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Archive for the ‘Internship’ Category

The last week of my internship was filled with a lot of work and equally filled with a lot of fun. After three days of hard work and presentation, I got a day-off, thanks to the Bharat Bandh called by NDA alliance. Bombay came to a stand still as all the shops except medicals were closed. Though the local and the BEST operated, many people opted to stay at home. The unprepared bachelors went out in search of food. To our surprise, we couldn’t find food for about 3 km.  Frustrated, we just bought bread from a medical store (gladly they stocked some) and came back. Till evening, our diet was just in liquid form.

In the evening, just to make up for that we planned to go to Carter’s road. We initially had the shawarma in the corner Carter’s Blue hotel. They were delicious and on any other day a single roll would have filled my stomach but not that day. We went to Kareem’s and had biryani. Then we went for a walk on the Carter road promenade. And that was the last day for Karthickeyan in Bombay as he was about to leave next morning. All the csk, chelsea, manu, arsenal, rcb, wwe, vtv fights came to an end.

My last day at work was hectic, but I found time in between to go for lunch at Papa John’s. I am not a great lover of Pizzas, but I loved the way the Pizza was at Papa John’s. It was just brilliant. On my last day at Bombay, I went to Alpha complex at Vile Parle. It was a very densely populated place. The sh0pping experience was quite good there.

At last, I was awake the entire night. Amidst the darkness, I was just praying one thing: Though I love this city, I hope I never come back here to work. That’s because of my love for Singara Chennai. Well anyways, மெட்ராஸ் மாதிரி வருமா?

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The pen-ultimate week in Bombay is yet another busy week, exploring more places on the checklist. The first on the list was Bandra-Worli Sea Link. On Monday evening, I traveled to Bandra straightaway from office. I should have taken the sky walk on Bandra east. I didn’t and walked through the crowded, muddy roads to reach the Highway. That 500 meter stretch is the time when I realized that there is a section of Bombay which is worse like many places in Lucknow. Once I reached the other end of the Highway, Niket and Srinivas were already waiting for me (I don’t know how I always turn up late). We all then took the sea link for which a one way trip toll is Rs. 55. Unless we got down the car, we couldn’t see anything apart from the side blockade walls. I heard from people that the sea link travel is a more worthy sightseeing on a high tide day. But we had a good travel on the sea link even on that low tide day.

Once we reached Worli, we sat on the platform plank on the Marine Drive. It was absolutely blissful sitting there with the mild breeze gently touching you. From there, we went to Sardar Pav Bhaji hotel. I have never ever seen a hotel entirely for Pav Bhaji. And believe me, people wait in queue for getting into the hotel. The hotel management follows batch processing for the entire set of customers i.e., once the current batch of customers leaves, a new batch is allowed inside. The bhaji was good except for the enormous butter in it. I think that the Mumbaikars will die if butter supply to this city is stopped. After the buttery dinner, we had the biiig Bombay Paans. It was so big that Srinivas almost ate it like a burger.

We then went to Shivaji Park, where the God of cricket used to practice once. It is a locality which encourages playing games a lot. The ground is too huge, almost double the size of CEG ground. They have Cricket, Football, Karate, Kabbadi, Judo, Kho-Kho and much more trainings conducted there. In weekends, we can see many children in white not even the size of a cricket kit, carrying one to practice there. This place is like a dream place for anyone who is a sports freak like my friend Vishnuu.

On Wednesday, me, Manu, Srinivas and Rohit planned for a mini meet at Kurla. I never thought Kurla would be so crowded. Kurla is definitely a hell on earth. The human population density would definitely be very high. And every stranger looked like a kidnapper, scaring the normal people. We struggled and came out of the crowded roads. There we luckily found a decent restaurant and went to the mezzanine floor. The roof is just an inch distant from my head. But it was different to have food at such a place for the first time.

Next day, me and my fellow interns wanted to go out for dinner. We reached Hotel Status near Churchgate. It was really a superb place. Reshmi Paratha is simply awesome there. That is an occasional dine out for us, but there are people who stay around and are regulars there. I was wondering how come people spend that much for food regularly. Finally, we went to Marine drive and sat for some time. Peace in the moonlight, it was. Then we took the local from C.S.T. The station is a very old building, but it is amazingly brilliant. To be honest, the British architecture is indeed beautiful. In terms of the average distance between two stations, harbor line will definitely be lesser than the central line and the western line.

And finally the much awaited event of IIM Lucknow’s Alumni Committee, Renascence 2012 happened this week.  The event was organized in 11 cities on the same day. I was the location coordinator for Bombay. It was really a good day running around to buy things for the event. The event location was at TAJ Lands End, Bandra. The event went really well with Alumni from various batches turning up. I had a good time with my friends Asavari, Pranav, and Saurabh and my seniors Sreejith, Loveleen and Sriram after two months. While leaving, I drove Pranav’s car till Vile Parle from Bandra at around 2:00 AM. The best part of metros is the midnight drives and that one was awesome.

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Bombay week #7

Going out from air-conditioned office for Lunch in the scorching Bombay weather is not that fun but certainly it is good to go. I went to Hotel Laxmi in Powai near IIT Bombay on one afternoon and to R-City mall in Vikhrohli on another. Hotel Laxmi is a reasonably priced restaurant. But R-city mall is entirely different. The food court is milking money from the customers and the place is always crowded.

This week is almost like Matunga exploration week. I have to cross Matunga every day for reaching home from office. So, I got down at Matunga and started having dinner at Madras cafe, Hotel Sarada, Ram ashray, and Hotel Manis. All these hotels are must-go for any person who loves Kannada or Tamil food. You will love the place if you do so.

The most anticipated Champions League final – Chelsea vs Bayern Munich happened this week and Chelsea are crowned as European Champions. A reason to celebrate for me. The matches incidents like Cech’s goal miss @ 83′, Drogba’s header goal @ 88′, Robben’s penalty miss @ 94′, Mata’s penalty miss @ shootout, and Drogba’s penalty kick which ensured sealing CL gave me momentary shocks and surprises. But ultimately Chelsea won it.

Though a sloppy week, it ended on a high note.

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Bandra! Bandra! Bandra! 3 Bandra visits in a span of 4 days – I definitely need to avoid this place in Bombay from this week onwards.

After a frustrating Monday, me and my friend Karthickeyan crashed into Hotel Lucky in Bandra after a discussion of around half an hour covering around a dozen restaurants in and around more than five areas getting ideas from three hard core Mumbaikars. Planning to go to a restaurant takes more time than actually going. We reached the hotel via Local from Matunga road. Bandra station is different from the other stations. It pretty much looks like the stations built during the British rule. It is almost like the stations that are present in Railroad Tycoon II. The restaurant is just a 2 minute walk away from the station surrounded by sky walks all around. Thanks to Niket for suggesting this place, Lucky is the first place in Bombay where the Biryani is very delicious and spicy. Hotel Lucky is one best place for sea food lovers in Bombay.

On Wednesday, my classmates planned to meet for Dinner. When the discussions were on, I prayed we shouldn’t zero in on Bandra, but Murphy’s law works 83% of time for me. And thus we ended up finalizing Bandra for Dinner. I met Khode, Manu, and Krishnamurthy and then we planned to go to Bandstand before we go to the restaurant. Many said that I will be a misfit in Bandstand and that came out to be so true. That place is best suited for the desperate souls of Bombay. It is just a sea shore with lots of rocks in between the pathway and the sea. Once you are “on the rocks”, no one could notice you. It’s almost pitch dark. The place isn’t at a comparable level to any beach in Madras. Then Vipin also joined us.

Before the restaurant, Vipin took us to Elco pani puri center. The hotel is very famous for the hygiene of the food prepared there. Outside the hotel, on the road side, there were 10 people standing for pani puri when we reached. I thought the pani puri would be cheap there, but when I saw the menu, my head became light. Pani puri costs 50 rupees and that is the cheapest item on the menu. One realization is that, the price for brand is very high in restaurants. From there, we went to Moti Mahal, a little expensive restaurant. But the tawa dishes in the restaurant is really awesome. After a heavy dinner, we met Pranav and Binay. After an hour long discussion on each other’s internships, we decided to leave.

Finally, on Thursday, my room mates planned to go to Kareem’s hotel in Carter’s road. Carter’s road is one of the most colorful and youthful and also expensive place in Bombay. The road is towards the end of the Bandstand to the opposite direction of that of TAJ. In Kareem’s too, Biryani was really delicious. The rolls were stuffed with semi-solid stuffing which is not that good. The hotel is too small, but sitting at the pathway and having food is always fun.

Bandra! Bandra! Bandra! An expensive, but must-go area for foodies.

P.S. There are 2 things special for me in this article. (1) This is my 55th article (2) Blog stats have reached 7k. At this juncture, I would like to thank all of you for your whole-hearted support and comments/suggestions.

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5th week @ Bombay -> Manchester City versus Manchester United EPL title decider @ Out of the Blue – Hiranandani Gardens, Visit to NMIMS College @ Mithibhai campus, Food corner – Dosa stalls surrounding Mithibai campus, Siddhi Vinayak temple on Saturday morning, “7 it is” – Mou & FA Cup, FA Cup celebration @ The Oriental Residency

Title deciders in English Premier League are the must-watch matches. One such match is the match between Citizens vs Red Devils this week. United fans have arranged for big screen match telecast at the Out of the Blue restaurant in the Hiranandani Gardens, Powai. Though the match was on a Monday night at 12:15 AM, I planned to watch it. The square hall was huge and lit with the yellowish red ambiance.  Before the match, the fans were singing various songs of Manchester United and once the match began the crowd watched the match and sang only when required. Having experienced watching the match among Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United fans, I will place United fans above both the other teams’ fans with respect to watching the match with spirit. In the entire crowd, only me and Sudarsan wanted City to win as they were playing better in the match and it did win. We left the place amongst hundred disappointed fans. After this match, the trophy was Manchester City’s to lose.

Both in my undergraduate college CEG and in my current college, the campuses are situated in a very large area with lots of small buildings placed here and there. But, when I went into the Mithibai college campus in Ville Parle, I witnessed an altogether different kind of campus. I went there as Sudarsan showed his college, library, classrooms, and canteen. The campus has a building with 10 floors, and there are around three to four colleges operating inside the same campus. All these colleges belong to Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal. The trust literally owns that entire road. The management have managed the space so efficiently to allocate all the colleges in the same building. NMIMS building which was opposite to Mithibai college was demolished and is being reconstructed. So the students were shifted to this building till their campus comes up.

Awestruck by the space management of the Mithibai college management, I came out to try the famous street food opposite to the college. Dosas are expensive for the street stalls but they are really good, especially the chutney. Many people came in car to taste the food which is testament to the taste and the quality of food there.

Saturday morning temple visits are always special. The temples won’t be crowded. I woke up early in the morning and went to Siddhi Vinayak temple in Dadar. The temple as such is not that big. There are only two shrines : a vinayagar shrine and a Hanuman shrine. Due to the temple being small, it has a higher chance of overcrowding even when a small crowd arrives. Though the temple is just like the entrance of the huge temples in Tamilnadu, the place is very silent and a sense of calmness prevailed. Then I saw for the first time people practicing an age old superstition of telling their wishes in the ears of the idol of the Ganesha’s vahana, the mouse. They believe those wishes will be fulfilled. I also did the same. Believe me, petty superstitions without being seriously engrossed into them are really cool to practice.

Chelsea vs Liverpool matches have lost its shine after the Jose Mourinho – Rafa Benitez rivalry ended with their departures. But, an FA cup final among the teams can’t be missed. Me, Niket and Manu went to The Oriental residency in Khar road to watch the match. As a delight, Chelsea won the FA cup with the strikes from Drogba and Ramires. Winning FA cup is always special. It is a pride to watch John Terry and Frank Lampard lift the cup. This week there are two 7s that are special. First is Mourinho’s 7th league title. Second is Chelsea’s 7th FA Cup. A good week for the old duo.

4 more weeks to go in Bombay. Looking forward to much more rich experiences.

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Roof top football, Champions League disappointment, Evading Dadar, Crazy bike ride from Vikhroli to JUHU,  and Iskcon temple darshan made this week another week to remember at Bombay.

I had never thought that playing football at roof top would be of much fun. Sunday evening, my friend Harish came up with the idea of playing football at roof top. I thought of giving it a go. Harish, Sudarsan, Karthikeyan and me went to play with two a side. The rough floor made sure that our legs are bruised persistently. But we didn’t care about it. Throughout the match we were comparing the match with that of our favorite premier league clubs and sometimes chanting the club songs for fun. Though it was too childish, we loved it a lot. The two hours of play was when I had more fun than the outings till date here.

The very first weekday turned out to be a good day for travel. I traveled in local during the peak hours in the evening without even a single drop of sweat or even a slightest push or pull. It is no achievement elsewhere, but in Bombay it is. I had noticed before that there is a train to Bandra and a train to Andheri which follows it around 6:00 PM in Dadar. And in Dadar people fight to board a local even if it is entirely free. There will be a heavy fight for Andheri train and relatively lesser fight for Bandra train. So, I boarded the Bandra train which doesn’t have a lot of crowd and a lot of people boarding onto. Then I got down in Mahim Junction. In another 2 minutes, the train to Andheri came, and surprisingly there wasn’t a single person fighting to board. I boarded it and reached Ville Parle without even a single push or pull. I felt like having conquered Bombay local.

On the same day, I went to Pop Tates in Sakinaka for dinner with Manu, Krishna and Pranav. Sakinaka was portrayed as the ‘Hell on Earth’ in terms of traffic by my friend Rahul. But it didn’t seem so. May be it is because I went there after the peak hours. On the way from Vile Parle, there are many star hotels lined up on both the sides of the road. Other than the dinner, it was the heated conversation we had about our college, internship and the path our college is heading to that was very interesting. The gist of it is that ‘Students are capable of being innovative and creative, but the restrictions and the blocks that everyone receives at each corner of a change are enormous. If those were relaxed, sky is the limit for Students’ capabilities.’

I tried another way to avoid the frustrating and depressing Dadar-station-boarding-fights. When I returned back from Vikhrohli, I got down at Matunga station and walked to the Matunga road station through that scary pathway surrounded on both sides with the rail coach workshops. I reached the other side in 10 minutes and I boarded the train in the next 2-3 minutes for which there was not even a single person fighting. The next day I found out that it took 15 minutes to reach to Matunga road station from Matunga via the Dadar route. And apart from the 15 minutes, I had to see  the fights to board the train and had to realize that most of the human beings aren’t sensible. I would spare more time to avoid boarding at the Dadar station in the evening. Evading Dadar station as much as possible is my aim while traveling in local.

Driving bike at Madras is always fun for me. I will grab an opportunity to drive at Madras whenever I get and I have rode more than 21k km in my Unicorn. But how will it be in Bombay? I thought of giving it a try and asked Rahul for riding his bike from Vikhrohli to Juhu. His bike is a Bajaj XCD model. The gear system is entirely opposite to that of my Unicorn. I always had to change the gear thrice as I always shifted the gear in the opposite direction and then had to reverse it and shift again. It was really tough to handle the bike and think about riding on the Bombay roads with the traffic. All the roads are not made of tar. There are roads made of small concrete blocks, which turn into bumpy roads very soon. The roads are definitely better in Madras. Ultimately I drove like a mad man cutting through traffic. I could have caused  several accidents. It was one crazy drive, I would never forget.

For god saved me without any accident during my crazy bike ride, I paid him a visit. 😉 I went to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple in JUHU. It was a temple which was among 400 other temples under the society. With the first look, I thought it was not a temple but a mini palace. The society had a park and an apartment inside the compound along with the Temple. I also came to know that the membership of the society is very costly. The society was formed to spread Vaishnavism (Devoted following of Lord Vishnuu) way back in 1960s. The prayers are a little different from that in Tamilnadu. There were a lot of devotees who are singing the Hare Krishna songs and dancing with their devotional steps. There were several foreigners who were watching that with a lot of respect. I as an Indian wasn’t paying much attention initially. The way they pay respect to other culture is a learning to everyone. Mutual respect to all cultures raises your self esteem. On both the sides of the temple, there were models of the different avatars of Lord Vishnuu which are very educational. The temple also had many food stalls where they served tea, snacks, chats, sweets and even dosas. I have never before seen a temple having so many food stalls apart from the Prasadam. One advice for the temple visitors in future – don’t ever try the herbal tea there. Overall, the temple is one place to visit in Mumbai with the Siddi Vinayagar temple in Dadar and  the Mahalakshmi temples waiting in line to be visited.

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Bombay Week #3

Three frustrated souls wanted some break from the hectic work and went to Madras cafe in the King’s Circle in Matunga this Tuesday in search of South Indian food. I was one among them. I reached Matunga from my office and found the Madras Cafe and found that Krishna is already waiting. We then waited for Manu to join. Once he joined, we went in to the hotel. One thing I found was that some authentic hotels are not 100% authentic and Madras Cafe is one among them. They had the menu with many local food also. The taste of the food was not close to the food’s taste is Madras, but it might work in Bombay to be Madras people’s savior. Aloo Masala is the best in Madras Cafe. That made any Masala Dosa there delicious. Others are good but not so great. After having a good dinner and a good cribbing session, we left for our respective places.

The first trouble showed its head on the third week in Bombay. There was a fire accident that happened between Kurla and Vidyavihar railway stations which damaged the signalling systems present in between those stations this Wednesday post midnight. Due to this, all the trains in the Central line were delayed for 40 to 60 minutes. Unaware of this, I traveled till Dadar. The local wasn’t crowded till there. As I took the over bridge to change from Western line to Central line, there was a surprise waiting for me. The entire platform was filled with people and people were standing till the top of the over bridge. For a minute I thought I have no chance of going in the local that day. So, I went out of Dadar station in search of Taxi to Vikhrohli. Not a surprise that all the taxis demanded more than 450 rupees. After sometime a taxi driver demanded 300 rupees which was pretty reasonable. And I thought that was the better deal and went in that taxi to office. Though it is very expensive, I had no other option. I learned that day that almost 35 lakh people use the local daily in Bombay. Everyone in my office reached late by almost 2-4 hours. The tragic news was that a few deaths happened due to a very high degree of overcrowding of the trains. The local service is almost tied with the lives of many people in Bombay and any disruption to its service leads to disruption in the schedules of lakhs of people. It is time the city officials have to think of mitigating the risks due to any failure in the local service.

For the first two weeks, I had always underestimated the power of crowd in the local. On Thursday a worst incident happened to me for the first ever time which changed my perception entirely. But 50% of what happened was due to my stupidity too. I started very early from office that day. In Vikhrohli station, the train hasn’t come for 30 minutes, during which a lot of crowd gathered. Then a train came in which everyone pounced into and occupied the seats. I waited and got the next train in few minutes which was 80% free. I thought people are crazy here and have no sense. On reaching Dadar, I tried the same strategy, but sometimes Murphy’s law works. I didn’t board four trains due to overcrowding in those trains. Then I thought that there is no point waiting anymore and boarded the next train. I was standing in the center of the train when the train reached Santacruz. I had to get down at the next station, Vile Parle. So I tried to come out. No one allowed. I was elbowing them and I was telling them that I have to get down in my pathetic Hindi, but everything went in vain. The station reached and no one got down and few people boarded the train and the train left the station. For a moment I thought I shouldn’t have been here in Bombay at all.

Then I somehow got down in the next station, Andheri. I was furious at myself and the crowd. I waited for the local to come in the opposite direction but all the trains that came were Fast ones which don’t stop in Vile Parle. Four fast trains came and left and then there was a notification that the next slow train will come after six minutes. I was already frustrated. So I stormed out of the station and searched for an Auto rickshaw. For 5 minutes I didn’t get even a single auto. The bus stand was also crowded. So I walked for some distance. Then also I didn’t get an auto. I thought it would be easier to walk and continued to walk. Now was the Heights of my Stupidity! I walked along a square of around 1 kilometer and came to the same location. When I became aware of this, I was tired, frustrated and totally down. So, I waited there for 10 more minutes and took an auto rickshaw back to home. This is worst ever experience for me. One learning from this incident is that at times when things go against me, I just have to be silent for some time and think over and then decide what to do. Hurried decisions just make the situation worse.

On Saturday, I, along with Arsenal fan Sudarsan and Manchester United fan Karthikeyan, went to the Irish Pub in Khar road where the Chelsea fans have organised to broadcast Arsenal vs Chelsea match. The atmosphere was too good to watch a football match with Blues fans singing continuously. Particularly “When the Blues go marching in..” song with its varying rhythm versions is still ringing in my ears. High point of the match was when both Arsenal and Chelsea fans started singing against Manchester United. Low point of the match was that most of the Chelsea fans there didn’t even watch the match, but they sang all along and they sang even for players like Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand who are not all famous. The match ended in a draw. Chelsea prepared well defensively for the upcoming Barcelona match by keeping a relatively easy clean sheet against Arsenal at their home. I hoped that the Barcelona match also ends up with the same result.

Though not a good week, it ended well with a good weekend. I am expecting the upcoming week to be better.

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