My tryst with Bengaluru Volvo Buses

Cauvery Neeru

 Kingfisher Beeru

Bengaluru !!!“

Apart from the above, the combination of an incredibly smooth engine, insanely sharp brakes and expensive tickets have become a emotional part of my mundane life here. My tryst with Volvo Buses everyday.

Every 5 minutes you’ll find one(Oh good news), Nevertheless every minute it’ll be full(Happiness is short lived fellas). Nothing ironical there. Every Indian can comprehend that.

OK. I started travelling by these wagons since they are fast, smooth and kind of takes you away from the extremely dusty outer ring road. Oh you are welcome to the garden city. And you don’t just travel in it. You you’ve got to survive in it. So the very first day with the imperative white collar I took this speedo at 10 30 AM in the morning. It was full. Ok I tried it at 9 30 sometime. It was full. 7 15 bravo for guessing. Full again. I gave up. And standing in these buses is a pain in the wrong side. Maruthi and Hyundai must learn from the technology of braking that is being used here. And the marriage between an extremely quick engine and feather sharp brakes gives birth to pain for everyone in the bus especially for standees in particular, except for the driver. And to aid to the pain they have these moving handles to hold on to. You can see people dancing to the tune of traffic . Lol !!!

Ok I had my share of embarrassing moments in this cake. And I learnt to survive without a red face inside the red bus. So guys the below is the algorithm for any newbie here.

Rule no 1 : You’ve committed a mortal sin if you decide to take the next bus.

The first bus that stood in my stop was full. But it atleast stood since the next two whisked past. Neverthelless the first one stood cos some one had to get down. Early man catches the bus(sense?).

Rule no 2: Open your mouth wide and smile (Refrained from the using the usual Julia Roberts smile phrase)like you’ve never done before if you get to sit during peak traffic.

No explanation needed here.

Rule no 3: Never choose to stand in the common area(Men only):

Ok. Now this is really important. Men are only allowed to take the center door. May be since it opens real wide for the Information Technology tummies. Anyway so the moment you get in take your right and then just hit the upper deck.

1.Since it is comparatively easy to hold on there.

2.People might get out so you can grab you seat (Refer to rule no 5)

3.The roof is near to your head so you can think straight (alright thats shitty)

Rule no 4: Never ever sit in the lowest deck in the middle portion of the bus.

Ok. This is one place for which you can trade to stand. Since

1.You are facing the door and your eye sight is perpendicular to the movement of the bus. So you cant watch outside. Only if you willing to end up with an headache due to fast moving objects.

2.Every one standing in the stop looks at your pathetic posture when the door opens.

3.And this is important. You are in light of sight to the tummies and the not so good portion of the human design. Various sizes and Various shapes. And one in 5 are put up to gastric problems You know what I mean.

4.You ll be forced to turn and sit since your legs are protruding in the standing space. You end up with back ache.

5.The only option is for you to sit in a posture similar to indian women during the bride watching ceremony(whatever that you call it)

6.You end up watching the legs of men. Atleast pedicured legs would have been a good option. But women are miles away from where you sit.

Rule no 5: Look for signs from fellow passengers.

If you are standing in the upper deck, look for Manoj Night Shymalan’s Signs. Yeah just signs.

1.Most of them are listening to their pride of a life time. The Ipod. I dont know whats with music(lol !!!). So their hands going on their ears to remove the plugs. That’s a bloody sign. Just approach them like you are going to start groping.

2.If they are rubbing their nose. Thats it. It means there is an itch on their nostrils. Go look for yourselves. Not much signs from my side.

Rule no 6: Test the tenacity of the forearm muscle if you are standing.

All those flamboyant muscles can be put to test fellas if you are forced to stand in the common area.

Rule no 7: Standing posture to avoid the accident between two tummies.

OK. Now this is really tricky. If you are by god knows what you have done in the past, forced to stand in the common area, follow these

1.Never stand facing the driver. Cos when he brakes, both feet are in the same position and you will have to give the full effort to your arms.

2.Now try standing facing the door. So if you move you can stress your left foot and balance your self.

3.But if your determined to fall in love by literally jumping over a girl then…

Rule no 8: Pls give your seat to a real good oldie and not to the inevitable(Depends on the intensity of the charm).

No seriously, I pity the oldies who are standing.

So these are what that I observed and have been following in my tryst with the

Cauvery Neeru

Kingfisher Beeru

Bengaluru and Volvo gaaru!!!“

PS: Pardon me if you have spent time in reading the above since its been a long time since I’ve written some thing sane. Actually its never been sane.

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You just did it for one day !!!

You just did it for one day !!!

Man proposes, God disposes !!!

When in water nothing comes to my mind except for the sound of my hand hitting it and the pain in your tirelessly pedaling legs. Yes I came out from my house, took my bike and my swimming gear and jumped in it to mark the ending of all that I was going through!

Some 2 months back.

                   Yes I was sitting warming the benches at a concern where every minute seemed an eternity. I was not waiting endlessly for one golden opportunity, rather a one that’s made of the cheapest metal on earth to get out of there.

                    Well I landed in an offer albeit in another city which I seriously wanted to do since I was bullied at home for marriage.

                                                                                         In the meanwhile, I being a spendthrift on depreciating stuff (well the term spendthrift applies only to depreciating assets) my parents were on a look out to lock me down on the same. So they wanted me to get an apartment on my own to which I’ll be the last person on earth to abide by. Nevertheless I loved the idea of owning a land for myself to have it molded in whatever way I want it to be. MOU signed between me and my parents. So went ahead and booked a piece of land on earth. Boy this side of the earth is terribly expensive. Gave them a cheque of one lump some amount which accounted to all my savings. And the rest was loan. I was broke.

                                                I put down my papers on November 1st.  Hopefully was dreaming of getting released by Jan 1st or before December 30th and was eagerly expecting the November salary. And since I was broke I had to borrow some dough and I had a terrible time hunting for the same.

My sister was pregnant and she decided to have the baby delivered in Madras at our home. She was due on December 28th.

My future employer agreed to Jan 16th 2012 as the joining date. I was so happy back then.

The plan was:

  1. To serve notice till December end.
  2. Assist my sister and her 3 year old kid till the baby gets delivered.
  3. Travel to Kerala alone for 15 days which I’ve been longing to do.
  4. Join my new employer.

My predicaments:

  1. My car insurance was due.
  2. Christmas was coming. And Christmas means shopping.
  3. I had to return the dough that I borrowed using my November salary.

And here I am sitting in Bangalore at a friend’s place rambling already. The rest is yet to be drafted.

                                                                                                                                — to be continued

Heights !

Life is a climb, nevertheless the view is great !

There are certain moments when I start getting massive rush of thoughts insanely versatile in meaning, very disconnected yet the emotion it gives is out of this world. It would seem like “some eternal entity” sees the world through your eyes for a few seconds and you wont understand a thing from it. It would seem like an art with insane patterns in it, and yet looking beautiful to the eyes of “the” artist.

This sudden rush of thoughts gives me a f*king high and it actually happens when I am high. High from high. So far the moments have been associated with soulful music, soulful writing, and the inevitable alcohol. This weekend the list saw a new addition. It was heights and the views they bring along.

So after a bloody long time I decided to take a trip. Actually it fell into place for me. A group of 5 hitCoimbatorefor some personal work after which we were supposed to travel. We hit the streets ofCoimbatoreon Saturday. With no solid plan in our kitty. Nevertheless it was actually fun traveling carelessly. Being travelers by chance, the options peeping out where Masinagudi, Nelliyampatty and the queen of hills. With two days in our money/work driven lives we had time for just one location and it was Nelliyampatty that won the war. I wanted to take this hill since 2007 after I read a very expressive blog about the place.

So Nelliyampatty is a hill station stationed at 60 kms from Palakad. That line is what I am going to talk as far as the geographies and the travelogues are concerned. We traveled by public transport and public transport alone and I was cursed for the same since it was my idea. So half way from palakad I started peeping all the way, all the sides exploiting the capacity of my neck to get a glimpse of the mountain. So what a sight that was to look at her standing tall wearing an outfit woven with threads of fog and mist. Both mountains and women are best viewed with something covering them at places making them appear mysterious and desirable. No offence meant. Hitherto it was beautiful.

After negotiating several hair pin bends and some expert driving(by the bus driver) we crashed into a resort and were game for sightseeing. This place is deserted and it is deserted. There were actually 50 tourists in the whole range I would say. If you want to sit staring at endless horizons and take a dip in deserted water falls this is the place . A weekend get away for nearby cities.

There are so many emotions one’s soul gives out when one travels. There are may be many ways to recollect them. I tend to do it this way. I make it a point to listen to music and new ones which will sub consciously store the emotions in the music that you hear. So whenever you listen to the same music again elsewhere anywhere I tend to get to recollect the same emotion through images. So music serves as a reference point. Same is the case with fragrance. That is the reason I have the habit of storing my deo’s and they occupy a lot of space in my alamary(wardrobe would have been vetti scene). So it was rockstar, an upcoming Hindi flick with the invincible A R Rahman’s work of art in it.

Kesavanpara

So the first sight was a view point named KesavanPara where we sat staring at the horizon overlooking a beautiful reservoir built during the 18th century. The descent was a gradual one and finally touched base with a place called Nenmara. Sat there is silence for 15 mins. Looks like we could have done it for hours together.

The second one was a waterfall and had one helluva time there swimming in bone chilling water. The water here eventually leads to Chalakudi and the mighty Athirampally.

The third one was a place which needed expert driving and desi vehicles. The place is conquered by the one and only Mahindra Jeeps. Not even the Pajeros and the Boleros. And the road led to kailash para with a breathtaking view of Parambikulam Tiger reserve accompanied by the mighty breeze. The breeze was worth mentioning here due to this incident. We spotted a bird who was trying to be stationary at air resisting the force of the breeze and was having good fun directly above us. We were enjoying watching him enjoying his solitude. But eventually it was due the universal macho instinct which is part of the wooing process. It was actually a display of his skills to his soul mate and they flew away happily. Seems like he succeeded. How easy in birds. I envy them!

But the wind hitting your forehead, the sight of a lush green peak standing on both sides of your standpoint partially covered in mist and the endless forest in plain land below your feet takes you and your thoughts billions of light years away from your world filled with worries, despair, lost hopes and brings back you and your thoughts empty and clean in a billionth of a second. These minute travels gives me those insane rush of thoughts. It is simply outstanding.

The best was reserved for the last. The place is called Seetharkundu. This place is the suicidal point as called by the locals. It is. It is a sudden rise of 1500 feet above sea level from the plain grounds. We reached there by 6 pm or so. I am switching the song that is currently playing in my ears from Rockstar to a beautiful song called Javeda Zindagi from Anwar. So we reached this point and were welcomed by a group of youngsters like us (Youth aama) enjoying the view as well. They were playing this song. I couldn’t resist myself and asked them the name of the song. It is indeed beautiful.

The place was lit with dull orange sunlight and with distant domestic lights starting to glow in the plain lands one by one, it looked stupendous. The place didn’t have any breeze. All it had was a 1500 feet deep fall and dead silence. Gave me the creeps and sat the end losing the focus of my eyes to the horizon. It was then that this song was being played. It was the first time I was listening to it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. The voice was incredible and added to the dead silence in the view point digging your soul further.

Apparently it did dig a little further and brought about a scene from a movie called TRADE. It was bloody similar to a peak from which a girl jumps who had been subject to intense prostitution. I couldn’t imagine the depression she would have had to take the decision in a split second since I was there imagining the fall. The scene is the best scene in the movie and it would be life changing for the villain who watches her die 2 feet away. It is a very emotional one. See it for yourself.

So we took some nice 2 hr walk in the hill the next day in the morning. You can keep walking here since it is very desolated and you’ll lose yourself in the greenery.

The places we missed are

1. Manapara which has the best view in SouthIndia but it is blocked by forest officals.

2. Seethargundu water falls which has a 1000 feet water fall.

Indeed it was a very refreshing for me and the gang. We will visit again.

Do visit Nelliyampatty for it sheer scenic view points and its virginity.

Confusion !!

I am terribly confused.

 “Man a social animal versus living a recluse”

 “Hope is a good thing and no good thing ever dies”

 Yes I was the Andy crawling out of one of many depressing moments of my life. No I  didn’t crawl out of a pile of shit as he did and tear my shirt off in a feeling of ecstasy. A week more and I would have ended up tearing my shirt and running out of my office premises.

 My Onsite Manager is on Vacation !!!

 So some one has to backup offshore.

 So far so good.

 Back him up at onsite timings.

 And that meant Night shift !!!

 Everyone team member took their respective turn and I am at mine now.

  It was depressing, insanely depressing. I come from a family where I enjoy sleep be it at any point of time especially the golden time period of 10 pm to 7 am. And it was the exact timing I was expected to warm the benches at office.

 

                     Nevertheless lack of sleep was not the depressing factor, the following is.

 I sit in a floor where there can be atleast 500 seated.

But now I sit alone in the whole floor. It is the single most depressing factor. Loneliness

 The cubicals, the cafeteria, the reception, the washroom(Actually this is nice), the roads(only men seen around) are all desolated when I come in and leave office.

It was only silence, no voices, no laughter, no eye contacts, no smiling, no wishing, no nothing. I certainly know that adds to the definition of a Zombie life. Without any form of human connectivity, or for that matter any living thing, it was insanely depressing. Now possibly one can imagine me tearing my shirt out once this period is over.

 

As usual a junkyard of confusing entities always make a constant presence in my brain. One among them was this “Man is a social animal” thing.

Drawing inspirations from Thoreau, JD Salinger, and several other recluses in and around the globe who added fuel to the burning confusion that man may not be a social animal always, I was not at all in a balance. Hitherto after this incident, I am stuck to the obvious. Exceptions are no examples.

 But. Ah Ah there is always a but !!!

 

I knew I had to pass this test of time through. So I did the following

 

  1. I made it a point to talk to 2 or more strangers in a day.

           Car drivers, Early morning tea vendors, Attending boys/girls in the grocery stores. It was some stuff of common platform to both sides. 

  1. I took different routes every day to office. Driving at 11 pm in mount road was a breeze. I had to see different routes to save my mind from boredom.
  2. Did some night photography outside office premises.

 So I did all in all to keep myself active and started experimenting myself. So that brought a new angle of confusion to my temporarily stable mind.

 So there goes my balance. I am terribly confused again !!

Knots – Part 3

Mohan is glad someone picked the call. The voice comes from a girl who sounds like she is on her early twenties.

Mohan: Hello.

The girl recognizes the number and begins to show excitement in her voice without the patience of the expertise to differentiate between Arjun’s voice and the new voice..

Other Side: Arjun? So you have decided to invest in our company?

Mohan comes to know that the victim’s name is Arjun finally.

Mohan reveals his identity telling her that he is the local inspector speaking

The girl gets terrified to have got a call from the local inspector briefing her of a position she is unable to fathom. Inspector understands her inability and slowly explains everything.

Mohan : Your good name please miss?(Miss was just a guess from the teeny voice on the other side)

Girl : Zara sir.

Mohan: Ok Zara. I can see a call that originated from your phone at 4 pm today to the mobile I am using right now. And Arjun has met…

Mohan: By the way how do you know Arjun?

Zara is always high-spirited and believed in herself that one day she would break the clutches of money and follow her passion by making an exit from the telemarketing job that she’s unwillingly into for the past one week. It was a tough call to survive in the industry where people seemed to slog completely for the one reason called money. In her past one week she never found anyone who landed here willingly and since the crowd were always towards money it was a horrible field where the players were competing for the cup made up of appraisal, designation and self obsessed entities.

Blessed with the quality of a unique observation Zara was able to imbibe the situation in the very first week. She finally came to the conclusion that she has to hit the sea being a ship and she very well knows that is going to witness a perfect storm in the beginning.

Now each employee has his/her own targets in terms of the number of calls made. With this as the base , the number of successful calls gives one credit further. So apart from money the next desirable cup was made of telephone numbers. You get your own list of mobile numbers from your boss. But every one has their own way of getting more than that to win the race. So the task of getting additional phone numbers was a breeding ground for creativity. Zara also found her unique way of doing that.

The day of accident.

So she heads for her office in the morning. She has a direct bus plying to her workplace. But she stops midway and goes to a store. The store is filled with mobile and its related accessories. It is obviously a good business for a store to give the service of mobile connections along with a purchase of a mobile. So all in all everything related to mobile was the store made of. The relationship between Zara and the store is a web of nested connections. The owner agreed to provide Zara with the new numbers once he gets a new connection provided she pushes his son’s resume to the contact she establishes with her client. She gets a couple of numbers and leaves. She makes sure she gets the new numbers first since the probability of making it a successful call is high.

Zara reaches the office as usual with loads of energy. She is a highly enthusiastic one at the same time a one who can also be let down easily by a sight of a beggar on road. She starts her calling routine. After a couple of hours she is  fed up with calls with emotions of anger, anger and anger on the other side. She has always had the patience in hearing the other side giving mixed responses. Some may talk in a completely neglected manner, some in an angry tone, some in a funny tone asking her details to get a hang on her, some may even cut the call hearing her voice, some calls go unanswered. But today was a disaster with calls ending up with angry clients only. She gets a call from her mobile store agent giving her a couple of numbers. She reluctantly tries it out. And it is Arjun.

To add fuel to her already burning position the call is dominated by the honks and barring engine sound. She loses her cool and decides to cut the call since her previous experiences today were completely depressing. To her surprise ..

Arjun: Could you wait for a couple of seconds (In a high-pitched voice trying desperately to send his voice across)

With a sigh of relief she holds on.

We go back to the stop Arjun made while leaving from the tea shop before heading to Avinashi Road.

Arjun takes a left from his path to stop his vehicle and answers back

The single call:

The conversation goes on for certain investment plan. Arjun patiently answers the call respecting the fact that it is a human being on the other side of the call. Although he is least interested in the plan that she was talking about his voice behaves decently. Zara also doesn’t over do it unlike the regular callers. Sensing her discipline and her desperation Arjun promises he’ll get back to her with  atleast certain worthy contacts. It is an everyday talk to a fellow human being for Arjun. He doesn’t know the fact that this single call bundled with simple compassion made a day for Zara. It was a big sigh of relief for her which brings in the required oxygen for the rest of the day or for even weeks she thinks. She feels complacent and walks out to get some fresh air with her head held high. Couple of hours passed by with the same enthusiasm.

Present:

Zara returns to her desk from dinner and watches her tiny dial which reminds her that it is time to leave. While she decides to leave she gets a call from Arjun’s mobile.

Mohan calls her from the hospital.

(The continuation of the call between Mohan and Zara)

Mohan: How do you know Arjun?

Zara explains everything.

Mohan understands everything and tells her that he will come to her promises to take her statement. Zara agrees and both cut the call.

Zara sits back and reflects on everything. She decides to leave the office premises and wait outside since it is closing time for her. After a lot of reflection for god knows what she calls Mohan back and tells him that she will come to the hospital premises to meet him. Mohan confusingly agrees. During the travel she comes to understand that she has to do something more than what she is doing now for the one caller who made her day. She nears the hospital

— to be finished

Knots – Part 2

…continued

They are right in front of each other. Nevertheless the chances of a head on collision or for that matter a collision is not on the cards since they are about some 200 yards away from each other.

Decorated with stones and small boulders, the other wise beautiful road lost its glamour to the lunatics of modern world. The driver in the event of trying to switch his brain’s attention to the road from the terrible pain, goes over a big boulder and gains control to everyone’s surprise in the jeep. Hitherto the boulder gives a massive hit at the gear box underneath the body which results in the gear box leaking oil. Having gained control over the vehicle the driver hits the gas to get out of there. With a motive of escaping the rage of the protestors Arjun steadily increases his acceleration. He knows his style and is pretty confident while driving. Nevertheless nothing is in his hands since the chemistry between the thick liquid and the rubber is always undesirable. Many urban roadsters lack the eye to differentiate between the water and oil on road since mostly both wear the same black mask with the latter having a vibgyor mask at times when it comes in contact with the sun. Arjun is no exception. He goes over the oil laden path. The bike looses its grip and Arjun goes scathing towards the median in a speed which is capable of splitting his skull. And it does. A tight jeans and a rocky boot saves the respective portions from major damage, with lengthy scratches in his right arm exposing his blood laden flesh. In the impact he parts his bike with a good distance between each other. The tight jeans had its share of not only saving his legs from getting scraped in the hot tar but also holds his cell phone tight with the head of the purse peeping outside.

Fate has its climax now.

The bike lies near the oil laden path and leaks petrol out. Petrol flamed bottles help fate achieve its orgasm. The bike catches fire and looks even more pleasing to the eyes of the agitators and the ever duty conscious photo journalists. The purse peeping out is an eye catching sight in India. It has a new owner now. Before the cell phone could be abducted, the crowd pulls in and Arjun is taken to the hospital.

Its 8 pm the same evening

It took some time for the newly appointed inspector Mohan to differentiate between the agitators and the accident in the hospital. Having done the necessary formalities that was required on the spot, he reaches the hospital. The usual doctor, police fight happens on issues of reporting late and what could be done to find the victim’s care takers. Mohan patiently answers everything and explains to the doctor that the only evidence on the spot was the bike and it is not even in a state of identification. Efforts were on in finding the chasis number since the number plate was out of numbers. He was cursing the youngsters for sticking the numbers rather than painting them. The doctor seemed to be in no mood to hear the cries of Mohan. He decides to leave and turns back saying something that brought back a sigh of relief to Mohan. It’s the CELL PHONE that was stuck to Arjun’s pants.

Mohan gets the cellphone and tries to get some information about Arjun in it. However Mohan’s enthusiasm comes to a halt when he realizes the fact that it is a new SIM card and has no contacts in it. However there is one call in the received calls section. Mohan goes for it. It goes unanswered. The next second Mohan tries to contact the subscriber and using his authority tries to get the owner’s address. To his dismay and to Arjun’s, the address proof has not reached the subscriber since it was bought earlier that day. Mohan is eshausted. Going by his instincts he calls the number again and at the 8’th ring the caller picks. 

Arjun is in no man’s land with fate catching up fast.

The whole identity of Arjun lies in that one call in his cell phone unless and until some one gives a complaint for a missing person. Nevertheless there is no one to take care of him tonight in the hospital premises. The million dollar question of who answered the call, who gave him the call,and who got his number since it is a brand new number will all be answered in the coming part.