I have been doing something for the past two months that I had not done before. I am working as a Hindi teacher with the students at Centro Risorse India center. I am giving walking classes which is very interesting and fun but sometimes it is really boring when I meet someone who is really beginner. I was asked to give walking classes by Marco, the chief of Centro Risorse India center, about two months ago but I was not really prepared for it because I had never done it before but Marco told me to just try it once and if I like it, they would give me more work.
I also had two-three free hours so I decided to go for it. I worked with a girl named Caterina first time. I took her out and we started talking in Hindi. But I thought that only general communication in Hindi would be no fun for the students so I thought why not make it interesting by choosing some topic about Benares or anything in India and talk about it and it worked very well. Caterina, a student from University of Venice was my first student and I took her out but I was a little nervous first day. I chose the topic ” History of Nagwa” for my first day of work. Nagwa is the neighborhood where Caterina lives.
We talked about Nagwa for a while and then we talked about a few controversial political and social issues of Nagwa and spent two hours only talking about them and finally the class was over. Now I have worked with many students after Caterina and I like this job but only when students know good enough Hindi to express themselves in Hindi. I like this job because its not only me who talks about India or Benares in front of a foreigner but I also get to learn about foreign countries and culture by talking with foreign students.
Once I got a student who just did not know any Hindi, it was super frustrating. I finally told her to work on Hindi grammar first and then contact me. The students I have worked with have given good feedback about my work and now the university wants to give me some kind of language and teaching training in Venice for a month which sounds exciting but I am not sure if I should go there because they want me to come to Italy in June when I want to go to America. I will see but if there will be any opportunity for me to visit neighboring countries of Italy after the training then I would love to go there.
The SIM card I use for my mobile is an Airtel, which is the biggest service provider of India. I had received a call from them a few months ago which was about choosing a caller tune for my mobile. The computer played some songs first and then said to press the button 3 if I wanted to choose the song as my caller tune. It said that if I press the button 3, I will be subscribed for the service for next week and they will charge me Rs. 10. I wanted to hang up but by mistake I pressed button 3 instead of red button which was just above button 3 and got subscribed for the service.
But I did not mind it as I knew that I had got subscribed only for a week. The next week they sent me a message saying that they had renewed my subscription which I did not want to do. I tried to contact customer care but I could not because I had a lifetime validity plan. I went to their office and they said that lifetime validity plan customers can not talk to the customer care, it was crazy. I think they do this because life timeplan customers pay less money.
It continued like this for three months and I kept loosing my balance but I did not know where my balance was going. I used to recharge my mobile and did not get proper balance. I used to think that somebody had used my mobile and my balance was negative and when I recharged my mobile, they deducted the previous balance. After few months I changed my plan. I chose a monthly billing system where they send the detailed bill. I was shocked to see my first month’s bill. They were charging me Rs. 68 per month for that caller tune.
If I had subscribed for a caller tune on a monthly basis, then I would have paid Rs. 30 per month but since I had chosen this weekly subscription they were charging me Rs. 68. They used to charge me Rs. 10 per week for the caller tune and Rs. 7 per week for an SMS which was sent automatically to renew the service for the next week. I never sent that message. Computer used to send the message and then charge me for it. It was crazy. This amount of Rs. 68 was not a big deal but I did not like the way they cheated me.
I went to their office to get unsubscribed from this service and the representative there asked me to call on a number. I asked her to unsubscribe me from that service by using her office computer but she said that it could not be done by any office; it could be done only if I call that number. I called that number and it was really crazy. I still remember when I had subscribed for that service that the computer was talking to me in Hindi. Actually there was an option for choosing the language but when I wanted to unsubscribe, there was no option for choosing the language.
The computer was talking in English. I hung up the call and connected again just to see if there was any option to choose language or not and again it was same- no option for Hindi. The thing that made the process more difficult was the accent; it was a very hard American accent. Even though I often talk with the Americans and am very familiar with the American accent but still it was hard for me to understand what the computer was talking about. The computer was speaking too fast with some strange accent.
I listened to the computer’s voice twice and then I could understand and could unsubscribe from the caller tune service. But I wonder what the people can do if they do not know any English or are not familiar with a foreign accent. What they will do, keep paying Rs. 68 per month for nothing??? These crazy corporations can do anything, just anything to make money.