Archive for July, 2006

mixed feelings

this character is quite regular on my blog… my friend shriram!
so he finally got his call to sail on friday in the most weird circumstances.

Feeling toatlly bored that he was not getting a call for his first sail for a couple of months now, he calls up the company to remind them that he is on their list. the company reprsentative inturn asks him “when are you ready to join”. Shriram, in order to impress upon the restlessness with which he is waiting for the call, replies “Anytime you say, infact, i am ready to come tomorrow even”. The company representative however, takes the figure of speech quite literally, and calls him to join the next day.

So the poor fellow, packs in a hurry, gets himself a air ticket to mumbai in the last minute, and leaves home without getting enough time to say goodbye to family and friends.

On friday he finds out that he has to fly to Dalian, a port in china to join his ship.

Travelling abroad is quite frightening, even if you are well prepared mentally, have a good idea of the country you will be visiting. I am a case of “nearly there”. I was supposed to be on a flight to new york, sometime this time last year, but opted out for a masters at IIT. I sure felt the jitters of planning a trip so far from home, because finally, home is after all home.

Last year, i went to the airport to see of a friend, who was going to washington for his PhD. At the airport, I just glanced at the faces of the people travelling. It was not a tough task to point out the faces that was going out of india for the first time, a delicate mixture of eagerness, excitement, anticipation of the new place, with a fear, sadness of leaving home was clearly visible. But even among the seasoned visitors abroa, according to my face reading abilities, i could sense a little fear and a sense of holding back. Infact, to me the whole atmosphere at the international departures terminal was a mixture of fear and sadness. I did not glimpse a single face that was extremely happy, nor a send off group that was laughing and merrying.

Anyways, coming back to my friend, this was his first trip abroad. After collecting his tickets, we changed whatever money he had to USD and started for the airport. This is where, my trusted bag, that which has travelled with me to home and back weekends,to matheran , to madras and tirupati, to hyderabad and bangalore got lucky and flew to Dalian, China. Shriram in his hurry had forgotten to get a smaller cabin luggage bag to keep important documents and toileteries and a change shirt or two!

The whole day was fun and happy mood for me. But, in the evening on the way back home in the local train, parry called up to give news that shattered all the happy mood that i was in in the evening.

He called up to say that a batchmate of ours from RVCE, a fellow hostellite, AP, passed away in the evening, crushed by a bus as he slipped from his bike.

Initially, as dozens of calls started coming to me, informing me of the news, I hardly could not feel a thing.

A hostel is like a big joint family, close friends are your brothers and sister, and then you have a gang of friends, like your first cousins, and then there are fellow hostelites, people you exchange a pleasant hi-bye with, people you hug in joy when they/ you get good results/goof jobs etc, the equivalent of distant cousins, related yet not close. To me AP was in the last category, and thus a certain ambivalence in my feeligs. A part of me felt sad, but another part wanted to remain happy, wanted my brain to file the whole day of fun that i had!

But later in the night, as i tried to sleep, the whole enormity of the unfortunate incident stuck me. AP, had been a part of my life.

For two weeks, in our second week on engineering, we had to stay in our first year hostels as the second year hostel was still being renovated. AP, was my room mate for those 15-20 days. He was our team captain for our night cricket team in my final year, and we were “FEst-Hos” team-mates in our second year cricket team.
As such short burst of closeness that we spent circulated in my memory, i really started to feel that I am going to miss this person in my life, so what if we had not really spoken since we graduated from college. Tears did not come, but the heart became heavy…

It is at times like this the one comes to question faith, relegion and GOD et al.
He was most certainly like any other 20 yr old, chasing his dreams, first in an engineering college and later in a software firm, living his life, working hard, studying hard, partying hard…there was no reason that he should not live his bright future, have his share of the pie…
in some cases, he was little unlike many of us. His job meant a lot not only for him, but for his family too. The money he sent back home, was used to pay back some loans that his parents had incurred.

And afterall, he was young, with his whole life ahead…

I spent a small time, in the shoes of his mother. What trauma must she be going through…

Why GOD why??????????????

I have a stock dialogue for unfortunate events, “Whatever happens, happens for the good”…and two days ago, all I had was nothing!


my backyard!

it has been such a long time since i posted!!!
though i was busy for maybe about 1week of the three week hiatus, a certian jinx were in the way of me and a post!!!

whats the jinx?
mumbai rains hates me!!

last year, first day in bombay had to be 26/7, and by the time i returned to my room in the evening, the room was under water…my mattress and suitcases were happily floating in the water.

this year, the first day of the rains, a lightning strikes somewhere in the vicinity of my hostel, and blows up some parts of the computer of some rooms in the hostel, maybe due to excess surge of current. My computer had to be one!

and finally, two weeks ago, i shifted to a newer-better hostel, and whats the problem…rains have seeped into the switch/router (some thing like that) and thus in some rooms internet will not be working. My super new room just happened to be one of them.

When finally, net starts working on my comp, i had to get busy with my M.Tech report submissions, and when i finally finish that, the govt had to ban blogger.

Last few days were not good for me to blog 😦

anyways, right now, i am in no mood to write, will just put up some pictures of vihar lake, right behind IIT, where we had gone for a walk on monday! the pictures are taken from my mobile, hence the not so good quality!

quite unbelievable that such scenic beauty is there inside bombay!!!
and ya!
couple of weeks ago, amma had to go to chennai, and that left me in the home incharge of the kitchen to try and cook!!!!
day 1: i tried to make aloo sabji and bhindi sambhar. the sabji was fine but instead of bhindi sambhar, i ended up with bhindi rasam.
day 2: teamed up with my cousin to make ‘Khichidi” and “pakoda”. came out pretty well.
day3: teamed up with appa and cousin, to make ‘avial’…..was as good as when amma makes it!!
day4: made khichdi again….have perfected the art of making khichdi now. made baingan bhaja to go with it!!!!!!


Dear terrorist

A mail I recieved today.

Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don’t care. Time and again you
tried to disturb us and disrupt our life – killing innocent civilians by
bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and
destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but
everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass
our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If
wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed
miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujrati’s and Marathi’s or Punjabis and
Bengali’s. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt.
employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you
like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last
few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single
day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work
next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few
hours and were back to normal – the vendors placing their next order,
businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to
catch the
next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood
donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the
injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a
that blood banks were full and they didn’t require any more blood. The
next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses
were packed to the brim, the crowds were back.
The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one – perhaps with
greater vigour.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do
not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very
strong and can not be harmed.

Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to
hands of a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read
this message which is specially meant for him!!!

With Love,
From the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

PS: Really busy now. will come up with a post next week probably!!