Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Travelogue

There is very little connection between the title and the post except for the travel part of course. I wrote this piece about a month back. I was in no mood to post it then. But seeing how my blog is on the verge of extinction, I am being forced to post this.

I am staying at my cousin’s place right now. This cousin of mine loves smacking me – I do not know what kind of sadistic pleasure she derives by slapping my back – is it the feel of hollow bones or the relief of not being hit back. She loves bugging me – which I find very amusing. She also likes my rendition of “In the End” which I find even more amusing! She is in her 10th grade – which incidentally happens to be the most crucial academic year here in Mumbai. So she attends coaching classes from 3 to 9 every evening – which I found very shocking and disturbing. But over here in Mumbai, it seems to be quite common to put kids through such grind.

Speaking of grind, I am going through one while traveling from Thane to Malad every morning. I, hereby officially announce Mumbai local trains as the mother of all public transport systems! It is the best mode of transport here in Mumbai – in the sense it takes the shortest time to travel from place A to place B, if one were to use trains. However it is the toughest to get into – and trust me, this is not over-hyped. I have been going through nothing short of hell while trying to board trains.

Everyday I wake up early and get dressed in the most ironed clothes so that I look decent. (Off the record, I hate clean & ironed clothes because you have to be oh-so-careful! A more detailed post sometime in the future) And after boarding a bus from Thane to Borivali, I enter the Borivali station. I am overcome by a nauseous sensation thanks to the stench of fish. How do people manage to eat fish is beyond my understanding! Chicken – yes, it smells better than veg biryani but fish? (I hope my mom is not reading this. *gulp*)

Anyways before we completely digress, I then board the local train. After making umpteen number of attempts to get in, I somehow squeeze myself into the train. But the catch here is, when you’re traveling a very short distance (say Borival to Malad where there is only one station in between) it is highly important that you board the train at the right time. You board too early, you will be pushed deep into the train, and then you will have to plough your way out in a record 5 minutes (which is next to impossible) If you try boarding a bit late, you might not be able to board at all. Thus every morning is spent on contemplating a strategy to board the train at the right moment so as to be able to get down at Malad.

And once you are into the train, your tolerance is tested. As each drop of sweat makes its way from your neck down your spine, you’re tempted to wipe it off. However, you have no other choice but to stand helplessly and wait. And this eternal wait would end when the passengers by your side, who until now, were standing like lifeless statues, start getting fidgety. The symptoms are hard to miss – first your feet get stamped and their faces are filled with signs of restlessness. Then of course once the station comes in sight, there is the typical war cry. (“Chalo Kandivali” or “Aakraman Malad”) By the way, it does wonders to your adrenaline flow. But once you’re out of the train, a sense of relief coupled with the stickiness of a wet, sweaty shirt overcomes you and you can’t help but feel irritated.

So this is my routine. It isn’t as bad as it sounds. But yeah, it’s bad enough! On a side note, by the time I get down, my shirt is neither clean nor ironed. So much for the corporate culture!

PS1: Today is my final presentation day! :-ss
PS2: If there was a perceived lack of quality, the blame solely rests on me. Falling standards, sigh!
PS3: IPL ke baad GPL? What were they thinking??!!
PS4: Going to K directly from Mumbai
PS5: Guess the next date I post and win exciting prizes! :P
PS6: This is the end. Time to go, give a presentation.

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