Sunday, 29 March 2009

April fools day

The last post about my trip was what we call a hangup. It's one of those stories that completely halt your blogging activity until you are done with that one. Since I got that draft complete,published and out of the way, I am hurrying to post this one before the 1st of April.

This is just a crazy idea I thought of. Curious to see how its taken in.

I hate to boast, but I have rarely fallen for pranks.[Like almost never]

Reason 1: People don't try hard enough
Reason 2: Lets not beat around the bush, I am too smart for you :P

Ok, I can now see some blood boiling! Good - just what I want.

This sounds crazy, but quite normal on this blog. I want you to try and fool me on April Fools day.

The winner gets a brand new this. I am in a generous mood.

Well apart from that you also get your name in a list of "People who fooled me" published on my blog after the thing is done

Why should that be an attractive offer to you?

1)You get to brag about it all your lives
2)For proof you get to show the list, which will never be deleted
3)If you are my college mate - This is probably your last chance!
4)Makes for good memories (Oh brother!)
5)Simply because you are someone who loves to have fun!

Well there are some rules.(come on, their are always rules):
1)I will decide if you fooled me (Trust me I am fair and sportive :P)
2)Your pranks gotta be extremely decent if you are gonna play it on me somewhere near my home
3)Please don't insult me :P
4)You can't do silly things like -
--------------->"OMG Look there" and say you fooled me when I looked.
--------------->Throw something on me - It's not fooling, It's...THROWING!

And last rule is..
5)Rubs not allowed :D ("Like I wanted to")

I can already hear all the rotten heads going "Huh! Who wants to play his dumb game" while the fun lovers are like "Let's teach him a lesson"

I dunno what is gonna be worse - This idea or your attempts but,
all I say is - Good luck loooosers!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways

If you want to see the real side of our country, take it from me, travel by train! If you are catching up now with what was happening with me, I went on a long journey. Where, when, forget all that. But it was in a train and it was 6 days long totally - and I am here to speak about the TRAIN.Right!. Initially, I was worried about travelling alone. Thieves, robbers, missed trains, luggage...list is endless and scary.

Whats worth a blog about all this, is really the colourful characters on tour. I made friends in so many shapes and sizes. Few of them and some others are mentioned here.
I realised how many people lived a huge portion of their lives between the chugging and creaking belly of this metallic monster!

The first trip to the state capital itself was quite a beginning. Almost all the messages I was getting as the train left, were queries of whether I was sitting next to a girl or if I had one in my compartment. It went from funny to freaky on the avalanche of the common question. Feeling good that people will keep me company with their messages during the entire trip (Though almost none of you did - screw you :P ), I replied patiently.

Well, the answer to that question was - Yes. There WAS a chick in my compartment. And also a tourist(Western chick). I didn't speak to either of them, but I did try to speak to a middle aged Marathi couple, though the guy didn't seem even minutely interested in conversing with me. He was more interested in speaking to the westerner , who was more interested in the book that I was reading and I was more interested in finding something entertaining. We had our very own love triangle here!

I did get my entertainment when the 50+ guy was trying his best to capture the tourists attention(His wife conveniently had left to speak to someone in the next compartement)...with questions like -

- You! Where you?
- Ohh? Americaaaaaaaa?

- You marriage? Marriage you?
"I'm single"

- Why no marriage? How many years you? 26 noooo?

"No I'm 29"
- ahh 2 years different

- In India 90% of love marriage fail. In America all arranged marriage or love marriage?
"We don't have arranged marriages in America"

- Oh full love marriage? Full? Fulllll?? How much love marriage work?
"It's not as bad as 10% success rate as you mentioned, I would put it at 70% success.

- What happened with rest 40% ?
(This guy deserves the Nobel prize in Mathematics)

"If they don't succeed...I guess they fail?"

- Oh sad. How situation in America?
She thought for a really long while and finally said
" Most of us now prefer live-in relationships"

The guy turned to me really puzzled, and for the first time in nearly 3 hours he initiated a conversation with me by asking
-What did she say?

I just shrugged and turned away, not knowing how to translate and explain this in a short and clear way.

To Be Cont'd
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Monday, 23 March 2009

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways- Part 2

Next journey began from a different junction in the same city. It was one helluva ride getting there from the main station. When I finally got there, thankfully, people were still keeping me company through SMS. Worth mentioning since that was the only company I had in that overcrowded station.

People, people everywhere, not a person to speak.

People who have to go places, who have to buy packaged drinking water, people who have to beg, people who have to eat...

-->My mum keeps telling me, that I can strike a conversation even with a stone.
-->One of my friends keeps telling me that it will be extremely rare for me to feel alone. Her explanation is that I keep myself company (Something to do with the twin soul of a Gemini) at any point. Apart from the twin Soul part, I agree with both of them.

When I found my berth for the next journey I was curious to see who my companions were. It was going to be the longest journey of the trip. My ears straining for the sound of my mother tongue somewhere - anywhere and then entered a guy who would speak just that, along with a family of 4 who did too. There was also a sardar, the most handsome one I have seen. The first guy was a PWD fella and I made friends with him.

But the trip was quite boring. As soon as I left the state border that night at around 11, my outgoing SMS were blocked and it seemed like my world completely forgot me.

Sleep was the most expensive commodity there, especially with the chilly winds blowing up to my cramped top berth. The berth was only 6 feet long. So it would have just managed to let me sleep if it wasn't for my kit, making me bend and twist and cramp in that little room of space.

I went to bed alone and woke up next to a bunch of bodily niggles. The Train was moving through bidda country ;) I saw vast lands, barren without use. They were barren as far as the eye could see. Not even mountains or shrubs. Just land. I was reminded of all the bloodshed caused back at home over pieces of land on which you could hardly stand, let alone build homes.

The rest of the day was a quite a bore, I couldn't read much of the book because the compartment was so crowded at day time. I would take out my cell every hour to see - No new messages. My world really had forgotten me.

I was supposed to reach Bhopal my next stop at 11:20 at night, but the train was two hours late. I had never visited this city before and I was tense I would mess up. I had sit under unfolded sleeping berths. For two hours I was the only soul awake in the whole compartment. Most of the stations in those hours did not have station names. Barely two minutes before Bhopal arrived, an old couple came over and told me they were getting off at Bhopal. [Testimony of the existence of my Guardian Angel.]

When I did get off at Bhopal, I had all the time till 3:30 AM to wait for my next train to my final destination.
I chained my bags to a pole at the really huge and yet deserted station.
Took out some things to eat.
Set to charge my cellphone on a power socket I found there.
Pulled out my bed sheet and wrapped it around myself. It was damn chilly.

I must have looked really weird, cause almost everyone among the few travellers there were looking at me like I was a mass murderer or a rapist, just waiting to pounce on them. All of them avoided me a little too apparently and made sure they settled down at least 50 feet away from me, as they waited for their own train.

Oranges I had bought at Nagpur, Roasted cashews from aunt and Candies from Keerthi aunty (my neighbour) helped me look preoccupied as I tried to convince all of them that I was not as desperate as I was probably looking.

After watching the red LED digital clocks hanging from the ceiling for two weeks, I mean, hours, the train arrived which made me go -


I am gonna be on this for 12 whole hours???????

The train looked like it had the entire Madhya Pradesh in it. I hate crowd. No really. If there are a little over 10 people, I try not to be there. This dabba had 1o million gazzillion humans(and as I later found out even more rats) packed like sardines! Fighting against an urge to shout and scream and run away, pulling my hair out, I took a deep breath and jumped into the sea of people.

S4 seat 72!

Old man on 69...Some lady on 70....jerk on 71...gays on 72....WHAT?...ummm excuse this berth 72?


"kya yeh 72 hain?"


"Yeh meri seat hain"

"Nahin yeh meri seat hain. Aapki tikat main koin galti hain jake TT ko batadijiye"

[Basically two guys, yes guys, were in my seat and they were pretty sure it was their seat and that I had a problem with my ticket - I was too sleepy to think anything up soon]

I'm sleepy, I'm cold, I'm alone and this situation just made me go...oh great I'm f*cked!
To Be Cont'd
Click here to read next post

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways - Part 3

Two guys, yes guys, were in my seat and they were pretty sure it was their seat and said that I had a problem with my ticket (- I was too sleepy to think anything up soon)

After dismissing me he went back to sleep with his friend on the top berth. I gave the warm couple a long puzzled look. I had the deepest urge to just fall onto the dirty floor of the train and go to sleep immediately. But I decided to go and enquire with the TT.

As I was going, these two police fellows stopped me and asked when I was hurrying around? (They noticed huh?) and as I explained one of them replied -

"Yeh sab tho common hain. Jake un choron ko do lagao kaan ke neeche, thumhara seat mil jayega"
(Don't fall for this, go and slap them hard near their ears, you will get your seat)

Finally waking up to this nonsense completely and now pretty angry I stormed back to Seat 72 (S4) and woke up of the guys (Now they were hugging each other tightly - seriously) and asked

-Can I see your ticket please?

"Jee bilkul" (Sure)
and he produced a ticket for the general compartment and my anger just shot up exponentially

"Kya samajthe ho? Eh General compartment ka ticket hain"

"Lekin TT ke chart main entry huva hain" (But the TT has entered this in his chart)

"Neeche utharthe ho ya main khud tumhe utharu? " (You better come down)

Listening to our conversation, everyone in the compartment got up..

"Main nahin aaonga" (I'm not coming down)

Next, I did something really stupid, I reached out and held his collar, hoping that he will get down when he realises I am forcing him down. But he had crossed his legs and was sitting firmly, so as soon as I gave him a little tug on his collar, he landed


onto the train floor from the top berth. Over 7 feet of crash landing. As I say at the back of my mind - "Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark" I am in shock. What have I DONE!!!??

This fool, calmly gets up dusts himself, even as his dumber friend climbs down and runs away towards the open area near the toilet, and he looks at his luggage in the top berth.

Now, if there is anything good I have to say about my extremely rare yet violent bursts of anger, it must be of how soon I cool down.

I immediately ask him,
-shall I get your luggage for you?

"Haanji" (with gratitude - all of a sudden)

Soon he is off.

When I tell mum that night about the minor scuffle she goes berserk
"Dont get into fights now..doom doom dish tush..".

I finally had a place to sleep!

" Expecting the world to be fair to you is like hoping a lion wont eat you because you are vegetarian "
Unkown(to me)

Next morning, after sleeping solid for about 4 hours, I wake up two find a lot of detail about the train that I missed last night in the darkness. It had rats running around EVERYWHERE!

Hey, I'm not complaining. No sir! I am just appreciating the ecological balance of the train. Humans and wildlife, coming together. Living in harmony.

I saw one guy walk and started talking so much and so loudly at one point, in some native dialect.
He was limping. About 25 years of age. He had cataracts on one of his eyes. I wanted to see what this guy was upto (I had no choice, he was sitting RIGHT IN FRONT of me).
Note: The two fellows who tried to steal my sleep were also sitting on the side seats next to me, giving me akward smiles every 20 minutes.

This new guy, he prepares some paan, starts chewing them, takes out a bunch of vegetables and starts cutting them on the floor at one corner. While he is doing that, I see his hands are cut here, there - everywhere and plastered with old yellow bandages and I wonder what on earth has he been upto?

While cutting, every 180 seconds , he spits on the corner he is sitting at making a huge noise. Somehow he manages to cut himself yet another time on one of his fingers and that answers my question as he applies some more dressing to it.

After about 20 minutes of cutting and mixing along with some really bad singing, he puts it all in a basket and starts hawking "Channa Masalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa lelo lelo...."

and I go - WHAAAAAAAT???? He is gonna sell all that to someone else?

Well! I'm still not complaining. Why would I? I didn't buy it. Right?

One of the things I would really cherish is the countryside. we read so much about it in poems and yet when you actually see it, it still amazes you. Madhya Pradesh border and Uttar Pradesh had some really lush green fields.

I made friends with a certain dude, from Jamnagar(I think), his name I forgot. Simple, Honest guy. Too bad I forgot his name! He told me a little stuff I needed to know about the place I was heading to. He looked like he was alone, which comforted me - Kool! I am not the only freak travelling alone! But before I could think further, he told me he was with a friend! Great!

To Be Cont'd
Click here to read next post

Sunday, 22 March 2009

6 days of my life on the Indian Railways- The final Chapter

Allahabad station was huge and wide. Creating a good impression about the city outside. I spent 3-4 hours in the station itself, getting fresh and charging cellphones and stuff. I had decided to stay at the waiting room. All the while I was hogged by an autoricksaw fellow -

"Aap kahan se ho saabji? Chandigarh hain na? Dekh khe hi pata chal jata hain hum logon ko. Aap Chandigarh se ho..ap ko saste main ek kamra dhikhadu? sirf 120/-night "
(Where are you from? Chandigarh? Im sure you are from Chandigarh, we can tell pretty easily. You want me to find you a cheap place to stay?)

And I had a tough time trying to shoo him away.

Finally after realising that I was not allowed to go inside the waiting hall, I approached a good man (authority) called Akhilesh (Helping nature comes with the name I guess:) who helped me find a good safe place to stay there.

I walked barely 50 feet from the station to the hotel and I saw so much of Allahabad! More ecological balance. This time with cows. Sleeping on the road everywhere I looked. I am used to seeing cows on the road, but not like this even in my exaggerated imaginations.

I also saw weirdly shaped autos, which carried about 20 people at a time packed inside like a city bus. I saw some liquid or semi liquid poured on the road in huge quantities and which seemed to bother no one!

The hotel I checked into, gave me a room with a double bed for the prize of single bed rooms, because I asked for single and they didnt have any. All smiling and contented. I had the best sleep in many nights.

What happened when I was there?
Well, I saw the Sangam. The Allahabad fort. Remember, if somebody asks 200 bucks for a job or thing over there, you can pass 20 bucks to him and still be cheated.
I saw a great deal of "Allahabad Selection centre East" which people like to call the "Allahabad rejection centre East" (No ire intended).
I saw people. Lots and lots of people.
I saw only 5 girls in the entire city. FIVE GIRLS!! I was there for 6 days. It's not even one girl per day.
I started realising how pretty chicks from my town back home actually were! *Sniff* Maybe it was the air..or the water. Who cares. They are pretty!

I also realised that I was the only son of my parents which is why my stay at Allahabad and my dream was halted with a screech.(It's normal if you didn't understand the last line)

After all the sight seeing and enlightenment I was ready to get back.


I wanna point out that even though I have broken up the story into 4 parts, it has indeed turned out to be a really long post, especially one that you might not really be that interested in reading at all. But, you should know it was longer before and I rewrote it from the beginning just so that I can get it out of the way.
(Rubs reveals my long posts irritate her).

Keeping all that in mind, I wouldn't wanna write about the other half of my journey. Mainly because I found my journey onwards much more interesting. Journey back was just the same but only uneventful and monotonous.

I just want everyone to know that there is no place like our Home :)
The cleanest, the greenest. The best. I am not saying this because its our place, but because I have seen the others.

It was just an irony for me that for the first 22 years of my life, I wouldn't see more than 3 cities of my state. And when I do actually leave my state, I do it alone and I see a huge part of India.

It was one Helluva experience! But I am glad I am back.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Mr.24X7 online

Guess who is back?
I wish someone cared! Well, anyway, it's me, I'm back.

I returned last Saturday and it was a wonderful experience. I have made quite a few friends all over. I made one full attempt at writing a blog about it. But it is lacking something, so haven't posted it. It seemed like an incomplete explanation (For those who actually read my stuff)! It may or may not go down as one of the hundreds of posts that never made it past the 'drafts' stage on Insanity Unlimited!!!

Anyway, I still don't feel like I am back. I have spent hardly 6 hours online in the last 2 months - all put together and I don't think things will get 'better' anytime soon either. And it's - 'better' - rather than - better - because I am actually enjoying. It's an irony, they used to call me 24X7 online!