Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What makes Mumbai different ?

I was in Pune for some of my "official" purposes and then decided I would drop down(??) to Mumbai as I had never been there before . ( I now wear an invisible tag around my neck saying - I have visited all Indian Metros .. Cochin Included ;-) )

I decided I would travel on the much hyped Pune-Mumbai Express way ( on a Tata Sumo ) .. from where I started it was 144 kms to Mumbai . I timed my journey took only ( ONLY in bold and underlined ) an hour and 45 minutes. that was around 90-100 km/hr on an average .. So the top speed should have hit 150-180 more than once ! Luckily for me ... I was tired and was resting my head on the passenger next to me , dozing but for the occasional G-force due to the twist and turns . I witnessed an almost fatal accident , 2 non fatal ones , few accident hit spots and a bunch of people who cared little about what they just saw !

With over 1.3 crore people - converts to 13 million - if there is one raw commodity thats cheaply available - its life ! Mumbai is easily the most populous city in India with Bangalore coming third with less than half of Mumbai's population - now you get the picture ... If not .. taste this ...
The railway terminal at Churchgate ( one of the busiest terminals in Mumbai ) has 1,500 people coming In /out per MINUTE at its peak hours. If you still dont get the picture .. the canvas is out there .

Few things you should not miss doing in Mumbai

1) travel by the local train
2) get down at CST and walk to Gateway of India.
3) Dine/Lunch/ Beer (verb) at Cafe Mondigar
4) Have vada-pav and cutting chai at some local roadside tea shop
5) buy pirated dvd from some crowded ghali near the train stations
6) drive through the marine drive in a taxi
7) walk down Dalal Street ( for the one who dont have a Phd in economics .. thats where the Bombay Stock Exchange is )
8) watch the Dabba-wallahs having their lunch
and in the night ..
9) spend an hour in a 'dance bar' with a beer worth Rs.250/- and table surrounded by neatly dressed lipstick laden, ever-ready, barely-legal teens with tonnes of makeup.

With all its crime rate and fast life ... Mumbai still remains the mother of all cities .. it makes Bangalore look like .... just an artificial, temporary settlement ! .

Meri Pyari Mumbai .

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I confess ...

After more than a quarter century on this planet ... I realized with much pain ... and agony ..

1) ... that I cannot handle things under pressure. ( I used to think otherwise ... and I had taught myself to get used to such situations. If I havent learnt it after these long years .. the chances are ... I wont ever .)

2) .. that planning works. ( May it does not work wonders ..but it is far better to plan and act if you have the opportunity to do so. )

3) .... that money does matter. ( Its another thing that money is not everything ... but yeah think about satisfaction in life , work ethics, travel, ascetic life , meaning of life, idealism, et al .. when you have enough money for the rest of your life )

4) .... that you need to draw a line somewhere . ( Life is learning ... but then you just cant lead a life making mistakes, learning lessons from them and not implementing them for the rest of your life )

5) ... that practice does work miracles . There is nothing wrong with working hard ... It is NOT a sign of intellectual incompetence in case you cannot get it right the first or the second time ( Forget the outliers )

6) ..that it is okay to make a mistake AGAIN ! ( I thought that you need to always learn from your FRIST mistake .. and never ever 'commit' the mistake again ... commit is a word I should learn to disassociate with failure.. somehow it sounds so hard and unjust a word ) ( Read point #5 again ) Does a juggler always gets it the first time when he tries an additional ball ?

more lessons to be added later.....
( as and when I realize I havent written it down ... )

- added on June 12 2007 -
7) Its only imperfection that complains about the imperfect. The more perfect you are, the more tolerant you are towards the imperfections of others.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Four piece chicken - To go

Starting Notes
1) I donot like the chicken in KFC.

2) I prefer Pepsi to Coke.

3) KFC serves only Pepsi.

When was the last time you did something for the first time ?Like for example ... eating a four piece KFC Original recipe with half a litre Coke ? I never thought I would ever do that. But today was different. I had to do things that I have never done before .. Today was the beginning of everything new.
My resignation process has started moving in one direction and I will be stripped of all my entitlements. They would even take away the liberal joy of being called an employee of the company !
But just when everything was getting depressingly moody ... I had the news and the fantastic stroke of good fortune of having a better job. I call it fortune because its unlike any other forms of feeling of getting into a new job.My first ever shift to a new company ... and Iam already liking the feeling of joining the company. Now that the dark clouds have passed over I decided there was nothing to feel depressed about or ... for that matter there was nothing to think too much about.

Just 24 hours ago I was in my all time low ... Iam definitely having an emotional roller coster ride ... and let me confess Iam enjoying the ride right now . There is nothing like having a feeling of joy when you really really really crave for it . ( UNDERLINED AND BOLD )
I called up everyone whom I knew ... near dear and anyone close to being near or dear. I just let everyone know that I was happy ... And all the while I thought it was juvenile to be thinking like this ... I was suddenly reduced to an 8 year old girl who got a new bright colored skirt on a day which was definitely not her birthday ! ( the birthday would have spoiled her emotions ..considering the anticipation factor. )
I was reduced to a intellectually less fortunate kid who had just won a medal in the special olympics. I was reduced to an amateur pilot who just landed safely after his first ever flight. I was reduced to a devotee who could get a glipse of her Guruji for the first time. I was reduced to everyone and everything .... and my emotional floodgates just opened to everyone i talked to ... ( NO .. I didnt cry though :) )I compared myself to Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry MgGuire ... I had that moment of I-love-everybody feeling. I have never ever been depressed and overjoyed in such a short span. Somehow I felt life coming back ... I was turning blue ... now I have regained my color .. and finally when I walked down ITPL ... for one last time with that emotion of having been cast out of an evil spirit .... I saw the writing on a bright red background. - KFC - hot and crispy. Of all the scores of times i passed in front of it ... I have never been lured ... but today I did get in ... totally oblivious to the surroundings ...I knew .. I should be doing something I have never done before and said ... "I would like to have a four piece chicken.. original recipe ... and could you please put some salsa along with it ... To Go"

"Florentino is so in love with Fermina that he eats gardenias and drinks cologne so that he can know her taste. He becomes drunk on the cologne, and his mother finds him the next morning, in a puddle of his vomit, in a cove of the bay where drowning victims are known to wash ashore" - Love in the time of Cholera