Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meter Down!

Recently I came across an article about the auto-rickshaws in Mumbai...The writer of the article had described what might have been his experiences with the auto-wallahs....but frankly even I could relate to them completely and am sure most of you who travel in autos not only in Mumbai,but also in other cities in India will agree to have had similar feelings.

The auto rickshaws serve as the perfect choice of  transport for those who cannot afford a vehicle of their own yet prefer to avoid the mad rushes experienced in trains and buses.But this choice doesn't always seem right,especially when encountered with the following kinds of auto-wallahs.

Described below(w.r.t the above mentioned writer) are few types whom you might encounter when trying to hail an auto....this would be only the act of getting in the auto.....the scenes after that of discussing(read arguing over) the fare,doubting the meter reading etc demand to have a separate blog written on them:-):-) those will be later.....For now,lets get started:

First, the Interviewer: 

You: bhaishab Goregaon jaoge?

Driver: East ya West

You: East

Driver: Station ya Gokuldham?

You: Station

Driver:  Kidhar se jaoge, Link Road ya Aarey Colony?

You: Aarey

Driver: Kyun……Aarey ka rasta kharab hai…

A conversation with him continues like this and yet he may refuse to ferry you if he is not satisfied with all your answers.

Second the Refuser: Imagine a scenario. At 8:30 am in the morning there are four to five people waiting for an auto, eager to pounce on any empty one that comes their way.
Exactly at that juncture an empty auto emerges, much to the excitement of the passengers.

First Person (with hope and enthusiasm in his voice): Seepz…….

Auto Driver: Flashes a smile and says ‘Nahi, Seepz nahi jayenge’

The second person felt that this was his divine opportunity and screamed with ecstasy: Kanjurmarg!

But his joy is also short lived as the driver refuses him as well. In this way the driver refuses everyone, irrespective of the direction and distance of the journey. At the end of it all one is left to wonder whether the auto driver intended to ferry passengers or was he out on a joy ride all by himself?

Third, the ‘Move On Guy’: He is a refuser with a difference. Typically when he approaches a customer he would slow down his auto and give the impression that he is keen to take you to your destination.
But the moment you spell out your desired location, he simply shrugs his shoulder, picks up speed and goes away. Just like that, no verbal refusal nothing.
If you are new to the city you may feel that by mistake you have uttered a word that has very grave consequence in the local language.But as you gradually get used to the city you would realize that it is just a special way that the auto driver uses to refuse the passenger.

Fourth, the Chatter Box: He is the over enthusiastic and over friendly driver you are likely to meet during your way home on a day when you are particularly tired and you intended to take a nap during the ride back home.
The topic can be anything: from Rahul Gandhi’s adventure in Mumbai locals to the driver’s heroics in heavy rains or may be his own son’s stupendous performance in college.
Whatever may be the issue you can be rest assured that you will not have any of your coveted sleep during your way back home.

Fifth the ‘Engaged’:
So it may so happen that during a spell of monsoon you might get drenched from top to bottom but an auto that has parked itself right in-front of you refuses to accommodate you. The official reason being that the driver is already ‘engaged’ to a customer who will come any time soon.You would wait for a long time in that rain but this driver will not budge an inch as he remains firmly committed to that elusive customer....phew!

He surely could teach a lesson or two to those who talk of showing/avoiding commitment.....;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ganpati Bappa Morya...!!!

The 10-day Ganesh Festival has come to a close with lakhs and lakhs of devotees bidding adieu to their beloved Lord Ganesh.
The kind of joyous celebrations that go around during the festival and also during the preparation for the festival are so gripping that when the final-day of VISARJAN(immersion) arrives,we tend to feel gloomy at the thought of separation from our 10-day guest....I have felt it every year.....The only thing that raises spirits somewhat are the chants of "Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa"...
In ancient times,the celebration of Ganesh Utsav was limited to being a family affair till  Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual festival into a large, well-organized public event.Tilak suggested the installation of large public statues of Ganesh in pandals(pavilions), followed by the submerging in rivers or sea, the statues of the deity on the day of Visarjan(Immersion).
The statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.
But,over the years,this event too has acquired a commercial face and is seen by some as an economic activity.
The traditionally used clay for making the idols has been replaced by the cheaper and easy to mould Plaster of Paris.This material does not dissolve easily in water and releases harmful toxic elements in water which harm the marine beings.Even more dis-heartening is the sight of these undissolved idols being thrown out of the water on the shores the next day.
What’s the use of the worship that hurts Lord himself and results in his extreme insult?And if Visarjan symbolises taking away the misfortunes of the devotees,won't those be back with the statues??
Reacting to such a scenario,many govermental and non-govermental organisations have introduced the concepts such as Green Ganesha and Eco-Friendly Ganeshas.

These ideas are slowly but surely being adopted and lets hope that in the coming years,the festival will be celebrated with the same enthusiasm and lesser of adverse effects....

For now,I am leaving you with a few images that capture the spirit of Ganpati Utsav....Enjoy!!

Ghar-guti Ganpati
Lalbaugcha Raja

See You Next Year..:-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not So Typical....!!

I was born in Mumbai.....and brought up here as well.........what I mean is whole my life,i've stayed in Mumbai....except for around 2 years while I was working in Bangalore (or Bengaluru)........:-)

The stay away from home introduced me to many people from different parts of India......and also to a statement that initially surprised me and then started to confuse me.....almost all the people I newly met(thankfully not all..:-)) had this to say "oh,u r from Mumbai...but u don't seem to be like a typical Mumbai-girl"........!!!!

 YEAH RITE,i would think,coz i am not a regular at discos,don't smoke or drink and don't go around crushing people under my car while driving insanely in the wee hours of night...!!
 But wait, that what all people living in Mumbai do??What about those who use the public transport everyday to reach their destinations,enjoy their JUMBO vada-pav with great relish and aim to reach home on time only so that they are able to leave on time again the next day??Aren't they being typical??
We know it takes all kinds to make d in any place there would be all sorts of people....

Then what really is being "typical"-of-a-place??
How can the place of living determine a person's attitude???
And what about those people who grow up in many places....where are they typical of??

Yeah.....there are certain things that are

The joy of getting your first salary.......:-)
Cactus in deserts and sand on beaches...
The sweet fragrance of mud after first showers of rain is typical and so is the odour coming out from a public toilet......;)

Examples like these are abstract or are objects and are typical because they would always be same....but the concept of people being typical-of-a-place is too twisted for me to comprehend....

So amidst all my confusion of how to be typically of a place....I guess I rather take the satisfying option of just being myself......or should I be "Typically-Myself";)

Friday, September 17, 2010

so here it first blog..!!!

Going by d blog name..ders a chance dat u mite think i hav made a spelling mistake...but frankly,PEACE of mind is not wat i m seeking here...nor is it sumthing u will get here :-)

So wat shud u look forward to on dis blog???

Nothing much actually.....or probably lots of things........dats to be seen in d coming up days.....but one thing's for sure....I,sumtimes having jumbled thoughts and sumtimes clear point-of-views will be sharing wid u a PIECE(or sumtimes pieces) of my mind.......which hopefully u will enjoy!!

So long then....

Take Care....