March 29, 2012

The whole six yards

A conversation that led to this post:

Me: (In the pantry, steeping a tea bag) Wow! Enna special? You turned up in a saree!
She: Nothing special ya!
Me: Don't chumma say nothing. Birthday aa?
She: No ya! I have so many sarees. Rarely wear them. Why simply save it up for functions only? So i decided to wear it to work.
Me: Nice ya!
She: Well, it will look and all nice, but who is even thinking of me having to maintain it?
Me( thinking) If Saree maintenance is difficult, then why go for it? :)

For most of us ladies these days, office wear would mean a pair of jeans and a top or a salwar-kurta. The whole concept of the saree being an attire for everyday purpose is gone! Everybody complains about the difficulty in maintaining a saree! For God's sake, people work the fields in a saree. Until the advent of "modern outlook", the saree was our staple clothing. My mom goes to work everyday in a saree. How is being in an air conditioned office tough? Why then does our generation think that it is difficult to handle and manage? It is simply because we are not used to draping a saree. Anybody will vouch for the fact that a saree clad woman, when draped well, is elegance personified. But well, we have not been used to wearing it oh-so-often. It is only during some function that we would slip into one (of course, draping it isn't as easy as slipping-in!) And then all the maami's would go, aDa! So pretty! You girls look so nice in a saree. You should wear it often!
And then you suddenly feel that all eyes are on you. So much that you want to go back to being in your "normal" clothes. Ladies of our generation, who are interested, should learn the skill of draping the saree. Only then will we realise how beautiful it is. And we should start treating the saree also as normal clothing, not as something that is unmanageable and attention grabbing. And the first step to that would be to stop asking people who turn up to work in a saree as to what is special?! :)

March 15, 2012

Learning a new script

Having studied in KV, I am severely handicapped when it comes to my reading and writing skills in regional languages. So when tamil speaking friends at work took to learning to write kannada, i asked myself whether I was happy with just my English and Hindi script knowledge. I knew that I was happy with my passable kannada reading skills that serve the purpose of reading signboards and bus routes. Since I know that level of kannada, reading telugu movie posters is also not a big deal. The challenge of course, is with Tamil.

In the pre-google era, I would call my parents to read out the name of the interesting movie or serial playing out on Sun TV. Whenever I had to write out a comment in tamizh, naa english script ae vechchi sammaaLippen. But now, I want to learn the language. Simply because I want to read those lovely stories that Amma used to read out from Kumudam and Kalki. Because I want to be able to use right sounding tamizh words effortlessly like Gopinath does in Neeya Naana. Because I want to read Ponniyin Selvan. I have heard people raving about the novel like they rave about Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. I know that for a beginner, Ponniyin Selvan is far far away. But I like a good challenge. So I am at it, starting today :) It all  looks like jalebi right now, but very soon I should be able to make sense of the alphabet. Best thing is that the Tamil alphabet does not have so many letters!
P.S. Watch this space for an update in the form of the review of Ponniyin Selvan :)

March 13, 2012

Would you use Airtel money?

I am a big sucker for great ads. So when i saw the ad for airtel money, where the girl spots this god-awesome bag but doesn't have the cash for it, i really felt for her. And felt that she should get the money for the bag. And when her mum dearest said, tathasthu! for her bag wish and sent her money thru phone, i was smiling along with the mother-daughter.

Got me to do some digging up on Airtel Money. So how does it work?
1. Mom has an airtel money account. Daughter has an airtel money account.
2. Mom loads cash into her account either by physically depositing money at an airtel office or transfer thru net banking.
3. Mom needs a power account to send money (Rs.50 subscription). She pays Rs. 5 per transaction below 500 and 10 for transactions above 500. (The bag certainly isn't coming for 500!!)
4. Daughter receives the money.
5. Daughter prays real hard that the store accepts the airtel money. If she is in luck, then he would. She would have to transfer money to his account by payment. And in case she sends it to the wrong ID, airtel does not hold itself responsible. If the merchant did not receive the money, then she would have to contact airtel customer care with transaction ID.
And yes, its a given that this would mean that all parties involved in the transactions have airtel accounts!

Now a simple question, why would anybody go thru this hassle in the age of debit and credit cards?! And if the mom is as tech-savvy, then she can as well use mobile banking and transfer money instantly to her daughter's account.
Same case with money transfer. When i can fund transfer directly to another account, free of charge, why would i do it to my airtel phone, so as to later transfer it again, at a charge to someone else's money account?
They let you book movie tickets using their money service, but you cannot pick your seats. Riders, charges  and conditions are there with almost every transaction. While their tagline says, it's not just about the money, they are charging money for everything ;)
I really did not understand airtel ka funda behind launching this service. I'd rather swipe my credit card free of cost and also accrue points for my purchase. Can you think of anyway in which airtel money would be advantageous and convenient?

March 4, 2012

Why Pinnnk for the ladies?

I have been going through hoards of websites in the past couple of weeks in order to get the best deal for a certain phone that i have had my eye on for a while. The search spanned the Valentine's day week and I was cringing whenever i saw the hearts all over the websites. What irritated me the most was, in the gifts for Him section, you found all the smart looking phones and practical gifts. On the other hand, gifts for her featured *PINK* stuff, and was mostly things like stuffed toys, chocolates, pink bags and wallets, pink phones (Beat that!). What makes the online stores think that girls would love stuffed toys? The very fact that she is old enough to receive a valentine's day gift means that the girl is a grown up! Stuffed toys are for kids! And why do they not think the ladies would be delighted in receiving a practical gift? Why give a pink phones that has hardly any desirable features? Don't you think a black "useful" phone would please her? Don't you think she would appreciate a practical gift like an external hard disk ?

A note to the online marketing people, women don't need a pink phone or a stuffed toy to make them feel special. The poor guy will probably face her ire if he gives her an overstuffed teddy bear while she was expecting something useful! And what makes you think that women should be given pink gadgets? I bought myself a stylish black phone  and am in love with it! More on the phone later.
Women these days are probably as informed as the men about gadgets. They are practical and they know what they want. And speaking from common knowledge, what they want is certainly not a cuddly teddy bear!