Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Candy Chillar

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This is beginning to annoy me a great deal...

The guys who collect toll money at the Aarey Check Naka (off Western Express Highway, Goregaon East) have started dispensing candy when they are short by one rupee in change. The toll for rickshaws entering the colony is Rs. 7. So if you give the chap a tenner, you will get back a receipt with a two-rupee coin and a Parle Melody (a childhood favourite, by the way).

While this business of giving candy instead of chillar (change) is a common practice (at least) in Bombay's mom-and-pop stores, why do I feel cheated when the toll guys do it?



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So @MissMalini ran a Twitter contest for Tigre Blanc Vodka sometime ago where she tweeted:
As with most things on the internet, I tweeted my reply to her and forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise when she announced me as one of the winners. :)

I received the hamper a few days ago and you know what? Hands down, this has got to be the most awesome-looking prize I have ever won. Thanks, Malini and Tigre Blanc!



Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Tuesday Trial

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This is what our trains should be. EMPTY!
So, this morning, I left at 7.45 AM to drop my kid sister E to NM College for her tutorial classes farewell party which was supposed to start at  8.30 AM!!! (I've heard of after-parties that go on till the wee hours of the morning. But who the heck starts a party, even for kids, at that hour?) We took a rickshaw directly and I dropped her and her classmate there, and took the same rickshaw to Ville Parle station nearby to board a train to Goregaon towards my workplace.

As I was climbing down the stairs to the platform, I noticed a small crowd forming in the middle of the stairs. An elderly man lay flat on the floor and apparently he had had a heart attack. There were quite a few people around him trying to revive him, and honestly I don't know how I could help. So I did the best thing I could: not crowd the stairs like everyone else. I think they called the station master and all that. But he was unconscious.

While waiting for the train, a lady walked up to where we were standing and told her friend about the man. I overheard at that time that it was probably a heart attack. And that he didn't have a cell phone or any ID on him. I overheard this, so no idea how true it was. I had barely slept the night before so all this was just adding to my brain getting fried.

The train arrived and I kept thinking about the man, so I tweeted about the incident saying this had happened and for more details, people can contact the station master.

To distract myself, I started reading the entertaining WhatsApp conversation from last night with Lo... and then realised all of a sudden - since I usually board from Santacruz (and that has been a long time ago anyway) - I missed getting off at Goregaon, and ended up two stations ahead - at Kandivali - much to my horror!

This was THE peak hour!

I quickly crossed over the railway bridge hoping no TC would catch me. My train pass was only till Goregaon. And I even thought I should just go to the East and take a rickshaw. But I thought "what a waste of money!" (why doesn't this thought occur everyday when I spend so much?) and the fact that I was still quite early convinced me to get my ticket coupons (I keep a booklet with me) punched, so I could travel without any issues.

Went back to the platform for Churchgate trains. Opposite direction. Took a deep breath and then forgot to breathe seeing the first train that arrived. PACKED to the rafters and beyond!

I think I stood by and watched for a good 10 minutes... let 4-5 trains go by in the process while scratching my head wondering how do people do it! Every day!

Even the freakin' Andheri Slow was packed. People were hanging out. I was told later by the Borivali boys in my office that it starts from Virar, hence jam-packed. The First Class compartments were worse. Finally, a relatively emptier Churchgate Fast arrived from Borivali. Got in. And managed to get off at Goregaon in one piece. Phew!

Thankfully, the office bus was delayed but I would have just about made it anyway. So thank heavens I didn't spend a bomb on that part of the commute. Yes, rickshaw fares now in Mumbai make you really poor.

But yes, that  morning incident at Ville Parle station got me thinking. I need to enroll in a first aid course.


PS: Please excuse the excessive exclamation marks. Just been that kinda day!

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