Paan ice cream: Punjabi Times

Punjabi Times has been around for some time now and everybody in the south of Bangalore knows about it and has been there at least once. For those who don’t, Punjabi Times is a Punjabi restaurant on Bannerghatta Road, opposite Shoppers Stop.

I had heard a lot about this restaurant and went there to try it out myself. For starters, we ordered Tandoori vegetables - assorted vegetables cooked in tandoor. It was delicious - the vegetables just melted in my mouth! The main course had to be Paratha. They offer a wide variety - aloo, gobi, matar, methi, pyaaz etc. Pyaaz paratha with a cup of curd and pickles was too good. I didn’t like the gobi paratha that much.

The best part of the meal has to be Paan ice cream. I didn’t know what to expect when I ordered it. It is a pista colored ice cream with pieces of brown supari in it. It was yummy, it was as if I was eating an actual paan. I don’t think it was ‘flaovred’, there were actual paan ingredients in it. After you eat this, you don’t need to eat paan. The taste stays in your mouth for a long time.

This is not a review of Punjabi Times. This is a post for those people who don’t know about the Paan icecream offered there. Even if you don’t eat a meal there, do eat the icecream. It is a rarity and an absolute must.

Work is worship

We all know how government offices work. But have you ever called a government call center? I did. For the past two weeks, I and my husband have been calling the BSNL call center every day. Yeah, you read that right. Every Single Day.

We have BSNL broadband connection which was working just fine. Except for the frequent outage on weekends, it was fine. One fine morning, it refused to connect. Authentication failure, apparently. There was no reason why it should just stop working.

We called their call center the first day. It took us around 15 minutes to get through the terrible music and speak to a human. He made us go through the standard procedure - reenter all data and reboot the modem. When that didn't work, he promptly told us that the server is down. The same thing repeated the next few days. Thus started the saga of get back home from work, dial the number, listen to the wonderful music, finally get through the call, explain the problem, do the standard procedure and realize the server is down and then hang up.

I gave up and almost decided to dump BSNL and go for Airtel. My husband has a lot of patience than me and kept trying. Two days back, may be it was my husband's luckiest day, our call was answered by a person who knew what he was talking about. He told us that all usernames which have underscores and hyphens in them have been disabled. That made sense because there was no reason why the connection should stop working one fine day. He said he has to create a new username for us, but couldn't do so now because the server was down. He asked us to call the next day.

So... we called yesterday and our luck apparently ran out and our call was answered by some moron. We told him about this username thing and he had no clue what we were talking about. No matter how we tried to explain, he just refused to create a new username and even said that usernames can be created only at the local exchange. My husband asked him to handover the call to the person who answered our call the previous day. That guy gave some lame excuse that the other person was not available or some such thing and we hung up.

We sulked and sighed and finally decided that we are going to say bye-bye to BSNL. That's when our phone rang. Guess what? It was the same guy who told us about this username problem. He took the trouble of looking up our number and calling us. He even created a username and again guess what? It worked! Ecstatic is not the word, but I will use it anyway. We couldn't thank him enough and asked him if there is any way we can let his supervisor know about this wonderful deed. He gave us an email id where we can send a thank you mail, but I don't think anyone is going to read that. So here I am, thanking our angel and our saviour from the bottom of my heart and my husband's heart.

This post is not about how BSNL just decided to change all usernames without informing the customers or the customer care staff. It is not about how incompetent most of the call center staff are. This post is about that one person who stands out from the rest of the crowd because he cares about his customers, takes his work seriously and thus made a difference in someone's life. Vinod Kumar B R, if you are reading this, you retained a BSNL customer. More importantly, you taught us what is the meaning of 'work is worship' and made us realize that we should apply the same thing at our work place, and also that we can leave a mark in this world and make a difference no matter who you are. Thank You.

It's not about the money

A few weeks back, my maid decided to go on a vacation. She would be gone for a week so I asked her to find a replacement. She found a lady who was part of the housekeeping staff who was willing to do so.

The lady religiously came to work for the next few days. She wasn't great with her work, but I had to put up with what I had. She was talkative and very rude. I didn't bother much about her behavior since she would be gone after a few days anyway. On the last day of her work I paid her for her services. I didn't have change, so gave her a big note and asked her to return the change of Rs.20. I told her to hand it over to my maid. She nodded and left.

I informed my maid about this money business and asked her to collect it from the lady. For 3 weeks there was no sign of this housekeeping lady. The manager informed me she was on leave. I was almost sure I will never get my money back. Meanwhile, my maid happened to spot the lady somewhere and asked her about the money. The lady flatly refused! When my maid told me about this, I was furious. I had decided to let go of my money, but when I heard this from my maid, I pledged to get every penny that the lady owed me.

I searched for this lady high and low and finally found her one day. I asked her for the money and she had the audacity to ask me, "Why should I give you money?" I was shocked. That was MY money, isn't that a reason enough? I wanted to tell her that we don't grow money on trees, but before I could give her a piece of my mind, the manager interfered. He asked the lady to return the money and she did.

As I was walking back with the money clutched in my hand, I heard this lady mutter, "So much of drama for just 20 Rs.?" I wanted to tell her "It is not about the money", but I have a feeling she wouldn't understand.