Sunday, July 3, 2011

Paradoxical/Marginal Man

In last few months, while staying in my maternal village, I have realized that I am a strange case of a Paradoxical or Marginal character. I like to narrate, why I feel so :
  • Between Rich (quiet good fixed and undivided asset) and Poor (often have very less liquid asset).
  • Between Joint (quiet large) and Nuclear (very small) family.
  • Between Digital (cyber cafe/others computer) and Non digital (village economy, almost without electricity).
  • Between Guardian and No guardian.
  • Between Relatives/Friends/Relations and No relatives/friends/Relations.
  • Between family and individualism.
  • Between different states and country.
  • Between different languages (Hindi and Tamil, Gujarati and Bengali, English and Sanskrit, Maithili and Bhojpuri).
  • Between different Religions and Castes.
  • Between Urban and Rural life.
  • Between Celibacy and Indulgence.
  • Between Thrifty/Miser and Extravagant/Prodigality.
  • Between North, South, East and West.
  • Between Radio and Television.
  • Between Starvation and "Rich" food (vegetarian).
  • Between Education/learned and Ignorance/Learner.
  • Between Cowardice and Bravery.
  • Between Workaholic and Holidayer.
  • Between "Covered" and "Naked".
  • Between Serious speaker and loose commenter.
  • Between Naked truth and Mystery.
  • Between Known and Unknown.
  • Between Liberal and Extremist.
  • Between Boring and Interesting.
  • Between Old and Young.
  • Between Laggard and Leader.
  • Between Day and Night.
  • Between Beauty and Ugliness.
  • Between Healthy and Unhealthy.
  • Between Fortune and Misfortune.
  • Between Foot/Paddle operated  and Motorized vehicle.
  • Between Attached and Detached.
  • Between Hierarchy and Egalitarianism.
  • Between Tidy (Clean) and Untidy(Dirty).
  • Between Normal and Abnormal.
  • Between Slow/Lazy and Fast/Active.
  • Between Governance and No Governance.
  • Between Stagnation and Free-Flow.
  • Between Future, Present and Past.
  • Between Male and Female.
  • Between Risk Taker and Risk Averse.
  • Between Truth and Lie.
  • Between Job and Job Gap.
  • Between Mass and Class.
  • Between House, Hotel/Lodge and Paying guest.
  • Between Auto, Bus, Train and Plane.
Think also of "बिन पेन्दी का लोटा", Bamboo, Whale, Dolphin, India, Sun, etc.

Sun remains where it is, the earth moves around it, but it appears that the Sun is moving. Likewise, Situation/Environment makes many people to exhibit different contrary forms of behaviors or adaptations.

India is a biggest Paradoxical country. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Astrology and Life

Right Hand image in Picasa
Left Hand image in Picasa 
My Date of Birth: 15 May 1981 (Most Probable)
Time of Birth: 10:08 PM, IST, Friday Night (Most Probable) 
Place of Birth: Sitamarhi central hospital, Mithila (North Bihar)
Registered Date of Birth: 10 January 1983.
My Family and Heritage
My Professional Life
On 21-12-2010, at Sri Adharvana Prathyangira Kalikadevi Temple, Hosur, Tamilnadu, participated in a prayer to get rid of Rahu-Ketu dosha in my Kundili. (Prayer charge: Rs.250)
My mother used to keep Jitiya vrata for my long and healthy life.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Travelling from Lucknow to Hosur, without getting ticket confirmed (16-11-2010)

1) Waitlisted (WL 275 at the time of booking) e-ticket, which could not get cleared and got auto cancelled. 
Pnr Number: 2541861072
Transaction ID: 0270108033
Train No: 5015
From Station: LUCKNOW NE(LJN)
Date Of Journey: 15-Nov-2010
Class: SL
Date Of Booking: 04-Nov-2010
Total Ticket Fare: Rs 524.00
Cancelled Date: 16-NOV-2010
Refund Amount: Rs 494
Refund Status: Refunded

Refund Date: 20-NOV-2010                                                                                                      

2) Waitlisted (RLWL 111 at the time of booking) e-ticket, which could not get cleared and got auto cancelled. 
Pnr Number: 6249200202

Train No: 2521
From Station: LUCKNOW NE(LJN)
Date Of Journey: 16-Nov-2010
Class: SL
Date Of Booking: 04-Nov-2010
Total Ticket Fare: Rs 546.00

Cancelled Date: 17-NOV-2010
Refund Amount: Rs 516
Refund Status: Refunded

Refund Date: 22-NOV-2010

I was in Lucknow for an official visit. I had booked the wait-listed e-ticket with hope that since it is the time of festival (Deepavali & Chat Puja in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), Railway will make some arrangement to clear the wait listed tickets. No special train had been provided for the route and the availability of trains are only on few days of the week. 
To reduce my risk of entering into difficulty, if the tickets are not confirmed, I had booked two wait listed tickets, in two different trains on two dates. 
Due to work load, I could not take the advantage of Tatkal facility. 
When the ticket booked for the train leaving on 15th November, could not get cleared, I hoped to get confirmation in the next train (that to leave on 16th November). But on the night of 15th November (after 8:00 PM), and after very eagerly waiting for the reservation chart to get ready, I found that my ticket was not confirmed. 
It made me very unhappy and distressed. That night I rushed to the cybercafe to send an email to the Railway, writing them  that they are not fit for the business and should get privatized.
I was indecisive, whether to continue to stay in the hotels and waste my time and money, or try to somehow reach my destination? I decided to somehow travel in the sleeper coach of Rapti Sagar express, after giving fine to the TTE and by sitting near the toilet and gate.
I was tensed, and in the night I could not get proper sleep. Somehow in morning, I left the hotel to travel in the "uncertainty". 
In Lucknow, Charbag, the three buildings of railway station are located together, and with difficulty and help of a rickshaw puller, I was able to reach the correct station and get the General ticket from the counter.
The cost of the General ticket from Lucknow to Jolarpettai, in Rapti Sagar express was Rs.292. The train was late (some two hours), and when it finally arrived, I found it to be overcrowded. The condition of people in the General boggy was very pathetic-there was not even a space to keep foot inside it!.
I found a TTE and said him that I want to travel in the Sleeper class. He asked me to pay a fine of Rs.480, and guided me to a coach where many people were to vacate the train, after it reaches Bhopal.
I found some space near the Toilet-Wash-basin-gate to keep my luggage and seat on it. I had many companions, both from rich and poor families. Many people with the habit of smoking, use to frequently come near the gate-toilet and smoke. To control them, I used my mobile phone's camera to capture their video, telling that I will put this video on internet to show to the world, how rules are broken inside the railway. With this measure, many people stopped smoking near me.
After midnight, when the train reached Bhopal, some seats got vacated. No TTE guided me to a birth, but I found them selling the seats. After shifting from one vacant birth to another, I found a birth to get some peaceful sleep and with hope of not getting further disturbed by a TTE.
Next day, I developed good relationship with my fellow passengers, but in night, when the train reached Vijaynagram, many passengers (good number of Lord Ayappa swami's devotee, I feel happy to meet them in train, but most often they finishes the water in the toilets, after using it for frequent bathing. Also to do "aarti",  they burn camphor inside the train, which can be risky, but with blessing of Lord Ayappa, I have not heard of any incident of fire outbreak in this route.) entered the train. I again became a passenger with ticket, but not with a seat. A TTE came and was able to locate a birth for me. He asked me to give him Rs.50, which I happily offered to him.
In the early morning of the 18th November, I reached Jolarpettai, and from there I took bus for Hosur. The journey made me to pay Rs.822 to the 'Railway and its staffs', besides the Rs.60 (=30 X 2), which the railway charged for cancelling the unconfirmed e-tickets.
Video: Smoking near the toilet
Video:Smoking near the toilet-2
Video: Sound sleep near the toilet

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Travel in VSG HOWRAH EXP/Amaravathi Express (18048) on 02-Sep-2010

IRCTC’s E Ticket, Tatkal quota, 2 passengers, Auto cancelled, as the Ticket did not got confirmed

Pnr Number: 4320948312
Transaction ID:
Train No: 8048
From Station: HOSPET JN(HPT)
Date Of Journey: 02-Sep-2010 (Thursday)
Class: SL
Boarding: HOSPET JN(HPT)
CK WL 15
Date Of Booking: 31-Aug-2010
Total Ticket Fare: Rs 832.00 (= 822 + 10 )

Refund Details

Cancelled Date: 03-SEP-2010
Refund Amount: Rs 782
Refund Status: Refunded
Receipt Number: 
Refund Date: 06-SEP-2010

I had planned my journey and booked this waitlisted ticket with hope that it will confirmed. But when the rate of decrease of waitlist number was very less, I got worried, whether my ticket will get confirmed or not.  There was no other convenient mean to reach the destination on time.
The time of arrival of the train in Hospet was 14:53 (2:53 PM). I was frequently getting the status of my ticket by dialing/sending SMS at 139 on my mobile. But when at around 12:00 noon, I saw that the chart has been prepared, and my ticket did not got confirmed, I got very depressed and also angry at the Railway. The feeling that now I will have to buy general ticket and along with my aged senior, we will either have to travel in general boggy or travel in the sleeper class, by utilizing the available seats or by standing near the gate/toilet after giving fine to the TTE, was horrifying me.
I said my senior that since the Railway has rejected us; we should also reject it and try to travel by bus. But there was no direct bus service.
So with dejected feelings we reached the railway station. On the General Ticket counter, I could not control my emotions and shouted, “May Lord Shiva Privatize this Railway”.
My senior was successful in getting a birth by paying some money/fine to a TTE at the station. This “blessing” from a TTE, managed to get by my senior, gave some comfort to me. It was seat number 12 (lower birth) of the S 4 boggy. We had got a place to seat in the overcrowded train.
In the way, one another TTE came, seen our ticket, asked how we got this seat and then went away without much speaking.
In night when our co-passengers got ready to sleep, I asked my boss to sleep on the seat, and I will seat by spreading paper on the floor space available between the two lower seats.
But a difficult time was waiting for us. At around 10:00 PM, a person with a big family came to our seat telling that it is his seat and we should vacate it. He was having a “counter booked” ticket, which was also waitlisted (53, 54 General Waitlist), which he was claiming to get confirmed.
I was not ready to believe his argument and asked him to call the TTE. I assumed that he has paid some money to the TTE to get that seat.
But when the TTE came and asked us to vacate the birth, my senior had to follow, with a kind request to give some vacant birth on which the TTE said that there is no vacant birth. I argued with the TTE saying that they are selling the same birth many times. The TTE got angry on me and said that with I having general ticket, with fine, should not talk like that and he may even ask us to get down of the train.
My senior asked me to be cool and pleaded the TTE to forgive me. A old lady came and slept on the birth and my senior along with some other family members of the old lady, shared the floor space along with me.
I was enraged by seeing the condition of many “customers” of the Indian Railway. When the TTE passed near to me, I just couldn’t control and shouted, “O' TTE, how much money you want, tell me”, but the TTE ignored my angry words and some of the co-passengers tried to cool me saying that he is ready to offer his own birth to my senior, but I should control my emotions.
(Later I repented for my emotional out bursts and like to say sorry to the TTE and the Indian railway).
At early morning, some births became vacant, and some of my fellow passengers helped me and my senior to get a birth to sleep.
After that we were able to reach our destination on time. I will like to thanks the railway for the hospitality and the tolerance.

Our return journey e-ticket was too waitlisted, and to manage the risk, I booked, three waitlisted e-tickets in three different trains, on two different dates.
On 4th September, I also sent a request email to the
“Dear Railway Customer Care,
 I have a Wait listed Ticket (PNR No.: 6444136073) in 5902 train for 5th September. Fearing the worse situation when the ticket is not confirmed, I have booked another two tickets for my journey.
The Details Are as followed:
1) PNR: 6246594000, Date of Journey 6th September 2010.
2)PNR: 6246594494, Date of Journey 6th September 2010.
If my train on 5th gets confirmed, Kindly Cancel my other Two Tickets. If I get access to a networked computer, I will try myself to cancel. But You can understand the difficulties.
Kindly help.”

Fortunately I was able to get 1 confirmed-1 waitlisted e-ticket in Dhanbad Alleppey express. I got the waitlisted ticket, confirmed after a persistent request to the TTE. 

Also read: Wait Listed Passengers in Indian railway

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My first experience in Mumbai and Interview at Hosur

June 2010: I had lost my job in Gujarat. My immediate senior, Shri Mehul Katpara, (of my immediate company) in Patan had supported me by giving shelter (without any rent). I was badly searching a new job, my laptop had stopped working, and I was expending my savings in cybercafe, searching new jobs. The cybercafe near Patan Railway station was charging Rs.10-15/Hour. I was ashamed in going to my house in Bihar. I had went to give interview in a Ahmedabad based multinational company but could not get job. Fortunately on 26th June, I show mail from my current Hosur (Tamilnadu) based company, that they want to take my Interview on 28th, Monday. So I had to immediately leave Gujarat and proceed for Hosur. I planned to go to Bangalore via Mumbai. I packed my luggage and took bus from Patan to go to Ahmedabad. That day there was good rain in Patan. I reached Ahmedabad at around 12:00 PM. 
Ranakpur Express(14707) was the immediate train going to Mumbai. Its time was around 1:00 AM. I booked General ticket to Mumbai Central @ Rs.108. I went to the TTE, and said that I want to travel in the sleeper coach. He said that I will have to pay fine of Rs.400. I had no option, but to travel sitting near the toilet of some sleeper coach. In early morning, I happened to get a seat. On morning of 27th April, the TTE came and asked Rs.50 from me. I asked him to take fine and give me the receipt, as I wanted to show to the world, how Indian railway is earning by "indirect methods". He prepared a fine-receipt of Rs.350 for me (ADS/BCT 85604971, 422979).
I reached Mumbai Central station at around 11:00 AM. The station was still developing, and I was finding great difficulty in finding someone who can help me to reach the Interstate Bus Station. Finally a good man guided me to go to Dadra, to catch the buses going to Bangalore. With a shared auto (Rs.10), I went to Bandra station of local train and booked a ticket to Mahalaxmi (Rs.4). By the local train, I reached Dadra. There a coolie approached me and said that if I give him Rs.150, he will take my luggage and guide me to the Bangalore based bus. I offered Rs.50, on which he agreed. But when we reached out of the station, a "taxi wala" came to us and said that the coolie does not know anything and he will misguide me. I should better take his taxi, he will charge only Rs.20 and leave me to the Bangalore going bus station. The coolie first gave sign to not trust him, but later under the constant pressure from that "taxi wala", he asked me to go by the Taxi. He took Rs.50 from me. 
The Taxi wala took my luggage and kept it in the taxi. A Sardarji was the driver of that taxi. I sat on the last seat and that man sat along with the driver. They droved, and on way they made phone call to a bus ticket booking agent, to book a non A/C bus ticket for me. I asked them the fare, they said that it will be around Rs.900 to Rs.1000. I said that I want to travel by Government bus, as there the fares will be very less. They said that I will have to pay them around Rs.150 for going to the Government Bus station, as it is very far and total ticket fare will be same. I started nagging that I feel being cheated. On that they got irritated, and stopped the taxi for a while. They started talking dirty, like do I want a girl, etc. I said them sorry and requested them to take me to the bus station. The man who had asked me to come in his taxi, was like a "broker".
(Afternoon12:00 to 12:30 ) On reaching the counter office of National Travels (NTS, Shop No.10, Rupam building, Sion Circle, Mumbai-400022, Telephone: 66629014), the "broker", got down and shut the door of the car, asking me to stay inside. He perhaps asked his "commission" from the agent of NTS, which they might have refused. On this he got bit irritated, and came to me and said that I should give him Rs.900 and he will buy a ticket for me. I said that I don't have that much money in my pocket and I will have to go to ATM. They said that the HDFC bank's ATM is nearby, I should leave my luggage on their trust and go and get the money. I had realized that I am in a trap, and being simple and humble is the best strategy to get out of this trap with minimum loss. They just can't run away, as there was nothing precious in my luggage and they wanted money. I trusted them and went to the nearby HDFC bank's ATM. There was small que. It was hot and I was sweating. I went inside the ATM, to get cool air. A lady was withdrawing money (some big amount). On seeing me inside the ATM, she got scared, and shouted that I should immediately get out of the ATM, or she will shout and call police. I went out and after she left the ATM, went to withdraw the money. I took out perhaps near to Rs.1000 (500 X 2). 
I rushed to the Taxi which was standing near the NTS counter. The broker asked me to come inside the taxi, as he has booked the ticket for me and he will settle the amount. I took ticket and gave him the ticket amount Rs.500 + 4 X Rs.100. He quickly took the money and while I started taking out my luggage, he said that I have given them only Rs.500. He had replaced my Rs.500 note with a Rs.100 note. I pleaded them that I have given them the right money, which he was not accepting. I felt that to get out of this "bad" company, it is better to suffer the loss of Rs.400. So I took out the existing Rs.400 from my pocket and gave to that man. He took it and escaped from that place. I started pleading before the Sardarji (driver) that I have been cheated. He said that the person is from Uttar Pradesh and his name is Ramashray. He asked Rs.20 as Taxi fare, which I gave to him. I took out my luggage and went in the office of NTS. I was feeling relieved and also cheated and shocked. In emotional burst-outs I started telling to the NTS officer that I have been cheated and I will complain to police. I even dialed the police help number 100, but it "didn't reached." Some of the persons sitting near me, sympathized and asked me to calm down and be careful towards my luggage.
At around 1:30 PM the bus for Bangalore came. I went inside the bus and found another man (young aged Muslim and Tamil) saying that he have been wrongly guided to this bus as he wanted to go to Tamilnadu. The bus conductors told them that after reaching Bangalore, they will get plenty of buses for Tamilnadu.The man was also grieving, telling that he had went to Saudi Arabia to get some work and while returning, an old Muslim became his friend in the plane and after landing to Mumbai, he wrongly guided him and thefted his all money. An another man from Tamilnadu gave him some emotional support. He said that he has little money to  purchase some food  till Bangalore, and there some of his relatives lives, so he will seek their help in reaching Tamilnadu. I wailed that the city Mumbai is not a good place. I too had limited amount say a 100, in my pocket. He sat with me and also requested me to allow him to use my mobile phone for calling his relatives. I extended my support. 
The next day morning (around 10:00-11:00 AM) we reached Bangalore. I took a auto (Rs.50) for going to the nearby ATM counter and then to the Hosur bus stand. After catching the bus for Hosur (KSRTC,Ticket Rs.22-25), I reached Hosur and had to narrowly escape from an accident (While I was getting down with my luggage from the bus, another vehicle, perhaps a motorcycle or a auto, passed from the side (narrow gap between my body and road). I searched a cheaper hotel, I got one at Rs.200/day, refreshed and came for interview at around 3:00-4:00 PM. 
My boss was busy, he took the interview after 6:00 PM, I could not answer many of his questions, but he sympathized and suggested me to find the answers of the questions which I could not answer/could not answer correctly. I prepared the answers by visiting a cybercafe, and the next day he recruited me at a salary less than my expectation. For some  days I had to stay in a hotel (Rs.1800 for 9 days) and then I found a small house on rent (Rs..1800/month with Rs.5000 as advance.). The auto driver charged Rs.80 for coming from Hosur bus stand to the house at Batlapalli. I was almost pauperized (amount in my account reaching nearly to zero) by these huge expenditures, but the salary of July month, saved me from further falling into the pathetic situation. I thanks God and my current boss, Dr.N.Barathi for helping me.

Travel in Sabarmati Express ( 9166, 17-04-10 )

Train No
Train Name
DBG (Darbhanga)
ADI (Ahmedabad)


Total Fare
I had left from Sitamarhi railway station on the night of 16th April. Luckily I was able to catch the last local train. I reached Darbhanga Railway station at around 12:00 midnight. Darbhanga is supposed to become the capital, if new Mithila state is created. But the infrastructure of the Darbhanga Railway station was very poor. There was no cloak room, there was very limited mobile charging facility at the station. Waiting room was dirty and over crowded. 
At early morning hours (4:00 AM), when I boarded the train, I found that the food caterers had kept their all food items on my and the nearby births. I asked them to empty my birth, on which they shown reluctance. They had got the license to serve in that train, but no catering boggy was available in that  train. I made phone call to the IRCTC's customer care, on which they became afraid and emptied my seat. The Customer care official asked me the reason for disturbing them in so early morning hours. They asked me to complain to the railway officials available on the station.
The caterers used the nearby "western styled toilet/sitting type toilet" for keeping some of the food materials (Ice, Cold drinks, etc). There was no mobile charging facility in the boggy. 
The vendors of Gutkha was freely visiting the train. Transgenders visited my place for around 5 times. I feel  that some males also dress up like female to earn money as like that by Transgenders. 
Many students from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (Bhojpur region) were going to Gujarat for the course of B.Ed. (Bachelor of education). There was lots of hope among the students that after getting B.Ed, they will get job as primary teacher in the government schools. For getting the degree, there was some brokerage type of system, which I was unable to understand. 
Near my seat a brother and sister was sitting. The brother had become the Teacher and he was guiding her sister to complete the course, he was also preparing for the Civil service examinations. I got jealous when he boasted that he is getting monthly salary of around Rs.20,000 to 25,000. He was also earning by giving coaching.
In one station of Uttar Pradesh, a "special TTE" came. The Brother-Sister had e-ticket and they had no identity proof except the I.D. card given by the School/College. Similar was the condition of a muslim family  on the nearby birth, they had e-ticket but no identity proof. That time this school/college ID proof's validation was not mentioned in the e-ticket. The TTE started torturing the Brother-Sister. He asked to give fine or deboard the Train. He was shouting, that he has the special link with the magistrate of the Railway and his monthly salary is around Rs.30,000, so he needs to submit a daily fine collection of more than Rs.1000 to the railway. The Brother-Sister begged for mercy, but of no use. They proposed to go to the general boggy, but the TTE said that the e-ticket is not valid even in the general boggy. 
One of the relative of the Brother-Sister was in Railway police. The brother was successful in contacting with him over the phone. There was on phone argument between the railway police and the special TTE and then they reached an understanding. The special TTE left the Brother-Sister and went to the muslim family on the next seat. He was able to get some fine amount from them. He had missed the station, where he wanted to get down, so he asked the Brother to pull the chain, which he couldn't and then the TTE himself pulled the chain to stop the train. 
The rest of the journey was quiet peaceful. 
  • Railway is not valuing and respecting its customers.
  • There is no proper drinking water facility on the stations, forcing the customers to buy the packed water.
  • Local vendors in train has many benefits: They provide cheaper local food items and  seasonal fruits available in the local region.
  • E-ticket is not considered on par with the counter booked ticket.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My second Hand laptop (HP Omni book 600)

HP Omni book 600
1)  Got the laptop from a friend in IIPM, who belonged to Assam, on condition that I can pay him money, whenever I like to pay him and feel to have enough money with me. I had to prepare the final report (Corporate Training Segment) to be submitted to the IIPM. (Bangalore, November 27,2008)
2) Invested on getting a duplicate Chinese battery for the laptop. Rs.3000 (Bangalore, December 12, 2008)
3) Paid money to the friend. Rs.10,000 (Hyderabad, March 18, 2009)
4) Repair of the Power Input device and part of mother board. No replacement. Rs.750 (Paradise, Secunderabad, April 17, 2009)
5) Problem in Hard disk, Replacement with a second hand hard disk (20GB). Rs.4000 (Agarwal computers, Near, Dwarkesh tower, Judges Bunglow, Bodakdev, Ahmedabad. 6 February 2010) (The laptop was dead from September 2009, and remained in his office for around 2-3 months.)
6) The laptop died (It was not starting up, RAM's indicator light is not glowing, the hard disk's indicator light is glowing, and the battery's indicator light is showing the sign of getting exhausted) on “last week of May 2010 to first week of June 2010”, when I was in Patan Gujarat. I could not find any one to repair it in Patan. On getting new job at Hosur, Tamilnadu, I requested some computer repair shops to help me to get the laptop repaired at low cost, but till now I have not got any hope of getting it in working condition. I also don't have enough money to buy a new laptop.