Monday, June 29, 2009

It Finally Happened

After a long time, it finally happened. Before I tell you what ‘it’ is I have to tell you the background. So read on!

This weekend we planned to go to Elephanta Caves and also roam around a bit at Churchgate. Frankly, I am not much interested in history, so as expected I didn’t love the caves much. A few pics here and there, especially of monkeys, a snake and shops there, meditated a while there; but what really rocked our moods was the boat trip while going to and coming back from the caves, which are located on an island. This was the first time I had adventured into the sea; luckily for us, it was not raining that day; but the currents were still strong and they almost threw me off my feet a few times while I tried to stand on the deck and take a few pics. We decided to go on the top deck by just paying Rs10/- extra which were worth the amount of fun we had there. The driver even allowed me to manoeuvre the boat for a while, (when it was docked of course :P). The view was amazing, awesome, breath-taking, overwhelming, (even MSWord Thesaurus won’t provide me enough words, so let the pics say the rest. For higher resolution pics see my orkut album).

And yes, the boat trip begins and ends at Gateway of India and Hotel Taj. Earlier that day we took a few pics there.

After returning from the boat trip my friend did a bit of shopping at the Fashion street, we had ganne ka juice and went and sat at Marine drive for a while. Just then there was a drizzle, light enough for us to enjoy getting wet in it and strong enough to cause the rainbow behind us. My friend and I (both mechanical engineers) had a good discussion on how tetrahedral shaped concrete slabs, piled on top of each other, would help to disperse the stresses caused by splashing sea water tides and prevent the wall from falling. For nature lovers like me, apart from bird watching :P there were variety of crabs, (no pun intended here if it exists) and in all sizes. And finally I think I have told enough things to tell you what ‘it’ is. Unfortunately, ‘it’ happened. My DIGCAM battery got discharged, I had not charged it for a long time! I cursed myself over a hundred times for letting ‘it’ happen. So I could not take any pics at Marine Drive.

When the sun was almost about to set, we decided to retreat. I had a hamburger at Wincy and took a packed local back home. It was neither BCC, FCC, nor hexagonal packing; but worst kind of packing I have ever encountered, the density was highest I assure even without any calculations.

On Sunday we went to Juhu Chaupati, which was not much different from Colva beach, only it was more polluted as the tides brought with them polythene bags in addition to sea water. However, some things that you won’t get to see at Goan beaches are the Bombay Pav Bhaji and other chat stalls, the kalakhatta, chana masala, fruit decoraters, flute-sellers and the state-of-the-art fortune tellers, not humans but robots! (See the pic). We transformed our jeans into shorts and enjoyed the splash of waves for a while and then fed our hungry bellies at the Chat stalls.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

3rd and 4th week in Mumbai

Last two weeks literally flew past and taught me to enjoy each and every moment I live, like listening to the songs on a small TV screen in the BEST buses I travel rather than complaining about the noisy polluted streets or using the decent speed net to make 500 friends on orkut instead of feeling bored in the lab when I seemed to be making no progress on the project. Too many funny and interesting things I did and won’t be possible to blog them all, but to cite a few, I used intelligent guessing ‘correctly’ after a long time (last I used it was during GCET) but this time to shop for a given list of vegetables which looked like cubic equations in two variables- appearance and shop.

Shopping reminds me I went to Lamington Road and hunted for a few electrical items I needed for my projects, in baking afternoon sun for more than 2 hours and next day I realised that IITB has a supplier who delivers the needed goods at the lab the very next day, what a waste of energy at Lamington street, a simple phone call would have done the job! I also enquired on some online stores through emails for some materials but didn’t reveal my identity or purpose why I wanted them; they refused to give me more info about their products until their company’s MD talks to me personally, (and they insisted on this); I get a sick feeling that they thought I am a terrorist and informed the intelligence about it when I refused to give my number! If I showed you the mails, you would agree why I felt so.

Anyway I finished watching third volume of heroes and then realised I too have a special ability, for example I learnt how to control the weather- by just expecting it to rain, I could stop it from raining, (my ability is that whatever I expect never happens, if I were to expect a 100 things, 101st thing would happen; all teams I expected to win 20-20 world cup matches lost). By the way, the long awaited rains finally came down unexpectedly on Saturday night when I was fast asleep. And yes, I got sore throat and cough and next day read on news that swine flu cases were reported in India including in Mumbai (so I ‘expected’ that I caught swine flu :P). Also I survived an explosion in the nearby fuel testing lab, 3 were killed and 4 are still in coma, (I am talking about insects, not humans ;) And yes, I got a haircut only in Rs25/- from the barber who claimed to have given Aamir the Ghazini haircut, (Aamir is apparently another boy who lives in a nearby galli- this clarification the barber gave me after the haircut). “Conditions apply, I forgot to read them!

At home, I helped my uncle file his income tax returns (I hadn’t used excel for anything worthwhile for a long time), finished watching three movies of star wars (and talked about it with a friend who I later realised was talking about star trek!), and next day I fought five angry, barking, street dogs alone without any jedi sword. I even got scolded by a watchman for touching a gate (how could I possibly steal a gate, I am still wondering!), went to the Infinity Mall in Andheri and saw a not-so-famous TV serial actress there, so didn’t bother to take her autograph or a snap with her. I watched 'MEE SHIVAJI RAJE BHOSLE BOLTOY' a marathi analogy of 'Lage raho munnabhai', here we have Shivajigiri instead of Gandhigiri, got bored with Sudoku, so tried it’s brother ‘Kakuro’, and finally (after a long waiting) something happened in the elevator that changed my way of thinking and writing, I am probably following Pratik’s footsteps, a bit different though, this time it’s a girl next floor (more details in the next post if further developments take place, P.S: I hope I wasn’t hallucinating!!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bandstand- Week2

After my exams finished on 14th May, I was all set for my internship in IITB, for which I was supposed to leave for Mumbai on 17th, but then I changed my mind and postponed it to 23rd. It was one small decision, which changed the whole story of my internship. Had I reached on 17th, I would have finished all the formalities before 20th and I would have got hostel accommodation as well. But all hostel rooms got booked by 21st and I had to stay at my uncle’s place at Vile Parle and travel everyday spending a lot of valuable(?) time and most of my energy in it. I wished I was Isaac Mendis, I would have painted my future and known the outcome of my decision beforehand. Or if I was Hiro Nakamura, I could have teleported into the past and changed it! (Courtesy: Heroes!)

Anyway, apart from travelling there was no other inconvenience I faced, thanks to my uncle. And the highlight of the week was ‘friendship’ with my four year old niece, the cutest girl I know, a blue-eyed fairy she is. Playing with her I felt like I lived my childhood again. We played “Cook and the kitchen”, “bat-ball”, “teacher-student”, “mummy-baby”, “going to the beach”, and with puzzles, dolls, cars, her cycle, etc. I went to such an extent that I got an idea for my internship project from one of her toy :P See this post

On Saturday, Divyanand, Ankit and I decided to take a break from our regular schedule and roam around a bit. We went to Bandstand in Bandra and it was finally time to put my Digicam to use.

After seeing the pics and the video, if you feel that this place is a bit familiar to you, then you are absolutely right, it was here that a part of the song “kabhi- kabhi aditi” from “jaane tu” was shot. If you can’t still recollect, see the video again, and watch carefully the para- “Tu khush hai toh lage ke jahan mein chaayi hai khushi...”

When we climbed the stairs we realised that it is basically a hang-out for couples, we saw a few live smooches, etc etc... :P We rubbed ours eyes enough number of times for the next few minutes. I was in two minds, I looked at my Digicam, but finally I decided to respect their privacy. Then we changed our focus from the couples to the beautiful scenery. The whole atmosphere was so pleasant and calm, altogether different from the noisy city life. My friends sat on the stones to enjoy the breeze, while I kept my fingers, eyes and Digicam busy. The sea was the same as it is on Goan beaches, but the rocks replaced the sand. I didn’t bother to go into the Geology to find out the reason, but just sat down and enjoyed the serenity.

It was time to leave, but we were not aware of the excitement that was awaiting us, it left me wondering whether Essel-World was in Bandra. We were waiting at the bus-stop for a bus, but decided to take an auto instead. We were four of us, a guide-cum-friend called Thakur had joined us. Rickshaws normally take just three passengers, but we were happy to find a chap who took the four of us. That’s what we thought, until the driver found another customer a little ahead and then we were five passengers excluding the driver in the auto!!

For the first time on Mumbai’s streets, traffic made no difference! Even when the road was blocked, the rickshaw kept moving. How?? Well, the lane had a divider, the left side was blocked, and to our surprise the driver drove on the right side of the lane, and that too in full speed... lol! He almost banged into four girls trying to cross the road, and remarked “Sorry se kaam chalega?” Divyanand, who was sitting uncomfortably against the exit door, suddenly burst out “Dhire chalao bhaiyya, meri aadhi gand gaadi se baahar hai” :P The whole ride was full of sparks and bursts, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing and took a pic as well.

We finally reached Bandra station and I caught a train to Vile Parle. There I did a little bit of shopping. I bought a kit for my project called “Technica”, which consisted of many small metallic bars and pipes that could be joined with bolts and nuts to form various assemblies. I also bought a game called “Bullet Train” for my niece and she liked is so much that she exhausted the battery within one day :P