I did a two month internship in Mumbai in the summer of 2006. The place is full of challenges and made me realise that there is so much to learn in life. Some really funny things happened to me on the day I first set out for my training . There were two more friends with me. I scribbled my memories for the day in a mail and sent it over to friends for some fun filled reading. I think it deserves some space on my blog too...
I woke up at 6 in the morning.. perfect start of the day as planned a day before.. I am putting up at Chembur and had seen and studied my route to Worli ( my workplace) a day before. Sharp at 7 I left my place.. I was already feeling proud of how organized I had become in just 2 days in Mumbai. Took an Auto to chembur station, this was done deliberately though I had to catch my train from Kurla. The reason being that I had l learnt the other day that the ticket queues are long @ Kurla. After taking a first class ticket( I also learned that if one wants to go standing all the way, he should take a first class ticket.. in case you want to see yourself hanging out, the normal ticket would do) from Chembur, I carried on to Kurla in the Auto.. the long queue at the ticket counter there made me feel proud of my clairvoyance.
Like an innocent lamb ready to be slaughtered , having little idea of what lay ahead, I moved ahead.. just as I reached the platform, I realised that my train had arrived and was ready to move.. so I took a sprint... the first class had moved to the end of the platform so it was quite a chase.. as I stepped in, the train moved.. and I felt glad that I had won another battle.... however I felt a little uncomfortable by the way a girl sitting right in front was staring at me.. I thought maybe thats how girls in Mumbai are ( PLZ no offence intended to people from Mumbai\) and then there was another Aunty starring at me.. all this unnerved me a bit.. dressed in new crisp formal wear.. had I suddenly started looking that good? I was wondering ... and then I saw IT.. my jaw fell open and my face flushed.... there werent just two faces... there were many.. DAMN! In the hurry to get onto the train, I didnt realise what I had got into..
It was the LADIES' coach! for a moment I felt like jumping out... but then I had read of the countless deaths in Mumbai due to local train accidents.. I definetely had no intentions to form a news in the papers of the next day...so I stayed.. turning my face away and looking out all the time... the train had a small halt at a station and I changed my coach. Out of the train at Dadar, I felt releived .. I had just made it through a very hard time and I felt glad.
I took a Taxi from Dadar to Worli and reached a good one hour before time... I was feeling glad that I was so punctual. The reporting was @ 8:45.. Vineet and Rahul joined me by 8:40 and together we moved in like warriors who had come to conquer. Inside, we were asked to sit and wait..and wait we did... for 1 hour before we felt something was wrong.. I had kept on cursing the lack of proffessionalism on the part of the company all this while waiting for the HR Manager to arrive.. and now I was doubtful... why is it that its only the three of us who are there.. are we special enough to have a seperate induction amongst the 40 odd trainees?? We soon got the answer.. the Hr Manager arrived and was surprised to see us!" what are you guys doing here??" I thought-Ma'am.. we are here for the summer training remember?? She told us that the joining date had been postponed to 5th! and this was communicated to the place com!! . I felt a bit Hysterical.. but held on... she gave us our project breifs and asked us to be back on 5th with other trainees .. a peon had come in to ask for coffee.. we had even nodded our heads.. but seemed like he forgot and Ma'am bye byed us.
Outside the office, we decided to do some house hunting.. somebody told us of a place closeby where accomodation was available " baaju mein hai bhau... seedhe jaane ka!" he had said. So we walked... and we walked..3 Goddamn KMS!!! The guy at the location had just the right words to say to us.. " Kisne bola aapko? apan ke paas aisa koi accomodation nahi hai na!" hehe .. we couldnt beleive it .. screwed up again. We decided to chill out.. had seen enough action since morning.. it was time to unwind.. we moved ( in a bus) to crossroads ( one of the oldest malls in Mumbai) near Haaji Ali. After getting down , we decided to have something to drink... not in the mall... we werent stupid to spend 60 bucks each on something to drink while on our STs.. this was the time to learn.. time to save.. time to manage. We saw the answers to our problem.. there .. right in front of us a shop read" HAJI ALI JUICE CENTER" bingo! We went in and asked for 2 mango and 1 strawberry juice... and I tell you they were good!
Vineet, Rahul and I felt proud of our wise decision and praised the juice while we relished it and quenched our thirsts. " to bhau kitna hua?" ,I asked. I guess it was one of those days when it is predecided that anything and everything around you existed just to screw you. The man said " 210" hehe... we had had enough I went crazy laughing.. I couldnt beleive it... 70 Rs a glass...I swallowed my tears which had followed the laughter and paid.
We went to the mall.. all three of us shaken.. sat in Mc Donald's .. didnt have anything.. we had to save money.. came out went to the road side pao bhaji waala... ordered 3 sandwiches.. suddenly I remembered the lesson learnt not so long ago at the juice shop.. I asked " bhau yeh sandwich kitne ka hai?" " 35 Rs" , he said.. STOP!!! (I almost screamed). We later went to Mc Donald's and had burgers worth 40 Rs.. I was feeling good about myself.. had proven to be a quick learner. The last blow of the day came on our way back... Rahul had left and Vineet and I had to go in the same direction so we were waiting for a bus.. It took only 5 rs so it was quite cheap mode of transport.
A bus came by.. and we asked the conductor.."Worli?" He asked us to climb in and we were happy that we had made it before the mumbaikars as they sat at the bus stop.. probably crying over the lost opportunity that two guys from delhi had grabbed.. or so I thought. It turned out that the bus was an AC coach and we had two shell out 7 times the amount for a small ride to Worli . From Worli we took a NORMAL bus and came back.. exhausted, drained and flagellated. I slept like a dog last night.. Mumbai is going to teach me a lot of stuff.. at least now i know that road side juice waalas aint that cheap.
I guess life is all about making memories, I would love to make many more even if that means making a thousand mistakes worth laughing at in the end.....! Damn! Did I just sound sensible?