Author Archives: Ratish Naroor

Terrible experience with Emirates airlines with a loss


I had an interesting customer service experience with the Emirates airlines and I guess its high time I expose the airline’s poor customer care practices. This incident happened when I was travelling from San Francisco airport to Cochin international airport for my wedding in May 2010. I bought a lot of gifts for my would-be wife Shiniga and also a few gifts for  her family . After landing at Cochin international airport, the emirates airlines authorities informed me that they had lost my baggage at Dubai. I had brought only one baggage and they had everything – cloths, gifts and you name it. I was stuck !!!! – can’t visit my would-be or her family with no gifts (just felt a little sad ). So as they said they can get my baggage tomorrow, I requested them to send it to Calicut so that I will stay in Calicut for a day, get the baggage and then head to to my hometown Kannur. I stayed in Calicut that night and then the next morning I get another call saying the bag will take again 2 more days. I was like I have only 23  vacation days  and can’t stay in a hotel because of one bag. I decided to head to Kannur empty handed.  I went to the near-by clothing store and got two pairs of cloths (Can’t stay on the same cloths for 2 days that too after a 22 hour flight 🙂 ). The next day I called the calicut airport and at last the baggage has arrived. I hired a taxi, traveled 135 kms (also lost one more day from my total vacation days). I believed that the airline should reimburse me all the cost I had to take because of their negligence. Then I got a chance to talk to the most unprofessional emirates employee at the calicut airport. He apologized for the trouble I had to incur and offered me $50 as reimbursement when I already documented  all my expenses for the last two days which majorly include the taxi and the hotel charges. They came to around $ 250. The official said he can’t do anything , he can’t provide me his manager’s number or Emirates Kerala headquarters numbers. After spending 20 mins at his office he was ready to offer me the email address for emirates Indian head office. I decided not to accept his so-called fixed reimbursement and decided to fight for what the airline owe me.

After my wedding in Kerala , I decide to shoot an email to the email address he gave me. I waited for two months and didn’t get any reply (The email address was of their Mumbai office – Baggage claims / customer affairs). I looked up for any social media presence for Emirates and to my surprise there were NONE. Its very strange for a company like Emirates not have any social media presence. I managed to find another email address for their NYC office and send them the email detailing all the problems the airlines caused me when I traveled to India. I was lucky to find a reply to this email back saying they have registered an official complaint with a reference number. I was glad that somebody in this company wrote back. Here is the email I received from Emirate airlines On 13th July 2010.

13 July 2010
Our Reference: NYC/X/VS/120710/6707339
Mr.Ratish Naroor
naroor@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Naroor,

We are in receipt of communication regarding your most recent travel on Emirates. We are very concerned to hear of what has happened, and the length of time it has taken to address your claim.Your file is currently under investigation, a Customer Affairs Officer will contact you with our findings and if we should require any additional information.

In future, please use the above mentioned claim reference number in all correspondences.

 Yours sincerely,

Emirates, Baggage Claims/Customer Affairs and Service Audit US/NA

55 East 59th Street, 5th FloorNew York NY 10022

Baggageclaims.na@emirates.com

CustomerAffairsny@emirates.com
212-758 3944 Ext 451

212-758-4434 (fax)

As you can find the date on the email,  Emirates airlines  officials are still trying to investigate my case (ironically for more than an 18 months now). I tried contacting the phone numbers they provided in the email and they never got picked up.

Emirates airlines clearly showed me how to easily ignore their travelers grievances and shut them up with a case  reference number which never get worked on. I love their in-flight services and would love to fly with them again , but they really failed in their customer service. This is the main reason why they have no official Facebook fan page, when the smallest of smallest company have fan pages in this timeline. If they open one, I am sure they will have a hundreds like me posting  their bad customer experiences with Emirate airlines. I found a lot of similar stories in various airline forums (here and here ) and they complain about the same issues across the world . Being a successful airline, I think they should appoint an online grievance team to find travelers who had a bad experience.

I hope someday Emirates airlines will take some time to review their processes  and come up with better customer service expected by their customers . Anyways , they made my wedding trip a memorable one with over expensive travel expense.

Worlds cheapest car Bajaj RE60 beats Tata Nano

India’s Bajaj Auto unveiled its first four-wheeled vehicle named RE60, making a foray into the wider market from its comfort zone of two and three-wheeled vehicles.

 


The RE60 will be built at Bajaj Auto’s Aurangabad plant and the launch will take place in a few months from now. The company refused to divulge the price. However, it said that the RE60 will deliver close to 40 kmpl and emit only 60g/km of CO2, making it one of the most fuel-efficient and green vehicles in the market.


The Bajaj small car RE60 is reported to be installed with liquid cooled, DTSi, four stroke, single cylinder, 200cc motor that will churn out around 20 bhp max power along with 35 kmpl mileage. Apart from that the new vehicle from Bajaj has got seating for 4 passengers including driver. The max speed limit of the passenger vehicle will be 70 kmph.


he upcoming Bajaj ultra-low car will have head-to-head competition with the India’s cheapest and smallest car, Tata Nano. There are no official words concerning to the forthcoming Bajaj ULC car, except the few core technical details. The fuel efficiency of this Bajaj car will be pretty impressive. It is claimed to offer the 30kmpl mileage. This Bajaj small car will be priced around Rs.1.8 lakh.

Mileage and Fuel Efficiency
In recent time, where the constantly increasing fuel price and inflammation has disturbed car owners, the Bajaj ULC car will be the boon for those quality and cost conscious crowd. The price sensitive Indian automotive market will easily gravitated towards the all new Bajaj small car that will offer the outstanding fuel efficiency, claimed by reliable sources. It will offer 30kmpl mileage, which is much higher than the India’s cheapest Tata Nano mileage (25 kmpl). It will perform well on urban roads as well as on highway.


Engine Capacity, Power and Performance
As mentioned earlier, the precise details & specifications of the upcoming Bajaj ultra-low cost car are still under the warp, and to be disclosed with showcase on 3rd January 2012 at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi at India’s most prestigious and happening Auto Expo, where various other hybrid cars to be displayed. This car will have powerful integration of highly-efficient 800cc petrol engine that will offer impressive performance.

Pick Up and Acceleration
However, company’s officials refused to talk about the technical and other sophistication of the sensational Bajaj ULC car, still if words are to be believed, the futuristic Bajaj small car will offer a great pick-up and acceleration. It would be somewhat equivalent to the pick-up and acceleration offered by the Tata Nano.


Interiors and Features
Despite being a compact car, Bajaj small car will come with enough spacious interior. The only significant difference will be, passengers will sit a bit closer to each other. The leg room, head room and elbow room will make it a good deal. The interior built quality, comfort, rich features & upholstery will take a charge on Tata Nano’s interior.


The driver’s seating position will be comfy and offer fine outer visibility. It is good enough to accommodate a young family. We can expect the functionally efficient accessorial features including the dashboard, windshield, steering wheel, centre console, Air conditioning units with adjustable AC vents, speedometer, digital fuel meter, odometer, cup holders, power socket & buttons, power windows, soft fabric seat & door covers etc; but official confirmation is still required.


Exteriors and Features
The forthcoming Bajaj Ultra low cost car has under gone through an intensive body job. It resembles a little like Tata Nano but is still quite unique in design. The compact and well-organised designing pattern will make you fall in love with it. The attractive headlights, tail lamps, side view mirrors, curvy bumper, wheels, doors and other designing features will add the perfect proportion of the glamour and grace.


Driving and Handling
The compact Bajaj ULC car will be easy to handle with powerful suspension system. In metro cities it is more important to get from point-to-point quicker and drive in traffic. Therefore, the all new Bajaj small car has been especially designed to solve these purposes. The parking problem will be no more headache for you, as it is easy to park. It will bring you amazing experience of smooth, swift and comfy drive.


Safety Features
We can only presume that the compact Bajaj ultra-low cost car will share the same safety measurement with Tata Nano including Centre High Mount Stop Lamp, Front & Rear seat belts, Central Locking System, Laminated Windshield, Door Lock on driver & passengers side, Additional body reinforcements, Radial tubeless tyres, Booster assisted brakes, Intrusion beam and more.


Accessories
This Bajaj small car will come with plenty of functional & beauty enhancing accessories like Automotive Logo Gear, Car Bras, Car Covers, Dash Covers, Floor Mats & Liners, Air Filters, Brakes & Brake and Exhaust, Mufflers & Tips.
The Bajaj ultra-low cost car is an innovative concept that has been said to be a boon in recent coming times, when common layman is suffering with the high inflammation rate and fuel price rise. The overall compact and light-weight design looks stunning.

It is easy to handle and park, even in heavy traffic roads. Its interior will bring the rich sense of lavishness with perfect comfort level. Bajaj ULC car will be available in petrol version only. The powerful 800cc engine offer great performance & fuel economy. It is claimed to offer relatively higher mileage than the Tata Nano. In conclusion, we can say that Bajaj small car will hard to ignore by the cost conscious Indian auto market.

How lavana thailam won’t make you slim

I happened to see a recent youtube video prepared by Dr.N Gopalakrishnan (titled – Lavana Thailam), who is the Director of Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage. He is a rank holder in pharmaceutical chemistry and a well educated scientist. I have seen many of his speeches on the internet and they make much sense to me. There was a recent video that he prepared himself regarding the ‘lavana thailam ‘ and would like to fight against this misleading so-called ayurvedic medicine for weight loss and maintain body figure. Many companies who make this oil and does great marketing are the main culprit here and I would like to share how not to fall into their marketing strives.

Recently Dr. Gopalkrishnan got an interesting question from an Ayurveda student regarding lavana oil, while giving a lecture on lavana thailam , on whether there are any validity on the medicinal value for this oil. Gopalkrishnan made sure that he communicates this well to the students so that they too don’t follow the foot steps of current aurvedic doctors. The lavana tailam is purely a misleading and non-worthy oil which does not help weight loss or helps bring body figure or even have any medicinal components which kills extra fat in your body. Its been promoted and marketed really well so that the people fall under the assumption that it can help solve their most concerning issue of obesity or figure less body.

lavana thailam

How Lavana thailam is not a ayurvedic medicine?

There are many proven thoughts on how Lavana tailam can’t be a medicine.

  • Various companies claim that this oil has rock salt in the oil. Any average science student knows that no salt can be mixed or joined with a oil. ‘lavanam’ means salt compounds and the name lavana oil itself is not accurate. The salts like NaCl will only dissolve in water.
  • There is no mentions in historical ayurveda studies regarding an oil mixture like this.
  • No proven records or post analysis on how many positive results are shown with this oil.
  • People buy the medicine after watching television commercials. Sales are in crores because of the demand it generated after marketing with ads.
  • No chemical reasoning behind the composition behind this medicine.

Does Lavana thailam have side effects ?

Dr. Gopalkrishnan clearly mentions that any ayurvedic medicine can have side effects if they are not prepared in the correct way it should be made and not follow the ayurvedic science. As this oil have no science behind the preparation and is purely an assumption that it can help, there can definitely be some side effects (may be for your next generation). You can never prove that the side effects that you are seeing on your body or your child’s body is because of the lavana thailam and hence its a win win situation for the companies who are selling it.

Major retailers who are making money by selling this misleading product ?

  • Ayurcare – They are major player behind promoting this oil. There misleading ads can be viewed here and here.
  • All major ayurvedic outlets – even kottakal sells it in Kerala and outside Kerala. Dr.N Gopalkrishnan shows his unhappiness when he finds that these genuine ayurvedic centers are selling the products just  because of the demand and marketing pitch.

I was surprised how the company managed to add tons of misleading positive reviews on all leading internet  forums (mostly indusladies forum), a few home remedy blogs (you can pay them to get an article added with links to where you can buy the product – kind of affiliate marketing) and other websites. I was even able to find the product being sold in Amazon.com at $ 10 with zero users reviews (which clearly shows that users don’t want to review the product after wasting their money).

If you understand Malayalam or find somebody who can translate malayalam, please watch Dr. N Gopalkrishnan’s video on youtube (added below).  Also find details of IISH here.

Hope this article helps you not to fall into the marketing tricks of these companies and take the correct route in loosing weight without any side effects.

Love Anthem For World Peace – STR Simbu Official Full Song Video

Finally, the much-awaited teaser and first look of Simbu aka STR’s love anthem for world peace has been unveiled.The young talent has joined hands with Akon and Rihanna and the teaser of this looks smashing with words from various languages from across the world, meaning love, as its lyrics. Meanwhile, even as STR is busy with work on this love anthem, his fans have presented him a fan anthem on the actor and it is said that Simbu was in love with this fan anthem that was dedicated to him.

The verion 1 of the song is released on the internet. Soon the full version which is said to carry the voices of International pop singers Akon and Rihanna.Mother Theresa said ‘Spread love wherever you go’; Micheal Jackson said ‘ Heal the world’, this is how the much awaited ‘Love for world peace’ song, composed and sung by STR, begins. With this song STR has joined hands with international musicians like Akon and Rihanna to promote world peace through music. The song has the lyrics in 96 languages and STR is the only musician representing India!

All we need is Pyaar Prema Kaadhal !

The lyrics for Love Anthem For World Peace will be added soon in this blog post.

raju narayanaswamy IAS scapegoat for kerala politicians

I hate when I find the smartest and brilliant Indians are forced to get stuck in job transfers because of not obliging to the corrupted Kerala politicians. Raju Narayanaswamy  is among that. He was the best when it comes to academic excellence and also when it comes to professional practices. He did the best job when he was in service and the political party made use of his strict practices to get political benefits to their opposition party.

First of all, a little bit about Raju Narayanaswamy :

raju narayanaswamy

Raju Narayana Swamy is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. He is presently Secretary, General Education, Government of Kerala.

Narayana Swamy was born into a middle class Kerala Iyer family from Changanassery, Kerala, India. He has a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He reportedly turned down a MIT Scholarship in order to pursue a career with the Indian Administrative Service. He also ranked 1st in the 1991 Civil Services Examination and entered the Indian Administrative Service.
Narayana Swamy is a prolific writer with 23 books to his credit. His work Santhimantram Muzhangunna Thazvarayil (Travelogue) won the 2004 Kerala Sahitya Akademi award. Among his recent works include Niram Mangiya Vazhithara, which is a translation of The Road of Lost Innocence, the English version of the French memoirs by Somaly Mam. He also has a passion for Mathematics and Physics which he opted as subjects for the Civil Services Examination.

Here are some of the strict actions he took when in service .

A real estate agent wanted to fill up a paddy field which is banned under law. An application came up before Narayanaswamy who was sub collector the, for an exemption from this rule for this plot of land. Upon visiting the site he found that the complaint from 60 poor families that they will face water logging due to the waste water from a nearby Government Medical College if this paddy field was filled up was correct. Narayanswamy came under intense political pressure but he did what was right – refused permission for filling up the paddy field. That was his first confrontation with politicians.

As district Collector he raided the house of a liquor baron who had defaulted Rupees 11 crores payment to government and carried out revenue recovery. A Minister directly telephoned him and ordered to return the forfeited articles to the house of the liquor baron. Narayanswamy politely replied that it is difficult. The minister replied that Narayanaswamy will suffer.

In his district it was a practice to collect crores of rupees for earthen bunds meant for poor farmers, but which were never constructed. A bill for rupees 8 crores came up before Narayanaswamy. He inspected the bund. He found it very weak and said that he will pass the bill after the rainy season to ensure that the bund served the purpose. As expected the earthen bund was too weak to stand the rain and it disappeared in the rain. But he created a lot of enemies for saving 8 crores public money. The net result of all such unholy activities was that he was asked to go on leave by the government. Later such an illustrious officer was posted as “State Co-Ordinator, Quality Improvement Programme for Schools”. This is what the politician will do to a honest officer with backbone – post him in the most powerless position to teach him a lesson. Since he found that nothing can be achieved for the people if he continued with the State Service he opted for central service. But that too was denied on some technical ground.

What will you do when you have a brilliant computer career anywhere in the world you choose with the backing of several advanced technical papers too published in international journals to your credit?

Here are some genuine comments on raju narayanaswamy who showed a strong back bone to Kerala politicians :

“I still remember the speech he gave on the occasion of felicitation ceremony conducted in our college to congratulate him on his success as IAS topper. He is a down to earth GENIUS. I always felt if he would have been in the scientific world he could have invented something. Because he was so brilliant in Maths & Physics, his favourite subjects. I feel he should be a role model to the new generation & if some of them follow his footsteps, it will be a great movement in our country. I think down the line some generation may fed of these corrupted people & start acting against them, a kind of movement like “For the People”. Thats what our country need now.”

“These politicians have paralysed the whole system.. The youth today is striving for personal welfare only going for MBA and MS in foreign universities.If a person like Mr Raju who could have opted for abroad studies chose civil service in order to serve the nation why can’t we.We think what can we do single handedly for the nation which is so vast and where corruption has its roots upto unimaginable depths but this kind of attitude in not going to help the situation.I know that the results of these efforts may not be very fast and obvious but atleast trying to clean the mess is much better than just staring and commenting on the shortcomings of our nation.If the youth today starts working in this direction,then the day is not far when the things like poverty,corruption will become the things of past as are Britishers now after the independence………”

“Raju is a fantastic gentleman. A savant in maths and physics, but academically bright people often seldom find themselves throttled in working with corrupt dubious politicians. They are not so called tactful in buttering the back side of politicians and in doing social good often end up as bureaucratic pariahs. Hats off to the boy for his integrity and high standards of morality. A social role model but an unhappy man on personal and professional front. God bless him”

“Raju has been my juinor in school and college, and his dad my professor in college. He is really unmatched in many ways. In school and collge he was knowledgable than many of the teachers, but was always humble and down-to-earth. I remember one case when teacher didnt give him 100% for some of his answers in exam. Although he got 100% total marks as he had answered all optional questions also, he approached teacher and had discssion on these answers and was able to convince that they were right. Most students wont care to do this as anyway they got 100% total marks. I am proud to have been associated with Raju even though in a small way in those days. We need people like him to take this country to the right path.”


 

 

New Project on the way Home schooling blog

I am pretty excited about my new project Home School Coach helping one of my good friend Mary Ann Johnson to setup and drive traffic to her Home schooling blog Home School Coach .The blog is basically explaining the concept of TJED (The Thomas Jefferson Education methodology) and its various techniques of Home schooling . I was also not much aware of the concept of Home schooling till now but now I am learning a lot on this topic and I hope I will gain a good understanding of Home schooling . In simple words , Home schooling is

Homeschooling or homeschool (also called home education or home learning) is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school. Although prior to the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws, most childhood education occurred within the family or community, homeschooling in the modern sense is an alternative in developed countries to formal education.
Homeschooling is a legal option in many places for parents to provide their children with a learning environment as an alternative to publicly-provided schools. Parents cite numerous reasons as motivations to homeschool, including better academic test results, poor public school environment, improved character/morality development, and objections to what is taught locally in public school. It may be a factor in the choice of parenting style. It is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or living temporarily abroad.

life has changed

My life has changed a lot from the past and I apologize for keeping this space not updated till now. Its been almost a year now since I blogged (refer to the date on my previous blogpost).So what made me away from blogging (from my personal blog) –
• Was more into photo-blogging – Was working on to http://photography.ratishnaroor.com/ and right now managed to have 7500 – 10000 visitors monthly.
• Got busy with photo shoots , Job and travelling
• And of course procrastination 🙂
I made up my mind that I should blog more frequently and update the world what’s happening with my life and how is it going with me. So let me tell you what’s the new life changing event happened in my life: I’m MARRIED 🙂 .

Yes I got married on May 16th 2010 to Shiniga Gangadharan at the famous Guruvayoor temple in Kerala (India). And yes tomorrow we will be celebrating our one month of successful married life. I feel so different after getting married and lot many things have changed so far. The way I plan my trips, my money, photo-shoots, time-management etc. But still nice to be married and thankful to god for finding me the best match.
So currently what’s all happening around me –
• Eating good food – Shiniga cooking great delicious food and I started eating breakfast
• Preparing for changing our current apartment to a bigger one , Tons of cloths to handle now 🙂 and I will have more walls to hang my pictures .
• Planning for mini honeymoons as we never got to spend some good time together . So more travel coming soon .
• Finding up ways to spend more time with my wife and not to spend more time before the computer or camera.

My personal blog is back

Here’s my personal blog back again on the internet with a new design and layout, bringing it under my personal domain http://RatishNaroor.com . It was hard for me to find extra time to re-design all my three blogs under wordpress platform .I would say WordPress was fun to work with . It took me very less time to master the tricks in designing a blog from the scratch . I would be adding an article on “how to create a blog in wordpress “ in my SEO blog at http://SEO.RatishNaroor.com .Do check for updates soon .

So what am I going to scribble in my personal blog? It will be mostly my travelogues, various personal experiences and my life in words & pictures. Lot of things are happening in my life recently and I felt I should share all those small experiments in my life . Also I would try to cover some of my recent trips that I did which were part of my Photo expeditions.

Ratish Naroor Personal Blog

I got some good response for my re-designed photo blog at http://photography.RatishNaroor.com . WordPress has lot of options to tweak and present my best shots in a neat  and better way .Also the wordpress’s SEO plugins helped me a lot in  placing me on top of the search results for most of the searches related with my name .

Heber park city Utah trip

The spring is here and its time for me to start traveling again .Winter was ofcourse an experience for me as this was my first winter in USA after I left India . Snow was fun and 5 months of winter was something really exciting for me.Anyways I was glad that I survived the winter with no health issues 🙂 .
This weekend we decided to do some shopping at park city malls but the sad part was the power was shut down from noon and we had come change our plans .We decided for some fun drive to Heber and the historic city in heber, in Anoop’s Ford Mustang.The drive was superb after the winter and I think I should be scheduling more drives in our wonderful and beautiful Utah .We took a break at Deer state park in Heber and decided to watch the sunset near the lake.It was a calm and peaceful evening after the hectic week at work . Check out some fun pictures we took at this place .
Heber- Park city trip

Heber- Park city trip Heber- Park city trip

Heber- Park city trip
Heber- Park city trip

Complete set of pictures

To My parents

Got hear a great song sung by Job (the Amrita TV super singer runner-up)from his new album ‘Thaalam’.Its an amazing song and with a great meaning for the lyrics . I decided to make a video with some of the pictures of my parents which I took two years ago at Ponmudi in Kerala State.This is something I would like to dedicate to my parents who helped me reach to this level . Thank you Dad and Mom .