That faint ray of hope

It has been ages since I even opened my space here. Life has not been still obviously. It just moves on, most of the times monotonously. It seems to chug along!

People met, jobs done, sometimes connections made. I have been drowned deep in work. It has been work, work and more work. So much so I missed even wishing friends on their birthdays, missed meeting some! When I lay in bed fighting to not stay awake and fall asleep, I am left wondering what I am doing! What all this boils down to?

On the rare occasion I made to a meet with schoolmates, a friend said they were planning on a trip to see the Northern Lights. A few from the US and she from Canada. I joked saying yeah may be I must join in with A. This took shape and form. I did push this idea and hopped on to the plan. Extended the bookings they had already made to accommodate the two of us. Countdown began. First hurdle was to get the vacation approved. Then it was fun talking of what we intended to do there. Main topic of discussion was – food!

Me, the eternal pessimist was waiting for something to blow up. Me not getting the visa or something else. Well it all did eventually fall in place. Again a colleague said “you do know that it is all luck to get to see the lights! You are there for Diwali so take a few diyas and light them just in case!” So there I went thinking nah am surely gonna miss the lights! The first night there cemented that thought. Cloudy amongst the fjords in a beautiful boat. No lights.

The next day went up to the mountain on a cable car. No lights for a long time on a cold night. Giving up not wanting to miss the bus we trudged along and there the sky lit up here and there with streaks among the clouds stopping us in our tracks. I was thrilled so was A! While someone in the group said she was disappointed that this was all there was. Guess my attitude of something is always better than nothing helps please oneself!

The next few days again we did get to see the lights. One of the nights was just fabulous by the lake. Dancing. Once in a lifetime experience indeed. Trying to track activity through apps, seeing that it is better in Canada and Russia while we were in the middle in Europe. Then the sudden bursts were thrilling.

A got to experience the cold weather, the snow, museum visits, treks and wonderful company. He learnt how all in a group may not always have the same thinking and how one needs to adjust/ignore and avoid conflict even at times. I definitely prefer cold weather!

We ended the vacation thinking it got over too soon ( well don’t we all do that!?). I was left thinking I must ensure that A& I take a break now and then (maybe not this exotic *read expensive :p * nevertheless a break!) Oh also I am yet to read the travelogue A has written!

Being in thought mode I guess the adage is true. Patience helps! The lights sure did test our patience. Hope shines through?? Boy that is too positive for me!!

Here’s to more such trips / adventures. Cheers!

Splendours of the Hoysala Empire- Haleibidu

The “part two” 🙂

Sukanya Ramanujan

I wrote about the Chennakesava temple in Belur yesterday. The information was presented in a lecture by Dr Chitra Madhavan, renowned historian and expert on temple architecture in Chennai.

Today, I will be writing about the Hoysaleswara Temple in Haleibidu. This temple was also built in the reign of King Vishnu Vardhana and is about 15 kms away from the town of Belur. The building of the temple was taken up in the same time as that of the temple at Belur. The town of Haleibidu was originally called Dwarasamudra because of a lake that stood there.

Although there are similarities between the temples at Belur and Haleibidu there are quite a few differences as well. The first thing that strikes you- especially if you visit both temples on the same day is how much more ornate the temple at Haleibidu tends to be. Where the sculptors at Belur squeezed…

View original post 487 more words

Post by Sukanya -> Splendours of the Hoysala Empire: Belur (Part I)

Last weekend, my mother and I attended a rivetting lecture by none other than Dr Chitra Madhavan, renowned historian and scholar in history and archaeology. We had earlier attended a day long seminar in late 2013 at the Chennai Mathematical Institute by Dr Madhavan and this had actually opened our eyes to a lot of […]

https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/splendours-of-the-hoysala-empire-belur-part-i/

My woes!! yeah I know…

A post after a really long time & it is a rant!! *sigh*

2 weeks back I went for my vacation with A to Thailand. Yeah good times :). I make a purchase with my “international” credit card. Things are fine. Go to another shop, extend my card, it gets declined!!

I call customer service, they say it is Sunday and they would forward a mail to the concerned department. I should be able to use the card the next day & I could try that evening. I try the next day & yeah, it gets declined again. Again called customer service, mail forwarded again.

I was told I had to inform the bank about my travel. I am like I have a valid passport, I get a visa on arrival even. So I cannot assume a VISA credit card will work without problems!! I have to call & inform them prior.

Fast forward a week, I try use the card for buying an app, it gets declined (my default card for payment was this!!). Didn’t think much of it, I forgot & used the card to pay for petrol……Oh yeah!! declined!! I call, furious to hear they will forward the mail  to the concerned department!!! 2 hours is the turn around time for this kind of request apparently.

Today I use the card. Yup….declined. Again call. Again the personnel says she will forward the mail!! I ask for the manager, she says usually card gets declined on suspicious activity.  (FYI: There are countries where CC fraud is rampant & banks do take precautionary measures I am told – Sri Lanka, Thailand are a couple like that!) I asked if she was aware of all the previous calls, whether they had a log maintained. She then asks for time. 4 hours now. She is going to call me to let me know my card is activated or what the status of the card is. I told her I need an explanation about what happened the last 2 weeks & all those mails that were forwarded!!

So my woes (yeah isn’t that why this post is being written?! :D)
Why must we inform the bank when we supposedly have an international VISA or MASTERCARD?!? This particular bank’s policy (btw, it is an international bank too!!! – your right partner 🙂 ) I am told. I said fine, I will accept the block…but what about the unresponsiveness even after calling & asking for the activation. 2 weeks & an escalation right now!!!

Next, this particular phone-banking service gives you the mini credit card statement of how much credit balance you have, what you owe, when the due date is at least twice!!! In this particular case, all I wanted was to talk to an executive to get this sorted not listen to my statement and twice at that!!!! Why not have an option in the IVR to ask if we need a statement if we are calling for that?!

Wondering if I need the hassle of such a card!! Guess I have not learnt the lessons!! 🙂
Oh I must mention here, that all my other cards worked (knock on wood!! hope I am not jinxing it) without informing the respective banking institutions.

PS: I guess I probably am the only fool who has a credit in the credit card account!! (would be great to know if there is anyone else out there like me!! 🙂 )This thanks to listening to my mini credit card statement each time I called!!! Just made me more furious.

I need anger management!!! Or we need a revamp of the customer service system here in India! Guess the former is more feasible & would get a better result! (I can almost picture people who know me really well grinning & not agreeing 😉 )

Lesson learnt: Whether you inform your family or manager or not about your travel; don’t forget to call your bank to let them know your itinerary!!