SHANGHAIED

As a final exercise, I wanted to get my Kitchen furbished with modular furniture and cupboards for storage. After surveying the market, I had discovered the many players in the market, who are into these modular kitchen solutions.

Zeroed down on M/S Godrej, who is a leading player in this segment with all metal construction, relieving a buyer from deciding on the types of wood, particleboard etc. that are used  as substitutes by all the other players. In addition, Godrej as a brand name, itself is well renowned throughout the country in the furniture market. Therefore, I have pursued the dealers of Godrej, in-spite of not being as customer friendly as the other players in the market. Despite overlooking the various shortcomings of these Godrej dealers, just because of my weakness for the all-metal material of construction and the brand name ‘Godrej’ itself, the finalization of the deal on Godrej failed only because of their adamant terms of contract.

Once again, I was in market scouting for alternatives and found that the brand name ‘Kutchina’ has a number of outlets in the market and their visibility is higher. Their shop keeper/sales personnel are perseverant in chasing their prospective customers like me. In anticipation of an equally enthusiastic and satisfactory after sales deliverance, I have placed an order with Kutchina (Bajoria Home Makers Private Limited) along with an advance payment for the execution of the order i.e. delivery and installation which were  to be completed within three weeks. Then did my major struggles start.

I had to continuously chase them for the delivery of the material which itself had taken more than three weeks. They had started the installation work promptly within 24 hours after the materials were delivered with a verbal assurance that, it may take up to maximum 3 days for the entire installation to be completed, as everything was pre-fabricated as per the measurements taken. However, I discovered to my utter dismay that the installation job was not just an assembling of pre-fabricated cupboards but re-fabrication of the entire cupboard by taking fresh measurements like a typical carpentry job! Consequently, it definitely took more than double the time promised.

While on the subject, I would also like to mention that the workers, carpenters and sales personnel are very nice to talk to, and well behaved while interacting with the customer face to face. Every day the customer is convinced for another day’s extension for the completion of the work. Unfortunately, their working hours are only from 11am to 6pm, due to which the total installation job required more days. Thus, depriving us of our precious working hours, as our presence for monitoring the work is essential. Even after several attempts in persuading the workers into working for longer hours to complete the job, those sweet natured carpenters / workers, did not budge, citing their own excuses. After 6 days of my persistent perseverance to get the job completed, I had lost my composure and tried reaching out to the management (Mr. Shehashish Mukherjee, National head of Marketing & Sales) of the organization, which had been a herculean task indeed to convey the grievances. They had finally completed the work expeditiously but shabbily the next day. The so-called job completion pictures are as under, which requires no further elaboration to show their finished product, and that it is awfully below the expectations of their pre-sale overzealous commitments and rosy pictures.

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In short, I would like to share the following with all those aspiring to build up their kitchens-

  1. One should get their kitchens tailor fabricated by a creative, hardworking carpenter, which would save one a lot of time, money and agony.
  2. Even if one wants to go for branded modular kitchen solutions, one should insist on witnessing the finished products at a few of the customers’ locations of that respective brand.
  3. Also, suggest one to talk to a few of the old customers of the brand and seek their opinions/experiences before finalizing the order.
  4. Be convinced with the grievance redressal system beforehand, rather than getting lost in the lurch after getting the fingers burnt.
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INTRICACIES OF CHANGE

To begin with, the answer to a very simple yet an indispensable dilemma of our everyday life-

What is Change?

I believe, “Change” is embracing the ability to be prepared to move from one situation to another.

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Time changes everything except something that consistently fears change. In spite of its complications, it is crucial to endure the changes, even though most of us want a certain amount of uniformity. Interestingly, we need to recognize a few prime concerns; “What change is required?”, “Where is the change required?”, and “Why is the change required”. The answers to these queries will certainly contribute to a happier and healthier living. Generally, it is the desire to change which encourages certain people to undergo a change. This yearning is something that has to be perceived if a change is to happen. One’s willingness to withstand a change in every aspect of life is fundamental to enjoy a better living. The following are a few messages I would like to share, which were essential during my journey of change.

1.Motivation and guidance from close ones:

One of those early morning’s newspaper reading hour, while I relaxed on my sofa over a cup of green tea after a refreshing morning walk in the lakes, I pondered, it has been a long time since I had taken proper notice of my home. At times, we are bewildered by the sudden desire; hence, it is necessary that we talk about our yearnings to people. Seeking advice from the ideal people does not mean we have to comply with their opinions, it just means that we increase our prospects of not being stranded during our expedition. Having family members, friends and co-workers motivate you during your journey is very helpful. You should talk about what you are planning to do, and share all your doubts and apprehensions to be unassailable by formidable difficulties. Thus, after an exchange of opinions with my acquaintances, the planning for execution and remodeling my home was initiated. I then decided to implement my plans straightaway with unwavering decisions. I knew I would have to set aside the desirable part of the day, a whopping 8 hours or so, to complete the task. This was not just a matter of a day or a week; instead an encumbrance of 3-4 weeks. However, to my utmost surprise it did not just take up a month’s comfort, but 45 days of my ample and congenial living. For all, building their own home to live in is their greatest dream and the reason for their pride. A home is not only an intrinsic part of someone’s life but also his or her most treasured possession. Renovating my home was like rebuilding it once again from the start. This time, with much more effort for customization.

2. Keep abreast of latest online applications:

The intricacies of my journey began with the exploration of a place for my sojourn during this period of renovation. Besides the investment for my home renovation, an additional hardship for a temporary stay complying with my conventional amenities tagged along.

“OYO” a semi-acquainted existence, had unexpectedly become an inevitable option for me.  Even though the filter options did not serve my concern well, I had to succumb to the adversities. “Localities welcome”, “For business travelers” are not merely filters but it further heightened my inability to rest soon. I wanly selected the ones corresponding to my preconditions of staying within the proximity of my home, with apt hygiene and maintenance and a car parking facility. At that time, my mind was so full of heterogeneous load that I almost despaired of ever being able to find shelter. Whimsical, yet the truth of my plight.

The terrific part about OYO Rooms is that it does not hurt your pocket. It is surprising that so much is offered at an economical price. Spending money on hotels while living in the same city is certainly a matter of concern. Now, with the advancement of OYO room services, the apprehensions have remarkably reduced. The major setback of this newly enterprising initiative is that the names of the hotels are not revealed until booked, hence making things more obscure. My practice was analogous to a gypsy, moving from one apartment/hotel to another hoping to at least fall into a deep slumber after an exhausting period of exertion.

For those intending to stay in OYO Rooms, should always walk into the hotel/apartment and request for a tour of the hotel if the location pointed out on the map is not familiar. You must consider a few things before booking an OYO room:

  1. The actual hotel rate could be more economical alternatively, slightly higher if booked on the hotel website or other travel portals.
  2. The services rendered by the hotel itself are more beneficial than the downsized services furnished by OYO.
  3. The Hotel rate comparison tool should be adopted consequently considering the best option in one’s budget.
  4. It is always advisable to verify the primary amenities insured by the OYO hotel/apartment. Hygiene, maintenance and car parking facility were the major obstacles during my criteria search and reservations. Despite the specified amenities, a few facilities could not be availed at the location.

3Have recourse to mass reviews:

From savouring my daily meals, I ended up skipping my breakfasts, having daily brunches’ and hunting for niche` restaurants/outlets to restore my lost appetite. My prevailing plight acquainted me with the aliments available in the locale. The exploratory stroll in my so-called “para” – (which means neighbourhood or locality), disclosed the considerable amount of appealing and impressive joints, furnishing a satiating experience. These outlets may restrain you from healthy eating purposes, but with proper arrangements and confidence, you can enjoy your meal without abandoning healthy eating. Dining-out is no time to be a deferential customer; you can always customize the preparation style gratifying the yearning. The food can always be prepared the way you want it to be.

The hunt for food could be facilitated by “Zomato”; a restaurant search service that provides information on-the-go for diners. You can easily scroll through the menu cards online and conveniently locate the nearby restaurants or outlets instantly without being famished.

The reviews posted on Zomato is of paramount importance for those wary of awful experiences in new places. Several foodies in the city further categorized by specific localities, readily post reviews on their experiences at diverse eat-outs. These forums are very resourceful and one should visit whenever in doubt. The application instantly identifies one’s location and suggests a wide range of outlets available in one’s current detected location.

Now coming to the most perplexing and hideous fact, that the house needed a ton of work. The estimated cost, time and energy required to make the house habitable once again was terrifying. After entrusting the responsibility to a contractor to restore and rejuvenate my home, I audaciously handed over my home keys to the contractor in anticipation. I certainly had to pay an exorbitant price for my high hopes. My renovation process was heading towards a failure due to strange delays, shabby modes of executions and appliances/facilities that were yet to be installed/made ready. In such circumstances, the only prudent action would be to retrain one’s wrath.  Firing the contractor wouldn’t be a wise decision as that could create a breach of contract leading to inexplicable consequences. Appropriate measures should always be taken before assigning the task to a contractor.

4Beware of treachery:

You should choose your contractor carefully! Better if a thoroughly professional one. This is one of the major decision that should be taken rationally.  There are plenty of unprofessional and unethical people in this trade.

An unprofessional contractor will not only scorn their responsibilities but will also violate all terms of arbitration. Similarly, an unethical person would make you run from pillar to post for the smallest of the issues. It is essential to find someone in whom we can trust completely and is a pleasant ally. Genuine contractors should take the full responsibility of getting the work done within the contracted time, without further delays and excuses. The tendencies of the contractors to substitute genuine and worthy amenities with mediocre products and services by cutting corners, catering to their profit are very common. You must be very careful about the products being installed or used and must intensively verify them prior to the installations or usages.

A fair and moderate payment schedule will contribute to your advantage throughout the project. It is sensible to make the final payment when gratification has been attained. To save yourself from the trauma and risks involved with hiring irregular and incompetent help, it is wiser to hire a contractor who has at least earned the credentials of the work and has a good code of conduct.

While I want a good deal as much as anyone does, I forgot to master the mechanism of the pursuit. Choosing nepotism was my biggest blunder. The savings you think you are getting with the known bidder later fades into the obscurity with extra and inadequate allowances, headaches and tiredness. Yet, the incomplete work continues to seize my peace of mind. Any change that you want cannot happen in a wink, it demands a lot of time and responsibility. Always keep in mind there will be exceptional failures. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”. Thus it is important for us to take care of ourselves and be considerate about our well-being. You could stumble on your road to your goal. Learning from your mistakes and shaping up yourself expeditiously, is what eventually matters.

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