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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Less Fun More Ire

I said yes to the unsolicited credit card offer because it came from the biggest natiionalized bank, State Bank of India (SBI). That was the first mistake.

Recently SBI Cards offered me a travel agency, arzoo.com, which had special discounts on air tickets. And in an emergency I booked a ticket online. No confirmation nor e-ticket came. But the consumer executive Sandeep Lade phoned me and said that the air fare offered was not actually available, it was there by mistake. He said he was reversing the transaction immediately. So I went for the next lowest fare and booked another ticket. This time the e-ticket came. Some hours later I again confirmed with Sandeep that the earlier transaction was reversed.

But in my next month's SBI Card statement both transactions were billed. Yes, one amount for no ticket and one amount for ticket. My requests, follow-ups and outbursts failed both with SBI Card and arzooo.com.

I lost the money and peace of mind. Well, you may please be careful with online ticket booking.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My two fathers

Yes, I have two fathers and it's not a joke.

My father by birth, Amulya Kumar Chakravarty was an author and translator of world epics. He translated Homer's Odyssey and Illiad, and Virgil's Aeneid into Assamese. These great books are milestones in Assamese literature. And he was a great friend of mine. I lost him in 1991, but he continues to live with us.

My father by marriage, Bibekananda Bhattacharya was a great musician, composer and tabla player. From the fifties he had been accompanying legendary artistes on tabla, composing great songs including film music and doing scholarly research in music. IAnd he was a great friend of mine. I lost him in 2007, but he continues to live with us.

I consider myself very fortunate to have two such great father friends and unfortunate to lose them both--well, physically.
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