explained.

The second time I had a problem with Uber was at Chennai. We wanted an Uber to drop us off at the airport. I booked one and our relative helped us with the directions. The driver told he understood and in the next five minutes, he cancelled the ride. I booked another one. The guy told he will make it, but did not for about fifteen minutes. We were to reach the airport. So, we cancelled the ride and we were charged for the same. I placed a complaint on the app but in vain.

The third time I had an issue was recently. We were five of us and we were to return home after dinner at 11.30 pm. So, while returning we had to book an Uber XL and we booked one. I could see that the guy was completing his previous trip. It showed on the app that he would take fifteen minutes. We waited for like more than twenty minutes but there was no sign. I tried calling him up like a billion times but his phone was not reachable. I, then, cancelled the ride and booked another one. The guy was about five minutes away from our location. I called up to direct him. He told me at 12 in the night that he can’t pick us up. I was really angry this time. I fired him. I asked him why he accepted my ride if he wasn’t interested in picking us up. He didn’t have an answer. He was very rude. I did not want to waste my time at that time of the night arguing with him. I wanted to just get out of the place at the earliest. So, we looked for two normal cabs.

What I would like to bring out in this post of mine is that there should be some route for us to contact the Uber Customer Care to give complaints. The lodging of complaints on the App and waiting for their response has not worked out at least for me. These matters should be taken care of and sorted because if it continues this way, I’m sure Uber will lose its sheen very soon. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who has had this experience.

Though I have had an excellent experience with Uber, these incidents make me think twice before I book one at night or when I am in a hurry to get somewhere. What will be the difference between the kaali peeli cabs and Uber, if the Uber drivers start becoming arrogant?

With this bitter sweet experience, I leave this platform open for all of you to share your experiences with me.

Cheers!!!

Note: The logo has been borrowed from the Internet

 

I’m 4 years old!!!

big-cake1256Hey friends! No, no; I’m not four years old, it’s my blog!! After having given my blog a makeover, I’ve been blogging regularly, since. Four years ago, on 28th of February, I decided to give a plunge into this blogging world. Four years later, today, I’m glad I did it. I never thought I’ll come this long in the blogging world. I always loved writing; and I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts. Nothing was better than blogging. That is how I started off.

I did not expect that I would come this far as I did not expect readers waiting for my posts, but to my surprise during the period in between, when I got lazy and stopped blogging regularly I had people asking me why I stopped blogging. In fact, there were people who were waiting for my posts. That I when I decided, come what may, I have to respect my readers, who encourage and motivate me to do what I love.

During the time when I had literally stopped blogging and put up like one post per month or so, my husband kept insisting that I should follow my passion for writing and blog regularly if at all I dream to achieve big in the writing field. With this continuous motivation and encouragement, I somehow managed to shed my laziness and decided for myself, to put a blog post every Thursday. I am a day late this week, I know. Considering the fact that I’ve consistently put up posts every week this month, I’m proud of myself for having comeback with blogging.

Recently, I gave my blog a makeover and my husband brought out the creative side in him, by designing a cover for it. With the hope that I will receive the same kind of encouragement from all of you, I wish to make my blog a huge success in the coming days.

Thank you so much for reading and giving me the feedback. Most importantly, thank you for motivating and encouraging me to continue blogging.

Cheers!!!

Note: The image has been borrowed from the net.

My Experience at the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Mumbai

Here I am, after quite some time with something different to write about! I’ve always shared my experiences (most of them being happy and memorable ones). It is time now to share a bitter experience as well. Instead of exchanging pleasantries like I always do, I will start off with my experience. It has been quite some time now since I was planning to learn driving (probably two years). Finally, I made up my mind and got myself enrolled in a driving school last weekend. I got the appointment for the Learners’ License Test today. I was told to go to the RTO. Since I’ve not been to the RTO and also since I’m relatively new to Mumbai life, my husband was insistent that somebody accompany me along. Obviously my sister who is my inseparable body part accompanied me. We reached there after a lot of difficulty in the heat (when I say heat, read it as heeeeaaaaaatttttttttttt). Believe me, it is super hot. The agent from the driving school was waiting there and I must say he was very helpful. He took me to the counters without me having to find it on my own, which is really a big blessing.

At the first counter we are supposed to get our forms checked by a police and we are supposed to sign in the register maintained by the RTO. Until today I had a lot of respect for police. Yes, you read it right! I really don’t have a wee bit of respect anymore. The police guy, in the process of checking my form asks me what my name and what is my education qualification! I gave him the answers. He, then, asks me if I’m working! I told him that I work from home, to which the shameless guy replies saying, ‘haan auraton ko ghar pe hee rehna chahiye’ (ladies are supposed to stay at home only). I’m working from home because I choose to do so and not because I am a girl and I’m supposed to be in the kitchen. I’m sure all ladies who work from home would agree with me. How can the country make any progress when such people are there in large numbers? I really controlled myself from doing anything. I mustn’t be speaking this way, but I really felt like slapping him.

Somehow I finished with the first counter and reached the second one where we were to collect tokens for Biometrics. I collected mine. There were a few college girls with whom I became friends when we waited for our turns to come patiently. Finally my turn came after half an hour or so. They took the thumb impression, photo and signature, after which they told me to check my details and see if everything is alright. I started reading with special care because I don’t trust any Government office. I’m sorry for speaking this way, but I really can’t help it. My name was correct. I went ahead to the second point and couldn’t believe my eyes. Instead of writing ‘Wife of’ they had written ‘Son of’. I was like what is happening here! I request the lady there to make the correction politely and she says, ‘Son hai, toh’ (yeah it is son, so what). I mean, are you serious! In shock, I just asked her ‘mein aadmi ki tarah dikhti hoon kya’ (Do I look like a man). She finally grumpily changed it to ‘wife of’.  How ridiculous can it get? I do understand if it was ‘daughter of’ but what the hell. My whole point is I don’t look like a man to become son of someone (though my dad always calls me his daughter-cum- son) and how the hell can someone who doesn’t know the difference/meaning between son, daughter and wife get a job?

I, then, waited for my turn for the Online Test. We waited for more than half an hour. Our turn finally came at 12.30. After getting into the room also we had to wait for fifteen to twenty minutes. Finally we finished the test and came out at around 1:15. It was such a relief; I just can’t explain the feeling. They really need to improve on their infrastructure. Also I would like to make one point, as long as men like the police guy do not learn to respect women and accept their choice, believe me, the country will never make progress, and when I say ‘never’ I really mean ‘NEVER’.

I’m sure most of you will agree with me….. Do let me know your opinion J J

Cheers!!!