Monday, December 27, 2010

Mandala pooja at Lord Aiyappa temple, Anant Nagar

Vehicles are running on the road, spreading dust, making noise, with feeble sound of iron heard from the surroundings. The man wearing spectacles is cleaning the lamp that is among the others arranged in a row. Amma and Anjali are preparing the thread to place in the lamp. There are few women who are helping them in this work done as a part of devotion for the lord. The door has goddess Lakshmi emblazoned, and a huge kodimaram could be seen few feet in its front. I can feel the smell of roses that are decorated at the base of the lamps. We are at the Aiyappa swami temple in Anant nagar, Nagpur on occasion of Mandala pooja. Amma said that she wishes to stay a complete day in the temple and serve the god in helping others arrange for the Mandala pooja celebrations. I have dedicated 3 weeks for my parents and this day at temple is part of Amma's wish.

I saw my aunt, grandmother and uncle at the temple. It has been a year since we met and most of them have aged. This grandmother is the sister of my Grandfather (My Fathers Father) and she lives with her daughter in Nagpur. Women were sitting on the veranda and when we went towards them the grandmother asked a women sitting beside her to get up indicating my sister to sit. The woman’s face was worth watching. There were girls on one side of the temple. Nagpur’s new generation malayalees no longer resemble the south Indians and I can hardly compare them against any Keralite with most of them speaking broken Malayalam words. I bet I am not going to marry any girl here, and if there’s a choice why not to try a north Indian :)

The entrance to the temple has gone big, constructed 100 times higher than the highest man in India. It has three golden tomb shaped structures at the top that are gold plated. It is 4.30 pm and people started pouring oil into the small lamps around the temple. I also helped them and saw some women joining the group. I understand it is time to leave working and start managing. I started to help them understand how oil is to be poured and how the cotton should be placed ;)

We need to wait until 6.30 pm for the celebrations to begin. Amma says that people will start to enter after 5 pm but I expect no colorful miracles that could keep me engaged. (swamiye saranam aiyappa) :) I have never waited so long in temple and I do not believe that it is a women's job. Although it is no fun but it is ... Yes kind of boring, except the times when people are there. We managed the boring time with few cups of coffee to keep us awake. I am busy writing this article on my mobile while amma and others are placing the cotton inside the oil poured in the lamps.

By 6 Pm people started to come and soon the temple was open for the pooja. We joined the queue and were soon able to see the lord. By 6.30 Pm we left the temple for the home.

This day 12/27/2010, Monday was spent in Lord Aiyappa’s temple. “Swamiye sharanam aiyappa”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hitting hard on the Cerebellum – Finding hidden treasures

I was feeling cool air on the face and I gather the woolen sheet to cover my head. It is cold outside and to get up in the morning is like asking you to appear for history exam. Amma woke me up with a long thin stick, hitting me hard on the legs. I suddenly jumped from the bed and saw her pointing her finger towards the bathroom “go and get ready for the school”. I managed to fix my legs on the floor and walked towards the stand where my toothbrush was kept. Half sleeping, I applied the free flowing Colgate toothpaste on my shining teeth and begin to rotate the brush up and down like the advertisement on doordarshan. Amma placed the vessel with hot water and soon I was ready to comb my hairs. While I started to eat the breakfast, comes a sound “Abhilesh”…it was the “autowala bhaiya” who was shouting from outside. I can forgive the fact that he does not pronounce my name, but not for the breakfast that I had to leave on his call. He hanged by bag and basket on an iron hook attached to his auto where the other bags and lunch baskets were placed. Waving the hands to Amma and listening to her all time dialogues “bye, take care... may god bless you”, I sit at the back seat of the auto.

I was studying in Modern school located at civil lines, Nagpur and it took almost an hour for the auto to reach there. The auto driver was a wise man and he stuffed children like the vegetables in sandwich prepared by Hardik’s mother. We used to play antakshari and sing songs on the way. I can hardly remember everything but there used to be a lot of Auto’s gathered in front of the school. Our uniform was sky blue shirt and gray half pants with no tie like the American adopted schools. Students gathered on the school ground with the sound that came from the loud speaker. Then started the morning prayers and as it finished we moved to the classes.

I was always waiting for the lunch bells to ring so I could rush to the playground to play with friends. It was not an electric bell but an iron plate hit with a wooden stick. Children used to skate on the ground and some were busy skipping with their ropes. We used to hit each other with a ball where one had to hit others from a fixed position and the one who receives the ball continues. There were yoga periods where all gathered and it was all fun. I think it were on the Saturdays when we wore white shirt, white trousers and white canvas shoes. The principal was Neeru Kapai and I remember her broad signature on the blue mark sheets provided on parents teachers meet.

The sports day was nearing and we were taken to the ground for PT (Personal Training) with the left-right marching, headed by a girl/ boy holding flags representing four different house. I think I was in Ruby team and also participated in dance, running competitions. I remember we were taken to the ground and it was a one day event and my friend who was unable to stop his stomach irritations destroyed the pants and the ground. I don’t memorize his name but that incident often comes in mind.

There were two optional subjects, kathak and tabla and I opt for kathak with feet hitting hard on the ground “tha thi thai, thak thi thai”. I don’t know why I selected kathak, might be some of the friends were in the group. It has nothing to do with the girls ;)

I am at Nagpur for the vacations and happened to find the old school photograph hidden inside an album. I posted it on facebook and found a lot of friends who were with me when I was in fourth. Most of them are married and some have kids. It was great to see them all and I never thought it would be possible. Some of them resemble the old faces but most of them have changed a lot, tall, big physique.

The vacations would last until 31st and I think I could discover many nostalgic gems.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Storm entering Wayanad - Red Alert citizens

Note: Apologies to those whose messages were not answered and to them whose works were not appreciated. I was ill and could not be online.

A click on the black button, and it started singing. Further, an increase in the volume experienced when Gopu pressed the plus sign. There were shouts and taunts following the voices emitted from the speakers placed at the rear of the red-coloured Chevrolet Tavera. Yes, we were enjoying the trip to Wayanad, which will last three days. The vehicle was moving valiantly surpassing the miracles created by the experienced engineers of Kerala government. It was dark and music was the only option to keep us active and to talk non-stop. It was all fine until a finger waved splashing the expectations of the youth, and switching off the music system. These fingers were of Dileep who was of the opinion that he cannot concentrate on the road with music kept on for long drives. I looked angrily into his eyes and then gently forced my head to hit on the seat making me sleep as soon as possible.

Tavera on Wayanad Adventures

Slowly the light started to pierce the hairy protection in front of my eyes. It was 4 Am and we were at a petrol pump near to adivaram (the bottom of the hill leading to Wayanad). Gopu was driving the Car and he said that we would be reaching the top in less than an hour’s time. The path that leads to the top through the hills is called Thamarassery churam. Jinu says that a Tribal man who revealed it to the British discovered this path and they killed him so the credit goes to them. The soul of the tribal man caused problems to the passengers for many weeks until priests captured him in a tree. Passengers from then drop a coin in front of the tree to make their journey trouble free.

It was a day’s workout to list the important places in and outside wayanad. We prepared a plan to enjoy the tour.


1. Fresh at manathavadi
2. Tirunelli temple
3. Pakshipatalam
4. Beechanahalli dam
5. Manathavadi –Pazhassiraja
6. Kuruva island(will be skipped to Saturday if there is no time)
7. Jk – Muthangya stay( Jk arranged the stay inside the jungles)
8. Banasura sagar project


1. Kanthanpara waterfalls
2. Meenmutty waterfalls
3. Chetalayam waterfalls
4. Soochipara waterfalls
5. Karapuzha dam
6. Gopal sami petta to Mysore


If we decide to stay then:
1. Back from Mysore to pulpally kadu
2. Lakkidi

It was my third time in Wayanad and each time I enjoy the trip and get some tips for the next journey. We reached Vaithiri and headed towards Tirunelli temple as Jinu said that we would hire a room near the temple to be fresh for rest of the journey. This temple is located on a hilly region and it was not hard to find it. The streets towards the temple were filled with vehicles on either side.

We somehow managed to park our vehicle in front of a guest house.

Tirunelli temple has a small stream called “papanashini” which is believed to wash all the sins with a dip. We walked towards papanashini crossing the rocks on the way. It was a small stream with water as cool as in the fridge. According to belief, a dip has to be taken with the whole body and head inside the water. We imagined as to what could happen with a dip... my sixth sence said that it would not be a good decision to take a dip. After we take a dip, people would say “chalo... paap ke saath paapi bhi chal basa” (the sinner also died with his sins). We finally decided to do a smart work and sprinkled some water over us believing our sins are vanished or might be we will visit here next time when the water is hot. By that time, we might have accumulated plenty of sins and it would be a good experience leaving them in the stream provided the stream exists.

The entire plan was changed with multiple opinions and unnecessary assumptions. We then moved towards Kuruva Island and got the privilege to witness Deer, rabbits and wild buffaloes.

We missed track of the route and landed on Kerala Karnataka border. However, we managed to go back and reached Kuruva island. It was rainy season and the river was full with muddy water.

We had to cross a river to reach Kuruva Island. We wore the water suits and were ready to swim... but they were expecting us to move on the boat... so sad!

We crossed the river on an adventurous small boat being sailed by a man resembling Mamukoya (Mamukoya is a Malayalam comedian with his teeth competing mouth like rabbits).

(Mamukoya's clone)

We reached the island and started potraying for funny stills... hmm.. ok, I was the one who did them.

We took several group photos.

We then moved towards another ticket counter which depicted heavy amounts as entry charges. Again started assumptions and debate as there is nothing to watch ahead. We decided not to move inside and curse the Lord Indra for his Gifts before our arrival (According to Hindu mythology, Indra is the king of God’s and is believed to control rains).

Wayanad was full with rain water and the climate was not good to accommodate our expectations and plans. Rivers were seen flowing with dirty muddy water, even the small streams inside the jungles. Despite all these problems Wayanad and its beauty has no competitor.

We were badly hungry and went to manathavadi for the lunch. It is said to be the biggest hotel in Wayanad… I doubt. All have filled their stomach and were ready to have a good nap. We decided to skip the plans for today and go to Jinu’s house in Wayanad. It was located at a place called Nambiyarkunnu. The specialty of Jinu’s residence is that his house is situated in Tamil Nadu and the area from entrance until his house is in Kerala. We crossed the border gate to reach his house.

(Border gate to Jinu's house)

(Jinu's house in Wayanad)

We entered the house and it took no more than 5 minutes for all to start dreaming on bed. We woke up and were asked to move towards the dining hall. Jinu’s mother had prepared many non-veg and veg dishes and we were asked to puff our stomach with them. I had a similar experience when once we were taken to a chocolate factory from the school and were asked to collect as much as chocolates we would. Prasanth also lives nearby and we were asked to visit his house on the way. Meanwhile Jinu and his father brought a lot of vegetables grown in their farm that we could take home.

(Jinu and his family)

We reached Prasanth's house and Jk started searching for the plants he could carry home. He is fond of plant varieties and collects them from wherever he could.

Prasanth's mother helped Jk in collecting the plants.

On the next day we left for the forest and way to Gundalpetta. We stopped to see the surroundings and greenery. There were small rivers within the forest that were filled with muddy water. People travelling on the route stopped to see the flow of water inside the forest.

We reached gundalpetta and my companions had a cup of white colored coconut juice (a minute form of alcohol). We headed towards Gopal swami petta which was situated on the hill top. The journey was through a small village where people could only speak alien Kannada (a mixture of kannada, Malayalam and tamil.. that sounds like …no explanations for that). Jk was the only person to understand their language and he communicated with them through Malayalam twisting his tongue and gestures asking them the route. Someone also tried to use words like walee and engala polam... the ones heard in the Malayalam movie “taenmavin kombathu”. Jk tried and could understand some word named kovil,hingale, pinkala, manthala, naere… and he asked us to go straight.

On the way we saw a temple and stopped the vehicle to take few photographs. Children in the village gathered around us showing us their swings on the banyan tree. We also become children and tried several pranks.

(boy swinging on branch of banyan tree)

(All trying to imitate the boy)

We left the place and then started to move straight and the route took us inside fields.

(moving through the fields)

We continued the journey and finally reached a place where there was no route and the vehicle was jammed inside mud and clay. We were neither able to pull the vehicle ahead nor to reverse it. The final decision was to push the vehicle out of the mess. It was really adventurous and that was the instance I enjoyed the most. :)

A fellow traveler knew English and he asked us to go back and follow another route.

We reversed the vehicle and reached a temple gate from where another route begins. We hit the tip of the tube light and the words from the alien-language follower came into our memory “kovil”. So this was the kovil(in english Temple) from where we need to take a diversion.

We reached the hill top and were able to see the temple "Gopal sami peta". The temple is on a flat hill and you could view the entire village from the top… mostly looks like a miniature form of google earth.

We returned home after the visit to the temple. Though we could not visit most of the places and nothing was acording to the plan but we still enjoyed the trip.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rat as the ultimate knowledge-gaining source – A real story

I have a lot to speak and write when I think about the time I was in engineering. I was not a bookworm and never used to study 24x7 a day. My mother would insist me to study during the nights but I always like to study during the day. The maximum time I allotted for my studies in the daytime was 1 hour if I have it after my college hours. I go to college by 7 Am and would reach home by 8 Pm. Most of the time after college was with friends playing PC games, cricket, etc. I would have my regular dinner, it will be 9.30 by then, and I feel sleepy and start dreaming in no time. There were times when I would only start studying 4-5 days before the start of exams. My mother insists me to wake up at night and I would sleep holding books in my hand. She was always worried about my studies and me. Then one fine day things changed when a stranger entered our house.

It was 3 Am and I was busy dreaming the game I played a day ago and started working on strategies to demolish the enemy’s tank. The enemy was near me and I started firing bullets on them. I was able to kill most of them but one managed to escape the sight and shot in my leg. I woke breaking the dream in middle and felt as if something was really happening on my feet. I assume it a dream and decide to go to sleep. It was 5 minutes and I felt something jumping on my legs and wake up again. I switched on the lights and saw a rat jumping from inside the bed sheet. I do not like rats and took a broom, and started hunting for it. I started beating everywhere I could until my father asked about the noise. It was 4 AM and I felt the efforts in catching the rat as useless and went to sleep.

The next night I woke up suddenly and it was the same rat... mm... Ok might be other but they all look alike. I considered it would be afraid and will not repeat it. To my surprise, it again made me wake up and ran to the top. Now it was not possible to sleep without destroying the rat and thus I drafted different plans for its execution. I tried rattrap, poison etc. However, none of it worked. The poison I kept disappeared but the rat was still there. I felt as if the rat was challenging me.

The rat did not stop its mischievous pranks and started jumping on me. I was not able to sleep and thus decided to wake up. It was boring to be awake and sitting idle. Thus, I took my books and started reading. This went and I would get up at 3 Am each morning and go to sleep by 6 Am to get rid of the rat. The time in between was spent reading the books and completing assignments.

My mother came into picture and she did some tricks and rat did not appear again. Even though the rat was gone but the practice continued. I still feel the rat is the source of the knowledge I collected from the books. I was so fond of reading the books that I have completed a whole book of Software engineering by pressman in 5 days time.

We all need to understand that nothing is impossible in life. What we need actually is a rat that could keep us torturing, removing our laziness and making us active. Always try to be after the rat rather than thinking about the things that you think unfeasible in life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Engineering Miracles - A new dimension to Animal conservation by Kerala Government

Engineering was my passion...ok that is a “3 idiots” dialogue. I liked engineering and thus become an engineer. However, I never knew that North Indian states partly impart knowledge. I always believed that Bombay and Maharashtra board were better for studies in India. I had to change my views after coming to Kerala. I heard someone saying during my engineering career, “We engineers create for future human generation”. Engineers appointed by Kerala government have surpassed these by creating miracles that also consider Animal conservation apart from the human aspect.

It was 5 Am and few animals were travelling along the Tripunithura Chotanikkara route. It was partially dark and cold. Pappu and Munna are visible at the tollbooth collecting the money from the people who happened to cross the museums antique piece (the bridge). The elephant was busy speaking about his Sabarimala trip and how long he and his friends used to walk when he go to the temple. The ant was riding on the elephant and enjoying the majestic ride. He says that his ancestors were part of the Cochin Royal family and used to steal sugar cubes even from the Kings room. Deer were moving swiftly, shaking their body, and teasing people in the cars and buses. The Lion asked the deer as to why they are doing so and are not afraid of the people. Deer says that their species come under the wildlife protection act and even a minor injury on them can cause problem for the human beings. The dog did not like the remarks from the deer as they were commenting on his master.

The elephant was feeling thirsty and was looking everywhere for the water. He could not find it anywhere and was sad. All were tired by now and were in need of some water. After walking for some time, the ant saw a small hole filled with water and asked the elephant to give him some time to drink it. He asked the elephant to be patient and said that Kerala government has taken complete care for them. After walking for five minutes, the dog saw a small hole on the road filled with water and he was happy to satisfy himself. They crossed the hill palace road and the elephant started running. All the animals were afraid and joined him assuming some hunters were behind them. The elephant stopped on the way and all were amazed to see a large hole on the middle of the road filled with sufficient water that could make and end to the elephant’s thirst.

I was watching the animals drink the water and asked Jk about the condition of the roads. The holes, big and small filled the road. Jk said that they have been built specially by the kerala government in consultation with the efficient and experienced engineers keeping in mind the expectations of the animals apart from the human beings. He said that they are part of the new technology only implemented in kerala that generates random holes after two months of the new construction. These roads are filled with special materials that grasp the climatic change of nature and mould themselves to suit the needs of the passengers. During rainy season, the roads adapt to the condition and automatically create small to large holes that could satisfy the water necessities from ants to elephants.

Kerala government devised this unique technology in consultation with the engineers who were working on soil and irrigation projects. Each engineer and all the other members of the political party were paid good amount for inventing, advising and implementing this idea. Contractors were selected through tenders who could guarantee that appropriate proportion of tar, sand and rocks are added to yield the result. Special care was taken that no extra amount is spent on the roads that could increase the hardness and decrease hole creation. The amount extra to each assignment was given as an appreciation to each member. Charter accountants and finance managers from different parts of the state were invited to plan the investment on the project and the appreciation procedures.

Jk says, recent studies show that majority of the roads in kerala are changing to this technology and it is not far when the entire state will be capable of feeding animals. Other states do not seem to have adopted this technology and the animals are reported to be starving due to insufficient water during their travel.
A loving heart, efficient workforce and experienced leaders are the ones who make our ecology stable. It is not far when kerala will change into a complete wildlife conservation unit. Expecting to see such miracles soon.... (kalikalam alathe entha? ... (its all micracles of kaliyug))

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can you be another X-man?

From the time, I was smart enough to understand things then I used to find why all like the unique ones and what make them so unique. During the lifeline, I was a fan of someone or the other and would try to be like them. I was in third and a great fan of He-man and would wish to be similar to him. I thought the sword He-man possesses is something that makes him unique and thus I insisted my father to purchase one. I was in Fourth and found that all like my friend Abhinav. I tried to imitate him in the way he speaks and the way he writes. I reached high school and then I found that either studious people or singers/dancers are the ones whom public (including girls ;) ) like. I was not good at singing neither dancing thus I made my way to studies. However, I was still no unique.

It was on a sunny day and I was on the ground in front of my house, playing cricket. The houses are located on sides of the road that creates a square shape with the playground in between. The streets connect to the end where another series of house and playgrounds/ gardens start. I was batting and was on the pitch for a long time scoring two and 4’s with not out. Robin arrived after the umpire declared the third player out. Robin started hitting four and six and in three over was LBW. He was in the field for a limited period but he received more claps than I could have received playing the entire match. I understand that people are not interested in a player who stays for long, scoring runs but in a player who hits six and four and thus make them happy. I started adopting it but it did not work long.

I thus left the hunt to be someone else as nothing worked for me. It was a drawing competition organized for ninth standard students and all were invited to participate. Ruchi Shah was a good painter and always praised by the teachers. She was the topper in the class and a good artist. She used unique skills of brushes and blades to get a creative look to each picture she made. I knew she will win and I can never draw as she does. However, I decided to participate as my mother convinced me saying that it is not important as to who wins but who participates. I practiced an astronaut that I saw in the science book I borrowed from my friend. I started working on the astronaut and made several alterations in the design and the pattern. I was happy that at least I am fighting not to win but to be a part of the match.

I started drawing the astronaut and did not turn around to see what others were drawing, as I feared I would be the worst in the queue that has children from the entire city. All were asked to wait as the winners will be announced and participation certificates will be distributed. I asked my father that we have to wait to receive the participation certificate. The judge started declaring results and I was looking at Ruchi’s face watching her expressions on the results. She was nowhere in the fourth, third and second place. I was sure that she would be the first and all teachers were looking proudly at her expecting her appreciation. The judge then declared “and finally the first prize goes to Abhilash M. Pillai of St. Xaviers High school for his painting depicting an astraunaut”. I was shocked as others and felt as if my entire body was empty of blood. Face was pale and my heart started beating like never when the judge asked me to come on the stage. I went on the stage and shook hands with the judge. My hands were shivering and cold. For the first time in my life, I saw people clapping for me.

Ruchi Shah did not cry like the ordinary girls but she was sad at not winning the competition. She was a good-looking woman with a height at least 5 inches more than I was and her brain was 10 times working more during day and night. My mother was happy who was tired at scolding me every time for not scoring high in the exams and never completing my home works.

I do not say that I won all the drawing competitions that were organized later. However, I understood that I cannot be another person, a x-man just by imitating them and all that matters is how people see me and not how they see me in others costumes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Captured by Women in Mumbai Local train – A true story

Droplets of rain fell onto his face washing away the sweat generated by the body. His eyes were steady, looking far at its target, calm and confident. He moved into the crowd smashing big and small shoulders that were a hindrance to his goal. He was disturbing the non-violent queue that moves non-stop at a constant rate but they had no time to react to the intruder. He looked into a small window and gave the woman sitting on the other side a 50-rupee note. They exchanged glances and the woman returned a white paper and little money. A gentle smile appeared on his half shaven face, signifying his achievement. He was wearing a brown T-shirt, Kolhapuri chappal, was 5 feet 9 in height, with a silver shaded big watch and holding a while roller sheet that resembled to a missile. He placed his hands into the left pocket of his pants and took a black coloured device that was shining in the light emitting from the either sides of the bridge, covered at the top. He clicked on the white button of the device and it displayed few codes on a rectangular display after which he started running. He ran until he got into a train filled with passengers on all the sides. Soon the train moved with a roaring sound that shifted the passengers an inch from their initial position.

Gopu looked at the man with his round, brownish eyes, indicating the position on a seat that was vacant due to a passenger who got up for the next station. The man moved the body rapidly and in few seconds, he was on the vacant seat. The train started moving faster and reached Dadar. Gopu turned towards him and said “Abs I think we are moving on a wrong track. This train does not seem going to Mumbai CST”. I got up from my seat and found that we were travelling on the western line rather than on the harbour line. “This train will stop at Church gate, be calm as Nariman point is near to it”, it took me few seconds to think and convince him. I was also worried for few minutes after hearing that we are routing on a wrong track.

A day before today, we got into a local train that took us to an unknown place and was heading towards Panvel. Realising the fault we got down at the next station where we had to pick another train to Mumbai CST. Gopu asked me to confirm the train and be on time so we do not face such problems the next time. The train reached Church gate and we moved to a nearby stall and asked for “nimbooz”. We were tired after the slow motion walking for impressing girls, train journey and we thought to have the modern-era nimboo pani.

It was the Ayodhya decision day and we decided to leave early around 2.30 Pm. There were rumours in the town regarding the chances of protests and problems considering the output of the decision. A reporter from Indian Express stopped us at the railway station and asked our opinion about the D-day and whether problems are expected today. I said that we are not sure about the problems D-day would cause but are sure about the consequences we would have to face considering we are as always late for the meeting. He smiled and we headed towards a nearby Cab that could lead us to Nariman Point.

Nariman point was calm and busy as always, with Gopu’s “chaddi girls” walking on the roadsides listening to music and without exposing the feeling that something unexpected could happen. Elrico Fernandes was living in Mumbai since his childhood and said us not to worry as the situation is under control and Police department has taken every precaution to avoid problems. We met Elrico at Nariman point on the first day. He is a good chap with a long, slim body, little curly hairs, rosy lips, teeth within who become our “Mumbai-ka-dost” few days ago.

It was 2.45 Pm and we hurried for the railway station. We were happy to find the train to Andheri which was about to leave the station. We ran towards the train and it started moving. I asked Gopu to be fast and was running behind him to confirm that he gets into the train safely. I saw him getting into the train but I was too far to reach his compartment and the train started moving faster. Wind started blowing inside my ears and it become darker in front of my eyes. I jumped from the platform onto the left and somehow managed to catch the steel bars and get inside the compartment. It was like Tom-Cruise jumping in the Action Movies. I bet Ram Gopal verma might have signed me for his next movie watching this action sequence. My heartbeat went faster and I was in a COMA state where I was not able to react to the environment.

(Image credits: classifieds Rekha Inc.)

It took me few minutes to relax myself and then I moved inside. I heard some voice “oh shit! What’s this” and I moved my eyes towards the voice and saw a compartment full of women. They were all red, green, yellow, blue saree, jeans and salwar wearing women who were staring at me as if they have seen an alien. I was astonished to see all women and at the same time afraid, when I witnessed it was women compartment. I thought, “amma... today I am gone”, the breaking news for tomorrow’s Mumbai Mirror newspaper would be that a boy was killed in a train by women in Mumbai”. Soon women were there on my left, on my right and everywhere I could see except outside the door.

(Image credits: Chapatiexpress)

I felt they are going to push me out of the train and I said to myself “please don’t do it, it could be your son, your husband and your never seen boyfriend in this situation”. I was thinking like Steven Spielberg though the women were busy staring at me with no intentions to throw me out. I think they were happy to see an opposite gender, handsome, cool and brave enough to enter their kingdom (I think... they might not :) ). I was studying in a mixed school from my childhood and never felt a feeling of insecurity and fear. This was a horrible situation and I either could be be put to jail or fined high. I hope the women understand that I was in their compartment unknowingly and that was the reason they did not make any noise.

I was there for 10 minutes and I jumped to the next station as soon as the train stopped. I got into the compartment where Gopu was seated and felt like I found Nirvana. I narrated the complete story to Gopu who was worried for my absence. He started laughing after completely listening to the things that happened with me. I still laugh when I think about the situation and my anxiety in the Mumbai local train.

I use to respect women but the respect increased further after the good approach they showed towards me. It all happened in duration of 10 minutes but I felt as if I was there the whole day. Mumbai gave me good memories but the one I could never forget in my lifetime is the local train journey.
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