Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rewards Redemption!!!

Such has been the bane of my professional life that my salary has always been more of a working capital for the month with savings reducing every passing year and expenses increasing every month – some for necessity whereas rest for luxury. And in the last couple of years or so, the luxurious expenses have been replaced with necessary expanses at an increasing pace. There was a time when I was found in a Provogue showroom almost twice a month but in last two year I never visited one. So when I got a chance to go shopping, I called up my friend X who always gives me stiff competition in the tussle between income and expenses.


Me: Hey, I am going shopping this weekend.

X: Oh great. Finally you are moving out of your house on a weekend, so what if it’s for window shopping.


Me: No, no. I am actually going shopping.

X: How come? Using credit card and converting it to EMIs formula?


Me: Nope. I hade some reward points outstanding on my ICICI credit card. So I redeemed it against Provogue vouchers and I got 8 vouchers worth INR 500/- each.

X: That’s great. But actually you made a wrong choice. You should have taken Lifestyle or Shopper’s stop vouchers. You could have got more options for brands there.


Me: Yeah, but it is my favourite brand so...

X: You are bad at planning. Anyhow, go ahead. There is a flat 50% sale this weekend on your favourite brand. They call it special valentine day’s offer and are targeting love birds. But it’s only valid between 8 in the morning to 12 noon. Wish they knew that its only beggars like you who would land up their in hope of some cheap cloths. Love birds don’t go garment shopping that too on a valentine’s day.


So I woke up early, landed at the showroom around 11:00 AM and witnessed a brutal proof of recession - with all the shops displaying sign boards declaring they were selling on heavy discounts, I accounted for approximately 10% of customer population on my floor.


Right from my childhood I have had a dream – going to some showroom and picking up cloths without even looking at the price tag. I used to think, I would be able to do so once I start earning. Well when I started earning, I always found price tags displaying numbers a bit too big to be ignored. Then I used to think, I would be able to fulfil my dream when I would start earning more. But the numbers on the price tag kept getting bigger and I could never ignore them. Dream always remained a dream.


But, this was my moment. With 50% discount on prices and vouchers of INR 4000/- in my pocket, I was feeling like a little kid who has been given a free hand in an ice cream parlour. I went on a rampage.


In an hour’s time I was talking to my friend X over the phone.


Me: Hi.

X: Hey you had plans of going to the showroom for shopping. Well 50% discount offer was valid till 12 o’clock. You missed it.


Me: No I went there around 11:00 AM.

X: Ah, so early. So how are you feeling? Wardrobe full yet pocket not empty must be sending you on cloud 9.


Me: No. It’s the other way round. My wardrobe is not so full and pocket is empty.

X: What, someone robbed you off your clothes?


Me: Nope. I went on picked 6-7 pieces of clothing. The bill came around INR 8,500/-.

X: So, making it half means bill was around INR 4,250/-. You had vouchers worth 4000. Now don’t tell me you couldn’t pay 250 also.


Me: No dude. Vouchers didn’t work for discount prices. They were only valid on original prices.

X: Who said so?


Me: It was written at the back of every voucher - If you use a voucher, you don’t get any discount.

X: Damn. Then?


Me: I felt like a kid who has been robbed off his ice cream.

X: So what did this kid do?


Me: I came down to 2 shirts and a pair of trousers. The original bill was INR 4,000/- odd.

X: So you got something in exchange for vouchers. May be you paid INR 100/- or so extra?


Me: No, one voucher could be used for purchasing one item.

X: Who said this?


Me: This was also written at the back of the voucher.

X: So?


Me: So either you buy a shirt on original price, pay 500 in form of voucher and rest from you pocket or take benefit of 50% price discount and pay everything from your pocket.

X: So if shirt costs 1200 and you pay the original price, you pay 1200 minus 500 means 700 from your pocket. If you opt to take price discount, you pay 600 from you pocket plus the internal satisfaction of buying something on such a huge discount.


Me: Yeah. So I took the price discount option and paid from my pocket.

X: Haha...


Me: If earlier I felt like a kid who had been robbed off his ice cream, now I felt like a daily wage worker who had been robbed off his salary.

X: Haha....Never mind, at least you saved all your vouchers. That is a saving of 4000. (Broke into laughter).


Me: Well...

X: But did ICICI not tell you all this before you redeemed your coupons? They should have.


Me: No, I could not find it anywhere on their website.

X: Try calling at their call centres. May be they could be of some help.


Me: Dude, they themselves think that their call reps are of no use. What can I expect?

X: Means?


Me: Have you ever called them up? Before you manage to talk to a call rep on call, the ICICI makes you hear so many promotional messages as if they want to sell all their products then and there. May be they fear that once you talk to their call rep, you may turn completely away from the bank.

X: Well......


Me: So when are you getting you coupons.

X: Well after giving it a lot of thought, I ordered Lifestyle’s vouchers. At least I will have more choices there.


X called me up after couple of days.


X: Dude, I laughed a lot on you last time but now its time to return the favour.

Me: Means?


X: My vouchers have similar conditions. If you use them, you don’t get any discount. And my vouchers also have one coupon for one purchase condition.

Me: Haha.....


X: Don’t start laughing yet.

Me: Why?


X: Because I opted for INR 100/- voucher.


PS: If you know any good items that could be priced below 100rs. (Original price), please let me know so that I can convey it to X.


Disclaimer: Above written piece is based on true events with a little bit or linguistic dramatization. There is no intention to use/misuse any brand name.


Image Courtesy: Provogue.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kashmir in a marriage!!!

Few excerpts of a conversation between two friends which I happen to overhear in train today (They seem to be meeting after long time) –


A: Hey how are you?

B: I am fine. How you have been? Long time, no?


A: I am fine too. You tell me what’s new at your end?

B: All fine. My marriage got fixed.


A: Congratulations. So when is the marriage?

B: It’s just got fixed. Engagement will be next month.


A: So courtship period starts. Good.

B: Yeah, kind off. BTW tell me dude.


A: What?

B: Give me some gyaan about marriage.


A: Gyaan about marriage? I though you had enough of Bangbuses and Milfs.

B: Not that way dude. Tell me how is life after marriage.


A: Life is good.

B: Really? And how does it change?


A: In what ways?

B: How things change with family.


A: Oh, that ways. You would be staying with your parents so you are asking.

B: Yes.


A: Tell me, what you think about Kashmir.

B: It’s a bone of contention. It belongs to India but Pakistan keeps claiming it.

A: Yes. Both India and Pakistan make a claim on it.

B: So?


A: Be ready to be a Kashmir between your wife and mother.

B: Oh, and wife would be Pakistan and mother would be India.


A: Never say it.

B: So vice versa?


A: Never say it.

B: So? Who would be India and who would be Pakistan?


A: Who does Kashmir belong to?

B: India.


A: So if you are sitting with your mother, she is India. If it’s your wife, she is India.

B: And whoever I am not sitting with is Pakistan.


A: Never say it.

B: Ah, I am hardly going to have any say it means.


A: You are slowly getting it.

B: What when both are sitting together.


A: Well, just do not say anything in such a case. In fact you may hardly get a chance.

B: Dude what about this Kashmiri?


A: What about you, I mean a Kashmiri?

B: Yeah.


A: Tell me, what do some Kashmiri parties claim what Kashmir wants?

B: Freedom.


A: Yes. But you know what they miss?

B: No.


A: Kashmir’s geographical location is such that it cannot remain free. Either India will have to capture it or Pakistan.

B: Ah, so I must be ready to surrender my so called freedom.


A: You better do because if India and Pakistan don’t capture Kashmir, China will.

B: Ah, that would be even worse.


A: Yes, so better get rid off all those separatist elements who claim to be freedom fighters. And always be with India. That is your best chance.

B: Yes. Dude but where does UN come into picture? After all Kashmir is not perceived as a bilateral issue.


A: There is no UN in this world. There is just one US.

B:  Okay. The big daddy. Where does it come into the picture?


A: Your dad. He is an old man.

B: Oh, him. But US is still is a superpower.


A: It was. In reality it’s a falling economy.



A: Come’ on. All its life it had been funding the monstrous greed for consumption of its citizens.



A: Yes...You. It has gone into a credit crisis now.

B: So it is helpless?


A: Yes. And do not forget. US had its Vietnam and Cuba and Russia when on peak.

B: Oh.


A: And US still have an Afghanistan to counter.

B: Who, my mother or my would-be?

A: Idiot. It’s you.

B: And it’s looking for a face saving exit from Afghanistan.


A: You are getting it.

B: Okay. Come, let’s go to Totos and have some beer. It’s been ages.


A: Not today. My daughter is having her kindergarten admission test tomorrow.

B: Oho. Dude, you are just 35. Why did you have kids so early?


A: Because I did not want to buy Leo Toys from my pension money.

B: Hehe!!!


A: What about Friday?

B: Not on Friday. I am going on my first official date.


A: Aha...then Saturday should be fine.

B: Not on Saturday, I have to take my mother to Siddhivinayak temple.


A: Oh, so claim on Kashmir has already started.

B: Well....


A: Ask you dad to take her to temple.

B: Well, US has declared a war against Afghanistan these days. So I have started playing Kashmir.


A: Welcome to the club buddy!!!


Standard Disclaimers:

1.        I just overheard this conversation.  

2.        I strongly believe that Kashmir DOES belong to India.            

3.        I do not intend to hurt any sentiments of any region/marital status/ country/religion and if there is something like that, its regretted. All I am intending is PUN.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Google news is my favourite time pass at work. Being an accumulator of different news items, it gives the magnitude of space a particular item covers in the news world. If we go the other way round meaning instead of reading entire news collection, search for a particular type of news, it might well spell out the sentiment. May I am not clear in explaining the theory or may be the theory itself is wrong, why don’t you just read on? Few results on my different search strings on google news....


Economic Recession - Results 1 - 10 of about 152,941 for economic recession. (0.50 seconds)

Economic Boom - Results 1 - 10 of about 16,696 for economic boom. (0.27 seconds)


Obviously the economic boom is fast becoming something not heard off. The silver lining in the dark cloud of recession – google did not say when I entered the term economic boom – Did you mean: Economic recession?


Economic Boom in India - Results 1 - 10 of about 812 for economic boom in india. (0.24 seconds)

Economic slowdown - Results 1 - 10 of about 6,570 for economic slowdown in india. (0.23 seconds)


Definitely the sentiment is not very positive in India too. I searched for economic recession and not slowdown because finance minister had assured that we are actually facing a slowdown, not recession . But then I searched for

Economic Recession - Results 1 - 10 of about 11,435 for economic recession in india. (0.32 seconds) 


May be we are getting there fast.


Economy fear - Results 1 - 10 of about 25,664 for economy fear. (0.52 seconds)

Terrorism Fear - Results 1 - 10 of about 4,164 for terrorism fear. (0.22 seconds)


May be fear of starvation is much more than what LeTs and Al-quaidas have on offer. Or may be it’s about the target segment of the news coverage.


Economy death – Results 1 - 10 of about 10,490 for economy death. (0.24 seconds)

Terrorism Death - Results 1 - 10 of about 5,011 for terrorism death. (0.16 seconds)


Not sure which is more deadly?


One a different note, I heard an interesting term being used by one of very esteemed ex cricketer who is blessing the commetator’s box these days – “In T20, every one is trying to outthink everyone or to be more precise outguess everyone”


What would the same commentator might have said when he was allowed to take his newly born baby to home – My baby has come out-ward today.


How will he support left parties like CPM against BJP – CPM will out-right BJP in coming elections.


What he might have said to a crying Vinod Kambli in WC1996 semi final when he started crying – Match is abandoned and Kambli is out-crying.


I guess it is enough of out-writing for me. Time for a few disclaimers -


ü  Data courtesy google news. It may differ at different times.

ü  I did not take the commentator’s name.

ü  As per my knowledge and understanding, CPM is a leftist party which may not be standing with BJP in coming   elections. They may out-guess me in fact they have all the rights in the world to make me feel as if I am left outguessed.

ü  Vinod Kambli did cry in 1996 WC semi final.

Hence please do not sue me like this. Coincidently my search string of “NDTV sue blogger” returned “Your search - ndtv sue blogger - did not match any documents.”