Saturday, December 31

Indian Ocean Band Spotted : Bhopal International Airport

Google Images
On my return journey from Bhopal to Chennai, i came across Indian Ocean Band at Bhopal Airport waiting for their flight in the lounge. They were on their way to Hyderabad after last night's concert they did in Bhopal. Because of the rush hour, i just squeezed in to grab few photographs with the band members and also managed to get their autographs. To name the few, i met R Ram, Sushmit Sen, Luheen, Nikhil and other members from the Band. Here are the pics: 

Friday, December 30

2011 In A Glance

It’s a review of my experiences, lessons learnt, hits & misses I had this year in 2011.

It’s more of self-motivational way to judge myself or one may call it self-criticism in knowing how I did in 365 days of 2011.

These are my 12 experiences I had in last 12 months of 2011:

      January: New Year Resolution to Reduce Drinking: I almost gave up drinking Alcohol. I won’t say I completely stopped it but the frequency is almost reduced to quarterly once (Ooops, this quarter is ending tomorrow on 31st  ... time to drink :P). Read more HERE.

      February: Marriage Bells: Got married this year in Feb to love of my life i met online. Read more about my strange love Story HERE.

      March: Buying a Flat: Bought a new flat in Pune this March and have plans to move there in coming year. Bought my first bike this year March and have plans to sell it soon :P

      April: Work-out time: I started to work-out. I did not join any health, exercise or gym club. In fact I started to pump iron into me right at home.

      May: Follow the Bear: I gave up eating Meat. I prefer to consume proteins from vegetables than from dead meat (animals). After all, bear is strong and vegetarian!!! Read HERE.

      June: Follow your Passion: I found my interest, my passion. Although it took me a while to find one but I can say now, “finally I have one!!!” and I hope to pursue it as my career option (I already attracted lot of criticism at work, but now there’s no looking back for me). I thank my wife for helping me in this.

      July: Keep Walking: I also started jogging / walking more regularly. Read about this HERE.

      August: My 2nd Interest: I got back to Blogging. I read newer posts and write more on my personal page periodically.

      September: Blogging Friends: I made more friends by blogging than by facebook and best part is I personally never knew my facebook friends either. But it’s better to have it via blog than by fb at least I can chat through comments and discuss ideas with them. Thanks Indiblogger.

      October: Being Joey Tribbiani: I became more conscious about my diet. Read many self help books and online references for a healthy diet system. Reduced processed sugar intake and replaced it with natural sugar (jaggery).

      November: Books Best Friends: I recuperated my passion for reading books. Although I was reading books throughout the year but I became more serious this November. Will shortly list down the books, novels I read in 2011 with a short review about each of them in my upcoming blogs.

      December: Bye Bye Facebook, Orkut: Gave up Facebook / Orkut completely. Although I do have an account on Facebook but I rarely use it now. I have deleted my Orkut account (R.I.P). Read HERE.
      
Oh, did i just say December. Since we both are here while reading this, i wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and all the prosperity in coming years. Happy 2012. Be good to all and enjoy life!!!

Regards
Rahul Aggarwal

Sunday, December 25

Main Anna Hoon ..!!!

On my way to office, I decided to take a detour and slid my bike through a one way lane with traffic moving right opposite me.

If you ask me, it was necessary not only to evade the two kilometer long road kissing a u-turn and come back on the other side, plus it saved me a lot of time for not being on road during rush hour. If you ask an onlooker, it was a foolish act and from a traffic policeman’s point of view, it was Christmas calling!!!

These guys they just love it when people are out of their senses and commit such mindless things and get busted. Frankly, if KFC had to advertise for “finger lickin’ good” caption, they must click the traffic police-walaas having a burger in one hand and driver’s wallet in other, cheering to the camera, “I am lovin’ it!!!

Anyways, to cut short, I turned out to be a Santa this year for Chennai traffic police.

I somehow ignored the police van approaching me while I was sneaking on the wrong side, more like an ignorant moth running towards its own death. I thought I was imperceptible but I guess, not stealthy enough for the traffic police.

I stopped and removed my helmet as the traffic policeman stepped out of the van.

Before I could say anything, the traffic policeman broke out, “Saar, wrong side of road, heavy fine, Saar, License please, Saar”.

I handed over my license to him.

I am sorry Sir, it’s a mistake, it won’t happen again”, I said.

Saar, a mistake is a mistake, you will be heavily fined Saar”, he said raising his voice.

Please Sir please … please Sir”, I cried.

Google Images
With the nation roaring to the anti corruption vibe led by Anna Hazare and every young Indian dressed like Anna echoing slogans during protests of “MAIN ANNA HOON”, I too, decided not to bail myself out by bribing the police. I was adamant and firm not to present my vulnerable side by showing greenery or asking leniency and being sweet. After all, I was supporting the anti-corruption cause.

I said to the police guy, “Saar, I support Anna hazare. I am ready for all kinds of punishment and will not undergo any sugar coated conversation!!!

The policeman looked at me surprisingly and said, “Aapadiya??? I too support Anna ji and will charge you with whatsoever legal fine we have in our books for your mistake!!!

I was unaware of what was coming. I guess my big mouth consequently led me into more trouble. The policeman cleared the phlegm in his throat and cried “Saar, fine of Rs. 500 for your mistake as per our records!!!”

500 just for moving my bike on the opposite lane and I haven’t even covered 100 meters. Don’t you think that’s too much to ask for?” I replied. God, when did they last update their fine list I wondered?

It’s perfect for your mistake YOU ANTI CORRUPTION ACTIVIST Saar!!!” said the policeman.

I turned around to check my wallet. I was like hit by a truck, I had the last 150 in my pocket. Before I could add any more to my misery, I smiled at the policeman and said, “Sir, i believe, we shall wait for LOKPAL BILL to get passed in HOUSE and then talk about the legal (honest) things .. till then, can’t we figure out a more effictive way to deal with this matter and get things settled right here right now?

He immediately relaxed his facial muscles and said, “Alright, how much do you have?

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY”, I underlined and said.

Sweet, Skip it across, take your license and do not turn back!!!” he said and I obeyed to his instructions.

I did not turn back nor did I pay him the complete legal fine for my mistake. After all, we both were happy!!!

Inference:

This incident just made me realize, is common man or the System really interested in having the Lokpal Bill? After all, everyone is vulnerable to make mistakes and get rid of things the alternative way, then why do we need a transparent system.

When we cannot change the way we do things then how will we support the bill thanks to our parochial thinking? Every second person in India has this attitude: “My Money is MY MONEY and Your Money is also MY MONEY”, then how will we be able to follow the LOKPAL BILL?

P.S: Views expressed here are all very personal and should not arise any kind of agitation in people’s mindset about our system or in favor of / against campaign!!!

P.S: This also marks my entry for the “SETS YOU ON FIRE!” Contest by KFC on IndiBlogger.

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, December 17

A Girl On The Platform

New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS)

Date: 30th Nov 2011

Time: 2 Afternoon!!!

I and my wife were sitting on chairs in New Delhi Railway Station waiting for train to arrive on Platform No.2. Very tired, we were silent and deep into our thoughts ignoring the commotion and loudness around us in the busy station.

A 10 year girl stopped by my side and looked at me. She was thin, pale at face, covered with a torn shawl.  She held a 20 rupee note firmly in her small left fist to protect herself from robbery.

There was fear in her voice and anticipation to seek help in eyes. Tears ran down her cheeks in a desperate attempt to touch the dried up lips.

She shook my hand and asked,”Bhaiya, Saharanpur ko gaadi kounse platform se jaati hai?” (Train to Saharanpur departs from which platform?)

Her soft voice was loud enough to beat the station noise and wake me up from day dreaming.
I replied back, “malum nahi!!!” (I don’t know!!!) and she left without saying anything.
Google Images

My wife observed, she was asking the same question from every other person her footsteps took her. She waved and called her back. She raced back to the place we were sitting.

“What’s your name?” my wife asked.

Chandni came her reply.

“Where are you coming from Chandni? Where is your parent? Why do you want to go to Saharanpur platform?” a volley of questions my wife enquired from the little kid.

She was brought to Delhi by someone she never met before in life. Her father is dead and she was forced to leave Saharanpur so she ran from the place where she was put up in Delhi and came to the station to go back to Saharanpur, was her reply.

We were shocked. She further added that she knows how to read and write as she’s in her fifth standard and is youngest in the house of 4 siblings: 3 girls and 1 boy.

She broke down as she was anxious to go back to Saharanpur.

Aapke paas vaapis jaane ka ticket hai Chandni?” (Do you have a ticket for Saharanpur train, Chandni?) I enquired and a person sitting to my right answered, “bachchi hai sahab, TT nahi puchega ticket ka aur jaane dega!!!” (She’s a minor, so TT will not ask her for the ticket and will let her go!!!)

Bhookh lagi hai, kuch khaana hai?” (Do you want anything to eat; shall I get you something?) I asked. But she had one answer to all the queries, “mujhe platform number bata do, mujhe Saharanpur ki train pakadni hai” (please tell me which platform number for Saharanpur train).

Isolation and fear overtook her hunger and she was colder from within than from the skin on that winter day.

I made her sit on my seat and told, “Chandni, yahaan rehna didi ke paas. Main platform ka pata karke aata hoon” (Chandni, Sit here with didi and wait for me to come back with platform details). She nodded in affirmation.

It took me 10 minutes to get back to the place where I left them.

She was happy to know that the train will leave from platform 7 in another 30 minutes. I decided to give her money but she refused and showed me the wet 20 rupee note she held in her hand.

I escorted her till platform 7.

I asked her to make a call at home saying that she’s fine and will be coming home soon but the poor child was too young to memorize numbers. Before she could board the train, I bought her chocolate biscuits and snacks for the journey. She hesitated but the hunger made her reach out and take the stuff.

Google Images
Happiness started to show signs on her but same time, fear never retreated.

I once again alerted her with the rule book of “things you must remember while travelling alone”.

I blessed her and she smiled back to say bye.

I got back to the place my wife was. We discussed about this incident for a while before we lost words to speak any further. We both just hoped that Chandni should safely reach her place, her home as early as possible.

Epilogue:

This incident left so many things unsaid. It may happen with anyone at any time. We were without words for rest of our journey. My wife really wished if we were in a position today wherein we could have thought of adopting the child and protect her childhood but it was hoping against the hope.

I really wished children like Chandni do not lose their innocence and hoped that they are not let into wrong hands and made to do things they are really not supposed to do.

Thanks for reading this and I hope if you come across any such incident in your life, be good to kids and make sure you comfort them whatever way possible. Remember they are not as blessed as we were during our childhood. 

Saturday, December 10

Things You Must Know While Travelling To/From Delhi

If you are travelling by air to Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) Delhi, here are some interesting facts you must know if you expect your trip to be as smooth as flowing fluid.

Keep in mind: the Airport Metro Express is presently operational only from Terminal 3.

Travelling between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 :

If your flight arrives at Terminal 1 and you have to take train from NDLS Railway Station for your ongoing journey, you must know certain things to make sure you have less hiccups between travels when you are running short of time.

1.       Come out of terminal 1 and board Airport Shuttle which runs every 20 minutes between terminal 1 and terminal 3.

Bus Charge per person: 25 Rupees

Time it takes between the terminals: 15 minutes

2.       Once you reach terminal 3, walk down the ramp to enter metro station. Buy a ticket for Delhi Railway station (NDLS). Airport metro express starts from Platform 2. Enjoy your journey till you reach Delhi Railway Station (NDLS).

Airport Metro Express Ticket Charge per person: 80 Rupees

Time for the journey: 15 minutes (approx)

3.       Once you are in NDLS Station, you are good to go to the platform your train is scheduled to depart.

This whole journey should not take more than 30 minutes to move from Terminal 1 to NDLS Railway Station via Terminal 3, trespassing all the city traffic thanks to the Airport Metro Express.

Some interesting worth mentioning moments I experienced during travel:

a.       There’s an underground tunnel from Metro Station that opens up to Delhi Railway Station (NDLS). Before you walk up to see the sky, you’ll come across “Hot n Chillz” outlet selling ready to eat junk stuff/food items for the travelers. A must if you want to munch while on the move. It’s cheap and yummy!!!

b.      If you are ahead of time and want to relax and kill time, do not plan to go to Mustards Café (right opposite to NDLS Railway Station). A complete waste of money. Food served is cold and undercooked. My advice: Better sit on the waiting chair inside the station than crib on the idea of how worthless it was @ Mustards Café.

Just the opposite way to commute, if you are travelling first by train and planning to take flight from either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3.

Airport Shuttle service operates from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 as well at the same cost and frequency.

So, if you are here and reading this post, I wish you a pleasant journey while travelling to or from Delhi

Metro Map :

Metro Route

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