Tag Archives: mumbai

International Labour Day Celebrations

Today, the First of May is International Labour Day. It is a day for celebration of labourers and working classes. Here is a story from the time when I started working. I was given a posting in Mumbai. Life in a big city teaches one a lot of things. I used to stay in a rented apartment with few of my colleagues. We used to get monthly salary. There were many freshers like us in that building.

There used to be an ATM and a few shops in the first floor of our building. They knew us within a few weeks. In the first few months, the arrival of salary used to be a big event. We would look forward to the first of the month. We hadn’t yet connected our cell numbers to our bank accounts. We would plan to check our accounts at the ATM while leaving for office but there was always a queue outside the ATM. While returning home, one of us would check her account in the ATM. She would come out with a big smile and announce “Salary has come”. This was a sight to see as everyone including the shopkeepers of the shops near the ATM and the security guard used to smile with us. This had happened once or twice. After that we all were placed in different projects which made it difficult for us to return home together. Still we used to get the news of salary arrival. It was from the security guard or the shop keeper. Your friend announced “Salary has come”. Our profession gives us an identity along with the freedom to make our choices. Everyday, the completion of work gives us a feeling of satisfaction. Our work motivates us to learn more to enhance our skills. I wish everyone Happy International Labour Day.

Guided by the Poet

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

7th May is Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday. He is engraved in every aspect of a Bengali’s life. He is the first Indian Nobel Laureate. His works are quoted in appreciations, motivations, lectures and scolding in our upbringing. A celebration is not complete unless his name is taken. My mother was named after one of his books and even my name is synonymous to one of his books.

Let me share one story where he guided me. When I started working, I was posted in Mumbai with a few of my friends. Initially we explored all the famous landmarks of the city in group since we all were new to the city. Then came the phase where we all started discovering our own interests, some delved into studies, some sports, some into work and so on. It was at that time, I felt there was more to Mumbai than just landmarks. My roommates often visited the famous fashion street clothes market. On one such visit, I happened to look in the opposite direction while entering the market and saw rows of book store. We decided to explore the book market and then go to Fashion street. The book market was simply amazing. There were books on every topic from classics to mysteries to self help to competitive exams. I had been meaning to read Tagore’s works particularly the novels but never found time during college. I was unable to find them in local libraries also. My eyes just fell off my head when I saw his works in one of the shops. That day I did not buy any clothes although we went to Fashion street, still my bag was the heaviest because it had books. I ended up reading all the books in one month and wanted to go to the book market again. This time no one was available to accompany me, so I went alone singing the famous song by Tagore “Jodi tor daak shune keu na aashe” (If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone). That experience gave me the motivation to explore new cities on my own. I still have some of those books at home.

My Treasured Collection

This was one way where Tagore helped me grow. As we grow, we find our interests differ from others, many of us even find it difficult to fit into a particular group. This may seem strange but remember everyone is unique. Appreciate your individuality. I take this opportunity to thank Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore for motivating us.

The Seven Confusion

digit7

Recently I came accross the number seven for a number of things. This reminded of an incident. I was travelling from Baroda to Mumbai in Shatabdi. I still remember my seat number was C1,40. My ticket was checked and approved a few minutes after I boarded the train. The train stops for 10 minutes in Surat which comes two hours after baroda. The snacks at Surat station are so popular that everyone gets down at the station. As surat came everyone sitting around me got down to serve their tastebuds. I returned to the seat quickly and was sitting almost alone in the bogie. At that time a mother-daughter pair came and started looking for their seat. I was a little confused at this action as the bogie (railway carriage) was full when I had boarded and everyone’s ticket was also checked. Suddently the daughter came upto me and said,

daughter: Can you get up from my seat.

I was shocked at this order and replied: I have a confirmed ticket for this seat.

daughter: I just now saw in the sheet outside. My seat has been confirmed from waiting list and its this seat.

Me: Well yours was waiting list, mine has been a confirmed one since the last 2 months.

daughter: Check your ticket, I have just verified from the list outside.

This annoyed me and I replied, “My ticket has been checked and approved by the TTE an hour ago”.

This argument continued for sometime where both of us didn’t move from our grounds. Ultimately the girl decided to verify again from outside. She asked her mother to sit on the neighboring seat. The guy on that seat had a confirmed ticket which too was verified by the TTE(Ticket Examiner).

After few minutes the guy returned and the same argument occured between the mother and the guy. Finally the TTE was called who checked the list and replied,

“I checked all the tickets here. Your seat is in C7 not C1”.

To which the girl replied “Oh is it seven? I thought it was one”. At this, the entire bogie started smilling.

The whole confusion occured because the girl had read seven as one. I don’t know about the girl but whenever I get anything with digit 7 or 1, I always doublecheck the digit. People try to avoid the seven star but I try to avoid the seven confusion.

A new experience

Sight from my window on Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

Sight from my window on Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

Today is Ugadi(Telegu new year) and Gudi Padwa(Marathi new year). This was always a day of celebration in my hometown Baroda as well as in Mumbai and Pune. In school days, march was a month of tension as April used to be the month of final exams of the academic year. The classes used to be in full force with syllabus being completed for every subject. Everyday we used to be told to prepare for the exams by every adult we met, be it the teachers, parents or neighbours. Also the 10th and 12th boards would be going on. Hence the entire neighbourhood used to be silent. Still Gudi Padwa used to bring happiness and cheer. Some of us used to reschedule our new year resolutions to this day.

My best memories of Gudi Padwa are in Mumbai and Pune. In mumbai, I used to have a team mate Preeti. Due to our long working schedules we had become fast friends. Every year she used to bring Puranpoli for me on this day. In pune almost the entire city seemed to be decorated. People would be wearing new traditional clothes. The shops would be decorated. Sometimes the entire building would be decorated. Even in our software companies, ladies would come dressed in Sarees. There would be mails wishing everyone. Last year my maid specially made puranpoli for me.

Puranpoli

The month of march is really beautiful in Baroda(Vadodara), Pune or Mumbai. All trees are green and gardens are full of flowers. I loved to see the unripe mangoes(karies) hanging on the trees.This year I am in Baltimore and had a completely different Gudi Padwa. After a week of sunshine, it snowed. Hence instead of a bright I had a cold snowy Gudi Padwa making the new year a new experience. But then we all should have some unique experiences, thats what makes our life colorful. My work went smoothly throughout the day. Also 20th march’2015 is the first day of spring. Even google is celebrating it with a google doodle. I thank everyone who made this festival special for me.

I wish everyone a very Happy Gudi Padwa and Happy Ugadi.

How my boring bus ride became interesting

I was coming from Mumbai to Pune. It takes around 4-5 hours due to traffic in mumbai. Once you are out of mumbai, the mumbai-pune expressway is just too good. The bus passes through lonavala. I was as usual sitting in the bus fiddling with my cellphone which was running short of battery.

I didn’t realize we had reached lonavala. All of a sudden the bus stopped. We all looked up. After 15 minutes someone came and said, something went wrong, it is being repaired. We all got down from the bus. It was monsoon and lonavala was at its best. The clouds falling over the mountains was just mesmerising. There was a beautiful fog. I realised what a beautiful scene I was missing. Today we have become so accustomed to our gadgets that we just ignore the simple beauties of life. I gave up all the worries, kept my cellphone inside the bag and began to enjoy the ride. A little way further, the bus stopped at a restaurant. In that beautiful cloudy, foggy yet breezy weather, I had onion fries and a cup of steaming hot tea. There was a small bookshop there. As I was going through the books, my eyes fell on a book “Anything for you, mam”. I bought it and began reading. It was a cute, urban love story set in the backdrop of engineering college. The book made my ride even more enjoyable.

After coming home, I couldn’t help writing a review on that book. But I would’nt have enjoyed the ride so much had the bus not stopped. As murphy’s law states “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. We must accept this and learn to thank anything and everything that happens.