Thursday, November 29, 2007

A credit card that lasted two and a half days: A biography

Day One

* Receive the credit card by courier from ABN AMRO. (Mon Nov 26, 3pm)

* Try to register the card on bank's web page, "first time registration" link fails.

* Book a Railway Ticket at IRCTC successfully.

* Try to book another ticket at the same site, get message that get message that the booking could not be made, and the amount will be credited back to your account.

* Bank calls me up and confirms the transactions were made by me.

Day Two

* Try the same ticket again in the morning at IRCTC, get the same message.

* I call up IRCTC, they assure me the amount will be refunded in two days.

* Try once again, get the same message. (All three times I get a regret mail each from IRCTC.)

* Finally successfully booking that ticket, in the fourth attempt.

Day Three

* Get the first refund from IRCTC on my card account. (Mail from IRCTC)

* Try to book a flight ticket on, and get an error "invalid Credit Card details: Try again".

* Get the same message in the second attempt also.

* Call up MakeMyTrip, the lady there offers to get the booking done on phone. I do the booking (the ticket charges have gone up by then).

* Pay with the card after I eat out with friends, they misplace the card after swiping.

* I call up the bank and block the card. They say there's some problem in the system, they can not check the transactions. They ask me to call again in the morning and put a request for new card.(11:30pm)

Day Four (Life After Death)

* I call up bank, request them to issue another card. Meanwhile I ask them to check for the transactions done yesterday. It turns out that the two "invalid card details" transactions on have debited money from my account. That is 12000-odd rupees:-(

* Call up MakeMyTrip, they tell me I should send an email to them with my credit card statement so that they can make the refund.

* I call up the bank again, they say they will issue a statement only after they issue the new card.

* * * *

Lesson One: Web developers at banks are still learning linux.
Lesson Two: IRCTC website is poor in making the bookings properly every time, but they are able to figure that out themselves and correct it.
Lesson Three: MakeMyTrip sucks.
Lesson Four: Credit card does not always mean convenience.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Celebrations, Suffocation, an Atrocious recapture and OSO

A belated Happy Diwali! I apologize once again for not being regular, but promise to keep posting whenever I can find time. Keep reading (and keep linking to this site) if you find it worthwhile.

* * *

Even after a major campaign against crackers by the Delhi government and appeal by Sheila Dixit in newspapers, TV and Radio, one had a tough time breathing on Friday evening. "Compared to the 2006 Diwali, this year the NO2 levels increased by nearly 1.5 times.." says Centre for Science and Environment. India Together has a listing of health hazards related to bursting of crackers and control measures taken in the country including court directives.

Even if one excludes Diwali, "Delhi is in danger of losing the gains of its CNG programme as pollution levels are once again creeping up to pre-2000 level.." (also on CSE).

* * *

Nandigram has started hogging limelight even among those who usually don't care, thanks to Aparna Sen who said she'd boycott the Calcutta film festival. Rituparno Ghosh, who made Unnishe April, Dahan, Bariwali and Chokher Bali, also boycotted the event. (Rituparno's new film "The Last Year" with Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta is Premiering in Goa film fest later this month. He has also been in news for his forthcoming remake of Sahib, Biwi aur Gulam with Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan and Vidya Balan playing the lead.

But situation in Nandigram has only turned worse, with CPM's infamous successful recapture of the site.

* * *

I had a blast watching Om Shanti Om. More so because I watched it in one of those soon-to-be-extinct single movie halls where where people don't despise expressing their likes and dislikes, claps or hoots.

I don't want to do a review here (there are many reviews online already) -- listing a few scenes/one-liners that I loved.

"Bhaago.." "Bhaago.." (you have to see it.. I can not explain it!)

Manoj Kumar's driving licence (ditto here)

"I believe when you jump from the 50th floor. I believe when you fight with 100 people and win. Then why wouldn't I believe this story [of reincarnation]?" (an emotional dialogue, in a very senti scene)


The baap-of-all-item-songs (especially the entry of Kajol, Govinda, Mithun, Juhi and the big four in the song)


Pappu (Shreyas Talpade): "Om, Mom (Kiran Kher) is over-acting."
Om Kapur (SRK): "Can't help it. It runs in our family."

I am happy that this genre of making digs at self (Udayananu Thaaram in Malayalam, Main Hoon Naa, Bluffmaster, Jaan-E-Mann, Chota Mumbai in Malayalam..) is finding more and more takers. I hope it also helps others in the industry in taking stock of what they have been rolling out to the viewers.

And I wish Deepika Padukone stays.