Bhel Puri and Banking Security….

What a strange combination it seems, Bhel Puri and Banking Security? But bear with me and I will show you the connection…

Yesterday evening, we went and enjoyed an evening of excellent old Hindi film classics called “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil” organized by the Divine Mother Society (about which I will post separately as soon as I get some more info.)…and since I am an early-dinner person, at about 7.45 pm I felt very peckish. The event was in Ambedkar Bhavan, and though one of the sponsors, Nestle, were providing free coffee, the only other stall there was selling only chocolates and Maggi. So my friend and I crossed the road looking to see what snacks we could buy there.

We finally wound up at a pushcart vendor of bhelpuri, and under the husband’s expert directions, the wife (wearing beautiful earrings and well-dressed) made up our Bhel Puri packets and we brought them back to the hall and settled down to munch while enjoying the excellent music.

Still don’t get the connection, can you? Well, here it comes. After finishing my Bhel Puri, I idly looked down at the paper in which it was wrapped ( I was very happy that the couple had not given us any plastic bags.) I was rather startled to see that what I was holding was actually an Airtell bill to someone… It gave all the details of his name, address, Airtel connection number, his credit limit, and his bill plan as well. The bill was dated 10 Mar 2007…just last month.

How on earth would such a recent telephone bill find its way to a Bhel Puri stall? I would surely not like the details of my mobile connection, including my number, to be spread about the city in this way!

I have no clue how these sheets of paper are generated, and while I am happy that paper is used and re-used in this fashion in our country, surely there must be some safeguards about what kinds of paper should be shredded and what can be reused.

I would like some comments on this….Yes, I have the sheet of paper (with shreds of cucumber sticking to it still!) with me.

7 Comments so far

  1. Parmar (unregistered) on April 7th, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

    What about the privacy of the protagonist, Mr. Mahendra Boopaty, here??

  2. Mytri (unregistered) on April 7th, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

    Hmmm… this is the problem with recycling. Probably the offices, after the bill is paid, diligently collect the paperwork and sell it off for a few rupees? This is dangerous. Imagine what all could fall into the hands of unscrupulous people!

    Also can you please put stars instead of the actual numbers. We really dont need all that information? Or Mr. Bhoopathy will get calls,courtesy Bangalore Metblogs ;-) :))

  3. Arun (unregistered) on April 8th, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

    Obviously a careless person who doesn’t understand the concept of shredding papers.

    But whatever be the case, please remove this person’s details.

  4. Lal (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 1:38 am

    You really should mask Mr. Boopaty’s details – quite unfair to publicise his number and other details here.

  5. Ramkumar (unregistered) on April 9th, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

    Hi Deepa,

    A good post that brings attention to the issue of “identity security”. However, you *should not* have exposed the identity of the person whose bill is the subject of debate in this article.

    I would blame this on the “owner” of this mobile phone. If he/she took a print out or received a statement from the company it is that person’s responsibility to shred the paper or discard it appropriately.


  6. Concerned (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 3:15 am

    YOU don’t seem to care a damn about Mr Boopathy’s privacy either!
    When educated people like you can do this, why blame others?
    Shame on You!!!!

    – A concerned citizen

  7. Anand (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

    Hey Deepa, the bill with its details comes from the consumer and not the airtel comany.
    The consumer is given a coy of the bill before payment with all details. It is carelessness of the consumer to safegaurd his bill.

    The bill would have travelled from consumers place to the old paper mart and from there to the bhel-puri vendor.

    There is nothing wrong in you giving the details out as the consumer himself is least bothered about his privacy.God only knows if he ever chks his bills.

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