Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Missed the train by a minute

I have heard of the saying "If you want to know the value of a minute ask a person who has missed a train by a minute".

And that came true to me yesterday..

I was retruning from Bombay back to Hyderabad. Had a confirmed ticket on 1019 Konark Express boarding from Kalyan at 4.05 pm. My parents stay at Hiranandani Gardens and the nearest local train station is Kanjur Marg. So as usual I reached Kanjur station at 2.46 (yes, in Bombay train-life this to-the-minute precision is needed when you say the time).

As soon I got into the platform, there was already a train for kalyan(2.46 train). I could see the driver whistle and decided to leave this train as there was not enough time for me to get inside with my bag. I could have managed to get into, but I thought anyway there will be train in next 5 minutes, and it takes only 35 minutes to reach kalyan, So why take risk?

That local train to kalyan left at 2.46. Was glancing at the digital display which immediately shows the next train time, which I expected to be some time within the next 10 minutes. Thats how it works in Bombay.

But it did not show any time for the next 2-3 minutes. Then came an announcement "Due to some technical reasons 2.56 local for Ambarnath, 3.03 local for Asalgoan are cancelled." Both these trains go to Kalyan. Gone Me.. I thought.

Then I could see the next train in the sign board. It said 3.12 local for Kalyan. Then I started calculating. 3.12 + max 40 minutes, which means I would reach Kalyan by 3.52. Still have another 13 minutes for my train...

Time passed and it was 3.08pm. And I could hear the next announcement "The 3.12 local for Kalyan is running late by 15-20 minutes and is extended till Asalgoan"!!!

GONE.... I THOUGHT... And if there are no trains in Bombay for 30 minutes you cant even imagine of getting into the next train.. If you are not a experienced-regular goer. I cant even imagine of going in an auto as that would defenitely take more than an hour and have to change 2-3 autos. I was in Bombay district and have to cross Thane district to reach Kalyan district.

Finally the train came at 3.30. The crowd was a must-see. It was awesome. For a second, the only thing I could think was "Where the hell are so many people going on a Sunday afternoon, and that too when an India-Pakistan match is going on?"

I somehow managed to insert one of my legs into the train and get a place to hold my one hand to. I also managed to lend my foot (the foot which was inside the train) to another guy so that he could keep his one foot onto mine and thereby find a place into the train.

I dont know what happened the next 40 minutes. Probably there were too many things going through my little mind. Apart from the thoughts of missing my train, there were much serious issues to think off, during that 40 minute journey. Issues like the possibilities of a stampede in that too-over crowded local.

Finally I reached Kalyan at 4.15 and I could see my Hyderabad train's last bogie leaving the station. And Iam not Shahrukh Khan or Salman Khan to run, jump, fly and catch that train. So had to see my train go without me..
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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in Me

Last week had been a major breakthrough in my bachelor life.. (Ohh NO! I know what's going through your mind now... But NO... not that...). My dependency on restaurants and mess for food got reduced ....

Yes. I started cooking. Cooking for awesome taste.. Cooking for fun...

But not looking at those funny recipe books, but from my own ideas of making good, tasty food.
Also not using any of those ready-to-eats like MTR or ITC or Maggi... Me starting from the grains and vegetables in raw.

Last night I prepared Rasam. But the crucial mistake I did was that I forgot to put the rasam powder and tamarind water. Since I added some tomatos, and mirchi powder I almost got the color. But only when i started eating that, did I realize that I forgot to put the most basic ingredient for Rasam. The end product was only hot water with tomatos. A critical bug...
But it was so late and even I was so hungry that I was not in any mood to apply any patch to the product. So I decided to have fixes only in next version. Again you learn only from mistakes... Thats part of any product developemt lifecycle.

But Iam sure the my net living cost would defenitely increase only.. as while the entire cooking process my phone is busy taking some mission critical tips from my Mom.

As part of our strategy, today also I decide to go home and cook.

But believe me, it just takes 20-30 minutes to make a decent meal. And another 10 minutes to wash the vessels.. So another mystery. What do women do all the time in kitchen?

OK. Time to have some strategic planning session on what to prepare today. Resource estimation - of time and raw materials is part of this planning. After the plan is ready, I need to acquire the needed resources. The raw materials like these vegetables have to be processed. That needs another 5-10 minutes. And then the most important part of it is optimal production. Have to come out with an out-of-the-box plan on how much to prepare. Or else the disposal of left-overs is another major issue. Especially if you dont have a refrigerator.

Anyway I still dont understand why women spend so much time in kitchen. Strategic Cooking...

It's actually good. Previously I had nothing to do after going home. Read Newspaper and sleep.. Again I remind you:- No girls for me... Only hobby was exploring places. And I dont find time for that on weekdays.

Believe me, it's better than having a girl. You learn, you mind is relaxed, you get a hobby(safe-hobby as against girling . Girlsing is even more dangerous) , effective spending of time, can cook new dishes each day(as against girling), above all cost effective mode of entertainment(again as against girling).

Bye me leaving to cook.. So there evolves a new Sanjeev Kapoor in Me.


1. If any of you body-shoppers from Taj, Welcomegroup, The Park etc etc are reading this, and making strategic plans to leverage my talents in your processes - Sorry. Right-Sizing not happening in my company.

2. Girls who are reading this, dont get into a misconception that I always want be single. The above lines on criticizing girling were only to console myself. So Iam open to you.
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