Sunday, February 02, 2014

Soan Papdi


While having Haldiram’s orange-flavored Soan Papdi today I remembered how much I liked this sweet in my childhood. My grandmother used to buy a packet for me whenever she returned home after visiting a relative.  Soan Papdi vendors with red & white paper boxes stacked on a tray are common sights in any mofussil bus terminus in Bengal. These boxes used to be priced at two or three rupees; not sure how much they cost now. They were not of good quality. But does a child care for quality? I remember my father once bought me a packet from a big sweet shop, supposedly of better quality. What was the occasion? May be after half-yearly or annual school exam. In those days our cravings had to wait for appropriate occasions. My grandmother expired few years back. Some fond memories, however, occasionally come back and I cherish those.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Visit to the majestic Lake District

Ullswater

We were finally to the land of lakes last week, the Lake District in the county of Cumbria of United Kingdom. Lake district consists of 16 large lakes (meres) and 200+ smaller ones (tarns). It is November, early winter and probably not the ideal time to visit this 'area of outstanding natural beauty'. However, there are significantly less crowd this time, hence the hills and the lakes were all ours!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Durga Puja Overseas

This is the second time I am spending Durga Puja outside my country. In 2009, I was in the United States. This year I am in UK. It feels bad not to be at home during the time of festivities, particularly during Durga Puja. However, it gives an opportunity to look at the most celebrated festival of the Bengalis from a different perspective.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Day trip to Formby beach, UK

Last week we were looking for a weekend getaway. We had been to hills (Edale, Peak District) earlier the month. We thought, 'Why not to the sea this time?' The east coast of England is near to Leeds, our home for last five months. We had been to Scarborough before. However, the weather forecast was not promising - it predicted shower in the north-east, whereas western part of the country were to remain somewhat dry. So after little research we hit upon the Formby beach on the west coast - between Liverpool and Blackpool in Lancashire. It's among the 20 best beaches as per Telegraph.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Sundarbans with West Bengal Tourism

Last weekend my wife and me travelled to Sundarbans with West Bengal Tourism. We booked 1-Night-2 Days package on the vessel M V Chitrarekha. The previous week was very cold, windy and foggy; hence we were little bit apprehensive and moderated our expectations as we set out for Dalhousie early Saturday morning. An AC bus were to take us for from the tourism center at Dalhousie to Sonakhali, where we will board the vessel.

We registered at the office and got on to the bus. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one my engineering friends, Arijit (and his wife),  with whom I was out-of-touch for years, had booked the same package and seated opposite to us. The bus left at 8.45 AM and soon breakfast packets  (containing cheese sandwich, boiled egg, cake, Chloromint  and sweet) and water bottles were served. The bus raced through Basanti highway, past Cognizant office at Bantala as Baul songs, played on the vehicle's music system, greeted our ears. The fog vanished and the sun was up brightening our mood. Arjit and I chitchatted and exchanged information about our common friends. The bus went past small villages and towns. The green fields full of vegetables gave way to large water bodies for fishery as we neared Sundarbans. After about 3 hours  we reached Sonakhali.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unholy nexus of doctors and Medical Reps - Shame Dr. Soumitra Ghosh of Rittik Clinic

My wife and me went to see Dr. Soumitra Ghosh at Rittik Clinic (155A, AJC Bose Road, Entally, Sealdah, Kolkata -14) today for our recurring stomach problems. We booked an appointment earlier. We were number 13 and 14 in the patients list for the day. The doctor were to be available from 5pm to 9pm in the clinic.

We reached the clinic just after 5pm, checked our names with the compounder and got ourselves seated infront of room no. 9, soon to realize that the doctor was yet to occupy it. We waited and waited. I went out and withdrew money from a nearby ATM and came back. But the doctor was not yet in. I strolled around the clinic and the nursing home compound (the Rittik Nursing Home and the clinic are housed in the same building). I noticed Dr. Ghosh's degrees - MD, Cardiologist, Diabetologist and Chest Physician - on the board near the right side of the entrance. Dr. Soumitra Ghosh is one of Rittik's consultants.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Getting Godrej Interio products repaired is a pain!

Be careful when you buy a Godrej Interio product from their showroom. If you ever need to get it repaired, it would be time consuming and difficult.

We bought a Eudora Queen Box Bed in April this year from the Kestopur, VIP Roda showroom in Kolkata. Within few months one of the steel handles (which, I suppose, they call a 'nose') of the inside cabinet came out. I visited the showroom with the broken handle and told them the issue. They gave me their centralized toll-free call center number and asked me to lodge a complain.

I called up the customer service number and lodged the complain. The call center was ill-equipped. I am not sure whether they keep online records of their customers. The call center rep did not have my details and I had to tell him everything including the address. I told him about the breakage in details.

After couple of days somebody from the Godrej showroom called us to fix an appointment. We asked him to come the next Saturday as we would be at home. We expected that the person would bring a new handle and fix it. However, to our surprise, the person came and just inspected the problem. He told us that the handle would be brought from Bombay and it would take around 21 days. He asked me to sign on a form and left saying that he would give us a call again when the handle is received. The funny thing is the person recognized me as the one who went to the showroom with the broken handle earlier!

Godrej might have centralized their complaint handing and customer service but from a customer's point of view it's quite absurd and irritating to go through such a lengthy process to get a broken handle repaired.