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Friday, January 30, 2009

I may soon be getting a PadmaShri!!

The revered PadmaShri awards which have a lot of social value attached in India are enticed by everyone. Every year on republic day, the government comes out with a list of people who would be awarded the coveted awards – padma shri, padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhusan; not to mention the coveted Bharat Ratna. The awards committee looks at individuals world over, and circles down the people who have impacted the most to the nation in different fields like arts, culture, economy, literature, etc.

In such circumstances this news comes as a big joke.

Khan was nominated for the Padma Shri under the art, culture and literature category. Then it was corrected to the craftsmen category, but when the hunt for Khan started after his nomination, it was found that no craftsman by that name existed in Jammu and Kashmir.

If this kind of laxity happens with such a prestigious award, I don't see any reason why I cannot be called padma Shri Bharat Jhurani, aka Padma Shrimati.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jobs Jobs.. Where are they?

Its placement time in campuses across the world, but where are the jobs? The newspapers, pink and white, have not been very friendly or encouraging in this matter of late. Every day we hear of reports about layoffs, large companies (read big recruiters) in distress, no jobs in market, and top it all THE financial fraud.

In such times the article in MINT, about overseas students also looking for a share in the Indian job market pie, makes it even more tough, or competitive.

The reasons for this are manifold:

This year, fewer companies are expected to visit campuses—several international investment banks, traditionally big hirers on campuses, have either gone under or no longer exist in their previous forms—and the competition among students will be tough.

As stated, companies which were dreams are now the worst nightmares. Who could have guessed that a company of Lehman Brothers repute, where a majority of individuals would vie to work in, would go bust one fine day? And if Lehman can be a victim, why not any other company? Who could have evn guessed in the wildest of his dreams about the Satyam balance entries being reversed by one letter of the chairman?

"We certainly are seeing a lot more interest from Indian students in foreign business schools," said Sri Rajan, partner at consulting firm Bain and Company's Indian arm. "We are seeing a lot more applications for two reasons—economy in the US is pretty bad and long-term growth prospects of India are better. So, applicants are hedging their bets."

One more reason for the overseas students looking at India as a greener pasture is the glowing opportunities provided by the emerging economies of the land of tiger and Dragon. This probably also explains new interest for the incoming exchange program among students of developed countries.

Some students say India will remain a long-term bet for many and recession has nothing to do with their plan to move back home.

India as a long term bet once again summarizes the above said reason. Emerging Economies. The future power.
 

Thus, the conditions are terrible no doubt, and it does require test of patience and courage to steer through it. As a friend here in L animatedly described, " We would be a batch of Phoenix. Literally rise from the ashes."

In such conditions, IDEAS – the economic times Initiative for emerging and budding entrepreneurs is very well timed. In L itself, many of my batch mates here are contemplating various B Plans. The initial plan while joining was to first get placed in a good paying job, work for a couple of years and then start of on own. But now, looking at the gloomy market scenario for jobs or maybe the brighter market scenario for start-ups, the plans have changed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Movie Time

Joblessness, or rather having an offer in hands in these times of recession, really gives one a lot of time to spend on things one always wanted to do.

I have been quite jobless in the last few weeks, and I would like to believe that I have spent them quite effectively. I had this "7 things to do before I post-graduate". Going at this pace I doubt if I would be able to even complete half of them. Maybe three, but well, that is still less than half right?

Movies were never in the radar in these SEVEN THINGS, but have been quite involved with them. What other activity demands one to just stare at the screen, sit on the chair or lie on the bed in the blanket, looking into the happenings or rather tragedies with other people's lives? MOVIES. Have seen quite a few of them of late, and here I would like to review them for your benefit (or is it just to keep track of all the movies that I have seen?)


 

  • The internationally acclaimed film by Danny Boyle about the rise of jamal Malik, an indian Slum Dweller, winning millions of rupees on a TV reality show. It shows the streets of Mumbai, and its slums very well. The actors were all fantastic, and A R Rahman's music needs no more certification after winning all the major awards. Jai Ho!!

    Rating: 9/10

  • Pakistani movie about the difficulties of Pakistanis and muslims in general after the world trade center attacks. The different tracks running at the same time and their proper integration into the main theme is very appealing and makes the movie quite entertaining.

    Rating: 8/10

  • One more from Will Smith and Gabriele Muccino after The Pursuit of happiness. A heart touching saga of an IRS agent and his way to exemption, is exemplary. The last scene especially with Will Smith finally achieving his objective and his revelation of the real motive is heart rendering.

    Rating: 8/10

  • It has been a dream since time immemorial to age backwards. To get younger as we grow old. To maintain the same physique and strength of youth even after a person gets old. This movie explains this dream and very beautifully in that. A small young boy, born old with weak legs and wrinkled face has this curious thing going on – He gets younger as he grows older by age. The screenplay in the form of narration by an old lady keeps up the grip of the story, and the tragic end of Benjamin is amazing.

    Rating: 7.5/10

  • Clint Eastwood can be bet with any amount of money. Here Mr. Eastwood not only directs but also acts, so Sone par Suhaaga (double benefit). An aging Clint Eastwood helps a young teenager of his neighbourhood after the young lad steals his prized possession – Gran Torino. It gets disturbing in parts in the later half of the movie when the neighborhood is attacked and the lad's sister raped. The ending is again touching.

    Rating: 6.5/10

  • This is touted as the most talked about film of the decade – 80's. It very well is that engaging. After finding a severed ear in the fields a guy complains to the local police but then decided to search the crime himself. He is joined by the detective's daughter herself in this journey and they both discover a whole underworld kingpin lying in their neighbourhood. It is quite disturbing for the nudity and the sexual violence it portrays.

    Rating: 6/10

  • A real timepass movie if you have nothing else to do. A fat paced comedy about 5 couples about one sexual encounter. It can serve as a good reminder to young couples and help them better their sexual lives. The movie is not all that grose, though the title suggests so. A better title could have fared the movie a better response. The present title at the first reference gives a feeling of it being a porn movie.

    Rating: 6/10

  • Angelina jolie has done a great job, and she perfectly fits the bill of looking like a LA woman in the 1920s. Jolie reports about her lost son to the police and after a few days a boy is returned to her. At the very first notice she identifies, " no, he is not my Son!". The corrupt police pass on some other kid as hers and convince her into that. One more Clint Eastwood gem and it completely holds the attention of the watcher all across the movie.

    Rating: 6.5/10

  • Zack and Miri are the best of the friends and stay together. To overcome their financial problems they decide to make a porno movie and solve all their problems. In the process they discover the hidden love for each other. It is a light comedy and has quite a couple of hilarious situations.

    Rating: 6/10

  • Two successful women are sick of dating, relationships and all the emotional baggage along with it. They decide to hire two guys to their house strictly for sexual purposes. No strings attached. As the movie progresses the relationship becomes more than a sexual one, and graduates to love. A fresh original story and it is fun.

    Rating: 7/10
    So, not this does with the movie review for the time. I am also engrossed with the HEROES Series to keep myself more occupied. Smirk!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Confessions of a Medical Mind

One more review post. This time of a blog.

 

My friend here at L, Abhinav Akhilesh (aka Doc) has started a new blog based on his upcoming book.

The book is about the story of a medico student, or so it seemed from the blog.

I request you all collegian readers to please have a look at the blog and provide Doc with some constructive feedback.


 

An excerpt from the blog:

"Baap kya karta hai aapka?", the balding professor thundered.
And, suddenly everything went blank.
It was 2003, and a nubile 16 year old Rakshita was having a hard time deciding what stream she wanted to study after her secondary school. Her application to an International School of debatable repute had been accepted, but her family wanted her to stay in India. They had just shown her an advertisement for admission to arguably the country's best school. Rakshita wondered, was it the case that her parents wanted a trophy for the showcase in their house? A daughter who had been accepted at the Delhi Public School, RK Puram, noted widely as the toughest school to get into in India. But she quickly settled for the fact that no parent ever wants anything for their child unless they feel it is for her own good.

(Source: Confessions of a Medical Mind)


 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vote for Amit Varma

What is an election campaign doing here? Nah! Its not about elections out here in campus.


 

Amit varma, accomplished blogger and soon to be author (his book My Friend, Sancho is ready to hit the markets), has been nominated for the 2008 weblog awards in two categories.

  • Best Asian Blog
  • Best Political Coverage

It is the only blog written out of India to be nominated.

About Amit Varma,

He used to write the weekly column Thinking It Through[1] [2]for the business newspaper Mint. He also writes the popular blog, India Uncut[3], which won the Best Indiblog Award at the Indibloggies in 2005[4] and was nominated again in 2006[5].


 

In October 2007, Varma won the 2007 Bastiat Prize for Journalism which aims to honour writers "whose work cleverly and wittily promotes the institutions of the free society"[6].


 

In 2008, his first novel, My friend, Sancho was one of the novels nominated to the Longlist For The Man Asian Literary Prize 2008.(Source: Wiki).


 

A person can vote once everyday from an IP. So please vote, and ensure that this guy from India brings laurels to the country.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

INDEX'08

INDEX- Information through Disguised Experimentation - this effort is aimed at tapping into the sub-conscious of the consumer. Businesses try to do this using conventional marketing tools, but at a high cost in terms of money, time and the inevitable biases that creep in. INDEX is IIM Lucknow's endeavour to provide to the industry quality market research from desensitized data.

Initially, about one and a half years back, when I got into IIML and introduced to these committees, I don't know what? But I was attracted to the INDEX. I so desperately wanted to get into it. But well, destiny had something else scripted for me, and I could not get INDEXed for life, as they would call it. No regrets. I got into Student Exchange Committee (STEX). But then, this pinch that I need to do something about INDEX.

 
 

I was already in a team – W.I.N. – Whats in a Name?. I did have lots of fun while in the team. Made some great friends. Many mentors among seniors – Prashant (Uncle), the team lead; Abhishek Bhatia; Mandal; Bhunia, and so many others. Also had many memorable memories, exciting adventures and also some learning. In whole, it was an amazing experience, and I had then decided that I would form a team.


I opted out of the exchange program, in my dearth to lead a team in INDEX. We started forming the team right in march with Tanuj and Srinivas as the first members. I had this zealous enthusiasm that I want to win INDEX'08. During my summers I always had this INDEX thing on the back of my mind. I also spoke to Mukesh Patnaik in detail about the whole process. (He is my senior and the INDEX winner last year. I had the chance to catch up with him in vizag during my summers). When the second year started, we were done with the senior team formation (comprising ten members) and after lots of heated discussion named the team – TOTAL RECALL. (The name was suggested by Varun Reddy).

 
 

As soon as the facchas came in, as suggested by Mukesh, we started scouting for them. Getting to know them, interviewing them, explaining them INDEX and then finally taking them in on the three point evaluator – Creative, Jugaad, BhakChod. The process of the junior team formation was tedious and it also raised healthy competition among teams fostering into camaraderie. Tha faccha team was formed and we partied out at nashwa.



Now comes the first step. Proposal making. We needed to win a proposal. We as a team recognised that this was our weakest link, and I had so many nightmares that I would land up without a proposal. A terrible thing to happen. The dynamics are so – there are 13 teams in campus, and INDEX core would get about 9 or maximum 10 projects to be executed. So about 3-4 teams would get dissolved. I at no cost wanted to be in that 3-4 teams. We did work hard and smart, and finally lapped in CITIBANK. That called for a celebration, in an 'unconventional' party. Everyone dressed and ready for the party and we all head to Fauji Dhaba outside campus in a open truck. One party that I am sure everyone would remember. Iit could not not get more weird than that.




Then the unexpected pleasant shock. I got a PPO from Cadbury, and everyone started believing I would have no more motivation. Actually yes, the CV did not matter anymore and I did not see any reason I should work for it. But well, how do I explain that INDEX is something that I was not doing just for the CV. I had things to prove. I still work, of course not with the same rigour, as lethargy and relaxedness had taken toll on me.

 
 

INDEX'08 was scheduled on 22nd and 23rd November. We started off with the prop design and the questionnaire design, along with the game design well in advance. It all went smooth, and our props were like one of the best among the teams, I can vouch. The process in place for prop preparation was intact and it showed in the results. The two days at the fair were tiring and fun at the same time. I slept for not more that 4 hrs in those two days. It was a very gratifying experience. We did party out a lot during those two days. Went out to Ritz for team dinner on both days, and also followed it up the nest week with a team outing for dinner. Also, in the tent itself, we arranged for alcohol, and even invited INDEX core for it. All the actors were having their glass ready while enacting their parts to the respondents!!




Now comes the final lag – the report and the presentation. Everyone had lost enthusiasm, and that includes me. The data was not being coded in spite of repeated requests. Mahale was busy preparing for TOEFL, and so were others in their own pursuits. The final blow, I was leaving town and would not be available when the report has to be submitted. Even Srinivas is out of town, and well tanuj was out long back (different story!). So only gaur left, and I hand him over everything with a request to everyone to follow Gaur. On Monday evening, when I was busy having fun in Jaipur at the wedding, I get reddy's message – "Dude, Please talk to gaur. No work is happening". I was like shit; I call up srini instead, and ask him to please complete the formality. Whatever little chances of winning were left are all forgotten, and now it has reduced to just a formality. The report does get submitted.

 
 

Saturday night is the deadline for the presentation to be submitted. I try and divide the work among the team members, but to no avail. No one seems to be interested. Why should i? I don't have anything at stake. Chuck it. Finally, after lots of persuasion, I and Srini start working on the ppt at about 10PM, with some inputs from Mahale on quantitative analysis. We complete some crap by 12 midnight. We then go out to the mess and eat lightly just to follow it up with some pegs of Royal Stag – My lucky charm. Trump card it is Abhinav if you want to call it so.

Presentation at 9:30AM on Sunday morning. My hair is oiled so I necessarily have to bath in that cold chilling fog filled weather. I mail the entire team to be present without much hope, and then mail some key members separately asking them to join me compulsorily. In Vain, I realise next day morning. I wake up baka and ask him to wake up Gaur and Mahale at least. Gaur replies back blatantly – "NO, I am not coming". Srini asks him some details about his part, and then me and Srini head to Mahale's room. After lots of requesting, he agrees to come but not in formals. We were like, "come in whatever way you like. Just come and present the quantitative part" He replies back, stopping where he is, "no Dude, I am not presenting anything. If they ask any questions I would defend you". With the fear that he would retract back to his cozy blanket, we agreed.

 
 

The first presentation people re walking out, and now thankfully we also have Ankush and Ali Рnone in formals. The saving grace were Swati and Shwetha who came in formals. At least to show the team bonding, and the gender diversity we have something. I and Srini are on the stage trying to explain everything in the uttermost smartness we can. We do a good job I am sure. I present the major part and Srini handles one part. In the end part of the presentation was the quantitative analysis of which I knew no shit, so I just skim through it. After we end with the thank you slide, the judge from ac neilson does not seem very happy, and remarks, " you gave a good presentation, but you know what? Somewhere in the middle I completely got lost". He then started shooting questions along with his counterpart on the rational of using various data, and the methodology by which we arrived at the numbers. A hard core statistician. My weak area. We try fielding him for some time with some globe, but of no avail. Now enters Mahale, who was just sitting idly all the while. He replies back in the same numbers tone and speaks quant for some 5 minutes. (maybe it was greek and Latin, I did not know). Then the judge again provokes Mahale by further introspection. Mahale is raged, and gets down to the stage. He takes a chalk piece and starts drawing the most obscure signs and equations explaining things with some graphs. Now I am sure it was latin, many of the signs on the board were. After the detailed explanation he retorts, " NOW AM I RIGHT?", after a brief pause, " YES, I THINK I AM". The whole hall is silent, and the judges awestruck. (Abhinav one more trump card this is for TOTAL RECALL). Prof. DDG, who was also the judge along with those from ac nelison finally asked some question to break the silence. This I handed with élan. My core competency as Baka calls РSpeaking.

 
 

We have little hopes on the outcome, and only I and Srini attend the presentation ceremony in the evening. Shweta followed after sometime, and Ali and Ajit also were present. Other teams had a good 10-15 people representation. Great. First the traditional speeches by the judges. Thankfully they were brief. Then the individual stages results. We do not win any.

 
 

Now for the final results. Overall INNDEX'08 winners. First the 2nd runners up..

TOTAL RECALL


Whoa! I and Srini were like the most surprised people on the planet. We just keep staring each other for a moment. And then after Kaushik signals to come over, do we go the stage to collect the award. Huh! Finally it paid off.

We partied in the night at genesis club, where I got totally drunk! As usual!


 

Top of Form


Bottom of Form

VLCC - Don't venture anywhere close!!! PART 2

Well, coming back to the beautician, a well dressed middle aged lady with looks of a doctor. Efficient acting I say. Even she exchanged the customary pleasantries (guess it is part of their training), asked me to be seated in front of the machine. I got excited. Wah! At last some action is about to happen. Well, she asks me to look at the screen, while she had a rod shaped camera, which she thrust on my face. After doing this at four different locations on the face, she declared that I had a dry skin. Wha? I can see that. You don't need a camera to say that. I told her sarcastically – "Even my hair is dry!" She again started off with the rod and placed it at four different locations on my head, and declared "Yes, Indeed". Baka joked, "That is because he has lots of alcohol". The lady immediately picked it up and started, "Yes, see here in the front part of your head, this gets directly affected by alcohol, and thus it is drier. Needs to be like a tight rope.. blah! Blah!" BullShit.


 

Mrs. Yogita now suggested that I meet the trainer at the Gym. I admitted, "Well ma'am, enough of these GLOBE sessions, we have lots of them on college. I can even find the same info online, and if required myself take a session. Let me know if there is some action happening. Some tangible activity, that I can speak about" She declared, "NO, today all our people our busy" and again pointed to the voucher stating for a prior appointment. I persuaded her, and she asked me to come back in an hour. Okay great! Talking about this Mrs. Yogita as soon as I and Baka first saw her we smiled at each other and hushed in Telugu, "if she herself looks so bad with a pimple affected face, a skinny posture, and an awful smile, how possible could she treat others to look good." I tried to reason, "Come on Baka, Doctors themselves need not be perfectly in shape to be able to treat others. Look at our Doc – our Batch mate".


 

Now I need to frikkin' wait for the damn service for one complete hour. We go out ganjing. Already full with the biryani we don't feel like eating anything, and just while away our time wandering across the mall. We get back to the VLCC centre at 5:45PM, in forty five minutes itself.


 

After a fifteen minute wait there, we get this opportunity to meet the busy Mrs. Yogita. She expresses in despair that everyone is still caught up. She offers to arrange a meet with the trainer. Well, something better than just waiting and watching oversized aunties inn their gist to get back to their old sexy days. We went to the gym. A crap small room, filled with treadmill, and just having a couple of weights. I swear the IIML gym is better. The trainer – a bellied person, trying to look smart by conversing in English. And again the same pleasantry – "How are you sir? What do you do?" I reply, "I am a student at IIML", and the conversation carries on.


 

I guess this initial pleasantry is to gauge the worthiness of the client. If it is a HNI, give more time, else just shove him off. He shows me the equipment. "Dude, it is not my first time to a gym", I mutter to myself. And then he explains, "Body building is an art. It requires much more than will and dedication. It requires passion, earnest enthusiasm, .. Blah! Blah!.. ". "Dude, I have heard this lot of times, tell me something tangible". He starts off again, "It is important to have a good diet and a pleasant mind. Sleep is also necessary.. blah Blah!", "Stop stop dude, I know that. Tell me something that I can practise back in campus.", I say politely. He starts, "It requires a personal trainer to tone up the body. Here I would tell you something, you would do something, and then that would spoil my name and reputation (Does he have any?), as people would think I suggest these kind of wrong exercises. So I suggest you join in our three month program, I promise I would develop your body into a well toned full of muscles."


 

The last part of the talk was in Hindi. I guess his sales pitch has been trained upon him in Hindi. I bid him a good bye, with a promise to think about it. Think? Ba*&^!!


 

Then I get back to the waiting zone, looking at their clients. Here I would classify the customers into three categories:


 

  1. Wannabies – Rich spoilt teenagers. The ones who don't mind spending a grand or two just to get that streak or that curl before that all important party of their cousin's birthday.


 

  1. USA – Un Satisfied Aunties. The ones whose husbands toil out hard all day in the office, and they spend it all on kitty parties. Looking slim trim and tones is secondary. Going to VLCC itself is a status symbol for them.


     

  2. OUU – Over Used Uncles. The rich ones, mostly those who have inherited wealth from their family. After a particular age, and having earned enough, these people believe that they need to look younger to their teenager son, and start dressing in Goa tees, loose jeans and even try to impress in their broken English.


     

(I am thankful to Mr. Rajeev Kumra, our service marketing prof. at IIML to have suggested these classification titles which seemed very apt in this situation.)


 

Now after enough of waiting, even Mrs. Yogita I guess feels bad, and falls to our patience. She is convinced that these guys here are determined to get something done, and offers something to talk. I ask if a facial would be possible. Baka tries pitting that this guy is going to Jaipur to attend a wedding, and in very high probability may get engaged. So he needs to look good. Please get something done. She replies," Sorry Facial is not included in the voucher". Thank you Baka for making it clear in the beginning itself that we not paying a single paisa more than the voucher amount. I am frustrated to the core, "What the fuck is allowed in this God Damn Voucher?", I say to myself. She reads the frustration, and applies principle 23 of Customer Servicing – Give something to the Customer when he reaches threshold of breaking out. Remember hannah's case in Data mining.


 

So Mrs. Yogita announces, " You can have a face wobble. It is about.. Blah!", "Okay". I am in no mood to hear what it is. She replies, "Please wait!" After about 15 minutes, she returns and asks me to come inside, "Ah! Finally" I ask Baka to wait and I enter. Well, I am asked to wait here now. Thankfully a short wait. And then I am called to the facial – 1 cabin, and asked to lie down on the bed. Looks so much like a hospital and it is a beauty clinic. The similarity is just the word clinic I am sure.


 

Lying on the bed, the guy there starts off with routine initial pleasantry. Damn! Now I am irritated with this. Please give different lines to different people, at least at different levels. The head of the clinic asks the same memorised question, and so does the attender. He applies some mint flavoured cream, which felt really cold in this winter. Wish I was availing these services during summer. At least the mint cream would have been worth the effort. After the mint cream, my face is again cleaned back to normal, and I all the time presume that yes! Now I have the Hrithik looks. The guy there then applies some cream, which looks like scrub and leaves it all over the face.


 

After leaving me and my face smeared with cream all over for more than ten minutes (the guy must have felt a sudden urge to smoke) the guy comes back with a huge machine. He nearly burns my face with all the steam from some machine. Then he holds two tong like things and starts giving me mild shocks on the face. Shit! I was scared. "Please please I would pay, don't give me a shock treatment", I wanted to shout. But, I preferred being silent. After sometime when the pain started getting unbearable I asked him what it was. He replies calmly as if this is something I get done everyday – "Nothing sir, it helps tightening your face". I was like, "yes, it would. You are burning half of the cells on my face". After the Shock treatment for 10 odd minutes, he starts wiping my face and all the cream over it. I was happy, "yes, it is finally getting over". I could not have been more wrong. He again applies some white cream and leaves me, while he takes away the huge machine from the cabin. "Ah! No more shock treatment". He comes back and then after removing this strange white cream, he applies the mint cream that he first applied. The mint cream was probably some kind of solution to disable me from feeling anything more on the face. After removing the white cream I was finally told that it is all over.


 

The guy exchanges pleasantries and asks me if this is my first session. I reply, "Yes, first and probably last". I don't want to condition third degree on myself voluntarily. I walk out of the cabin. The guy was actually pushing that I actually take the face and hair treatment packages both. Each of which exceeds 5000 bucks.


 

After the session, I walk jubilantly to Baka who controls his laugh in vain. He chuckles and asks, "Dude, where were you all this time?" I reply, with lots of pride, "Getting a face wobble done". He satirically mocks that I don't look any different. Huh! So much, for one complete hour of pain and misery inflicted by the process, not to forget the wastage of time.


 

We are then led to the same Mrs. Yogita's cabin who greets us with all enthusiasm. She chats normally and agrees to extend my voucher till my next visit. (She probably realised that this did not make a good conversion of a voucher holder to a permanent client). She then also tries to cross sell the hair cut and shave service, which again is not included in the voucher. I excuse myself with the promise that I would return back.


 

I walk out of the centre at around 7:30, quite unsatisfied.


 

Update: I got a call yesterday from the customer care at VLCC asking me for my feedback (Desperate attempts to convert me into a permanent client). I reply back rhetorically and express my despair with the whole affair. After some time I am again called by someone senior who tries to pacify me. The second customer care executive or whoever she was even offers to include all the services in the voucher and requests me to the come to the centre once again. NO!! I don't want to risk whatever minimal looks God has bestowed on me. Whatever minimal this looks might seem. I at least look like something Human.


 

Some comments on VLCC on the internet,


 

" .. thanks to this fat punjabi women. A few years back Ms Luthra promised white complexion a la Michael Jackson and created a frenzy and a furore. Now she is claiming a world record in achieving 82 Kgs fat loss. But the reality is very sad. I have seen a patient too weak even to walk, skin hanging in folds and on the verge of heart collapse after record breaking fat loss through chemical diets and apetite suppressants. There should be combined public opinion to ban such kind of unhealthy practices. The best way to weightloss should be under a medical supervision. A healthy lifestyle, excercise and a beautiful mind is all it takes - not some dumb blonde with hobby course certificates from foreign countries. i've closely seen how it all works and some people may view it as libel etc. but I have seen one of my friend's suffering and I feel I must tell others as well."


 


 

"..I took the Bridal package at VLCC Koramangala, Bangalore. I am EXTREMELY UNHAPPY AND DISSATISFIED with the kind of service being provided there. The only thing they are interested in is how to take out money from the customer. Once they are done they are least interested in attending the clients.i have spent 22K. But I didnt see single improvement. I have spent so much money there that I cant even afford to take the service from other parlour and nor I have the time to take the service as my marriage date is 27th April.

Some of the incidents I would like to mention:

1. Thrice i was given appointment during weekdays. After attending office when i reached there, the attender told me that she cannot provide the service as some or other has to leave early. I literally had to request them the provide the service as it was a bridal package and i couldn't postpone otherwise I ll not be able to complete all the sessions.

2. Even after taking the appointment for almost every session I have to wait for 1/2 an hr to take the service. so most of the time my waiting time is more than the time spent on giving services.

3. Most of the time staff remains busy in their cat fights, and least bothered about the client waiting to get the service.

4. Once I was given an appointment for hair spa. n no body was ready to do the service that time. When i forced for that, a new girl who didn't know abt the treatment was appointed to do the service.

5. I took the micro derma treatment costs 15K. I was assured that i ll see at least 40% relief. But after 2 sittings of the treatment, some other doctor started taking the session the and she told me that i should have taken the glycoloc peel and this treatment may not give any relief. Now i don't have time at al to go for some other treatment. I would request to take action against them as the staff at VLCC, Koramagala is spoiling the image. I would never ever recommend anybody or take the service from VLCC. "


 

Okay so it was not only me at the receiving end. Some Solace.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

VLCC - Don't venture anywhere close!!!

VLCC?
I was never a metro sexual kinda person, to be thronging such places for external beauty. My visit to the barber was all that I actually did for the looks and even that just I look presentable. People staying with me would vouch on the fact that it is easier to live with the Taliban terrorists, rather than an unshaven, not bathed from 6 days, and not brushed Bharat Jhurani.

But of late, I have been getting these internal vibes to take care and look good. No, I am still single! This is what explains my daily tryst with the brush and Close up Calcium with added ingredients, new found garnier Fructis for the hair, Dove for the face, cinthol for the body and calmness for the mind. It also explains the reason I am bathing everyday in spite of the temperature not exactly being conducive for such an action.

Thus, a couple of days ago, when Chitta announced that he has a VLCC voucher worth 5000 bucks, i immediately laid my hands on it. But Abhinav, being that huge and rusty guy he is, had the better of Chitta and overpowered him to take the voucher. Now I had this seemingly tough task of convincing Abhinav to part with the voucher.

I went to Abhinav’s room, and praised him Explained to him that he looks great, and such VLCC likes are for lesser mortals, ugly looking ducks like me (Generally it would require lots of chocolates for me to actually say this). Nah! Abhinav did not agree. Come on even he is an IIM MBA. One more trick in Strategic Business Negotiation – The Amitabh trick. Remember an old Indian Amitabh flick where he buys an house for double the price, and tells the builder that even if he had charged 4 times the actual price, Amitabh would still have paid it, as his mother worked on the construction. Thus, the value of the product perceived by different people is different.

I offered Abhinav a full pack of Classic regular, and he immediately agreed. 5000 bucks voucher for just 88 bucks. Cool deal that was. But well, as I said, perception of value. And moreover, Abhinav earned that pack just for overpowering Chitta. He did not have anything to lose.

Anyways, so on 25th December, me and Baka set out for VLCC. First a Mutton biryani at Spice, recharge for the reliance data card, and then off to Sahara ganj to VLCC.
With lots of scepticism, and initial doubts, we entered the premise. Wait! Sujith was already sitting there, and on further probing we found that he had come here for some scalp thing. Anyways, I head to the reception and show here this voucher, and ask her for assistance. She asks me to wait.

After an irritating wait, my eyes found a board asking to request for a service menu. Wah! Now beauty has been turned into a restaurant business. Many therapies on the platter please fulfil your satisfaction. Anyways, I am not able to make much sense out of it, and just ask for a pedicure and Manicure. “ No, Sir. That is not available with the voucher”. The receptionist says. “Where is it written?”, I ask to myself in a flabbergasted look. The receptionist there understands my confusion and helplessness and offers me to meet the head receptionist (or was she the owner?) there after some time. So wait once again.

After another 25 minutes, and a couple of enquiries about this busy head I am about to meet, I am introduced to Mrs yogita (I am sure she was married by her age, marred with a lot of make up to cover it up), who led me to her cabin. She also invited Baka to come along. After the initial pleasantries, which proved that she was a good employee for the hospitality business she let it out that everyone is busy, (Are me and Baka the only vela people), and she was afraid she cannot get anything arranged for that day. To calm down my angry disappointed looks, and with the fear that she might lose the IIML account, she pointed towards the voucher which had Meet with prior appointment as the first point behind it. She then offered us to meet the beautician and the gym trainer. I asked Baka too make it very clear to her that we are not going to pay a paisa more than the voucher, so whatever she does, and even if she does not offer any services, its not an issues as long as she does not expect me to dole out a single penny. This was out of fear from Chitta’s INDEX incident.

Supposedly, the Mr INDEX last year, was awarded with a similar coupon and he went to VLCC. Like the typical Indian middle class, he did not declare the voucher in the beginning fearing drop in service level, and got himself a complete makeover. He got himself done all possible services on offer. After the whole day of beautification he proudly walked to the reception to produce the voucher, where he was handed a bill of twelve thousand rupees. Aghast! He cried foul, and refused to pay. The people there at VLCC tried explaining that not everything is included in the voucher, and he has to pay the bill. The issue is right now in court with the customer filing a complaint against VLCC, and even blaming INDEX for not informing him of any such issue. How could they? They themselves did not have a clue of the whole thing. Well, I did not want to land in such a situation spending ten grand on my looks, which I am very sure would not change much just by some sessions at this fraud entity. Why fraud? Well, you would say the same after reading the entire plight.

The rest of the incident would be in the next post. In the meantime, don’t venture anywhere near these VLCC types, citing Short term memory loss. This irritating incident should be etched permanently in everyone’s mind even if the head is blowed by heavy iron shots by some Ghajini.