Friday, June 27, 2008


This place was in the head lines for all wrong political reasons a couple of months back. I happened to visit this place last week end with my friends. Only after seeing the beauty of Hogenakkal I understood the reason for which the Karnataka government is trying to set their foot here. River Kaveri flows beautifully amidst the hilly banks on both the sides. And there are several water falls from the hills falling right into the river. Each one were a beauty on its own. We went for a boating (parisal) along the river seeing few falls in close proximity. The boat man told us that the water level there was actually low now and during August we will not be able to see the rocky banks on either sides as the water would cover the whole area. At the end of the boat ride we reached a sandy bank where we had a good bath in the river. There were two artificially created falls which was at the top of the hill. We had a good time there too.

The other specialties of this is place is the oil massage & the hot fish fries. Few of my friends had a good massage and also we hired a cook to prepare some chicken and fish. After all the bath and the spending the whole day walking here and there we had a good lunch. The trip was really wonderful, this is one of the must visit tourist places in Tamil Nadu.

Activities not to missed @ Hogenakkal
1. Boating in the river.
2. Bath in the falls.
3. Oil massage.
4. Munching fish curry

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Bitter taste in Dhabba Express

Guru & myself went for a dinner at the Dhabba express in Chenotaph road. Food there tasted good as usual but the experience was bitter and hurted me for a long time. After the dinner I placed my debit card for the payment and by a mistake the bearer entered a wrong value while swiping the card. He entered Rs. 5250 instead of Rs. 525, and knowing the mistake he has canceled the transaction midway and entered the correct value once again. One of their captains(thats what they call their leads) informed me about this while I signed the bill copy. And he added that the amount will not be debited from account and gave me a mobile number for any assistance if that happens. I was not so worried at that moment, as he clearly said that the transaction was canceled.

The next day when I checked my account summary online I was really annoyed. Both the transactions were successfully processed and a total of Rs. 5775 was debited from my account. So I called them up the next day to the number which they gave me. I told him that both the transactions were processed and Rs. 5775 was debited. He replied that he will look into this and the amount will be credited back to my account in 5 working days. And he also told me there was no need for me to visit them in this regard as this process will definitely be completed in 5 days. As he gave me such an assurance I did not go to their place. I waited for 5 working days but without any use. I had to call them again regarding this after 5 days. The response I got this time was not proper, they just told that the cancellation of the transaction was in progress. The reply this time came in a hesitant manner. So I decided to go there directly to find the proceedings. When I reached their place, there was no one willing to hear my complaint, they were pretty busy with work. I spotted a person who was responsible for the proceedings near the reception. I went up to him and explained him what happened, he just replied that this was a common problem and has happened before while using debit cards. He also told that this will not happen in case of a credit card. He asked me to wait for another 5 days so that the problem will be resolved definitely and the amount will be credited back to my account.

The next time when I called them after two or three days, they were reluctant to reply & did not give me a proper answer. Then I had to call them frequently & visited them two more time. Most of the time when I called them I would not get a good response from them, they'll just keep saying that this under process & you will get back your money. Finally when I visited them for the third time their finance team gave me a copy of their bank statement stating that the problem was from my bank's side and they had nothing to do with it. It took them almost 25 days for them to conclude this. By now I was really very upset & frustrated. Then very same day I launched a complaint in my bank using the phone banking facility. I got back my money in another three to four days. So it took almost a moths time to get back my money. All this happened due to a mistake made by a bearer at the Dhabba Express. Had they told me the actual status early I could have contacted the bank earlier & that would have avoided a lot of frustration. Making such mistakes are common but they should have to take up proper responsibility and act accordingly so that the customer doesn't gets irritated.

So, please be very careful the next time you use your debit card while you pay bills anywhere. Please avoid using debit cards in the cash counters as much as possible. Use credit cards or pay by cash.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Trip to Masinangudi

Last week end we went on a trip from our office to Masinangudi, a place near Mudumalai forest range. The trip was really rocking as expected. This was a three days trip. We started from Chennai on thursday & planned to the reach the destination by around 1 PM on friday. The train delayed our plans & subsequently we reached the resort by 5 PM. But the travel to the resort from the coimbatore junction by van was really enjoyable, as the climate was excellent and we were dancing and having fun all the way. The Mudumalai forest region is about 1000 feet above the sea level, whereas Ooty is 2240 feet above the sea level. So we had to go uphill & then down hill to an extent. The weather over there was not so cold.

We booked our stay in Bear Mountain (a jungle resort) over there. The place was really very different one, admist the forest, dark & scary to an extent during the night. They had different type of places to stay there. A Tree house, camp site & some normal kind of executive rooms. We opted for few camp sites & a tree house. I got myself into the tree house. A wooden platform like thing has been built around a tree, and on that platform there were three tents. Each can accommodate two members. It was totally a different experience to stay there. Overall the resort was good. But it was on the costlier side.

The first day, there was not much of any activity. We just planned for a night safari. Saw few Gaurs(Indian bison), deers, wild boar & a baby elephant during the safari. We'll have to be very lucky to get to see a panther it seems & seeing a tiger is almost impossible. We were told that to see a Tiger we may have to stay in the jungle for two days. The next morning we went on a hill trek, it was a pretty easy trek and a very small one compared the one which we went the last year in Parsons valley. Few from our group felt very tired & were not able to walk further. So we had to drop it in the mid way & came down around lunch time. After the lunch and a session of volleyball in the resort we went for the elephant camp in the evening. We went for the night safari the second night also. We had no luck that night either. Were not able to see anything special. Then on the third day we vacated the resort in the morning & had a bath in a stream near masinangudi. On the way to Ooty we stopped at Pykara falls. I had been to Ooty several times but this is the first time I saw the Pykara falls. It was such a nice place to visit. Beautiful flow of water.

The trip was really wonderful, our team is always gelled as a very closed set of friends. We go for a tour once in a year, for some relaxation away from work. This is one such tour and the purpose was really fulfilled.