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Showing posts from April, 2015

A walk on Pune's MG road

Taking a walk down the MG road in Pune camp area in the morning can be quite invigorating. Especially if you don't have any agenda.
I start from Golibar maidan end. First stop is the newspaper vendor. The elderly Muslim gentleman is such a friendly man; he recognises all his regular customers, even someone like me who go to Pune once in a month, two or even three. All newspapers and magazines are usually available with him; a very well stocked stall. There's something about a neatly organised newspaper stall. It just pulls you in, even if you know you are not that avid reader or may not have the time to read as much as you'd like. You want to read all the newspapers and magazines on display. Of course I can't. Plus, I carry my iPad these days so I prefer reading all newspapers on it. And if I like something that I can't read at that moment, I can always save the link. Most of my weekend reading these days are stories that I come across throughout the week. Or those …

Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) requires a monorail

Everytime I go to the Bandra - Kurla Complex (BKC), a business district in the middle of Mumbai, I feel blessed. I am thankful to my employers for now having chosen a place like BKC for our office. I think for those of us who use public transport, it's a curse to have an office at BKC. During peak hours, it is near impossible to find a rickshaw or a bus, in minutes. The buses that come from Kurla (and going towards Bandra station) are so crowded that they don't stop. Demand for rickshaws far outstrip their supply. And to make matters worse, the traffic snarls at Kalanagar make it worse. Only people with cars are better off working at BKC.  
Unfortunately, our state planning authorities have never really invested in public infrastructure. Nor do they understand the basics. Take for instance, the monorail and metro, what's the difference between the two and where we need them. At present, monorail at Mumbai goes from Chembur to Wadala. If you see its route, you'll reali…

Flamingo watch at Sewri

Early Saturday morning, I set off to see the Flamingos that come visiting Mumbai. These majestic migratory birds visit Mumbai every year between December and stay on here till about April. It was a long-time wish that finally got fulfilled. Birdy (appropriately called for the occasion)- an expert trekker and outdoor guide- had organised the morning watch. A colleague who is a regular with Birdy  pulled me in and off we went. We took the harbour line train- one of my favourite train rides in the whole of India- and landed at Sewri station at about 7:30 am; the appointed time. We joined the group there and began our 1 km walk to the Sewri jetty where Flamingos were waiting for us. Sewri- and the first half of harbour line up until Wadala- looks like a Mumbai caught up in time warp. Development has thankfully (and also partly woefully) escaped this part of Mumbai. Large swaths of godowns dot the dockland area of Eastern Mumbai. The only visible sign of development here is the new Easter…

Air-Cool is back

Thank heavens that Air-Cool- my hair saloon- has reopened. Arguably the best hair saloon this side of the town (Churchgate, Mumbai), it reopened after a hiatus of more than two months. In December 2014, it abruptly shut down its shop as I was told their lease ran out. Now they're back and have relocated at the Asiatic store, opposite Churchgate station. 
To me, Air-Cool is not just any barber. It's like a factory in there. Barbers in clean white and black uniforms, neatly attired go about doing their jobs professionally. They have speed yet most of them are quite good at what they do. Waiting time is usually minimal. Interiors are very simple, yet they look classy. There's the instrumental music being played in the background; always instrumental and not at al loud. All the barbers are assigned numbers. The one who I go to is No.4. 
Simple guy who always welcomes you with a smile, he cuts hair like he's been doing for centuries. I like my cut to be simple. I am a bit …