How is Just Dial fleecing everyone?

Even when you are sick you cannot be sure of getting the desired treatment from the place you want. There is no guarantee of services from the backend, and the consumers probably has no idea that they are being conned.

On 26th August, 2013 a friend Vanya Kaushik called up Lal Path Labs Sector 16, Chandigarh, she needed to get done blood tests of her grandmother. Lal Path labs which is a pioneer medical testing laboratory in the country, assured Vanya, that the tests will be done next morning that is on 27th August, 2013. They were charging Rs 350, where Rs 300 was the fee for the tests and Rs 50 for providing services at home.

Astonishingly someone claiming to be from Lal Path Labs turned up at their place on the same day, 26th August, 2013. When enquired why he had come before the scheduled appointment, he said, there were no prior preoccupations and the tests could be done immediately.

Suspecting no more, the Kaushik family let him do his job. He charged them Rs 400 and left. Since the guy charged more than the actual cost, Vipul Kaushik, a family member called Lal Path labs and inquired about the sudden increase. Mr Kaushik was shocked when the lab denied sending anyone and stating that their tests were still pending.

Worried because of intrusion in privacy and violation of consumer rights, the family decided to call all the labs they had availed services from earlier. All labs denied having done the tests.

Meanwhile, the family called Lal Path again, inquiring if someone had turned up with the reports, they denied completely sounding hostile. The family suspecting something fishy went to the lab in Sector 16 and demanded an explanation.  After an hour of heated discussion, one of the employees called up someone to ask if he had done the tests. Apparently he had and this guy worked for some other lab in Sector 37.

Now exasperated, the family asked how had someone whose services they did not seek turn up at their doorstep claiming to be someone else! They had called up Lal Path labs to conduct the tests, they were registered, an entry was made in their name. Below is the picture giving the proof that Lal Path was supposed to conduct those tests.


Where did this guy posing from Lal Path lab come to know, that tests needed to be done at a particular place? Where did he find out the Kaushik’s home phone number and rest of the details? Bizarre, right?

The answer is pretty easy, Justdial, the biggest online directory in the country had intercepted the call between the family and Lal Path labs. Once they had all the information of the conversation that happened, they mailed all the details to the other lab. Here is the copy of the mail that the other lab in Sector 37 (Mediquest Labs)  received from Just dial. They forwarded it to the family after being inquired about their source of information.


So does this mean, Just dial is tapping phone calls of various organizations and leaking information to other organizations? Are these organizations paying Just Dial for this?  Who is to be blamed? Just Dial? Organizations paying Just dial?How can these  calls be intercepted? Is there any role the network providers are playing in the tapping of phones without authority?  Are we safe when conducting business deals over phone calls?

The marketing head of Lal Path labs admitted to the breach in code of conduct but neither he nor the lab in-charge said anything on record. Just dial was called later in the evening but they refused to talk. Several mails to them have gone unanswered. The family received the following anonymous hand-written note early in the morning. They have no idea who could have sent the note, but it is very lucid it is either Just Dial or the other organization. Who is to be blamed? What action has to be taken? This is a clear case of violation of customer privacy and rights.  How many people are affected by this?

Anonymous letter

Anonymous letter


What is wrong with the Education System?

Indian education system has always been somewhat twisted, it has major drawbacks. No amount of changes like CCE and whatever has been coming up since I left school in 2008 will do it any good. I might not be an expert but when I judge from a student’s eye, I know something is horribly wrong with this system. Why do I say this? I will slowly and steadily unfurl my reasons in this post.

I will narrate an incident which I happen to remember from the time when I was a naive second grader. My teacher had given the class an essay titled “My Daily Routine”, she had dictated us that essay, and we were to narrate the same  essay in the class. The kids who spoke before me, quoted the exact words of the teacher’s essay. When my turn came I probably thought it was cool to throw in some facts from my own routine, so instead of being a parrot I decided to narrate my own version of the essay. Lo and behold!! I had gone horribly wrong, in thinking it was cool to have my own version. The class laughed, the teacher ridiculed and that is where the creativity of a seven year old died. I was too young to understand, there was nothing wrong in being differing from the crowd. Until and unless you are right there is absolutely nothing WRONG! I could not, despite wanting to, differ from the teacher, I wasn’t wrong, it was something very small but the teacher refused to accept something that was original.

Another incident, this one more vivid from the faded pages of my memory. Fast forward to second grade to ninth. Again an English class, we were reading the famous and now my favorite poem, The Road not Taken by Robert Frost. The teacher raised a question,           ” how many of you will follow the road not taken?” I raised my arm up high, sure my class-mates would do the same, I looked around. To my utter disbelief I was the solitary one who dared to prefer the road not taken. The bigger shock came when the teacher thought it was always a better idea to take the road more traveled upon rather than treading on the so called road not taken. She had totally killed the essence of the poem. This time again the teacher had discouraged her pupils from being creative.

These are just two examples I can recall but they are more than enough to be alibis of the fact that Indian Education system curbs creativity. There is no room for creativity, it was and will always be the greatest promoter of rote learning. I know there will be a lot of fingers raised when I state that, but folks one odd student from each school cannot change this fact. The majority is still running in the rat race trying to bell the cat. I don’t know how CCE works, but I see no change. All I gather from the few respected educators, my mother being one of them, the entire situation is the same with little change.

If I am in touch with school education anymore, it is because of my mother, a veteran in this area, the things she tells me about her students are somewhat disheartening. They are not empathetic towards each other or the society, they call each other names, differentiate each other on the basis of skin color. Most of this is not new, we have probably all done that but why can’t we change it? What good is it learning math when you make fun of the kid from economically weaker section in your class? If instead of helping  a classmate with a physical disability you jeer at him, what use is your education? The kids have forgotten their moral values and the educators their duty to inculcate those values in them.

Before asking these young people to pick up books and teaching them the alphabets we need to first teach them how to be humane, education is certainly important but while imparting education we mustn’t forget the basics like the need to respect fellow human beings. This is where the system goes wrong, it focuses on rote learning, scores and competition. I think there are many other factors where the system might be wrong but right now these two things need an immediate change. The fire in creative minds should never be doused and the students should not be just taught from the books but should be given some real life lessons. I strongly believe if we need a better country to live in, a country with a bright future, creative minds and empathetic leaders we need to revolutionize the education system.

The Storm Called Arnab Goswami

If you are an avid news watcher, there is no way that you haven’t watched at least one of Arnab Goswami’s debates. He is the guy who probably makes the politicians wet their pants and makes Barkha Dutt look sweet and subtle on her shows. The NEWS on Indian channels has seen a paradigm shift. From the monotonous NEWS readers on DD to the war-like discussions we witness now. I am not a fan of the prime time debates on all the channels. All the people featuring on these debates to me look like chickens arguing over which one of them laid maximum eggs, exactly that’s how pointless I find all these debates.

I can’t reason what we are learning from discussing “Whether Bollywood item numbers have a role to play in the rapes happening across the country” or  “Where did Owaissi go wrong with his speech.”  The debates, if at all we can call them debates are absolutely meaningless and a pain to ears.



Arnab, the most visible face on television today, is probably the only journalist who is not politically biased and popular for asking the politicians the toughest questions putting them in a spot. Remember Renuka Chaudhary’s face when she last came, looked she was going to burst into tears? But, I wonder are these debates conventional enough. Being the anchor shouldn’t he wait for people to answer and listen to them instead of butting in every two seconds to give his personal opinion? Arnab, the nation needs to know why exactly you call people when you don’t let them complete their sentences?

Honestly saying it out loud and blaming politicians for each and every thing is not the answer, it doesn’t help either. Yes, it does put the politicians to shame, probably makes them want to hide their faces but do we ever get a solution? I remember Arnab hosting a debate where he called Abhijeet Mukherjee, president’s son and he kept asking him why he gave the “painted and dented” statement. Mukherjee incessantly kept saying he had withdrawn the statement, but the macho man, the savior of the country; Arnab Goswami kept pressing the issue. Mukherjee, forgive me for the language, is an absolute buffoon to make a statement like that for women but pursuing him that way on the national television didn’t solve the problem either, correct me if it did.

Arnab points out at the issues, sometimes not so precisely, throws facts at generally ignorant guests like he is firing cannonballs at them, makes them uncomfortable, questions his own questions ( I have not seen even one debate concluding productively, there are no answers). His skill lies not in journalism but in creating controversies and providing entertainment through dumbed down, rhetorical news. The nation needs an answer from him, what is the point of News Hour? We demand an answer NOW!!