Witnessing Europe in Mumbai !

Last weekend was amazing. Beautiful weather, slight chill and fantastic environment in Mumbai. While in Five Garden, Matunga, for a moment, I forgot that I am in Mumbai and felt like being somewhere in Europe. Do visit a park early morning in Mumbai over the week end. The weather is awesome here atpresent.

The 3-D effect !

Last week, the sky was amazing on Saturday. I got to see the blue sky, rarely seen here and one I witnessed frequently in Europe.A combination of this white cloud filled blue sky with greenery upfront gives an unusual 3-D effect to the picture. Not to forget the flying birds add a new dimension to it.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Today is the birth anniversary of the beloved king of Maharashtra Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
On this occasion, sharing a picture of Shivaji Maharaj's statue present in  the Shivaji Chowk in Badlapur.
Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai!

Hiranandani half marathon, Thane

Yesterday, we went to participate in the Hiranandani Half marathon at Thane. I participated through someone, so I had no direct connection with the participation process. Whatever the mediator person was saying, I was accordingly following. We were supposed to report at 4.45 a.m. apparently, when our run was to start at 7.00 a.m. It made no sense and it was just not possible by any means for us to reach there at that time. We decided, we will reach by 6.00 a.m. and will see if still we can run.
 When we reached, the atmosphere was electrifying. The place was decorated as if it is Diwali. Not to forget, there were fire crackers too. In fact too noisy ones. I wonder, how this doesn't add to pollution when Diwali crackers do! We were not able to stand there, it was so smoky. Imagine people who were running through it. How much of those poisonous gases must have entered their lungs.
Anyways, the atmosphere was really good. All enthusiastic people moving around. A bhangada Dhol playing in the background. Different troops running through the track. Some people were complaining as the parking was little far away from the starting point, but that could not be helped. Overall, a good energetic beginning of the week.

Seashell museum of Mahabalipuram

In one of my visits to IGCAR, Kalapakkam, with some free time in hand, we decided to give a visit to a near by museum in Mahabalipuram, made exclusively for sea shells. It is a wonderful place and worth giving visit. The fascinating part begins from its entry itself that shows a huge, wild octopus keeping control on the  entry of the museum. 
As always is the case with such places, the museum received a visit from school picnic, where are students are least interested about the place and more about running around here and there. So, that kind of cut our visit short.

A heart touching TV Commercial of Samsung India Service

Samsung India service came up with this TV commercial which apparently is one of the most watched commercial of 2017. It indeed is good.Somewhere it plucks the chord and would surely make your eyes wet. The story slowly builds up where a blind girl wants to avail the service of Samsung India service to repair a TV in her home in a very remote hilly area. The kind of efforts this person from Samsung India service takes to reach her home and then having a sudden realization about the background of this requirement of urgent service to be provided makes this commercial reside in mind even after it is over. No wonder this is the most watched commercial, if the claims are to be considered true. I felt a need to share it with all here.

VC: Samsung India

The Insides of Vir Savarkar Sabhagrah, Dadar

I wanted to visit Vir Savarkar Sabhagrah since the time I used to go to Shivaji Park, Dadar for jogging. If you measure the distance through outside road around Shivaji Park, it comes out to be around 1.2 kms. I used to begin my run from the side where the hospital Shushrusha is located. So, when I had just started running here, and I was not in practise, by the time I would reach the other side, i.e. around 800-900 mts run, I generally used to be exhausted. And I would mostly be struggling to complete one round. Many a times I could drag myself to get going, but then there used to be days, when throwing any more steps was just impossible. This used to be times when I would stop right infront of the entry to Vir Savarkar Sabhagrah.  Back then I had no idea what it is. I thought it is some kind of museum. That initiated my interest to go in there someday. It though never happened. Last week, I got a chance to visit the place to attend a programme in the theater. The insides of the theater is really good and immediately takes the grip of the person. A huge curtain in the center and two very beautiful sculptures on either sides of the curtain. The first one I could understand partially that depicts art, religion, spirituality, the defending strength, the growth (agriculture) strength, all associated with India. But the second I could not deduce.

I am not sure if the two sculptures are just associated with Indian way of life or does it go more specific towards the identity at the center of the name of the Theater, Vir Savarkar. These things need to be deduced. Are you aware of it? Do share then.

Still the curtain is down !

There is anticipation on one side and anxiety on the other.There is curiosity on one side and excitement on the other. Only thing that separates the two sides is this curtain. As long as it is down, all these feelings exist. As the curtain goes up, they all converge to one, expectation of a good performance.

Super Blue Blood Moon - one minute summary

 It was an interesting astronomical phenomena of Super Blue Blood Moon, that we witnessed yesterday here in India. But as obvious it is, many people might not have been able to monitor the whole sequence of the phenomena, considering the time schedule of 4 hours needed to witness it. So, some enthusiasts came up with the idea of shrinking the time slot of 4 hours into 1 minute. These 4 hours have been nicely captures and squeezed into a one minute video that has already started making rounds among people through Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube. I also saw it first on Whatsapp and wondered who must have made this video. That's why I started searching it on Youtube. But realized many people have uploaded it there. So, the name of original maker is unknown. That is a pity. Credit should go to the owner. Now, I am embedding here one of those videos probably uploaded by a person name Avinash R.P. I am not sure, it belongs to him or not. But the credit goes to the owner. ( I hope it is Avinash).
Have an experience of this unusual phenomena where the Moon turns Blood red for some time. It is wonderful. Hats off to the video maker. Great work.

Blood Moon, Super moon and Blue moon

Today seem to be a great day for astronomy enthusiast. A once in a life time opportunity ( considering ones life time is less than 150 years) has arrived today. Four events are going to take place today. Every where they are saying three, but I am calling it four. As in the video they say three phenomena are occurring today. But I guess, one is just an artifact of calculations, one is merely an observation and one is a real phenomena. And which is the fourth event, not explicitly discussed?
Lets go one by one
1) Total Lunar eclipse: An event where Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon. The shadow of earth falls on moon, cutting out all the light completely coming from Sun. This is the event not explicitly discussed around. Focus is only on how the Moon will look like today.
2) Blue Moon: Now this is not a phenomena. It is just a case that when two full moons occur in english calender month. So, no phenomena here but just a game of calculations. Since having two full moons in one month is a rare care, thats why the use of words " Once in a blue moon".
3) Supermoon: An event where the Moon appears relatively bigger in size. All because, during its revolution around earth, it has come at a relatively closer distance than the rest of the time. So, an observation that a bigger size moon will be observed.
4) Blood Moon: Now this could be called as a phenomena, I guess. So, when the Lunar eclipse takes,  while all the direct light  from the Sun reaching out to the Moon has been obstructed by the Earth, some amount of light purges through the atmosphere and falls on the Moon. As a result of the distilling of light by the atmosphere, the light that reaches the Moon, results in yielding it a red color, thereby making it look like a shade of blood red color.  I am not sure how really it would be looking. But surely would be great chance to experience it. Do watch this embedded short video to know more about it.

A route to the happiness

Recently, I got a chance to visit a sugarcane field. It was such an amazing experience. As you take the route to the field, you slowly enter into another world. A relaxed, tension free place, where there is no binding on what to do, how to do and all. You also realize that you can just pick up vegetables and fruits just like that without bargaining and surprisingly all the fruits will taste sweet and all the vegetables absolutely fresh.  You end up spending enormous amount of time, enjoy to fullest and still realize that it was just an hour we spent in the field. To, all the fellows, which have spent all their time in cities or abroad, this is must do exercise, just to realize that there is another style of living life, that exist on this earth.

Indigodeli, RCity mall

Indigodeli, RCITY mall is one of my favorite places to have a quiet, wonderful time with awesome treat of tastes. What I like the most about it is the environment created. Once inside, you enter into an altogether different world. Ofcourse, once full of people, this place also started buzzing, but it surely is not disturbing like other places. The sitting arrangement is awesome and you can get the feeling of not being in restaurant full of people. The food is obvious and I have written about it earlier.
The reason to put this post today is, recently I visited its another branch, the one in Phoenix mall, Worli. Believe me, it is no match to this branch in RCITY mall. While they have tried to create the same environment, because of the location of this branch in the Phoenix mall, it just ends up looking just dark and little sad. Ofcourse the service is good here too. The food I tried here was a little let down for me. All the time, I was thinking and unknowingly comparing with the experience in RCITY mall branch and kept appreciating it.
So, if you plan to try INDIGODELI anytime, I would recommend the RCITY Mall branch. But that doesn't mean, Phoenix mall branch is bad. Afterall INDIGODELI is INDIGODELI.

Mumbai local: Mumbai's own adventurous sport

Are you interested in experiencing an adventurous sport, but you don't want to spend lot of money or travel to long places to do that? We have a solution for you here in Mumbai. Mumbaikars daily play this adventurous sport which hardly cost anything and you doesn't need to travel far away from home to experience it. It is called Mumbai local train.
I don't travel by local train in Mumbai. Although, I am here for some good time now, but my experience with this travelling mode is almost zero. I was just a listener of all the horror stories of Mumbai local train traveling. Whenever I use to cross over the Tilak bridge of Dadar, I used to wonder, how would all these people fit in one train, which already arrives mostly occupied? 

But then, something unimaginable happened yesterday. For some reason, I had to go to Badlapur. I thought of taking out car, but then others ( who are used to this train traveling) insisted and we ended up taking a train. I thought it is Sunday, and early morning time and it shouldn't be  that big crowd going in opposite direction. We ended up standing on Dadar station's platform for 8.11 a.m. CSMT-Badlapur train. We went little early, so I thought my conjecture is turning right. But then as soon as the time was 8.06 or so, from somewhere, people started gathering and very I realized I am myself a part of the scene I used to see from Tilak bridge. I was given courage and suggestions on what to do and whatnot to do at those fine moments of boarding the train. Fortunately, it did not turn out to be that difficult to catch the train. For next couple of stations it was pretty ok to even stand in the boggie. There was crowd, but comfortable. But then the train arrived at the Thane station and I got the first glimpse of what crowd really is? I was initially standing in one of the corners near the first seat. But once the train started, I realized my body parts are in all different directions. The two legs were far apart. Hands were holding at two different places and I was literally doing  some kind of Yoga pose. By the next station, I was thrown deep inside the boggie with pretty much change in the standing stance I had taken.
If some one is thinking that stay deep inside for the whole journey and just come in the most crowded probably during the time you want to get down. But that is the grave mistake you would do. Because by the time you may reach the gates, you would have crossed 2-3 stations beyond your destination.
Luckily our station was the last one. So, I thought getting down would be easy, as every one would want to get down  here. But, that is wrong thinking. Even the last station is crowded and every one standing on the platform wants to board the train for the return journey. The unwritten rule in these places says that, who ever wants to enter, let them inside first. Once the rush is over, then all those who want to get down may proceed. If you attempt an early stepping down process, the influx would force you return to your place and you may get physically hurt. Interesting thing, nobody would bother to look after you but instead abuse you for trying to break the unwritten rule.
The return journey was equally adventurous. But now I had get the inkling of what to expect. So, I survived.

I took this experience yesterday for the first time. In spite that it was a holiday and early morning time. I can only imagine, what people must be experiencing on working days, when the need to board the train and reach destination in time very much important. I feel pity for some of my colleagues who travel from places known for gathering maximum crowd. Probably, I traveled on route which has some humanity. Because there are other routes where some other unwritten rules have to be followed. For example: You can not board travel going to Virar if you have to get down at Borivali. There are places fixed for people to stand, sit in every boggie. And it has resulted in forming groups. Either you be a part of this ( if they accommodate you) or you face the music. In worst case scenario, you may can even get thrown out of the running train.
So, this local train travel has kinds of components that make it an adventurous sport. Come and try this fantastic ride and I hope you survive through it every day.

Colorful Makar Sankranti celebrations of Alandi

Yesterday, I happen to visit Aalandi, near Pune, Maharashtra. A place known for Sant Nynaneshwar.
Coincidentally, it was Makar Sankranti. It was wonderful to experience the celebration mode on the occassion. In City areas like Mumbai or Pune, the celebration is not evident. Basically, at these places, celebrations are only through Whatsapp. In Maharashtra, we have a tradition to give sweets made out of Sesame and Jaggary called as TilgooL (TilGud). While giving it we say, "TilGooL ghya, goad goad bola". Means Have TilgooL and as its taste is sweet, keep speaking to us sweet for the rest of the year. As I mentioned, in city areas, celebration is through Whatsapp, so, we give only virtual TilgooL to people and expect them to speak sweet.
So, I was really impressed when I happen to be at this place Aalandi. I could experience the feel of the celebration mode here. It was one of colorful days, I witnessed. People dressed in colored clothes, getting ready to visit the temple, to enjoy in a fair, shopping colorful things, buying colorful flowers to offer to the God. Everything was just colorful. It was a different kind of experience for me.
Just Colorful!

Through the skeleton

Life changes dramatically. Some days are the best ones, but then unknowingly, things change and we get to witness the other extreme too. One thing that beautifully depicts this changes is a tree. It shows all kinds of color in a very short span. There are days when a tree is all covered in greenery. It gives us shade, fruits, flowers and what not. A tree with a good shade is something that a trekker really loves. After walking for a long time under the Sun, as soon as you get to see a tree with a good shade, you have to stay under it for some time. The coolness offered by the tree at such a time is the best thing one can experience.
But then days change. A point come when one can not see a single leaf on the tree. And the skeletons of the tree are out to visible eyes. Interestingly, during such times, nobody even bother to look at such trees, forget waiting under it for rest. Such times represent the mirror. Though, it is the tree that turns skeletal, but it reflects the real us who change priority towards others as per our convenience.

Route to Sudhagadh fort - an interesting story to tell.

One of the recently attempted trek to Fort Sudhagadh. Near Pune. Perfect location and fantastic route. Unfortunately we could not beyond a point. The point shown above. There is an interesting story about it. We started our trek little late and reached the base of the fort pretty much at time when nobody wants to climb. Yes, sharp at 12 o'clock. Without wasting any further time, we started climbing. It was not a difficult climb to begin with. But with a big gap in trekking, even simple climbs become difficult. Anyway, we kept climbing. After almost one hour of climb, we finally found a tree which was giving a good shade. So, decided to take a halt. Some people lied down, some started clicking around.
Soon, one of us started asking, if anybody is hearing noise as if a truck is coming. Initially we said no, but sooner every body heard the noise. That was interesting, because there is no chance of getting a truck at this height. So, we started checking out, and while started checking the path, we were about to take, it suddenly turned scary. Just at a distance of 100 meters, there was a big bunch of bees, which were coming towards us. It turned the whole path dark. The noise was increasing at a faster rate, that means bees were traveling pretty fast. It was a do or die situation. Within seconds, everybody got up and started running downhill with all the luggage on back. Now it seems difficult to believe, but the distance we took 1 hr to climb up, we covered the same distance with in 10 minutes. By 1.15 p.m. we were back at the place from where we started. It was pointless to try again the uphill task, not knowing the current situation. Another group had just started climbing up and they asked us why we ran down. We told the whole scenario. Soon, they also started contemplating what to do. Not sure, what they did,because we had started our return journey without wasting any time.

A Whisper in the ear

Poem courtesy : https://www.pinterest.com/explore/atticus-quotes/

I said to him, 
"You are not strong enough to withstand the Storm" .
He whispered in my ears,
" I am the Storm".

Maharashtra Bandha: What exactly is achieved?

PC: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra-bandh-live-updates-mumbai-pune-dalits-marathas-bhim-koregaon-5009428/

After a long long time, we all Maharashtrians experienced a  "Bandha" that halted Maharashtra for a day. Frankly speaking I only faintly remember coming across the name "Bhima-Koregaon" till day before yesterday. That is why, when I read some news about "rail roko aandolan" in Chembur on 2nd January marking a protest for Bhima-Koregaon incident, I got no clue. I thought it is just minor issue which will be resolved by the time,we head back to home. But over the time, it started getting more and more ambitious. By the evening, it reached a level of giving sigh of relief for every member reaching home safely. 
It was a compulsory holiday next day. Apparently it was supposed to be a peaceful bandh. But as is experience, it never is peaceful. Repercussions observed in all parts of Maharashtra and quite a lot in Mumbai. I really could not understand what is achieved out of this Bandha? Why did they start it and why it was withdrawn suddenly? Surprisingly, within minutes of withdrawing Bandha call, everything got regularized with in minutes. Does it mean, all the anger people had in mind got evaporated suddenly?
I got no clue. I never understand such tactics. I am just wondering how long will such Bandhs be allowed to take place in India, that achieves nothing but destroys everything around.