Friday, July 13

Episode 07: In The Train!!

Sorry for making u wait for long.I do admit that I am pretty late to post this episode.Actually the problem is, I was busy with my office stuffs.....

Here comes long awaited Episode-7!!!

No sooner the train stopped at the platform, all got clustered at the gate. Everyone was trying get in 1st with full effort as if there was kept gold medal for the 1st one. However we entered inside and felt a bit safe to get rid of hustle and bustle of Station. But we still had to struggle a lot to reach to our seat.Passing the narrow corriders, making way by pushing people and squeezing ourselves like sponge, we finally reached our destination,Berth No 27/28/29 of Coach No S3.

As our tickets got confirmed through RAC (Reservation After Cancellation), our seats were dispersed almost through out the train, 3 seats in S3, 2 in S9 and last one in S12. What a coincidence, if you observe ,the seat number decreases as coach no increases. To be a bit wise (instead to moving long way from S3 to S12), Srijan directly boarded on S12.We, remaining five, boarded on S3.

Though seats of Navin and Niru were in S3 itself as per tickets, we planned to let them sit in S9. So they two could enjoy privacy to some extent and could enjoy the train journey being together. As the passengers on board were not properly settled , we waited for a while.

It was already too late. Around 4.45am.We were still not feeling sleepy. But most of the passengers who boarded from previous station were already in deep sleep. It would not have been a good idea to chat and disturb fellow co-passengers .So we also decided to sleep.

I gave company to them (Niru & Navin) to find their seat in S9. It was long way from S3.We also had to cross the pantry coach. Most of the lights were off. In the dark corridor of compartment, we stumbled on luggage kept in the way. Once we reached S9, we had to take the help of mobile handset’s light to find out our berth. Finally we got 53 n 54 berth No. After making the arrangements for sleeping, I returned back to my seat telling them not to chit-chat so much.

When I came back, Pravin was clever enough to reserve the top berth and Diren was pretending to sleep in the middle berth. Then I had to comfort myself with the lower one. But I do enjoy the lower berth in fact. Though it was still hot inside in late night, the gentle breeze coming from the window helped me to sleep easily. I was so optimistic that i would dream something good about the trip.

Thursday, June 28

Episode 06: Three Hours At The Station

Finally my journey started!! I was in a van on the way to Station. It was a vehicle of one of the Call Centre located at Koregoan Park (One of the best hangout at Pune) and was just returning back dropping a senior associate. Driver himself told me without asking a question. He was now going back to home which was near by the station. He was asking me lots of question and ‘em answering in one word (just Like Rapid Fire in Coffee with Karan).Though I m loquacious in nature, I don’t entertain talking with strangers.

Driver slowed down the van once he spotted any one standing on the road side and started shouting STATION-STATION because he could make extra money. But his bad luck!! All the way he got only one more to get in. I didn’t even speak to the new passenger. I was so surprised to see road with out traffics. I always had to face hell lot of traffics and signals while going to office. But now no more red lights!! The van was running around the speed of 80 giving the gentle bumps.

Within 20 minutes, I reached to station, which usually takes almost one hour. I directly moved to the Comesum where we were supposed to meet. Navin, Praveen and Diren were already there sitting just in front of Comesum with their luggage. I didn’t see the Niru near by. Navin told me that she was coming around 3.30 by college bus.

So surprise!!! They were also coming from same college but they didn’t get lift. Actually the problem was, Hostel warden didn’t allow them to go with the girl. I didn’t make out any logic behind it. I can say it as “Height of Conservative”. So they came by auto early.

It was around 1.30. Still 3 more hours to go!! It was hot even at midnight. And to pass such a long time in the Indian Railway Station was not a joke. Rush of people, continuous announcement of arrival n departure of trains, lengthy horns of train, pungent irritating smell from railway tracks, crowded platform full with street vendors, suffocating environment… its simply horrible.

But 24-7, Air Conditioned, well managed, multi-cuisine restaurant, Comesum, is only one option for the Passengers to halt in the station. But they wouldn’t let us sit for 3 hours.So we just kept talking something nonsense. After sometime our 5th friend, Srijan, also came. He had to come from the University which is comparatively nearer to station.

We were getting bored. So planned to go to cyber (upstairs in Comesum ) turn-wise because there should someone to wait for the luggage also. Praveen and Diren went 1st.Then I went alone as Srijan was not interested and Navin had to wait for his sweet heart.

In Net, I directly opened internet explorer and started typing just to check the recent visitors, any comments in my post and more importantly to click in my adsense. Next thing I used to do in the cyber is go to Internet Option under Tools and change homepage address with my blog url. So that anyone who sits in that machine has to see my blog by default. This was also one way to increase traffic to my blog I thought in the beginning of blogging.

The Cyber was so congested and suffocating as there was no AC. Within few minutes I started sweating and could not tolerate more than half an hour. Rate was also so expensive @34/Hr.

When I came down, Navin was not there because Niru had came and they two went to have MoMo( best fast food in Nepal),one of the delicious and mouth-watering dish in Comesum for us. It is actually steamed food with Kima (Smashed mutton/chicken mixed with seasonings) wrapped inside the flour just like Samosa.

When they came back, I saw red roses in their hands Might be they have exchanged the rose wishing for happy journey but I didn’t ask. Actually they were new couple. Navin had just purposed couple of weeks back. So they might get fun in doing such stuffs. I had never spoken to Niru before. I just saw her in the cultural program of college where she performed folk Nepali dance.

Then we moved here and there to pass the time. As I didn’t have the proper dinner, I went to Comesum with Srijan to have some fastfood. We had Veg Fried Rice. By that time it was around 4.20.We rushed to the platform and waited for the train. Train was coming to platform with loud horn. All the passengers were running along the platform. But we were already in right place, where Coach No S3 was supposed to stop.

Story of Train Journey … In Next Episode … Coming Soon………

Tuesday, June 26

Episode 05: Set Out For Trip

Finally that day came!! The day to leave Pune, the day to leave my roommates and esp. the day to have a break from my office work. From the morning itself, I was so excited.

No mood to work also. I was updating my Blog MiLeStOne just to inform al my readers about my trip and that I would not be able to post for coming week.

Though I had already applied for the leave online, I thought it would better to ask once personally with TL (Team Lead). I got the best wishes( ‘Ve a Nice Journey, Enjoy the Trip, ‘Ve a Lots Of Fun, Bring sth. from there.. bla .. bla.. bla….) from my TL and project mates. I felt a bit good.

I had not packed my luggage and arranged my stuffs. Actually the train timing was too late at 4.30 AM. So I had ample of time to get packed up. But also I was planning to leave office early. At least I didn’t have to do anything in haste.

“Nothing happens as per our wish”. I was well aware of this fact. But, in my case, sometime thing happens just opposite of my wish. It was around 5.30. My TL called me and showed me one document from onsite. Oh god!! It was a defect in my code. I was supposed to fix at very moment.

Hurriedly, I opened my machine and went through the portion of code where I had to modify. My adrenalin level was going up as I had very less time. There was no any option. I had to fix that by hook or crook. Initially I was not able to point out the error. By hit and trial, with more than two hours of R&D, I came to know where the problem was. Then I fixed it in no time. By that time it was already 8.30.

Then I rushed to my flat with my colleague. There was so much traffic on the road. I remembered the MURPHY’s Law that I read few days back in my forward mail.

Few are here:

  • You can never determine which side of bread to butter. If it falls down, it will always land on the buttered side.
  • If u come early, the bus is late .If u come late, the bus is still late.
  • Once you bought something, you will find the same item being sold somewhere in cheaper price.
  • When in a queue, other line always moves faster and the person will always have very complex transaction.
  • If you have the paper, you don’t have the pen. If you have the pen, you don’t have the paper. And if you have both, no one calls
  • If you have bunked the lecture, professor always take the attendance.
  • If you forget to do/bring the assignments, teacher always starts from you.
  • If you leave for examination hurriedly, there is more probability to forget the admit card or I-Card

I just want to tell, whenever I am in hurry somehow, somewhere trouble comes and make me more late.

When I reached home it was around 10.I was in confusion whether to have the dinner or arrange the luggage. I chose the 2nd option. I was just collecting the stuffs I had to carry. I remembered I had to press my few t-shirts. No sooner I started pressing my t-shirts, power went. Was not it the super MURPHY’S law. Then I searched the candles with the help of mobile light. By that time my roommates were having dinner. I didn’t have to mention how much trouble I faced to fetch the candle. Then I joined them for dinner. Anyway it was also one pending task. Better to complete in good time.

I waited for light and arranged all the stuffs with the help of candle. Still power didn’t come. Then I gave up pressing the t-shirt and folded it carefully to have minimum wrinkles. After couple of minutes I finished packing up everything, light came. I thought why god teased me so much.

It was around 12 PM. My friends were calling me to ask when to leave. I asked all to gather at Comesum (24-7 cafeteria in Station) by 3.There was no point of reaching the station early because our train timing was 4.30.But the problem was we would not get any vehicle(Auto) to go to station in late Night.

My roommates were a bit upset because they were missing me. More than me they were missing the Trip (Fun).But they could go as they would not get leave from their office. It was also the 1st time; I was going for trip without close friends. Anyways it was not the time to be so sentimental.

All the three roommates came to leave me upto bus stand. They carried my luggage. It was quite heavy because I had bad habit of carrying everything spare. There was no auto around. But luckily one van (sumo) stopped for the lift. And coincidently it was going via station. I thought this time god gave me compensation!!!

Remaining in next Episode!! Just wait!!

Thursday, June 21

Episode 04: Preparation For The Trip!!

Days were passing full of excitement and day-dreaming. Count Down was going with decrement of one everyday. At office I remained busy in checking sites of trip spots to know about the weather as well as places for sight-scenes.

While arranging the stuffs for the trip, camera came at 1st. I had canon power shot of 4 mega pixel.(but not mine) . It was of my roommate RAHUL. But I had to arrange cells for it. It works best only with rechargeable AA 2300mA and costs pretty high. I messaged all my friends to get couple of pairs (always better to have spare) because I did have very bad experience in my last trip to RAJASTHAN. Due to low quality cell, which was getting discharged after few shots, we could not enjoy lot in taking snaps. This time I didn’t want to compromise in such matter.

Then came, Dress!! Truly speaking I am a bit choosy in dress up. I become over conscious in dress during such excursion. Besides I was fed up getting in formal 5 days a week in office. All my cargos and jeans were just waiting 4 fresh airs….. I didn’t have good t-shirts. I didn’t have done shopping since long. But could not do it now also. No penny…!!

So I searched in my suitcase and selected few best out of worst and gave for dry cleaning. As it was the summer trip, I didn’t have to take so much tension about winter garments. I still remembered, we did heavy shopping for last time trip, new cargos, new jackets, shoes n lots …

I planned to manage with my old shoes as it still looked fancy. I should be safe from my side. Though it was summer, there might cold during the evening. (coz it was hill station).It was wise to carry at least one jacket. So I borrowed one from my roommate. He recently got it.

I had no thought to do any shopping but luckily I got my one friend Srijan who was willing to for shopping for trip. I gave him the company and also got couple of plain t-shirts of different colors for me also. (He paid for me)

Then just remaining was, Hair design. I have my Roommate, Bhim, who is well honored in our group for Hair Style. I don't think there would be any style he hasn’t given a try. He has good knowledge of hair dye. Just before 2 days of the journey I got my hair trimmed and got it colored (Shinny brown) from Bhim.

Remaining toiletries and cosmetics (Don’t get confused, ‘em not taking about mascara, eye liner, lipsticks n all!! It was just, face cream, lip guard, hair oil n gel), I managed from stocks available in room. I would like to buy one body spray but thought to share with guys in trip.

You might be wondering, with out having a penny How I would manage in trip. If you remember, I spent 3.2k in tickets for all borrowing from Rahul. I was supposed to get return that amount from my friends. They would give that amount in the trip itself as we were directly meeting at station only.

Now Just one more day to go to kick off my Trip. Lots more to tell… just wait!!!

Tuesday, June 19

Episode 03: Planning The Journey.

Once the trip was confirmed, I had to book tickets upto Delhi( the reporting point for the trip) and also apply leave in office. Applying for leave was not great problem because I already had enough leave in my account.

Only the great headache was booking the tickets. I didn’t have the money to book and other guys were busy in their exams .Anyway I checked on internet in Indian Railways Site. Huh!!! There was no availability on 24th may from Pune to Delhi, even in AC. As per the schedule we had to reach Delhi on 26th morning. Actually it is the 24 hours journey in train to reach Delhi. So we could leave Pune on 25th early morning around 3-5 Am. So I tried for 25th. It was on Friday morning. There was long waiting list. I already knew that these waiting lists were never going to be confirmed even at the time of journey. Already I had pretty good experience in Indian railway.

Then I did some changes in the boarding points and as well as trains. For the god sake, I saw few RAC (Reservation After Cancellation) seats, if we boarded on the train(GOA EXPRESS) in its starting station i.e GOA. I came to know one new thing regarding train ticket booking .That’s why there is one saying “The more u practice (experience), the more u become perfect.”

I could not book online also because my credit card was already blocked. I didn’t cleared my outstanding in due date. Then there was no alternative other than calling my friends at college to book the tickets despite their exams. They wasted one whole day but could not book the tickets due to some misunderstanding. They were not so much experience in Train Ticket Booking.

Then I borrowed 4k from my roommate Rahul and went to station for booking. We total were six together. Diren doing MCA, Navin doing MBA, Praveen doing BBA and one gal, Niru doing BBA . all in same college , Sinhgad Technical Education Society,Pune. And the Fifth guy Srijan doing Master in Biotech in Pune University.

As per rule we could take 6 persons tickets in one form. But I planned to book 3 persons in each ticket. So in future even if we had to cancel, it would be easy to cancel. After along queue, my turn came. I hurriedly gave the forms. I was so scared that there might not be any mistake. If so I would get rejected and my turn would be last in the queue again just to correct a small mistake.

Thanx god !! There was no error but the person at ticket counter said there was a long waiting. I got shocked. I asked him we want to board from the starting station. At that very moment, I started thinking hell lots of thing at once. It would be lot of torture to travel in local. I didn’t have money to go by air also n so on ….

But this time my luck didn’t screw me. There was the RAC available .RAC 23-RAC28. I heard that RAC tickets would be confirmed easily. He also suggested me to change the boarding point i.e Pune after few days from Central Station. The train timing was 4.30 AM on Friday 25th May. It was perfect timing indeed. With the great pleasure, I paid RS 3282, 547 bucks each.

Then after few days I called up my friend Srijan and went to Central Station to change the boarding point. Every day I checked out status of our ticket in the official site. Day by day its RAC Number was getting down .Finally It was confirmed but Seats were dispersed in 3 different Compartments. Three seats in S3 (Sleeper 3), two in S9 and last one in S12. But confirmed tickets were enough. Seats, we could manage later on.

Then I started counting days. Still 8 more days to go. It was just 17th may. I was dreaming about the fun n all….

Friday, June 15

Episode 02: Registration and Confirmation

"First come ,first serve" Universal rule....I was well aware of this fact. So I kept on making calls to my friends in college to get the form and complete all the procedures soon just to make it reach to concerned office sooner.For the god sake ,i didnt want to be rejected this time like last winter camp. Due to delay in submitting the form, i was not selected for the Goa trip.I still regret for that.

In fact, there were hell lots of things to be done to complete the procedures. Fill up form giving all the details, get it signed from principal( which was really the hectic job as he always pretends to be busy lingering us outside the office) , make the bank draft of RS 2500 standing on long queue in campus bank, arrange all and courier it to ICCR Delhi ( Main office where this form is supposed to reach)

Even if luck favors and everything is done as planned, it still takes whole day to get things done.But U know, luck always screwed me when needed. Nothing was done in 1st attempt, it might be booking the train ticket or filing up the examination form or anything. I had firm believe in this matter.

Everything was to be done in working days coz its all the official process. So there was no any alternative other than taking the help of my friends as i could not bunked the office( i didn't want to ask for leave either).But later I came to know that few other friends were also ready to go for trip . It was good for me.In one hand, i would get the good company through out the trip and in other , i got some one to fill up the form.

But the problem was , these guys were having the final exams from next week.So even a day counts a lot for them. And next problem was money that i always had. At that time i was penny-less as j just shifted my flat . you know , in pune , just to get 1BHK in rent, we had to pay 40k including brokerage n deposit.So i was already in debt.But it was not the problem. I did have lots of good friends who had to help me.( Dont feel i m rude, but i can say like this coz i also helped them when they were in need) In fact "Friend in need are friends indeed".

So i asked one of my friends , GORE(nick name) ,to make my draft. I helped him last time in his MP trip when he was running out of money. So I was confirmed that he could not say NO. Thanx GOD!! he didn't also..

After couple of days, i came to know these guys sent the courier of total five people.It was good news if all selected for same spot.We would have pretty good group as all were from Nepal.

They kept on calling ICCR office almost everyday just to know the confirmation despite their busy schedule of exams.They also kept on requesting to make all in same trip as all the remaining four were new for this Trip.I used to get updated from them every evening.

And Finally I was selected. I could say we got the lottery. All 5 in same trip, but for NaiNi tal package ( which was my 2nd choice) not for Simla (1st Choice).Anyway it was ok .To get selected was itself a great luck. Thanx God!!!

Thursday, June 14

Episode 01: How this Trip Idea came into my mind

I was almost mad having the monotonous schedule in Software Life (working in S/W Company as programmer for10 months). Besides hectic work on project as deadline was coming,I was completely screwed up.

But once the project came to end,all my loads ebbed dramatically and then i got bored remaining passive whole day though posting in my blog was there as daily routine.Then i thought , why not to go for excursion or something like campaign to some cool place for a week with my friends.There was no problem of getting permission for the leave also as already lots of leave was piled up in my leave account.

Then ICCR Clicked in my Mind. Its nothing but one Government Council which organises the very awesome and luxurious trip twice a year(summer and winter camp)for the foreign students studying in India.I did have good experience of trip under ICCR to RAJASTHAN in winter 2 years back.Nothing was better than this trip for me at this time coz i know to how much depth we can enjoy!!!

Actually it is completely tension-free trip where we are just supposed to freak around the places and enjoy.Besides, all the arrangement is so managed maintaining high degree of luxury that is also in lost cost.But only the problem is to get selected for the trip.

Then i called up one of my friends, BHOJU who is studying in my college( i am passed out student), to check all the details (spots as well as journey date) from the office(ICCR).Actually always there are around 5-6 options(different spots). This time there were Simla,Naini Tal, MP, Banglore-Mysore ... hmmm i forgot the fifth one.

Simla and Naini tal are hill stations and worthy to visit in the summer and Mysore is also not the bad choice.Then i asked him to fill up the form in someone name who was not going for trip and put these three places in the priority sequentially.

I was not concerned with the spot coz all the spot are new for me and all are hill Station.But it was not sure would i get the chance or not . even if i got selected , which place would i get . It was all up to god only.Just like Lucky draw.

Anyway i was happy with myself on that day for doing correct decision, which i do occasionally in my life ...Because this was best idea to wipe out the hang-over of hectic software life and had a refreshment break in my monotonous schedule.