Life at Bhabiji’s


Double click! Double click! Double click!

“Such beautiful fabrics.” Said Pallavi.

A boutique owner in posh Greater Kailash pocket 1, Pallavi Bansal was in her mid-forties. She was fine-looking woman, slightly plump, and full of bling in her clothes, and in her jewellery. She loved decking up.

She was wife of Mr. Pramod Bansal, owner of Bansal & Sons. Based in the industrial area of Ghaziabad, the company dealt in gear shafts and EOT cranes. Bansals were all about getting orders, delivering orders, marrying off daughters with grand weddings and executing Jagran once a year during Navratri.

All Bansals in the family had similar built up – short height, dusky, signature Baniya belly, and shrewd eyes well blended with money mindedness. Life of Bansals was like this. Pallavi was nothing different but just that there was a sudden wave of empowerment hitting her. Ever since she got married at 19, she never thought of doing anything constructive other than laying 2 kids. Now in 20s, her son and daughter were pursuing higher studies. Life of Pallavi was sorted.

But, time was no more getting killed on its own. Neither was Pallavi having any job. She never had any. Guess she never pursued any degree after intermediate. She had the best of her life before and after marriage.

Renaissance then! Sudden rush of authorization!

Thus came Bhabiji’s Boutique – Designer Wear an year ago. Meticulously procured from different parts of North India, Pallavi got the best fabrics she could assemble. Fluorescent coloured walls were echoing potential of the boutique. Mannequins were set up, Saint Gobain glasses were put, designs and prints of all choices were installed in a queue like they waited for someone. Chotu was hired to put a full stop to all the preparations. He was specifically asked to wear an inch tape around his neck to make ‘always-ready-to-measure’ feel. A 22 year old boy, Chotu worked previously in Shahpur Jaat for a wedding themed boutique. Thin boy with beard growing irregularly, Chotu had two pairs of shirts and pants and three t-shirts but a fancy Chinese smartphone.

He was a caretaker cum local designer cum masterji cum client persuader cum everything after Pallavi at Bhabiji’s.

Clientele was limited but seemed glossy. A handful was seen during the house warming ceremony and for a few months after that.  Some high-class women did come who were fancied temporarily and bought a few cloth pieces. Mr. Bansal and the kin were last seen at the boutique some months ago. Daughter had made a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram profile. Needful was done.

“What did you find now?” Asked Chotu while tracking flies during his customary cleaning process.

“These young fashion bloggers I tell you. They wear all dresses. Lot of old world charm coming up.” Said a swooned Pallavi while fiddling with her Instagram account on iPhone.

Just when both were talking on recent fashion trends emerging on Instagram, a classy lady entered Bhabiji’s with her Gucci’s first copy bag. She was fat, fair and fake. She entered like a gush of heavy water and quickly submerged in the apparels that hanged in line.

Adjusting her pearls, Pallavi gestured Chotu to go after her. Chotu wore his inch tape hurriedly and decided to transform into a guide. Pallavi pretended to be busy while she wasn’t at all.

“Yes! Madamji, how can I help you?” Inquired Chotu.

“Umm! Something for a wedding?” Answered the lady.

“Oh yes! We have just got a new collection for the upcoming wedding season. Florescent is in.” Guiding light Chotu was in his full form.

“Oh 5K, pretty economical. I got some stuff from my last UK trip. Spent a fortune.” Said the lady while reading the price tag.

“Han. Mehenga hoga. Hmm.” Murmured Chotu analysing the names she mentioned.

The fair and fake lady toyed with the fabrics with no intention of buying. Pallavi observed everything in utter and helpless silence. Chotu walked behind the lady like an innocent pup.

Pallavi suggested, “Did you find us on Instagram? We have our account and we keep showcasing our latest collection. I have been so busy with my clients all this while, I couldn’t share our Kalamkari products. You see, clients keep buzzing me for my supreme quality material.”

The lady nodded in affirmation and continued walking.

Just when the fair and fake lady zeroed-in on an orange colour cloth material, her phone buzzed. She picked the call and said, “Oh! You have come. Yes, yes, Bhabiji’s is the landmark. I am coming out.”

She left in hurriedness and the orange fabric lay as it is.

“Oh not again!” Responded Chotu in a disappointment.

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Life at Bhabiji’s was this – minimalistic visitors and rare clients. Pallavi was putting her relentless efforts in finding the most preferred assortment of fabrics and apparels of different designs. She handpicked ‘stuff’ as she often addressed the material like that. To accelerate the engine of sale, she did everything:

Discounts

Home delivery service

Gift wrapping

 Cloth material of all prints

Chotu did the rest. He did the cajoling part.

Pallavi was super social, she knew how to brag her outlet and she least understood how it got the reception. She often strategized with Chotu on how beautiful she could make her outlet or do something with the mannequins. And like that, her day used to end in Bhabiji’s with just words of wisdom.

 

It was just another day at Bhabiji’s  and the ever seemingly busy Pallavi arrived at her boutique.

“You got hurt again Madamji.” Inquired concerned Chotu.

“Oh! I tripped at the edge of the door.” Answered Pallavi, while trying to hide her wound in the right toe.

“Acha!” Curious yet calm Chotu answered.

The day passed by in aimlessly roaming around the boutique. Chotu cleaned the place at regular intervals and brought food for himself and Pallavi.

The day ended just like another day. Nothing in glory! No clients! And thus, no show.

 

Another day arrived.

Another bruise appeared and this time way more noticeable.

“Madamji, where did you trip today?” Asked Chotu.

“Don’t ask. I didn’t realise while walking. there was a stool in front. I tripped and fell flat. Got hurt in the forehead.” Explained Pallavi while sorting the packets of her new fabrics.

“I see.” Chotu retorted in slight anxiety.

Just when the conversation was going ahead, a young and pretty woman entered.

Sunglasses and make-up laden, the woman was assisted with someone, may be that was her sister.

“I am getting hitched in a matter of week. Bought nothing. I want to buy some stuff quickly, enough to manage the ceremonies.” Said the young girl while looking around.

Delights and smiles could be seen on the faces of Chotu and Pallavi. Both looked seemingly ecstatic as if flowers had blossomed on a barren land. How glorious life looked now!

Without wasting anymore time, Chotu got seats for the guests. Pallavi sat with her notepad on the things they needed. Bhabiji’s was never this busy.

“Let me get you something from our Patt silk collection.” Pallavi said as she got up and moved towards the shelves dedicated to silk.

The phone buzzed.

“Chotu, pick the phone. Your sahab must have called, tell him I am busy.” Pallavi commanded as she continued shuffling the sarees.

Chotu touched the call button and even before he could say “Hello”, there came a loud reply:

“Repay the loan I have given you for your stupid boutique. No profits ever since you have opened. If one more time you ask for money, I will beat you black and blue just like yesterday. Hope you haven’t forgotten? Stay at home, I say.” The brash call got cut instantly.

Just a few eye conversations at Bhabiji’s and nothing more.

 

 

 

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Gajodhar at home


Dusk was looking beautiful. Sun had almost set in and meticulously, it moved below the large wires and cables – silhouettes in different shapes and sizes. Gajodhar dragged his rickshaw toward his hut after dropping the young man at the address mentioned in the piece of paper. Basanti, his wife peeped from the small outlet. His wife worked as a maid in one of the apartments in the nearby society. They had put up a hut in the slum area near the DLF mall of India.

Scores of people, mostly immigrants from Bihar had come and nestled here. Leagues of rickshaws stood at one part of the slum and huts on the other.

Their shelter was compact and it had all the essentials – a charpoy where mostly Gajodhar would sleep, mattress where rest of the family would crash, a black and white TV placed diagonally on the right, and a kitchen on the left. The small kitchen had a stove, few bowls and plates nearby. To meet nature’s call and daily bathing, the family managed to make a corner made from wheat sheets, bags and bed sheets. Not a very comfortable bathroom it was, but it qualified as a namesake. Every morning, Basanti would make rotis first and keep them in a container covered with newspaper along with some pickle. This way, whenever they would leave for work, the couple would quickly grab the rotis without any haste.

Everything was methodically taken care by Basanti, an average built, dusky woman in her late thirties. Mostly draped in chiffon sarees, she loved wearing bangles and anklets and highly noticeable orange vermillion. The entire package was Gajodhar’s favorite and no wonder why, she loved staying that way round the clock. Her Hindi was broken but she managed after she was exposed to the city life. Overtly dependent on Gajodhar, Basanti avoided talking to people not only because she was shy but also, did not know what to talk about. However, she was comfortable with Nadiya, her neighbor. Both would sit on the pathway of their huts and watch aristocratic people walk by. They would gaze in utter amusement – bling everywhere, monetary bliss, security in all corners and happiness scattered like that of stars.

Those days when Nadiya and Basanti came early from work, they would never cease to sit for their evening ecstasy.

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Basanti started working only after she got married to Gajodhar. Earlier, she did some stitching and once, worked as a babysitter. The couple had three children, Nima – 12, Pinky – 10 and Prince – 10. While, Nima and Pinky didn’t go to read, Prince was given the privilege to attend the government school. Like many disinterested children, Prince equally did not find any curiosity for books; he went just for the midday meal. He would bring bananas for sisters many a times which in a way was a good deal for the family as a whole. Though, Prince would mostly bunk classes, go to the nearest office space to see people, walk on the railway tracks and puff Bidis, his classmate and best friend Hukum brought.

The father paid around Rs.50 as the annual fees in the school. While for Nima and Pinky, he had decided to do Gauna (marriage) by the time they turn 15, till then they were supposed to take care of the household chores. Basanti had this urge to send her daughters to school too. Sigh! Prince – 1, Pinky and Nima – 0

Night had basked in full swing. Chapatis were being prepared and some potato curry. Pinky was serving while Nima was baking. Basanti was kneading some wheat dough for the next day.

Gajodhar and Prince were being served. Key members get served first.

It was quiet till Gajodhar stroke the first chord of communication, “Did you pour all the chillies?” The curry looks red.” Basanti diverted her years of guilt pleasures to Nima as the elder daughter of the family was officially, cook of the house now.

While Gajodhar complained, another key player, Prince fiddled with his chapatti, till a flying spatula greeted him on his head. He sat in peace.

“She has hit 14. I guess by next year, she should be married.” Announced Gajodhar.

Nima, just another reflection of Basanti buried her red face into the chapatis. All eyes, all utilities and all things in the house looked at her in one direction at a fraction of second.

Prince found it quite difficult to sit anymore.

“Panditji batai biyaa kab hoi? Panditji batai biyaa kab hoi? Panditji batai biyaa kab hoi?”, Prince went ‘all-aloud’ like those amateur music bands. A tamed baboon set loose.

Dinner was over. It was time to retire to beds.

Pinky got an opportunity to tease Nima.

“Now, I know what makes you so perfect at household chores.” Pinky had all the rights.

Nima was shy. She gave a gentle slap on Pinky’s left cheek. She continued to arrange Prince’s school bag by putting books upside down.

Nima – 1, Education – 0

Gajodhar’s just another day


Paddling with full force, Gajodhar took a U turn, balanced his isometric strength and moved his rickshaw toward the DLF Mall of India. “Bhaiyya! Stop at the gate number 1 please”. Said one of the two ‘just-out-of-Instagram’ girls sitting on his rickshaw. The sun rays were sharp and piercing, like a bunch of needles penetrating deep inside human flesh. Men, women and annoying children were passing by. Busy populace!

The upscale girls got down from the vehicle in their frocks and heels. Almost tripping on the uneven road, one of the girls handed over Rs.30 to Gajodhar. He wiped off his sweat and took the money. As the girls continued their fluctuating ramp walk, Gajodhar called from behind, “Madam, only 30 rupeeeej? 50 madam, pleeejj.”

“What bhaiyya! you are asking for too much.” Said one of the ‘just-out-of-Instagram’ girls.

“Madam, 50!” Gajodhar demanded.

“Sorry! It takes only 30. We will not pay a penny more.” Said one of the girls and the small brigade continued the ever fluctuating walk.

Gajodhar frowned, he wanted to argue a little more but there were more people in the audience and lesser participants. There was no scope for impromptu debate performance. He looked at those girls walking toward an outlet, that had a mammoth banner.

It read – ‘ZARA sale! Get a dress worth 5000 at just 4999.’

One of those ‘just-out-of-instagram’ girls exclaimed, “Oh! Sale. Such bliss.”

Zara – 1 Gajodhar – 0

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Gajodhar Dhasa, a thin man in his early forties had come from Chapra in Bihar several years ago to Noida. Nestled in a slum area near sector 18, Gajodhar had been pulling rickshaw for several seasons now. Average looking, dusky, moustache laden, sheepishly smiling sometimes and over-smiling, Gajodhar often felt, little bit of extra money could make his life better. Just a little extra.

His rickshaw would be located mostly at the gate number. 02 amongst several other rickshaw walas. Pedestrians came mostly from that gate and they would call for public transport. He would often claim to the fellow rickshaw walas while waiting for his passengers, “When I have an extra money, I will go to that fancy restaurant with my kin.” He would point out at 5 star hotel – The Unison Hotel, right next to the DLF Mall of India. His fellows would chuckle in the same rhythm like that of bobble heads for some time.

And he would only answer one thing, “Unimaginable things happen when you dream”.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

Sharp and piercing sun rays were mellowing down, sun was setting in steadily. People were hastily walking, driving for their cabs or waiting near the mall. It was just another day for service men, daily wagers, elites and the shopkeepers.

Gajodhar at gate number.02 was resting on his rickshaw. He was busy digging his nose and seemingly looked disappointed at the performance of his fingers. Just when big blob was on its way, a young man came to him.

He asked, ” Chaloge? See this address and drop me here.”

Gajodhar quickly rubbed his painstaking hand on his dhoti and craned his head at the small piece of paper to understand the gibberish. Scratching his head, he successfully pretended for straight half a minute and sheepishly smiled. The young man quickly got it. He said, “Oh! OK! Let me read it out to you.”

Universe-1 Gajodhar-0

How IoT is adding wings to retail?


IoT in retail
Pic courtesy – Internet 

As per a report, IoT or Internet of Things in the Retail sector will be 35.64 Billion USD by the end of 2020. In the current landscape, the merger of technology and human sensors has uplifted the retail business and taken it to another tangent. In several lengths, IoT has assisted retailers and helped in enhancing the rhythm of their client service.  What came in harmony with IoT is increased revenue which all retailers look forward to. Go ahead with this piece of information and understand how IoT has worked like stimulus for retail.

Imagine a large retail unit that serves an ever increasing customer base. How does it record the data or details about the inventory? Gone are the days when MS excel alone could lead the job. A wise solution for retail units that cater to larger customer base is IoT driven software. In the retail sector, the Internet of Things can largely help in areas like managing inventory, tracking thefts or any loss, tracking virtual payments, checking on the promotional campaigns and much more.

The ubiquity of Internet has paved way for the retailers to embrace IoT and advance their offerings. How is IoT making so quickly to the market? Components like RFID, sensors and related hardware integration are coming out to be economical. Also, with the passing time, cloud adoption is adding to the significant drivers in the market. With so many influential factors on IoT’s side, it is expected that the retail sector will thrive at large. There are other reasons as well like increasing Smartphone dependency, or enhanced demands for real-time delivery. Audience wants it quick. Across the global market, IT companies are putting relentless effort in bringing the best of IoT solutions for seamless retail operations.

Even though IoT is creating a storm in the market, the emerging technology is prone to security threats and interoperability. The components be it software or hardware are vulnerable to threats. Certainly, it is may slightly affect the IoT adoption chances. IT companies are working hard to amend high level safety frameworks into their solutions and at the same time, pitching on the internet use and enhanced mobile usage.

For any information technology company, it is integral to focus on providing IoT solutions that are safe and productive. How far is the data safe? What is the upright solution to safeguard all of it? This is what several IT companies are juggling with.

Cardiovascular deaths on the rise – causing one third of the deaths across the globe


Referred as CVD diseases or cardiovascular diseases, it includes heart attacks, peripheral artery disease and strokes majorly

As per a report, in the year 2015, approximately 9 million people got a stroke for the

CVD
Pic courtesy – Internet

first time. With the passing time, CVD has turned out to be a serious threat on a global level. Apart from heart attacks and strokes, peripheral artery disease was one among the most common diseases under the umbrella of CVD.

Across the globe, the CVD threat is reaching its alarming levels. Most of the CVD deaths come from regions such as Oceania, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Xavier from Louisiana University said, “Problems like CVD are hard handle in geographies that have low income population since, they can’t afford the treatment.”

As per researchers, the rate declines in regions like Australia, Canada, the US, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and various parts of Western Europe.

A lot depends on the social structuring of people and their incomes. In the year 2015, there were around 18 million CVD deaths recorded across the globe. Between the year 1990 and 2010, a considerable improvement was seen in high income areas but the same improvement has slowed down recent five years.

In regions like Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe (Easter and Central), the CVD prevalence rate involved heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease  and atrial fibrillation. The lowest rates took place in Singapore, South Korea, and southern American nations. The highest was in south Pacific island countries, Afghanistan and Iraq and lowest rates were recorded in Peru, Japan, Israel, Andorra, France, and Spain.

Depending upon the Social Demographic Index – fertility, education and income affect the CVD rate. It first goes high, then down and then increases eventually.

Ruth, a research scientist shared, “In the current scenario, both high and low income countries are suffering. The risk factors behind this rate are poor diet, high BP (blood pressure), tobacco consumption, high cholesterol, obesity and alcohol use.

As per a study, the CVD is not only hitting old but also younger population like people in their 40s. These are the people who are busy in taking care of their families and doing jobs. This also explains the fact, that they do not pay enough attention to their physical needs. So the objective should be to focus on good health that keeps alcohol, tobacco and poor diet at bay. People need to work on themselves and follow a healthy regime full of good food and exercises.

Reference taken from – http://bit.ly/2qyZBcp

 

Top five wearable gadgets you should have to track your health


In the current landscape when technology has deeply penetrated into our lives, it has

wearable technology1
Pic courtesy – Internet

become impossible to stay without it. Among various verticals that are actively embracing technology, healthcare is equally leading the race. While computers, specialized equipment and advanced technology integration have made a strong presence in this vertical, Internet of Things (IoT) is making a steadfast entry as well.

IoT is an amalgamation of human sensory organs and technology. Underneath IoT is wearable technology, which is steadily becoming a part and parcel of peoples’ life. Fit Bits, Smart Gloves, Smart Clothes etc. are nothing new among people and as a matter of fact, they are adding to the efficiency levels.

As per a report, people will be using around 250 million such wearable devices in coming three years.  Let’s take a look at the following 5 dominating gadgets that can make your life simpler:

  • Fitbit Alta HR – Loaded with good battery and stylish design, the FitBit has an upgraded software and it helps people track their fitness bit by bit.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Love working out? It is an easy-to-use tracker that keeps a watch on heart rate and calories burnt, swimming etc.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 – Faster, waterproof and user friendly, the device tracks your activity minus swimming, measures your workouts, and monitors health and thus, keeps you fully updated.
  • Garmin Vivomove A smart analog watch, it is loaded with lot of functions, it tracks your sleep and also, it monitors your sleep.
  • Huawei WatchEasy to pair with Android Smartphones, the watch is solid, rugged and simple. The ergonomically designed watch is a tracker that keeps a check on your activities like walking, climbing and running.

It is certain that after a certain period, the market trends will change, and another set of devices will take over. The point worth noticing is, wearable technology and health apps will keep coming in and help people in tracking their health and maintain a healthy regime. Make sure, you stay updated and healthy!

 

Reference taken from – http://bit.ly/1cZLceO

 

Idyllic Odisha – Part 1


“Dhai giri giri, dhai giri giri” (make it quick!), once you land in Odisha, you can hear Jagannath 1this statement frequently. Welcome to the land of Mahapatras, Patras, Pattnaiks and other multitudes of Odiyan castes and sub castes. The state is one of the most potential, fertile, and naturally beautiful region in our country. Lush green meadow, innocent & spiritual people, Rasgulla, and never ending series of ancient temples greet you at all points. While writing a travel blog on Odisha, I realized one blog wasn’t enough. So here is the part one that solely talks about Shri Jagannath Temple – the main attraction of the state.

Shri Jagannath Temple This temple is the reason why the entire state has a prominence across the world. Made thousand years ago, the temple has been designed and developed out of stone. Alluring, rugged and unbreakable, the temple, no matter how old, it can give a run for money to the contemporary buildings. It is said that it has been made on a framing of a sea shell. Lord Jagannath can be seen seated next to Subhadra (his sister) and Balram (his brother). Lord Jagannath is said to be a reincarnation of Sri Krishna. It is one of the Char Dhams in our country as seen by Hindu devotees.

Hindu mythology says, there 33 crore gods and goddesses and one find then at Shri Jagannath temple. Rath Yatra (chariot procession) takes place annually wherein it is considered that Shri Jagannath along with his brother and sister visit their aunt’s place that is Gundicha Temple. The wooden statues are taken on elaborate and huge temple chariots and taken to Gundicha. The festival is celebrated with huge pomp and show, and scores of people come to participate and pull the Ratha. The significance of this festival is so high that older people intentionally go under the tires of the Ratha, so that they can die, and get Nirvana. The wood of the Ratha once the festival is over, is given during funerals so that the departed soul goes to heaven.

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Inside the temple, you can find a spot where people lean awkwardly on a wall. It is said that Chaitanaya Maha Prabhu looked at the gods from this spot. His fingerprints can be felt on the wall. Cameras and leather products are not allowed inside, be careful. If you are going to Shri Jagannath temple, keep in mind a few things:

  •  Do not fall prey to the Pandas
  • Eat Aghora (Food that was offered to the gods)
  • Offer Prasad and bring it for friends and family
  • Pay visit to the kitchen and go to every nook and corner of the temple
  • Watch flag hoisting at 5 PM

The flag hoisting ceremony takes place at the temple at 5 in the evening (everyday). One of the most unique, audacious and out-of-the-box event it is. It is said, that without changing the flags, the customary Puja can’t take place. Now here is the catch, a young priest is expected to climb (without any support) upto the peak of the temple and change it. It is an activity worth watching and you don’t get to see that anywhere. The replaced flags get sold at a price and people throng in large number to buy them no matter how expensive they are. The flag which is at the highest is priced at 20k or more. And people buy them because they are considered auspicious. If you want your flag to be hoisted, then, in the morning you are required to register your name with the committee and submit a certain amount of money. After lottery, the winner’s flag will be hoisted at the peak, and the rest of the flags will go beneath.

There is more to Lord Jagannath. In every 12 to 15 years, the statues of gods are replaced and new wooden replicas are kept. This activity is done ceremoniously and the event is called as Nabakalebara wherein a village is chosen from where wood will be retrieved. It sounds like just another change of idols but the details around it are mystical and profound. The respective priest will get a dream that will give him directions to a village from where the wood shall be retrieved.  The dream is said to be detailed and elaborate one – people need to specifically go to a Neem tree from where the wood should be taken. It is said that when Lord Krishna’s body was cremated, every inch of body got burnt but not the heart. The heart is called as ‘Brahama’. It is the same heart that resides inside the idol of Shri Jagnnath. The Darus or the leaders who are the chosen one to transfer the ‘Brahma’/soul/heart and create the sculpture need to qualify to take up the duty. It is said that the Darus are blindfolded before doing the transfer (life infusion) and if not done properly, he will die instantly. It is done secretly and in complete silence. During this time, there is a complete blackout in the city of Puri.

There are a lot of mysteries associated with the temple like:

  1. The food that is made as an offering to gods and later distributed to people never gets short in quantity or wasted
  2. The flag always blows in opposite direction on the dome
  3. Never does any bird fly over the dome of the temple
  4. No one has seen the ‘Brahman’ and the transfer ceremony takes place in complete silence and dark
  5. No one can see the shadow of the dome

 

That was Shri Jagannath for you. Wait till the part 2 on Odisha comes up! I will recommend that once, in a lifetime, visit Odisha. You will fall for it instantly.

Ode to Indian Railways – People and Stories


Indian train coverOur Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi said, “The Indian Railways will
become the growth engine of nation’s ‘Vikas Yatra’.

Trains in India carry approximately 22 million passengers a day. Either to meet ends, or for a leisure trip, trains have always been by peoples’ side. Indian railways has gifted us not only a transport but also, a means to understand people coming from different verticals. If one wants to know Indians a little more, he or she should travel by train.

Indian train 4Take a look at the type of people; you come across while doing long distance train journeys.

Railway SME – Have an RAC? In waiting list? Seek his advice, he will have some solution for your plights even if non-applicable. It is worth noticing that these people find special interest in talking about tickets, platforms, duration of a train, etc. This is where these people derive their pleasure from and love talking about all things that go around trains, railways, stations and platforms.

Mr. Geography Honors – If railway SME wasn’t enough, read about his brother here. He seems to be abreast with the map of India, he knows from where the train will change its engine, and where it will change the track. Meet Mr. Geography honors who has strange affinity for figuring out the places, how the train will lead, where it will end up and much more!

That Fidgety Guy – Super restless and round the clock awake kind of a passenger. He is the only one who desperately waits for the TT, waits for the stations, is worried why the train is taking time in starting? is the engine unwell? Is anxious because the train got late…..His tensions could have been leveraged in better place but not on a poor train.

Washerwoman – Many a times, people often forget that there is a thin line of difference between a regular day at home, and a day spent in a train. They continue to spend it like usual. This washerwoman is the one who thinks sitting in a place for more than two minutes is a kind of crime so, she decides to keep shuffling between the bathroom and her seat throughout the journey. You may find her with weapons like steel utensils, her wet hands jerking suddenly on people sitting peacefully and doing some more unnecessary things. Sit quiet madam – what are tissue papers meant for?

indian train 1Nature Lover – They are rare, but, they are real. They love looking outside of the train, squish their nose on the glass window, and admire the nature. They seem to be swoon over by the trees, people at the station, animals, sun and the moon. These are best people out there.

Kumbhkaran’s Fourth Generation – They book tickets only to sleep in the train. They never got sleep otherwise in their lives. Right from the beginning of the journey, they take up the upper berth and surrender themselves to a deep slumber. They get up only to eat. They may look like humans but sound like animals who sleep for most of the year and eat only to survive. But they are good people!

No – Nonsense – He is least concerned with other people traveling in the same bogie. He patiently waits for his station and doesn’t indulge in striking any conversation. There is nothing else to talk about him – seriously, no-nonsense.Indian railway 66

The Annoying Kid – Karma always comes back to you and sometimes in the form of an annoying kind in a long journey. He wants everything from everybody – maybe the snack that you are eating. He may dangle his little feet right on your lap and peep deep inside your mobile. Silly baby! The toddler may have bandwidth of doing a lot of things that you may not even think of but then he is a silly baby. He may want to pee and poop when everything has been settled and he can’t see his mother sitting in peace. The lower berth that you got after a lot of struggle may require your sacrifice because the mother- baby duo needs lower berth and they had middle one on paper.

Food Family – The family that eats together, stays together. They bring their own kitchen, plates, spoons, bowls and inventory of snacks. If you are traveling with them, you will never stay hungry. They don’t believe in getting food from outside. It’s not about just eating. They are highly disciplined in keeping the food neat, tidy and well placed. They will first put the newspaper and cover the entire berth (this is why we publish newspaper), big bowls and hot cases will appear as lead actors, and then will appear all the side actors. Sweets have guest appearance – come and vanish. The food family passes its entire time by wrapping, unwrapping and eating. Happy people on Earth!

Singers – They are college students heading on an excursion with their teachers. They are not a bunch of students in train if they haven’t screamed at the top of their voice when a train passes through a tunnel and definitely, they are also not a bunch of students if they haven’t played Antakshri. They are also a not a bunch of college students if they haven’t eyed the pretty girl in another bogie. These things are part of the itinerary in any college trip. La-lala-lalaala!

Trains in any way are a medium to bond with fellow passengers and a way to know Indian train 5more about them. Of all the brands, Paper Boat (Beverages Company) has significantly contributed by reminding us of our childhood train journeys, the bookshop owner at the stations, passengers, so on and so forth with their advertising campaigns. It is due to their promotional pictures and ads that we connected again with those moments in our life, which we once, spent as a part of our routine existence.

In this fast and Smartphone driven life, when we don’t have enough time to travel, we often forget that we have come far away from that simplicity.

P.S. – Pictures taken from Paper Boat advertisements and Google.

Brushes and Colors – Interview with Poojita, The Painter


Stroking her brush across the canvas, Poojita is seen busy in transforming her 16830716_228258137637909_1133268097153430838_nthoughts into a beautiful painting. Sitting in a beautiful and cozy apartment in Bangalore, a cup of hot coffee looks like her best friend and certainly, the colors. Piping hot Shakshuka has been offered to me, as I decide to have a deep conversation with Poojita Nair. A twenty something insanely gorgeous woman, she is a painter by profession, loves to do makeup and most importantly, is at peace with herself. But what makes a woman like her pursue painting.

To know more, here is an excerpt from my interview with someone who followed her heart. Read and dive into the world of painting, coloring, imagining and art.

India is a land of artists but in a society that is driven by money and status, art like painting is fading. I hardly see young people taking up painting as a main source of profession? What made you do so?

Honestly speaking career in painting is fascinating. I love the essence of expression. On the onset of my career, all I knew was colors. Other than with brushes and colors, there was no other way I could exhibit my expressions. There could be a small ratio of young men and women taking this career but they are the ones who are really serious about it. It is a land of MF Hussain, Tagore, Amrita Shergill, Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy and many more. People like me take a huge inspiration from them.  I wish to express human emotions through painting and take it ahead in this world of digital marketing and put my ideas into action.

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Sounds impressive! So you have been painting since you were a child?

I have been painting before I could even write (giggles). It was my natural onset and a form of expression.

Do you draw, sketch or paint or basically everything?

I don’t have a fixed regime of doing sketching, or drawing or anything. I create things that intrigue me which relate to humans. My creations are mostly about human beings and their emotions. I make sure they are deep and meaningful.

Talking of emotions, which is your favorite emotion?

Confusion (laughs). It brings out various possibilities and this excites me. Human beings are deep, complex and full of confusions – should I propose her or not? Should I take up this job or not? At every step, we are faced by confusion. Why not display the same in my work!

Interesting! Your work has a lot of bold content. Lot of people avoid exploiting such areas. Tell me something about it.

My content is about relationship with myself and other people and then my reaction towards it. It is that easy (loud laugh).

No wonder why ‘confusion’ is your favorite emotion. What is your favorite color by the way? Or do you love all?

White. And I love the way color combinations surprise me.

Any advice to the younger generation that is aching to make quick money and never thinks about what it is passionate about.

Ask yourself what is that you can do now that will make you feel good. Do it every 5 minutes. Today, I am a creative director in a gaming company. My job came to me after investing several years in painting. So, I should say I kept following my love and simply did not stick to philosophical talks. I would recommend younger people to listen to their heart and understand that skill they are blessed with, hone it and navigate it into a beautiful career.

That is some incredible two cents to people that’s running after money. Tell me, how does your family perceive your work?

When we love what we do, eventually our family starts loving it too. As long as you are not hurting anybody’s sentiments (chuckles). Don’t wait for anybody’s approval if you are following your heart. Everything will fall in place eventually.

Tell me about your job as a creative director.

My job requires me to coordinate colors for the games and give them a concept art. Then digitally implement them in various software.  This way, I transform my ideas into digital art and see designers implementing them. What an exhilarating feeling it is!

Where all have you exhibited your work? 

poojita
with the lovely lady herself

I have exhibited in:

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I see myself to be more experimental and brave.

That was Poojita for you who is passionately working towards what she loves.

To know more about her or any kind of collaboration, write to her at – poojita.nair@gmail.com

Chronicles of Mysore


If a blissful climate is what you have been urging for, then Bangalore will quench your thirst at one go. I planned a trip to Bangalore and Mysore in the beginning of the year and the trip turned out to be the most rejuvenating one.

The next day after landing in Bangalore was dedicated to Mysore. Approximately five hours away from Bangalore, the quiet city offers lush greenery and well-planned infrastructure. Our driver who last went to school in his matriculation spoke to us in fluent Hindi despite being raised in Karnataka. The trip was planned as per his expert inputs. Following were the attractions we had a brush with:

1. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – On the way to Mysore, we came across places like Ramnagra where Sholey, the cult Hindi film was shot (now, I can die in peace), and Channapatna where wooden toys are made. We dropped at Shri Ranganatha temple or Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Rangapattana before heading to Mysore. There is something unique about South Indian temples, which puts them in a different bracket of beauty, charm, and peace.
The architecture has always lured me to keep my eyes glued at the temples. This temple has lord Vishnu in his sleeping position which is rare in Hindu temples. Don’t forget to checkout the Ratha outside the temple for its intricate design. Trust me, it is hard to find such minute detailing elsewhere.

2. Ruins of Tipu Sultan – Close to Sri Rangapattana Temple, there are ruins of the palace of Tipu Sultan. When I say ruins, unfortunately, everything is dead. It is just the name and you may not be able to differentiate between a deserted land and a place with broken rocks lying here and there. We did check the burial ground (the tombstone says – he was found here) of the emperor, which still looks decent. When he was attacked by British army, he said, “Better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep”.

The highway, cool breeze, occasional drizzles and smooth drive made our travel way more comfortable than we had thought of. Mysore is largely identified by Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Chamundeshwari temple, Tipu Sultan’s palace ruins, Mysore zoo, St. Philomena Church, and Infosys Campus (looks like it is a tourist spot but no, it is IT).

3. The Palace of Mysore – Spectacular beyond words or I should say it is an understatement. Scattered across a large mass of land, the palace belongs to the Wodiyars/Wadiyars, the royal family that ruled Mysore. Every nook and corner is strictly supervised by policemen. Spick and span, the palace gives you a glimpse of their lifestyle, grandeur, art and culture preferences. Their furniture still dazzles and they are taken care of with utmost precision. Apart from the chandeliers, furniture, idols, utensils and much more that you may stick to inside the palace, do take a vivid look at the photographs of the family and its lineage. Inside the palace, there is a temple called, Sri Lakshmiramaswamy Temple which is another attraction to look at. The yellow tint on the architecture, women making Laddoos, Holy Basil plant and some more things will give you peace. Not sure if others found windows beautiful but I did notice that the windows were designed in smaller sizes mostly with red color, they looked exceptionally earthy and idyllic.

The Wadiyars were cursed – they could never bear their own biological child and this is why they went on for adoption. The untimely death of his highness Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar has certainly brought questions to the entire Wadiyar dynasty but the palace still continues to glow in its own allure. His wife, son and daughter in law reside in the extended section of the palace.

Once, you are out, take a look at the Sandalwood products like perfumes, Sandalwood paste, Sandalwood bark, incense sticks, and others available at the shops in the campus. After Mysore Palace, we dived into Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Pak and curd rice.

4. Chamundi Hills and Chamundeshwari Temple – We headed towards Chamundi Hills which is easily accessible by cars and other means of transport. On the way to the hills, we came across Sandalwood trees which Mysore is known for (you don’t get to see Sandalwood trees everywhere, I can die in peace again).

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Above the hills, is the magnificent Chamundeshwari Temple where the Wadiyars used to come and offer their prayers.  Chamundeshwari or Durga, the Wadiyars were highly devoted to the goddess. It is also one of the 18 Shakti Peethas in the country. Thronged in high frequency by fellow Kannadigas, the temple is also attended by a large number of visitors from others parts of the country and abroad. And also, monkeys. There are several shops near the temple where you can buy photographs of the goddess, Kumkum, Prasad, necklaces, toys, etc.

5. Mysore Zoo and St. Philomena’s Cathedral – We couldn’t visit the zoo as it was closed but if you get an opportunity, do tell me how it was. Our trip ended with a small visit to St. Philomena’s Cathedral. Built in Neo-Gothic style, the giant church was built by the Wadiyars – Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Coming back from Mysore and not buying Mysore Silk is a sin that cannot be forgiven. Do buy a silk saree, Sandalwood bark, incense sticks, idols and perfumes. You may find them slightly expensive but you can give it a shot as the purest form will not be available anywhere else.

Mysore, in all honesty, was a refreshing treat and I would recommend everybody to travel once here.