Monday, April 13, 2009

A day well-spent (and money too)

As planned, I set out today for the bank. I was instructed by the pea-brained call center executive that if I needed to close my FD which matured on the 3rd of April, it could be done only by visiting that particular branch. I drove all the way driving a total of 36 kms today.
I started out at around 11:45 am. Luckily, the weather was quite good after the showers on Tuesday night. When I reached the 4th fly-over on SP road, I was very pleased to see that the narrow flyover had doubled its space. The two lanes had merged into one and there was a new road running parallel which was for the incoming traffic. This gave one of the oldest flyovers in Hyderabad the much needed respite from the heavy traffic. I often used to wonder how that old bridge (it cannot be called a fly- over) could stand the load of the heavy traffic!
After crossing, there was the new Punjagutta flyover, the longest flyover in Hyderabad. I am sure that this new flyover is the Hyderabadi driver’s delight. I guess it is around 1 ½ kms and is quite empty. Driving at 60kmph in Hyderabad IS an experience by itself. At that speed, I only had to be careful on the numerous twists and turns on the long flyover. This flyover ended at the Chutneys at Punjagutta. Crossed this, still maintaining a speed of 40+ and reached the bank at Jubilee hills.
Had a very pleasant experience with the lady executive there who was quite polite and patient. There were two things: one, I had to close my FD and get it transferred to my savings account. Second, because this branch was so far from my house, I had to transfer that account to the one closer to my house. But to my dismay, I found that the account transfer is actually as good as getting a new account…not to speak of the loans whose EMIs were linked to my savings account. I also spoke to the loan accounts guy about the procedure but he wasn’t too helpful with the information. Miffed, I marched straight to the Branch Manager’s (Uday’s) room. He gave me all the required information. And when I asked him about a locker facility, he said that there was no point in having a locker at Jubilee hills which was so far from my home. He called up the Manager (Nitin) at Habsiguda branch and spoke of getting me a locker! Though the trip was actually wasted because neither did I get my FD closed nor the account transferred, what was not expected was getting a locker! I was astounded to say the least. Getting a locker in a bank in Hyderabad and that too in the heart of the city was unheard of!
I was feeling quite liberated as I had no pressure of time and therefore when I came out of the bank, I went to a second- hand, road- side book shop and got myself two books. One, ‘The three mistakes of my life’ by Chetan Bhagat; Two, ‘Blindsight’ by Robin Cook.
Bargained but didn’t get much off. Yet, Rs.150 for the two books was quite a steal. When I set out from home, I had actually thought of buying myself a white Chikan kurta. But already having spent 150, I put that plan on hold. Going to Punjagutta and not eating at Chutneys was unthinkable. But as I was returning, I eyed the KFC opposite LV Prasad eye hospital. I immediately put a brake to my scooter. I was hesitant to take the long U-turn and therefore went inside the hospital to park my scooter, crossed the road on foot and went straight to the new Cinemax to see if there were any movies. Thought of seeing a movie on the spur. But the only movie that was screened around 3 pm was 8x10 Tasveer.. .too scared to try it, I gave it a miss and went into the complex to try out the food there. When I saw KFC, I also saw a food complex separated from KFC called Rhapsody. It had 6 eateries inside and when the Chaat Bhandaar caught my eye, I gave a miss to the rest and bought myself a coupon for a Chat Combo consisting of Tikki Ragda, Dahi Puri and a Coke. Cost me Rs 106. Wasn’t anything great or special or different from a road side eatery…except perhaps the hygiene of the place.
My brother called me towards the end of the meal congratulating me on the take over of Satyam. I assured him that that’s why I was celebrating today as I don’t know if and when the next salary would come.
After this, I again set out, feeling immensely sad at giving the favorite Chutneys a miss…again back on another new flyover and the wide SP road.
I went straight past my home to go to Habsiguda branch of the bank. Saw to the left on the Tarnaka flyover and was surprised to see a BIG Bazaar! I thought Tarnaka too is wakening up to commercial prospects! Went to the Habsiguda branch and spoke about the locker brandishing Uday’s business card authoritatively as though I knew him well. It seems I am a ‘good’ customer with a good record and therefore, I am eligible for a locker. When I was skeptical if I could get a locker without an account, I was told that lockers were given based on relationships! I don’t know what relationship I had but whatever…the Habsiguda branch manager , Nitin, wasn’t there but another lady officer took my details and called me within 40 minutes to assure me that she had spoken to Nitin and that I could come on a Saturday and get my locker ! I nearly jumped with joy at this confirmation.
Meanwhile, as I came out of the branch, I saw Café Coffee Day and thought why not add to the reckless mood I was in and splurge a little more. Went in to order cold Café Frappe @ Rs 61. I don’t know how they get the exact taste of coffee which isn’t too strong or too weak with a blend of vanilla ice cream. They got it just right…not too much ice cream or coffee. With this final binge of spending, I returned home satisfied at having explored beyond my usual 5kms radius. (Yeah, one liter of petrol lasts a month for me usually…)
I don’t regret the money spent today when it gives me a good high at spending after a long time on food and books. As far as time is concerned anyways, I have plenty on hands!