5 minutes, please

A wife called her husband at work, during his so called “peak hours “(when is it off peak?).
Tring Tring.
Husband:          Hello? (In his sweet and ready-to-help you tone.)
Wife:                Hi! It’s me.
Husband:          “Oh, What is it?” (In his very husbandly tone)
Wife:                “What do you want to have for dinner” (wanted an excuse to talk to him.)
Husband:          “I’ll call you in 5 mins. Am busy right now.” (Being genuinely busy and                                    tied up with more important matters.)
Wife:                “Ok fine but don’t forget. Bye.”
Husband:          “” Why say bye when I am going to call back in 5 mins.
After waiting for more than an hour the wife calls husband again.
Wife:                “Hi” (a bit angry and hurt but tone still in control)
Husband:          “What now, I told you I’ll call you once I’m free”
Wife:                “No you said you will call in 5 mins.” (Loosing her patience, almost)
Husband:          “Ok so I was busy and you can make whatever you feel like, I don’t have                                  issues.” (Thinking he understands and is being co-operative.)
Wife:                “Ok. Bye.” (Hurt, disappointed and even feeling lonelier.)
Next day the wife was out with her friends, she had called and informed her husband that she will be gone for 2hours in the evening. On returning home, he finds us still out, so he calls to inquire about her whereabouts.
Wife:                “Hello”
Husband:          “Where are you?”
Wife:                “I told you I will be going out with my friends”
Husband:          “Ok I’m home when will you be getting back?”
Wife:                In 5 mins.”
Husband not being used to being alone in the house, calls wife in less then 20mins and asks what happened why she isn’t home yet.
Husband:          “You said 5 mins; it’s been more than 20.” (Irritated and almost angry)
Wife:                “Ya I know, but yesterday your 5 mins was 2 hours long and today lasted only for 20 mins?” (She was teasing him not realizing that he is angry)                
Husband hangs up, would have banged the phone had it not been his new hi-tech cell phone.



My last post was about illuminating people about Breast cancer and spreading its awareness but while posting it and giving it the title I did, another though came across my mind, and I decided to write about it before it left me. So here I am, writing 2 posts on the same day. And there I was calling myself lazy in my older scripts.

IF on the virtual front I am bombarded with news and information about breast cancer, its causes, symptoms and more then in the real world I am made to pay (literally) and contribute towards its so called research and “life saving technology” development.
There are lots of stored and restaurants which out up a donation box featuring a picture of the most under-nourished child and asking us to drop in some money just while we are paying for some frivolous stuff picked from the same store.
These days, being the days of October– also known as the PINK MONTH, stores world over are flooded with pinky pink stuff, be it ribbons, scarf, bags, caps, cufflinks, car magnets even shoes anything in the name of charity! I even came across a pink diet, beat it!

I saw this article where to spread breast cancer awareness a footballer is wearing PINK SHOES! Then there is this site who wants to make it all fun, so they have organized a pink walk, kind of a marathon, where you have to donate, under the guise of buying a lantern and walking with it till the end. Here I was wondering where the fun part is. All these marketing charades I just can’t digest.
Just last week while checking my Pizza bill I came across an item called charity, I was “charged” Rs.10, a petty amount per person, but without consent. Here let me clarify I am not complaining about being charged, but about the fact that no one is calculating what percentage or what share of the amount thus collected is going where, weather it is benefiting anyone other than the pizza joint or not.
On asking the attend there, I was informed that even they don’t have a clue, in the manager’s words, “they were asked to charge and were just doing their job.” They thought I was making a scene for a mere couple of bucks, conveniently forgetting and ignoring my line of reasoning and questioning. On an average, even if the joint is billing 250 tables, a petty sum of Rs.10 accumulates to Rs.2500 per day, assuming this has been going on for even a month, the amount escalates to astounding Rs.75,000. Here I have not taken into consideration the fact that on Sundays and Holidays these joints cater to more than 500 tables.
Is there a system or technology which shows us in whose pockets this collection is going? If I’m donating to some cause I should be made aware of its beneficiaries in the least.
Charity is not something that you pay for and get away with a feel good factor; it is something you have to do. You could start being generous to people around you, who work for you in your office, in your homes and do your bit.
Taking it a bit further you could spread out in your neighborhood, your area, your city. Take a step one by one, there are a lot too many companies already spending more than billions on research, they all want to crack the code and hit jackpot, there are very few people who are actually wanting to do some good.

October, BCAM

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, not day not week a full month. Though I happened to know about breast cancer and its consequences, a bit also about its causes and symptoms, it was only after I took the quiz by indusladies.com that I realized how ill-informed I was, not only was I having some myths and misconceptions about this widespread dreaded disease, but also was missing out on some serious facts. You could also test your Breast Cancer awareness by taking the quiz yourself, but before that read on so that you get all the answers right (unlike me)!

Like for instance I was under the impression that Breast cancer can affect only women over the age of 40years, but now I know this was my false impression, cause although breast cancer in women is a common form of cancer, male breast cancer also occurs and accounts for about 1% of all cancer deaths in men.
Likewise, young women are being diagnosed in their teens, twenties and thirties. Even if the percentage is very low compared to that of older women aged 40 years and older, the point is it does happen. So it is more than necessary that we all spread the awareness message to all and sundry.
Research has yielded much information about the causes of breast cancers, and it is now believed that genetic and/or hormonal factors are the primary risk factors for breast cancer.
Staging systems have been developed to allow doctors to characterize the extent to which a particular cancer has spread and to make decisions concerning treatment options.
Breast cancer treatment depends upon many factors, including the type of cancer and the extent to which it has spread. The options are Mastectomy – Removal of the whole breast including cancerous tissues or Lumpectomy – Surgical removal of involved breast tissue with a bit of healthy tissue.

Some Simple facts:
An Indian woman has a chance of 1 in 28 of getting breast cancer in her life.
(Is this higher or lower than that of an American woman? After all we have to compare ourselves with them on all counts.)
Four hours of moderate exercise per week reduces the risk of breast cancer
(Another great excuse to get on that treadmill right now!)
A low fat diet with enough vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of breast cancer
(Don’t we always read this for keep away from of all diseases?)
Alcohol in take in excess of 60ml per day (of 70% spirit) increases the risk.
(That means we can drink 50ml per day! Cheers!)
Age is a risk factor in the development of breast cancer.
(There another reason to hide my real age.)
Male gender’s not exempt from breast cancer.
(Talk about gender equality.)
Some Serious Facts

Annual Examination by a breast physician /breast surgeon is recommended when a screening mammogram is done.

Oestrogen replacement treatment in menopausal women increases the risk of breast cancer.
Oral contraceptives used for over 10 years in women under 35 increases the risk of breast cancer. However 10 years after discontinuing, the risk ceases to exist.
Mammography in women younger than 40 years has a low yield owing to density of the breast.
Breast feeding for over 6 months reduces the risk. The more children you breast feed, the more you reduce the risk.
You have higher chance if a first degree relative (mother/sister) has the disease
Self Examination +annual doctors Examination + periodic mammogram has decreased the mortality from breast cancer.

But the good news is Breast cancer has a cure rate nearing 90% when detected early. It is advised to conduct a Breast Self-Exam after the age of 20 every month and an annual
Clinical Breast Examination after the age of 30 by a Qualified Doctor and then after the age of 50 an annual Mammography is a must.

Pictures courtesy emedicinehealth.com 

Sasuraal Genda Phool

Being away from the net made the telly my obvious next choice or rather my other best friend. I was “hooked booked and cooked” – as the designer duo Abu-Sandeep say on their show “The First Ladies”.

In school I was taught that India is a land of diverse religions, traditions and customs, had they showed me these shows in those days I would have learnt my lessons much easier and faster. Now I’m almost an expert on customs and traditions of not just the Gujrati culture but also Bengali, Marwadi, Rajasthani and Marathi households.
Now I know more about these cultures then my mom too, like last week when the Gujju family of “Saath Nibhao Saathiya” was fasting and then celebrating some teej I asked my mom why she never did it! Likewise I know much in advance when Karwaachot or any other Ashtamis or Teejs are around the corner. I remember in the “Yeh Rishta Hya Kehlata hai” series (also known as Akshra wala at home); they stretched pulled and dragged the holi celebrations for more than a month!
Then in the Aanandi series, “Balika Vadhu” I learned the way they greet each other with a “Ghanni Khamma” I’m not sure what it exactly means but from whatever little I understand of the language I think it is a sort of an apology, please correct me if I’m mistaken, I’ve come to this conclusion on the basis on the 2 words, Ghanni meaning lots and Khamma meaning sorry, I could be completely wrong also. But on the other hand, in most of the other regions people greet with their Lord’s name, like Jai Shree Krishna or Jai Jinendra, or Jai Matadi etc. I rarely hear a Namaste, which is supposed to be our national greeting.
These shows create make-believe scenes so close to their natural environments that even if I dint know much about India I would always associate a Marwadi person with Rajasthan, and similarly a long sari draped in the special Marathi style with someone from Maharasthra. Though I have lived in Mumbai for some time, I dint know then that mother is “aai” then, now I do!
Similarly I’ve also come to know more about their cuisines and special food items they prefer and prepare for particular seasons. Like for instance, for Parsi a lamb and meat preparation called Dhaan-Shaakh, a lovely dish even in the vegetarian form.
Though there are also some regions and cultures that we are completely clueless about like the eastern and the southern Indians regions are largely ignored and then there is an absence of Muslim and Christian families’ completely from the screens too. Though these are mentioned in the passing in some of the “haat ke” serials like “Tarakh Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma” and others but not in the main stream line.
These days I love this show called “Papad Pol” on SUB TV, for its romantic humor. I also enjoy Suhana in “Sasuraal Genda Phool”, this show portrays how a family can make life so much easier if they all come together and accept the new girl as their own, letting her be herself and loving her unconditionally. 
These things can only happen on television, but here wishing people learn from these examples and practice them in real life too. 

Customer is king??

Customer is king, bait or a fake feel good statement!

For the past some weeks, almost 2 months now, I have been facing regular problems with my broadband connection. On complaining to the guy whom I hand over my payment to, I’m told not to worry, it will be done soon; and it is. But he forgets to mention that it will be a temporary relief. Within 2 days I’m again facing the same problem again.

Then I take matters further and call their “customer care” number, which for the customer’s convenience they keep toll free, because of which you have to keep trying a zillion times to get through, throughout I’m wondering how many other users are having similar difficulties with their connections too!
My call is finally answered by a computer, who asks me so many (useless) questions about me, my account, my location and so on, that I almost forget what I had called for. Then after being transferred through the maze, I call it a maze coz that’s how I felt, press 1/2/3 for language selection, then again go through a dozen numbers to tell them what service I’m using, then I have to tell them which connection I’m using, and then I have to select which department I want to talk to, accounts, recharge, technical, etc etc!
Just when I was on the verge of hanging up a polite and friendly human is on the other side of the line, I say hello too and she asks me who I am, where I am calling from (how does it matter?) what connection I have and all the same series of questions all over again! And as it is as soon as I give them the name of my connection they will have all these same details in matter of seconds on their monitors as well. But as I needed my net to be working again so I oblige her though very sardonically! 
Oh did I tell you even after selecting English as my preferred language I am made to converse with a Marathi speaking executive, we both somehow manage to understand each other. And after going through all their procedural requirements for almost all afternoon she tells me I am in the wrong department! I had selected technical and now I had to go to the complaints department! I ask her if there is a short cut of some sort, coz I’ve already spent more than an hour to get till her. But I realize she’s hung up- all the hospitality and politeness don’t with!
So I’m off calling them again. Anyone out there have any ideas how I can make this happen faster and easier, like life is supposed to be with developing technologies?

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