Archive for the ‘My Travel Diary’ Category

Life is Beautiful

It was one more journey from Indore to Ujjain and this time with my mother. We got the two seats in front row and there was still one more seat vacant. My mother took the window seat and I sat adjacent to her. The bus was almost full and was about to leave.

A pretty girl boarded the bus along with her father. I was talking with my mother and saw her, when her father asked her to take the front seat and took a seat near bus conductor for himself.

In my all journeys whether it was by bus or train, I didn’t have a beautiful girl sitting next to me in fact not even in nearby seats. I had already written in my previous post about a train journey that a pretty girl sitting near me only happens in my stories :D. But on this special day when I am traveling with my mom, a pretty girl herself gets a seat next to me. Life is Beautiful , isn’t it ? 🙂

So now I was sitting in the bus on the front row seat with my mother on my right side and that girl on the left side. She was wearing a green dress and was holding a bag in her hand. It was a tough task to talk to mom continuously and at the same time notice her without turning my head in her direction. She seemed like almost of my age. Then I heard a song played by the guy on his cellphone who was sitting just behind me. Thy lyrics of the song,”ek ladka meri umar ka hye meri umar ka “, were perfectly made for the moment. Life is Beautiful, isn’t it? 🙂

The bus was moving fast and normally the bus would stop at several places to take more passengers but today it was different. The bus did not stop at a single place and driver was driving fast even when 2-3 seats were still empty in the bus. Life is Beautiful , isn’t it ? 😀

If it would have been some other day, my mom would have slept in the journey. She would take a small nap in long journeys for sure. But as it was a special day, she was surprisingly awake and talking to me. I was praying that please at least sleep for few minutes so that I can think about how to have the conversation with the girl or at least turn my neck by few degrees to see her, but prayers are not listened on such days.

The driver was in full mood to help me as he was driving the bus at full speed and thus reducing the amount of time left. I knew the opportunity is slipping away from me. Then finally after long conversation about all the things in world, my mom decided to take a short nap. I was feeling happy, relieved, thoughtful, alert and tons of other adjectives. Now the chance had come to think about starting conversation. I was thinking about it and turned my face towards her. She had slept too.  Life is Beautiful, isn’t it ? 😀

3M-Mandir, Money and Marketing

I was recently on a trip to bangalore. I went to a temple of Lord Shiva where a 65 feet high statue was kept with a backdrop of Mount Kailash and river Ganga. The whole temple was very beautiful and very nicely built. I had been to many temples but I haven’t seen a better marketting place than that.

I am not criticising the temple nor I want to hurt religious sentiments. Only thing I want to say is there was too much money involvement. In fact I was impressed by the strategies and ideas that were used inside the temple to make people spend money on temple.

As soon as we entered the temple, we were asked by the guard. “You want to go by a special queue or  a normal queue? The normal queue will take ur lot of time. You only need to pay Rs. 50 for special queue.” This was idea no.1 straight at the entry gate, though not a new idea.

We decided to go by the so called normal queue as I am against the shortcuts for darshan in temples. There was indeed a long queue but it was not a problem for us. I had enough experience of standing in lone queues in Mahakaleshwar temple in my city.

Now the queue was going through a path which had shops on both sides. The shops were selling all kinds of things like religious photos and other goods, kitchn articles, jwelleries, electronic goods, clothes etc. So while standing in a queue you don’t need to think about God but can have look at shopping material. I think one more good idea that was used was that in a queue you won’t get much time to think. If you like a thing your buying decision will come instantly as the queue would be moving forward and you would not want to loose your place.

After some time we reached a counter which was issuing token for our footwears. The charges were on per person basis not on a group and that too were compulsory. I was looking at everything and couldn’t stop appreciating the brain behind all these. But this was just begining.

Then a counter came where you were supposed to pay 10 Rs. and they will issue you 101 copper coins. Then in the queue path there were kept 101 boxes where you should drop 1 coin in each box and take 1 Lord shiva name written on that box. So in the end you will take 101 names of shiva. The idea was good but important thing was they were earning 10 Rs. from each person without any investment as they were recollecting the coins. Though this step was not mendatory but everyone was following it.

After a few steps further an exhibition came displaying models of all 12 Jyotirlingas. The entry fees was Rs. 10 /person. The exhibition was very nice and models were looking very much like the real ones.

As soon as you come out of exhibition, you see a counter where you can pay Rs. 10 to buy some deepak (candles) and make them go in a pond. The claim was you can get rid of your sins by lighting these deepaks.

Then there was a place to buy special prasad for again Rs. 10. Finally we saw the exit point. The exit way again took us through similar path having shops on both sides.

Apart from all this there were regular money stops like  different kinds of  religious rituals whose cost ranging from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500. I know that money is necessary for maintenance of temple but I think this money can be spent for social causes to make God happy. This thing applies to all big temples in our country.

Finally we were outside the temple. I enjoyed the beauty of temple and ambience. The point I was trying to make is between all this we forget to remember God which was the purpose to go to temple. Atleast I couldn’t do that.

Catch me if u can

Q. Makrand just caught the train in time (almost 30 seconds time constraint).The reason was :

A. He was careless.

B. He was not ready in time.

C. It was his good/bad luck.

D. It was written.

The story starts in NBH hostel in IIIT-H . It was early morning at  5 O clock .I was ready after taking bath. I had all my luggage packed n was ready to go to railway  station. I had to catch A.P. express at 6:25 and at that time i did not expect what was going to happen in next one and half hour.The plan was that umesh ,his brother dharmesh,amitabh and i will be going to station together on 2 bikes. Dharmesh and i were going in the same train till bhopal and from there i was to board on the other train to ujjain.

I had not slept the whole night to make sure that i dont have to worry about waking up in time.Thnx to counter strike that made it easy for me.So i went to umesh’s room and asked dharmesh  to wake him up .He too was awake whole night and was starting to get ready.Here the things started happening. I didn’t have amitabh’s no. so i asked him to call amitabh when umesh wakes up.I came back and after that i went back at 5:30 n to my surprise umesh had just woke up and thus amitabh was called at the same time.So this was just beginnnging of being late 🙂

Now see how Murphy’s law ” When anything can go wrong ,it will go wrong at the worst possible time” started acting in coming time.I did not have amitabh’s no. so he could not be called in time.Any ways we all were ready at 5:45 and it was still manageable to catch the train easily as it would take at max. half an hour.But most of the times,nothing happens like we think .

Before we started it was decided that our bikes need to be refueled. Me and amitabh were on 1 bike and umesh n dharmesh were on other bike.Stupidly i assumed that they will stop at the first patrol pump in the way and we stopped there waiting for umesh to come there.We wasted around 5-7 minutes there and menwhile i tried to call them but as they were on bike so they could not listen the call.

Now the real thing started.Umesh canceled the plan of refueling the bike as he thought that it was already late but we did not know this. Meanwhile,we decided to go ahead and catch  them in between ; somewhere near mehdipatnam assuming that they will be behind us but they had actually way ahead of us. Now me and amitabh were confused about the way after mehdipatnam to hyderabad station ,so we called umesh and asked them to wait at mehdipatnam. But he could not listen due to traffic and when we reached mehdipatnam, he was very near to station.

Now we were asking people on road for the way to station.Luckily we met people who were showing correct directions.But after a while we got a bit lost in the streets of old city.Time was running out minute by minute.My idea of great vacation at home was about to be ruined.Umesh called us telling that train is ready to go and come immediately.We were still struggling in streets and i was watching every minute passing away on mobile phone clock.I was just praying that train should get dealyed by few minutes.I could see my dad’s face appearing in front of me asking me questions – why did u not start early to station ?why did u not have some margin of time?

I was asking amitabh constantly to hurry up even though we both didn’t know where to go.In the frustration, ‘ F ‘ words started coming out of mouth . Finally we could see a familiar road n were sure that we are heading in correct direction. I was still shouting at myself for wasting those preciuos 5 minutes at patrol pump.We still were not sure that whether we will be there in time coz my watch was showing time 6:23 and train ticket showed departure time 6:25.At last we were in front of station and i saw from a distance that road was blocked and we can not reach near to entrance gate by bike.

I almost jumped off from the bike and ran towards that gate. I could see the train standing rite in front of me on platoform no. 3  and challanging with a smile -“Catch me if you can “.I hit a man badly in the way ,while running towards gate (sorry to that person if he comes across this page some day).I was now on platform no. 1 and i didn’t know how many seconds are left in departure.I was looking at the railway track on both sides and was thinking whether i should cross from here or take the bridge route.

Suddenly the train gave a signal and a person from the train’s food section shouted that no train will come on this track so just come through the tracks.I trusted him and jumped on the track and hit very hard.I could not balance myself for a moment and took some seconds to settle down. I put my bag in the train and was about to put my leg on the train steps and suddenly the train started moving slowly.

I dont know what happened to me and i froze there and the gate had moved some 4-5 feet away in those 3-4 seconds.I regained myself and at  that time a hand came out of train coach for my help .But alas ,that hand was not of Simran ,else  a DDLJ scene could be there in reverse roals ,this time Simran on the running train offering her hand 🙂 .In place of DDLJ insturmental music in the background ,all i could listen was the harsh sound of train engine.That hand was offered by an old,big,fat uncle.But he was a life savior at that moment.Thnx to that person if ever comes acroos this page 🙂

Finally i was on the train ,ofcourse in some other coach.I called umesh telling him that i managed to catch the train .While heading to my coach i was just thinking about everything happened.I was thinking about “Curious Case of Benzamin Button ” sequence where it was shown that how interrelated events leaad to final event that has to be happened.In my case,if any of the above mentioned events had not happened ,we could have reached the station much before time.

I met dharmesh in the same coach and luckily his seat was just next to me 🙂 I feel sorry ,because of allthis, he could no say proper good bye to his brother .We talked about what had happened after starting from college and were laughing at everything.I was feeling sleepy and before closing my eyes , i found the answer to the question asked in the beginnnig of this post.No prizes for guessing ,the answer was same as in Slumdog Millionaire.

D. It was written