Category Archives: Hope

KONY 2012. Time for Action.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.
 
It’s been almost a month (29 days, actually) since the day I saw the #KONY2012 video first. And since then, this movement has had my support, whole-heartedly.
And it’s been more than 10 days since my photo was published in the ‘Times Life!’ supplement of the Times Of India, for my efforts regarding the same.
If you’ve seen the KONY 2012 video, by now you know that the D-day is 20th April, which is less than a fortnight from today. And thus, it’s time to begin the preparations.
Posters, bracelets, sign-boards, t-shirts… It’s all rolling and travelling through the world!
We may not be in USA and our actions might not count as much as theirs will, but whatever we do, in our little ways does count.
We can’t see injustice befallen on the people of Uganda. We can’t see them going through pain while we live our lavish lives in a much more peaceful country. We feel for them. We feel their pain. We feel their agony. And we understand their anguish.
Today, I request you, to do what you can, everything you can, to support us at NJTT to make a difference and stand up for humanity. On humanitarian grounds, stand by us. Do what the world expects you to do, the right thing.
It’s now or never.
If your choice is now, go ahead and pre-order a t-shirt, with us, boasting the KONY 2012 graphics and taglines, and wear it on the 20th April, to show your support.
We’ve designed a t-shirt, especially for NJTT supporters of KONY 2012 and we’d be glad to get it to you at the rates it gets to us to get it printed. A comprehensive post, regarding the same, will be posted by someone from the NJTT team, tomorrow, specifying the price, delivery and other details. If you are not sure, don’t post it till then. But, if you are sure you want that t-shirt, help us get the count and we’ll make sure you get your t-shirt well in time.
If you still want to do more, then get yourself a copy of the posters from here, unzip the folder, read the ‘Guide’ file, and get those posters printed. (You can also get these posters from our Facebook page.)
Paste them wherever you can, how many ever you can on the 20th. Reach out to the maximum number possible for you to, what you think would be a great number, achieve it.
I’ll be doing both of these and will expect all of you to, too. It’s the world we live in, the world we love, we’re talking about. Let’s make it a better place to live in, for ourselves, for the generations to come.
Paint your town/city red! Make Kony famous!
Stop at nothing. KONY 2012.
Update (09.04.2012): We are making the t-shirts happen. At 350/piece (inclusive of shipping). Order them here.
For more details, check this post on our FB page.
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Women, Vowed to be Woed.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.
Disclaimer: As the author of this post, I personally recommend only those who are aged 16+ (an adult according to many republics around the globe) to go ahead with reading this post. Others, a sincere request, don’t read it right now at least. Please abide by this request. And as always, this is just a point of view, solely my own.
All those who have been regular readers of my posts for Not Just The Talks., would wonder why this post. Those who aren’t, this part is for you. I had said in my previous post that the first topic I talk about will be ineducation.
But, here I am today, posting about the Social Evils, the topic I was planning to write about the last. Reason? Events occurring in and around my life that pushed me to the limit of acceptability of things happening the way they are, have been, but, will not.
It’s a fact that the life of women is hard. Like, really hard. And then there’s another fact. No man will ever acknowledge that her life is harder than his. If you ask me, I would say that the man who cannot acknowledge this, is a male chauvinist coward.
Having said that, the life of a baby girl forming as a foetus in a mother’s body, her being born, her teenage, her adulthood, her life in complete, flashes in front of my eyes. And over it all, the problems she faces in all those (mind you, much more than what a guy would phase in one particular phase) seem to occupy my mind. From being abandoned even before being born, to being burnt alive. From not getting the support of her family when she needs it, to having to give up her dreams just because she has to ‘run a home’. From being pushed into a marriage as soon as she completes 18 or graduation (luckily that!) to being divorced for not being a virgin. That’s the life we Indians are known to give the women whom we promise to treat as equals! That’s our tradition!
In this post, I think I’ll stick to going from phase to phase, starting at the youngest.
1) The Innocent Infant:
A few months ago, I read a Mumbai Mirror report (sorry, don’t have the link) of some particular kind of sonography machines being seized from clinics across Mumbai. Now I’m no expert in medical equipment (thus the inability to name the instrument), but I know for one, that it was the machine which could help parents recognize the gender of their baby, even before it is born. They’re not allowed to be used in India, as per the law of the country.
The reason? Female foeticide. The abortion of a foetus, in the process of its development, because it is recognized to be a girl. I remember reading a report in TOI a few years ago of a massive unearthing of female foetuses found dumped in Noida.
And I’m not afraid to say that the reason this happens is the Indian culture, the heritage we are so a part of.
It is a social stigma (or so they say) since ages, for a girl to be born in a family. She brings bad luck, she’s a curse, etc., etc. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say more, everyone of us knows the various pronouncements of it. And that is, not just in rural India, but even in the urban, so-called civilized India. Similarly, that is not just in the lower strata of the Indian society, but equally deep-rooted in the higher, economically ahead families.
My take: Sex determination instruments, should be allowed, lawfully. The parents of the child have the right to know what gender their offspring is going to be!
Yes, knowing that the ‘tradition’, ‘culture’, and the orthodox India that we live in, will then promise to thereby reduce the female population furthermore. But, is this the solution?
The deep-rooted misconceptions, the evils that make us inhumane have to be rooted out. And there is considerable progress in this direction, which I won’t fail to accept. But, there’s an even more considerable lot that remains to be done. That change can be brought about by us, the youth, in our actions and thoughts. That’s what I’m talking about.
2) The Growing-up Stage (if you’re 16, I’m pretty sure you know what I mean to say):
Puberty. The phase where a girl becomes a woman (over-rated, I believe).
Just a few days back I heard of a girl not getting to perform some specific ritual in her own brother’s wedding, just because she would ‘probably’ be on her monthly cycle. The particular incident reminded me of what I have seen, heard, read in all these years. Women not allowed in temples, in ceremonies, in festivals, etc. is not just a popular myth, but a fact that is of the worst and most illogical of them all.
The times when they need support of their families, those trying times, they being treated by their families like they are a mistake to be born as girls, in the name of rituals and religion, is the worst thing that can happen to her. For Christ’s sake, those monthly periods are the reason she gets to be a mother at some stage of her life!
My take: Women, girls, stand up for what your rights are. Take a stand. Don’t let the compact-minded, orthodox elders determine what you get to do and what you don’t. To guys, support those girls who stand up for this. They need you to be there for her.
Enough said.
3) Ambitions in vain:
I’ve seen this too much to be true. Fought for it, till I won. And I will, all my bloody life!
Having to forgo what they want to do with their lives, what they want to become, just because the life they want to pursue asks of them long working schedules, so that they can manage their homes as well as they are supposed to, so that they can serve their in-laws, and what not… It makes me want to die in hell, every time I hear something like this. What kind of a society, what kind of a country do we live in? Seriously this?
My take: No one, forget the gender he/she/it is, should ever have to let go of their dreams, ambitions, or the professions they want to see themselves in, just because of such stupid inhibitions of the third-world country that ours was.
4) Born to Marry:
It seems so to me, and aptly I assume, that women are born to marry. They are married the first thing they qualify as per the law (sometimes even before) or they complete their basic graduations. No questions asked, no wishes heard, tears falling to deaf ears.
What if the girl doesn’t want to marry at such a tender age? What if she wants to work? What if she wants to go for a job? ‘Nope. Nothing doing. You’re a girl. What will the society say if there’s a spinster of your age about us? Think about the image of your parents, grandparents…’ And it all goes on and on… Finally, the girl gives up her own dreams, desires and compromises to live the life her family expects her to live.
My take: The age when anyone (not specifically a girl) should marry, is when they feel they’re both physically, mentally and economically mature to sustain their ownselves and their families. And that, is their personal choice, not something that parents or other elders, should have a say in. It’s not a number game, it’s how psychologically prepared you are to take the responsibility of living a life linked to another human being, in any and every way.
5) Cook, Serve, Starve:
Yes, the post-marital life.
The secondary member of the family. The person who should make sure food is available at the times demanded. The person who should keep the house clean. The person who has to make sure the clothes are well washed, dried and ironed. The person who has to keep the home full of supplies necessary.
Oh, these are not the tasks of different servants! This is what an ‘Indian bahu’ is expected to do and be.
My take: Common! You really expect me to say anything here? (And by the way, getting a different servant for everything is not the solution!)
6) A body that’s never hers:
It’s usual for a girl to have snide comments passed on her, to be an object of visual abuse, to be made fun of in every possible and cheap way. That’s something she has to be fine with, completely.
Everyday, everyday, every bloody day, there’s at least one news report of a 
girl being raped somewhere. Just yesterday, I saw the account of a girl on TimesNow who was raped at gunpoint. I had read in TOI that according to the number of cases of rape, filed every year, there was a rape occurring in the country every 4 minutes. And that’s the rapes whose reports are filed with the police!
I can’t believe how horny men are and can be. Seriously. And these are the same men, who will then divorce their wives because they didn’t qualify the virgin test (I can’t be more blunt, sorry).
I can’t imagine the trauma the girl who is expected to live a life of normalcy after she is forced into a sexual encounter. I just can’t imagine.
My take: This is not just a problem in India, but over the world. All I can say is, not every guy is a jerk. Women must know to protect themselves from jerks. They’re everywhere, sadly. (I loathe myself for being unable to provide a sane solution for this, trust me.)
This brings me to the conclusion of this post. There’s a lot more that each one of us knows about, and many of you would’ve probably even expected me to write about. But, writing or not writing about it. The thoughts we have, the feelings we feel, the actions we take, make the change. That’s the reality. And that’s the only reality.
I’m disappointed in the women of this country for bearing everything that has been happening to them over generations, and them not standing up for it. I’m disappointed in the men of this nation, for not standing up for their wives, sisters, daughters. I’m disappointed in the culture of this country, and the Gods of this diverse country, if this is what they’ve preached and that’s what we follow. I’m disappointed in the respected Constitution of India, for not being able to bring the change and wipe of the socially backwardness of our country. I am. But, I also add that it’s never too late.
But, I am hopeful, too.
We live in a democratic, free country. A country where everyone is promised to  be treated equally with the rights they are conferred upon. And that’s what I will fight for. That’s what I want you to fight for.
And I know that we are making progress even as I write this. I know that we would have made progress even in the time from when I type this to when you read it. That’s because we are not alone. There are thousand, probably millions others, who think the same way that I and you do (I know you think alike me because you’ve read 1900 words of this extensively long post so far).
Yes, right now, to the moment, I feel that women, are vowed to be woed, by virtue of them being the feminine kind of the human race. And yes, I hope that changes by the time I make my way to hell…
I’m sorry if I have hurt the sentiments of a particular section of the society, or any person in particular. I didn’t mean to.
Signing off… Until the next post… Peace.
Note: To all those who know me personally, I hope this post doesn’t change the relationship we share, in anyway.

To Freedom, To Life.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.
It’s been a while since my inaugural and only post for Not Just The Talks, ‘It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.‘ came by. Well, to be real, a long time. All this while, I have been wanting to push forth this effort that was born in my and my friends’ minds, sometime back in March last year, but couldn’t, for some reason or the other. Regardless of that, any apologies I make today, for promising to initiate change, and then not committing to it, cannot be justified for.

Having said that, I do add that today, as I write this post, I am deeply motivated to make my efforts count, anew. This time, I won’t stop. No one can stop me. And if you join in, I know for once that you will make sure no one can stop you. Because, at the end of the day, we know that this is about not just talking, it’s about living. So, to the post for today…

Freedom. A word with a million meanings and interpretations. Never has a struggle for a better humanity, a better civilization, a better country, or a better person, even, begun without the desire of freedom, in its fundamental sense. Here, I talk about these very fundamentals, of our very century, and of our very mindset, which we seek.

To freedom from ineducation.

One of the most prevailing, and according to me, the root of all the problems we face today. Ineducation. In fact, I think that even the education that is imparted to us today, is a form of ineducation. There’s no denying that the education system we are a part of today, is terribly and incredibly flawed. And even though the law-makers and educators deny that, deep inside, even they know that it’s so.

Some may argue that Indian professionals reach the top jobs world over and have reputations like none other. About professionals, let’s get it straight, MNCs recruit Indians not because they are more knowledgeable, but because they’re easy preys to their not-so-lucrative offers, cheaper salaries, and dreams of working abroad in an MNC and making everyone in their extended families proud and jealous, over those professionals who graduate from ivy league institutions the world over. That’s a fact, everyone knows.

At the same time, I don’t doubt the intellect or the ability of Indians. I’m just pointing out the dubious situation our education system, puts us in. Also, the uneducated lot among us, the ones who are not lucky enough to experience the very basics of education, are affected worse. And that, in my opinion, is the freedom we desire and need, first.

To freedom from corruption.

Much has been said, seen, done and talked about the ‘India Against Corruption’ movement in the last 8 months. And there’s enough evidence that there’s no lacking the utter desire of change of the people of this nation. But, what are we fighting? I believe, we are fighting we are fighting our own psyche, the Indian psyche, which we have born and bred upon, which is filled with a fact we don’t think we can challenge, corruption.

Let’s face it, corruption, in its nascent and most innocent forms, is instigated into our mindsets, right from the day we understood material and monetary portions of life. It begins at toys, clothes and shoes, goes to watches and gadgets, and ends up in a funny juxtaposed monetary reality which we blame on the Governments that govern us, the bureaucrats that work for us, the judiciary that gives us justice, the police that protect our rights, and the people who try to ease our lives, everyday.

They are the sons and daughters of the same motherland. They have learnt it the way we did. And they became the masters of greed because we trained them on how to receive more, to get our work done easiest and fastest. And to the count of this day, even in the wrong-est possible ways. The freedom, the fight for corruption isn’t about one bill or one Government or a couple of Ministers, it’s about a deeply rooted comprehension of the reality forth us. That freedom, is ours to take or leave.

To freedom from social evils and social bondage.

For me, the society is any group of individuals which aims at strengthening and helping each one of them, in their own special ways. But, living in India, changes the definition to the very opposite of it, completely. We live in a society which is headed by illiterate goons who shred it into pieces on the basis of caste, creed, language, religion, sex and what not! Then, there are the religious, caste, gender implications which you ‘must’ abide by to be a part of the society that you are a part of. Otherwise, you and your family, will be thrown out of it. How fair!!

I thought secularism something we Indians were proud of. I really did. But, when I see TV commercials about websites promoting only inter-caste marriages, read about reports of dowry, Sati among other malpractices, I laugh at my own self for thinking that today morning, I woke up in a better India. In fact, even watching censored scenes from Hollywood movies, in an Adult-only movie, makes me feel about how constrained the way we Indians think, is! Freedom from this orthodox life, we sure need.

As far as I know, ‘Right to Freedom’, is a fundamental right given to us by the Honourable Constitution of India. But, we are afraid, feared. To change and to be free, from even all that we think is wrong. Because we think the system will change us, instead. I speak today, for the generations to come by, because I know that if not us, they will stand for freedom, and I would rather gift it to them than see them fight for it. I would rather fall fighting for the freedom that I deserve, than sit back and watch the world in the current avatar. I would rather have my last breath knowing that I tried, than feeling pity on my country, my motherland.

In the coming posts, I will be writing about my take on each one of these, with the solutions that I think are the steps we take to begin with, in detail, stay tuned. As for this list, it’s not a comprehensive one, but well, these are those issues which I feel are the most important.

Till then, fight for your freedom, in your own little ways. I will, too. And after a few years, if not tomorrow, we will wake up in an India we would be more proud to call ours.

For a better India, for freedom, to the death!

Vodafone is NOT ‘Happy to Help’.

Been a while since my last post, hasn’t it? And well, I have felt it too. It has been really long since my last post, and this post, was well overdue. So much so that I had crossed a whole lot of tweets posted, that led to even me losing a record of what all I had tweeted to Vodafone and vice versa. So, let’s get on with it..
When the big decision of me moving to Pune for my further studies came by, around mid-August, I had to choose from a range of internet providers which would be good enough for me to run on my laptop. With my admissions and accomodation having finalized around 10th August, and the rest of shopping, packing stuff beginning, I was looking around. Then, I did a lot of research! It was a Tata Photon v/s Reliance NetConnect v/s AirTel USB v/s Vodafone mobile broadband! I compared all the plans and rentals for all of them, and decided to go ahead with Vodafone.
People who know me, have spent some time with me, know how much I talk against Vodafone because I’m an AirTel mobile user (What?! Everyone believes what they use is the best, right?). And thus, the common question from all of them was, “why” Vodafone? Now, I seem to know why. Though, their reasons, though, were different. It was widely because Tata and Reliance have been the pioneers and leaders in this world, and AirTel has heavily marketted itself. Vodafone, has been in the dark, and is even now.
But then why did I choose it? As I said, it offered me a cheaper solution (not considerably cheaper, though) than its competitors, and I went by the image it holds of being an MNC, which made me drop the ball in its court.
Fine till now, right?
I thought so, too.
I needed more information about it, and so, I resorted to my favourite medium to get information instantly, Twitter, with my first tweet about them, ever, on 11th August,

Vodafone Connect 3G USB Stick? Anyone knows anything :S? Help!

And that also, was my first disappointment in them.
Their reply came to me on 12th August,

Please refer to
http://www.vodafone.in/internet/pages/3gusbstick_mum.aspx?cid=mum  or DM us ur no. for further assistance.

My replies to them for that tweet, the same day,

I wanted info about the Vodafone Connect 3G USB Stick. Where can I get it online? I checked the website but I have some doubts.

And…

I had already checked this. Just DMed you my number. In case you’re calling, after 12 please!

For those who aren’t well-versed with Twitter, DM (direct message) is a way to share things with someone in a way that no one else would know. There were quiet a few DMs after that, and the following image is self-explanatory, I assume. The date of every message is at the bottom of each. (Click on it to view a enlarge it.)
DMs between @VodafoneIN and me (@setu4993)
Even after that, I didn’t receive any call from them. And that’s when I got pissed with them, but, held my calm because I still had some hope and trust in them. My bad.
I just went to a Vodafone Store on 17th August, and got myself a Vodafone USB stick, as a measure to end my shopping before I left for Pune on 21st. Checked it at home and it seemed to work fine for the 2-3 minutes that I checked. Packed it in my bagpack, and off to Pune on 21st.
The first evening in Pune, 21st August. A Sunday. The first thing that I wanted to do, when mom left after helping me unpack and settle down, was to go online and check my mails and tweet (things I did everytime I reached home, and all the time I was at home, too, nothing new). To my disappointment, I couldn’t connect. There was some error and I tried disconnecting and reconnecting a few times. Reboot. Still nothing. Called customer care on 121. They talked to me for some 10-12 minutes and then told me they couldn’t help me (!) because my registration was of Mumbai and by dialling 121, the Pune service center had been contacted. They asked me to note down the number 9820098200 (or something similar) and told me I would be charged Re.1/minute for talking to them.
Now comes the big deal. I was on a prepaid Vodafone connection. So, I couldn’t make any calls from that number, even to the customer care! Good thing, isn’t it heavy pun?!
I kept switching my SIM between Vodafone and AirTel.
The Mumbai guy didn’t help me much either. He said that I would have to visit a Vodafone gallery, the closest one, so that I could get some help. I asked him what would be the closest one to me, according to a few places around my room, that I knew about. He said he can’t help me with the closest, but, told me he would keep listing the places and then I should select which would be closest to me. Well, if it was Mumbai, it would be simpler. But, imagine the state of a customer who goes to a city for some reason, and on the first day, within 7 hours of reaching a new city, he is given a whole list of places where there are their ‘Galleries’. Duh! That’s customer service? That’s serving the customer some trouble, instead!
After that, I asked him the timings of 2-3 Galleries (whose locations I recognized, from the some research I had done in Mumbai, with Google Maps, about the localities). He said he couldn’t help me with that, either. And that left me stunned, like never before. Forget the location, not even the timings?!
It was almost 5:45 when I left my room and took local bus transport, in an unknown city, to reach the Vodafone Gallery. I got down at a bus stop, asked at a mobile shop, and was told that it would be closed today, it being a Sunday.
Fine.
Next day, just after my college orientation, I left again. In search of the Gallery that would get me my internet activated. I went to a Gallery, only to be told that I would have to go to the Vodafone HQ of Pune to get it working or to even get any information about it. I had to take a rickshaw, spend Rs.80 to take me to the Gallery, in the outskirts of the city, for something that should’ve been done there itself, and face the frustration. More than everything, why did the call center executive then specifically tell me that it’d be done at any Gallery?
Leave my case. Suppose instead of me, there was a business executive travelling to a city for 2 days of business, and he faced the case of internet not working. He would be told to travel the same just to be able to check an important e-mail he was going to receive? REALLY? Sick!
Even there, there were just 2 executives dealing with around 10 people, sequentially. (The Mumbai Gallery I bought it from, had 5 people at a given moment!) I waited there for 45 minutes and was finally told that my SIM card hadn’t been activated itself. Wow. For knowing that I had to wait more than 24 hours, call them multiple times, travel to random places in a completely new city… For that?
Even after that, things didn’t change. It was already a week and nothing changed. Tried connecting it, many a times, nothing. Dad went to the Gallery I had bought it from, they said they couldn’t do anything till I came back to Mumbai.
Luckily, I happened to come back to Mumbai that weekend. And it was majorly to get this Vodafone USB working.
I went to the Gallery from where I had bought it. Talked to 3 levels of Vodafone ‘Care’ guys there. And then came back being promised that it’d work fine now. I spent around 90 minutes there. They took 20 minutes to get me a new SIM card. Why? Because the guy who was sitting at the counter was lazy and stood up, after I explained him the issue and went ahead with just roaming around the Gallery. The next guy, told me that I’d be charged for those lost 10 days of internet too, which was the result of a fault in the SIM card they had given me! I requested to be able to talk to the manager of the gallery. I waited for 15 minutes. When he still didn’t come down (they have a first floor in the Malad, Mumbai Gallery which is I don’t know what), I freaked out and asked the guy how much more time would it take. He came down within the next 5 minutes, luckily. Even then, there was this executive named Premal (name changed), who was busy flirting with another colleague, in front of the branch manager, who was just watching them both and smiling and giggling, which delayed me by other 10 minutes. Even after that, I was told that there was no way I could get a 10-day extension for a fault on their side. Though, they said they’ll ‘try’ to add 10 days to my next month. All-in-all, great service!
I came back to Pune, and then tried to connect. I got connected in 1 in 100 attempts, disconnected again within seconds, and no page loaded correctly until I refreshed it like a zillion times! I was pissed at their services, terribly. And whenever I was online, I used to tweet about their poor service, even if that meant a dozen of retries before a tweet got posted (in laymen terms, equivalent to an email got sent).
I received a few replies from them too, asking me to tell them their problems and give them my contact details. I had given them the contact details the first time I tweet to them on 12th August! And my problems, well, they were very well-evident from my tweets.
There’s this tweet sequence, in particular that I want you all to have a look at:
1st tweet of the sequence, their reply, 7th September.
2nd tweet of the sequence, my reply, 7th September.
3rd tweet of the sequence, their reply, 10th September.
What should I say more? Even after telling them not to call me at any random time, even after sharing the specific time and requesting them to confirm before calling, they have the same complain? That’s customer service?
I called them up again after a day or two. Got transferred to the ‘Technical Department’ with whom I was on phone for 95 minutes (getting charged at Re.1/minute) and even that did no good.
This was when I had decided that I would be switching from Vodafone to Reliance for my internet requirements. And that’s the very reason I can write this blog right now!
I got calls from them, multiple times (even after telling them not to call me), after I made this public announcement on Twitter. I lashed out at everyone of them for poor service and bad customer satisfaction.
Yes, I was set back by Rs. 1699, the cost of the USB stick and one month’s rental as Rs. 700, unamounted stress, trouble and disappointment, bad customer service, and what not! But, I learnt a whole lot of things too…
And this is not just Vodafone. I have gone through similar with Idea Cellular Ltd. I know friends who have gone through similar troubles with AirTel, Loop Mobile, Tata Docomo, and Reliance too.
Someone always told me,

When you open a company, make it so big that there has to be a call center and people who call you for service, end up talking to them, only.

I always took it as a joke, but, realized that it’s real in this scenario.That does mean that the customer, a consumer is taken for granted and is made to go around a ‘ringa rose garden’ more number of times than a kindergarten student would, just to get his work done. That does mean that the private sector companies are no better than the public sector companies. I think, they’re worse.
You hope that they’d be better and they land you at the same level. Whereas, you know the public sector, Government owned will be such and thus you don’t have high expectations which would shatter!
If customer service really meant that much, we wouldn’t be running behind services companies to help us sort our problems and port out of their services. If it really meant that much, I would be compensated for my USB device which I’m ready to return even now, and with some better plan and offer, free of cost. If it really did, the Blackberry users who were affected by the Asian outage of RIM services, for 3 days, would be compensated by a 3-day extension at no additional charge. If it really did, no company would start unwanted services for users and then ask them to cough up the amount. If it really did, no service provider would charge an old user the same amount for every call and text that he/she was 3 years ago, and would inform them of better, similar, cheaper plans. But, it’s all ‘IF’ it really did…
And it’s evident through just all these last few examples that it doesn’t. Not one bit.
I know what I don’t want to do to ‘my’ customers, when later in life I own a company… Till then, here’s a lesson learnt…
I know I didn’t have to add all the screenshots that I did. I know that those who read me reguarly, trust me blindly about what I would post. But, this is for all those who are not regular readers, and to prove the authenticity. I’m an 18-year-old student, not a forger involved in spoiling the reputation of an MNC bribed to do so by its competitor. I’m a citizen, a customer who expects good service, who thinks getting a decent service is something he deserves. I’m someone.
Until the next post, remember, it’s true, Vodafone, is NOT ‘Happy to Help’.
P. S.: Here‘s an Excel file of the 41 tweets I had sent to them and only the 11-odd replies I received, for reference or cross checking, in different Excel sheets.

Bruises And Scars…

Every now and then, I face a situation myself, or am told one by some of my friend, about the words, sentences, events, happenings which hurt us as people, in general. Rude behaviour, anger, misunderstandings, obstinence, being few of the reasons why it happens. Well, all I say to myself in the end is, ‘This is life…’

Truly. Beautifully.

You’d ask what’s so beautiful about being hurt, I assume. I say, that’s just as the half-full half-empty glass theory. Simply said, perception changes a thing from positive to negative and vice versa.

We learn from everything, and sometimes we fail to realize that. Everytime we pass through some such moment when we felt hurt, it, for every reason, gets registered in our sub-concious that we shouldn’t do that again or be the one to hurt someone else in the same way, again, depending on what shoes we wear in that situation.

As humans, it is natural to be hurt, bruised, scarred, and then, healed. It’s healing that’s necessary. It’s healing that is long and takes patience. It’s the healing process that’s full of emotions… Anger, despair, pain, hurt, sadness, glum, to begin with…

Let’s face it. We can’t forgive ‘anyone’ easily for when they hurt us. What they did to us shadows who they are, what they mean to us, how they feel for us and everything else in question, at least for an accounted period of time. Tears flow, the heart aches, eyes swell… Tired eyes and a pained heart remains… Waiting to be healed… Waiting to have another go at life… Waiting to give someone another chance… And, to try again…

Really? How many times? Every time this happens, I know how it gets to. The saturation point of being the acceptor, the limits of patience, the tiredness of the bleeding heart (metaphorical)… Frankly, the reality is that we just want to stop trying. And most of the times, we even do.

We stop trusting people over what some other has done to us… We stop believing in people’s words over loss of integrity of someone close to us… We close our eyes to the reality and begin living in an oblivious world… We look at the world from behind a translucent curtain and get judgemental… We shut the doors to our heart… Yes, we do all of this.

Yes, we are hurt so bad that the pain won’t stop… Yes, we have been stabbed so brutally that the body aches… Yes, we are bruised so deeply that even medicine spilled over it seems to just deepen the wound… But, then is when it begins to heal… The hurt begins to turn to acceptance… We collect the broken pieces of our hearts and begin to stitch them together… The deep bruises heal to scars on the skin…

Yes, we heal.

Sometimes soon enough to give the person a second chance. Most others, too late.

It’s this strange beauty of life and nature that amuses me… Just as a leaf springs out soon after we break one from the branch of a tree, and fruits and flowers reappear according to their lifecycles, human beings too, learn, grow, heal and conquer the pain…

The only part of it that scares me, bewilders me is about the tree being brought down from the bottom of its stem. It being uprooted. Leaving no hope of it growing back again…

Co-incicentally, this is also that part of the situation that we consider for ourselves everytime someone cuts down one of our fruits or at the greatest, breaks a branch. We get tired. Tired of trying. Tired of facing the situation. Tired of living with that pain and supressing more agony. We do get tired…

And that’s what we gotta change… That’s what I have been trying to change within myself and those who would let me in their lives. That belief, that nothing will change from the way it was, that it was best the way it was and can never get better… Well, never say never.

Been there, done that. Going through that, and still do give up sometimes.

I don’t say I am perfect or that I’m the most hopeful, most optimistic person. I don’t because I know I am not. But, at the same time, I know that I have the courage to stand up. I have the courage to set foot from every disparity, again. I know that no situation can be so binding on me that it would take away my happiness completely. I know that no hurt can be so deep that it would make me want to kiss goodbye to this earth. I know that no pain can be so excruciating that it would be beyond my ability to soak it in.

And I know that it is the same for everyone… Everyone…

May be I’ll stand up soon enough. Or may be I won’t. But, I know that sometime it is ought to happen. It will happen.

And till it doesn’t, the bruises and scars, will keep reminding me that I still got work to do…

Cheerio!

P.S.: Began a co-blog earlier this month for I (and my fellow bloggers) couldn’t sit back and complain anymore. The realization that things had to change, dawned upon us and that we need to be the change we want to see, seemed more plausible than anything else. For this much-desired change and to get more and more people to join in with us, those who share the same ideology, ‘Not Just The Talks.‘ has been started. If you haven’t already, do read my inaugural post on it ‘It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.


It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.

Been a while since the idea of this blog and desire hit me and my friends. Time lapses kept pushing this idea far and beyond. But, something made me feel that it was worthless to just keep pushing it beyond without any reason. That something is the movie V For Vendetta.
Made me question myself. Why am I here? Why did I ever even begin this blog if I wasn’t going to do something of it just because of some silly, stupid reasons? I don’t care enough to be even bothered about them! Those reasons don’t make me wanna opt out of the desire to make a difference to the society and world I live in. Those reasons don’t make me wanna be ‘just’ a part of the crowd. I know I’m different. I know I’m not one of the herd. And if you think I am, I’m here to tell you and prove to you that I’m NOT.
I’m done staying silent. I’m done being suffocated. I’m done feeling sorry for the dead and terrorized. I’m done showing solidarity for those in pain. I’m done feeling frustrated with the reality that exists. I’m done feeling tired of the way things are. I’m done accepting this bullshit. Now, I’m here to change. To be a part of it. To initiate it. And to at least try, if not succeed.

If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

I read this a few days back on a profile named Quotegarden I actively follow on Twitter. Made me smile the first thing I read it. Went on to send it to a few of my friends who acknowledged how true it is… And right then, I knew, that change, has to begin. It has to, sometime. Then, why not that ‘sometime’ be right now?
So, then and there it was… Through the last 2-3 months, the idea that has found a place in my head, has finally materialised in the form of what you now see as Not Just The Talks.
To keep it real, I have no clue of how long and how much this will sustain. I hope it will be long enough to achieve something substantial. But, hope is not just enough. Just as, talking isn’t enough.
I don’t promise anything more than opinions here. I seriously, don’t. But, again, this is the internet! What else can you do? Make a few causes on Facebook which people perceive as spam? Tweet about it? Digg about it? Create it an internet  sensation? Whoa! I’m stunned! Not a bit.
Yes, I will act. I promise to. Whenever needed, I will. I won’t just give my opinions here. I will be there whenever there is an event, an opportunity, a desire, a need to change expressed. Somewhere, anywhere. That’s the grit, that’s the desperation, that’s the lust with which I want change to happen. I may have my head well in the sky when I say I dream of a world devoid of most of its present problems, but let me tell you, what my eyes see from up here, is rather beautiful and I choose to make this the real world, over going back to the filthy (compared to the view from up here) way of life. Period.
Cynicism with hope rules me. Completely. Utterly. And that’s what this is about… Hitting the issues at hand, real hard. And then getting into the system to find the solution which may possibly get us through… Let’s try! Let’s give it a shot!
I repeat. I don’t promise results. I don’t promise change. I am not God. I am a simple 18-year-old from Mumbai dreaming to live in a better Mumbai, a better India and finally, a better world. A world where sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment can be reduced by humans, for oneself and for another.
Truly speaking, it hurts to see when elders around me, even those in powerful positions, act as if nothing can be changed and give up hope so easily, on this world that is our very own. I’m sorry to say this, may be it’s even disrespectful, but, I can’t sit hand-in-hand with my friends 20 years down the line, sipping tea on the porch, and talk about how the situation has just gotten worse from right now. I would rather talk to him/her about how we tried and how much worse it could have been had we not tried…
I have crossed and already shouted out loud “Enough is enough.” If you have too, jump in. If you think you will soon, jump in. If you think you can still be patient and take this for a lot more time, or you think this effort will fail like most others have till today, don’t jump in.
Finally, being or not being a part of NJTT (acronym for ‘Not Just The Talks.’) depends on you. Your discretion, completely. I’m here. I’m trying. I will keep trying.
Will you join us?
If you do decide to join us, surely do inform us in either of the following ways:
  1. By commenting below here.
  2. By emailing us at not.just.the.talks@gmail.com.
  3. By posting it on our Facebook page.
  4. By mentioning us on Twitter (@NotJustTheTalks).
  5. Or by texting or calling me.
Until next post then… Adios :-)!