Monday, July 20, 2009

Last Fortnight in Mumbai

All good things come to an end and so did my Mumbai stay. If I am asked to weigh what I gained during the internship against what I lost (a few kg weight thanks to travelling) I would definitely say I have gained more in terms of knowledge, experience and confidence.

Surviving for two months in a city like Mumbai, in the traffic, in the rains, in the waterlogged streets, and without having had to pay fine/bribe though I had risked not purchasing bus tickets on two occasions, deserves an applaud. (Clap, Clap, Clap!) A few memorable instances besides the scrumptious KFC ‘Zinger’ 100% Chicken burger that I ate are cited below:

Time: 14th July 2009, 14:09:42

I have to complete editing the video of my project work and realise that I don’t have sufficient time for it, as today is the last day of my internship. I hadn’t got accommodation in the campus; I worked till 7pm and then left for my uncle’s place in Vile Parle where I stayed. So I took a hasty decision to stay overnight in the lab with my project engineer, Mr Kaviresh Bhandari. It turned out to be a good idea because it was raining heavily and it would have been really difficult to reach home that evening thanks to the water-logged streets.

Time: 14th July 2009, 21:29:17

After having my dinner in Tansa Mess, fully sponsored by my project engineer, I returned to the lab to start working on remainder part of the video. I needed a high configuration desktop with Windows-XP to run the software. I had done all other work on my Vista laptop and for the first time I was using the lab desktop. I had installed the software on the previous day and started my work. I estimated that I would need 3-4 more hours to finish my work and after that I would watch TV series or movies for the remainder of the night. Suddenly I receive a shock as my project file refuses to open, a few minutes later I realise that the desktop is virus affected. I try to shift my work on the next desktop but I realise all the comps are affected by the network virus. The realisation that this would mean a waste of all my previous efforts chokes my throat.

Time: 14th July 2009, 23:25:13

I don’t realise whom to curse for all that had happened and finally decide that a better solution would be to start making the video all over again, which also meant I had to scrap all my plans of watching BBT and Prison Break.

Time: 15th July 2009, 05:46:07

After slogging for six hours, I am finally done with my video. I pack all my project stuff into a box, label its contents and keep the box in a corner in the lab, wondering when next it would be opened. I also burn a copy on a DVD of all data regarding the project for the lab records. I show the video to my project engineer who is happy.

Time: 15th July 2009, 07:35:50

The rains have stopped and the morning is smiling at me. After bidding adieu to my project engineer, I take a bus back home. It turned out to be the third time I had kept a night out for making a video, a memorable one in IITB.

As this is my last post on summer internship in Mumbai, here are a few guidelines if you are new and plan to spend a few days in the city. If you have to travel by local train, don’t take the shortcut and jump across the tracks to go from one platform to another, use the fly-over or you might land up in jail for a fortnight; cops wait there to catch and fine you if they see you leaping over the tracks. (READ MORE)

TCs also wait on the flyover to catch you if you are travelling without a ticket. They are specially trained to smell fear hormones emitted by those who don’t have tickets. It is best to purchase a monthly pass for train, which is quite cheap and you don’t have to stand in the queue daily to buy tickets. In case you see a TC and you don’t have a ticket, just walk boldly past him with a gentle smile without trying to avoid eye contact with him, probability is higher that you will not be caught than when you try to slip past a corner by avoiding his sight.

For bus travel, it is best to purchase Rs 20/- daily ticket with which you can travel unlimited for the full day in any BEST bus up to Bandra. Buses have two doors, one at the back and one in the front, only the back door is used to climb in and the front door to get down. And you have to stand in a queue at the bus stand if you want to get a seat. In the rains, it is better to purchase a small polythene bag worth 5 bucks for your mobile lest it gets wet in the rain and you lose a thousand bucks. There is no need to go to gym, if you are traveling by bus, just make it a point that you travel standing [:P] And yes unlike Goa, there are special buses and trains for ladies only; in the first week I had almost jumped into one before realising this fact.