Thursday, January 28, 2010

भक्तिमागचा "भाव"

शिर्डी संस्थानातर्फे VIP दर्शनासाठी पैसे आकारण्याचा निर्णय घेतलाय. या निर्णायाचे भक्तांनी स्वागत केलंय (असं media वाले म्हणत आहेत). निर्णय एका रितीने नक्कीच स्वागतार्ह आहे.

VIP "भक्तां"ना होणारा त्रास आता कमी होईल. उगाच दर्शनासाठी VIP ओळखी "काढाव्या" लागणार नाहीत त्यांना. आजकालच्या जमान्यात ५०० रुपये म्हणजे कीस झाड की पत्ती!

अशा ओळखी "काढून" पासापुरते अजीजी करणारे नातेवाईक, VIP लोकांना आता कमी त्रास देतील. त्यांना पण काय कमी व्याप आहेत? निदान हा तर कमी होईल.

आणि संस्थानाच्या झोळीत या योजनेद्वारे नक्कीच वाढीव भर पडेल. ही योजना आपण आधी का नाही काढली याचा विचार त्याना पडला नसेल तर आश्चर्य.

५०० रुपये मोजून जर राजरोस दर्शन मिळत असेल तर VIP pass  घेणारे आता वाढतील. सामान्य भक्तांना या निर्णयाने कमी त्रास होईल ही आशा मात्र चुकीची ठरेल. सामान्यांचा विचार करायला कोणाला वेळ आहे. हे तेच संस्थान आहे ज्याने साईबाबा मंदिरांचे पेटंट घेण्याची शक्कल लढविली होती.

नुसते हेच संस्थान नव्हे तर इतर अनेक आहेत. तिरुपती आहे. इतकच कशाला अगदी गल्ली गल्लीतील देवळं देखील देवांची direct franchisee असल्याच्या जोशात असतात.  देवाचं दैवत्व मूर्तीतील दगडात मर्यादित नसतं पण नेमकं हेच लोकांच्या मनातून उतरवणं हा एक यशस्वी उद्योग झालाय. याचं ताजं उदाहरण म्हणजे पवईतील रस्ता नूतनीकरण अडवून धरणारे मारुती मंदिर.

सगळा पैश्यांचा खेळ झालाय. बरंय, भक्ति"भाव" आता शब्दश: खरा होईल...

Monday, January 11, 2010

In support of "Aman ki Asha"

We are two countries separated by artificial borders. Identical human races dressed in different cloths of religion live in both. Terrorism and religious fanaticism has affected both for years, more visibly on the other side. The countries were a traveler's heaven once upon a time. Training camps and terror has made it living hell. Economy is suffering too as a result and this is fueling the descend.

All this because of extreme beliefs and mis-interpretation of religion (or rather a flexible interpretation for the selfish and inhuman motives)? It must stop.

There are people in both countries who just want to get up peacefully, go to work, earn for the day, buy stuff, come home, eat and sleep, without worrying that a bullet or bomb explosion would not kill their dreams.

All the best wishes for the "Aman ki Asha" idea/project. Let the dreams come true!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Tricked by

This is story about how I was tricked by's online print service.

I have an i-mint membership card that provides me reward points for my credit card purchases. These points can be redeemed for stuff. The points do not come cheap and have to spend atleast INR 100 to get one.
I recently ordered online prints using which is a partner for this i-mint reward program.'s ordering system is misleading and perhaps designed by amateurs. During purchase, there is no way you can enter your i-mint membership card number to have the purchase points credited to your card. On almost all other partner sites, you are given a chance to enter the number before you hit final "pay" button. I tried to look for similar input box on's purchase form in vain.

There was an option to "pay by i-mint" though. Since i-mint is not a credit card, I entered my i-mint number there. And voilla! secretly deducted 98 points from my i-mint points instead by INR24 I was about to pay by the credit card!!!

Quick email to customer support of both i-mint and showed inability to reverse this despite it was their fault to lay out things in such stupid manner. Instead I was advised to be careful in future. WOW!!!

ZoomIn Customer Service
tomy email
dateFri, Jan 1, 2010 at 10:12 AM
subjectRE: General Comment or Question {74535}

hide details 10:12 AM (6 hours ago)

Hi Kiran,

Thank you for writing back to us.

I am sorry to inform you that we will not be able to revert the I-mint points back to your account as your order has already been processed. For future reference, To earn points on your order, enter your i-mint membership or Airtel mobile number on order confirmation page, after making the payment and confirming your order.
Feel free to write in if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for being a ZoomIn customer. We appreciate it.
ZoomIn Customer Service