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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Credit Card Cheating Goes On!



Credit card frauds are common now. But cheating by credit card issuer banks are also becoming common and this is more disturbing.

A customer got an offer from a prominent international private bank for a much lesser interest rate than the one currently on. He was told that this rate would continue for six months and after the rate would be reduced still further. For this he would have to take a fund transfer without really needing it. The customer agreed happily and repaid the transferred money immediately resisting temptations of spending it. Then he indulged in liberal use of the card as the rate was lowest of all.

After six months he got no notice of further reduction of interest rate. Then slowly he began to see high debit interest being charged. He enquired with the bank and the executive gave him a bagful of sweet lies. Not believing him the customer threatened to close the account.After a few days he got a letter from the bank informing him that the usual rate of interest is being charged and this would further go up from next week.

So what the bank did is this: The promised further lowering of interest did not happen at all. Even the given lower rate was changed to the normal rate without notification. The customer was fleeced unawares for months.

Never take bank credit offers at face value. Ask for written communication. Preserve all documents. Make constant enquiries. If the bank refuses to close the account, do not ever use it again and better cut up the card.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mumbai Times

Fortunately nothing untoward happened during July 23-26 caused either by nature or humans.

But terror is not leaving Mumbai alone. Now again there is a threat of car bombing, particularly for high rise buildings. Again there high alert and tremendous checking and frisking of vehicles. But does it mean that earlier state of alert for specific targets is lax now? This is more worrying. Why not make the state of high alert a normal level of security to be maintained at all times? Mumbai is so attractive and many want to destroy it. A permanent terror target does require a continuous high alert.

In the meantime monsoon is on another break. But things are not looking bleak, though there is worry of drought in some parts of Maharashtra.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And Then The Tidal Waves!



Tidal waves 5.05 meter high hit Mumbai at around 2pm today. First this high tide was declared to be highest in 100 years; then the highest in this year and finally scaled down to the highest of this season. Most feared torrential rains did not greet it for high tea; instead, the sun shone through maybe first time in days.

And the hapless paranoid crowds celebrated and made merry. The hype of 24th July, 2009 carefully created and nurtured ended in ridicule. Weather bureau had the last laugh as it made no hyped forecast. The news channels could have been the worst hit as they lost out on possible hours and hours of prime commercial time. A sigh of relief for the municipal corporation.

Morale of the story? Never ever terrorize citizens for things absolutely not in your hands and things for which you can only make guesses at best. Better, concentrate your efforts in preventing terror attacks.

In the meantime monsoon has become more regular distributing uniform rains all around Mumbai and water supplying lakes are fast filling up. Water supply cut is reduced to 15% now which may go altogether in next few days. Now, it should extend its good work to adversely affected parts of the country.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Government Service Is Not A Bed Of Roses!



Security, sixth pay commission, relaxed way of working and so on are considered to be the lures of government service. This is only a part of the larger picture. A good worker is a good worker irrespective of where s/he works. And a good worker is often not rewarded in government service. Instead, s/he faces numerous pitfalls along the way and is hardly cared for.

A government servant recently went out of town on leave and he fell suddenly sick needing an emergency surgery. He had to rush to the nearest hospital which turned out to be a private one. He spent a lot of money and luckily got cured.

When he joined his office the government heath centres refused to give him medicine as those were prescribed by a private doctor. He was not given any compensation package as he was operated by a private doctor. Even he was refused medical leave as he was certified by a private doctor.

He had to go on buying medicine on his own and he faced more loss of money due to half pay leave as he did not have enough earned leave.

He fell sick while in government service, he was operated while in government service, he got back to duty before he was fully fit(spending still more money for having to commute to office by taxi for a month) while in government service and, he was cared a hoot by the government. He spent all his hard earnings and was continuously harassed in the bargain.

Any takers?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Living Dangerously!

If the threat of imminent terrorist strikes to Mumbai is not enough, the city municipal corporation has issued warning for 24th of July, 2009. The warning says that possible downpour combined with exceptionally high tide could surpass the deluge of July 26, 2005. But not to worry, all steps are being taken to ensure safety to all Mumbaikars.

Now, the weather office has not made any forecast on this. Well, not making such forecasts is laden with undefined hidden dangers! As always, the 26/7 catastrophic cloud burst caught the weather office totally unawares. If they make a forecast well and good, because then you can be almost sure that nothing will happen.

Private news channels are also adding fuel to such dangers by hyping the possible effects of the coming solar eclipse on 22nd July. Solar eclipse does have an impact on the seas and tides.

And mind you, the monsoon is yet to unfold fully.

You have no choice but to keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yes Rain No Rain!

Even after the fourth heavy disrupting rain installment to endow Mumbai with the rain is not considered to be enough. Yes, not in the catchment areas where the main lakes are to supply water to the mega city. The lake levels are still low compared to last year.

And the 30% water cut is set to continue...till...maybe the fifth or the next installment...or. Only if the installment is kind enough to the catchment areas.

The city municipal corporation is also set to go ahead with the planned cloud seeding. Artificial rain needed to compensate for the lack of genuine rain.

It all depends now on the Monsoon to rescue the corporation out of the heavy expenditure ahead for artificial rain soon.


Luckily in most other parts of Maharashtra Monsoon is doing good work.

One more thought. Maybe Monsoon is learning a bit from the Indian politicians, particularly the ladies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monsoon Installments!



Since the night of July 13 Mumbai has been endowed with the fourth installment of Monsoon rains. This is not EMI, but UUI meaning Un-equated Unpredictable Installment!

The problem here is that UUIs lead to system failure disrupting traffic and life. Add to it the Hitchcock type suspense as to when and where and how much. If rain is spread uniformly over the days there is no system disorder. But when you don’t get rains for one full month installments are bound to continue.

And more grief! In between monsoon breaks the weather continued to be dark and gloomy leading to moisture in my CPU and the engineer just could not come to rectify it. So I could not sit on my PC and had no time to use the office one.

How many more installments left? Make your guesses. What else can you do!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hail Monsoon!



Finally the unwilling Monsoon has become active! Good rains almost all over Maharashtra and continuing since yesterday. Good and continuing in Mumabai too--but still not good enough to fill the lake levels responsible for the mega city's water supply.

But no complaints. Continue the good work so that our farmers can joyfully start the good work too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monsoon Hide and Seek On!





The South West Monsoon is progressing steadily and has reached the national capital of Delhi yesterday. But it is not stopping anywhere for the pouring task.

Mumbai has a break of now over four days with very little rains. Some other cities are having the same fate and some other areas are having rains--but only temporarily. Mumbai is yet to see and hear lightning and thunder this season!

Is the Monsoon saving its efforts for one day show--the show of the millennium? We have not forgotten the deluge of 26/7 in 2005. And what about the country?

Monsoon is hereby requested to review and answer soon!
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