Tag Archives: friends

A revisit …..

A few weeks back after a very long time I had the opportunity to travel to Pune by train. As soon as I reached my seat and as the train gave a loud whistle indicating it was time to leave the station, it brought back old memories, of around 20 years ago when I used to travel on a regular basis to Pune from Mumbai during my Post Graduation. Well, those were the days which I really cherish and will never forget.

Waking up during wee hours of the morning and leaving in a hurry from home to catch the early morning train to Pune. This was my routine at the start of every week for about a year. I made many friends who also had a similar schedule and travelled to Pune by the same train. I recollect that I had got a monthly train pass and how we used to meet up at a designated spot to catch the train (as during those days there were no mobiles).

For this trip, I got my seat reserved and was more at ease as compared to my earlier travel days. So here started another mesmerizing journey to Pune. Sitting by the window, watching the greenery, the hill-tops, blue sky passing by as the train sped up and the parallel railway track which are always running with me irrespective of the train speed took me 2 decades back.

I still recollect that we (including my friends) used to catch a fixed coach and mostly a fixed seat. It was like we owned that coach J As soon as the train started we used to chit chat, pulling each other’s legs and sharing our snack boxes. Then it was time for a small nap as the train passed through the hills of Khandala (Mumbaikar’s favorite hill station to visit) with cool breeze hitting you. This had become our routine schedule during our to & fro journey to Pune.

Now I was travelling alone and I did miss my friends. I made a mental note to get intouch with all of them and plan for a revisit to Pune the same way which we all used to do before. But alas! I wish we all could do that as most of my friends (the Pune train friends) are working out of the country and hence it is next to impossible to make all of them come together.

A little jerk from the train brought me back to into the present. There was hustle and bustle in the coach with people pulling their bags from the side stand. The train had slowed as it was entering the station. Old memories are always sweet and I never realized that it was time for me to get down at my destination.

Wake up….

As the saying goes “Life is too short so enjoy before it’s too late”. Time never stops and I feel that it is running at its full speed. This post of mine is bit different as compare to my other posts of mine. I have tried making a list of things which one can do before it’s too late.

Well these are just few of the things out of the many and there is no particular order to be followed.

  • Speak your heart out – Do not keep anything inside you be it feelings, anger or frustration.6112mdU416L Don’t fake smile – but instead say what you want to say.
  • Do something unique Something which you are afraid to do it like skydiving, paragliding, deep sea-diving, bungee jumping. This will truly make you alive.
  • Try new skills Learn Japanese, learn to play guitar, learn salsa. It could be anything as long as it is completely new for you.
  • Make new friends I know this is very easy and I am sure all of us have so many friends then again a new friend… why not ?? 🙂 Well, who is to say, this new friend may come with so much more to learn from – it may get you to being more spiritual or daring or help you develop a new hobby. Well that new friend can be one whom you have been ignoring. The new connection may spark new starter in your life.
  • Reconnect with your inner child – Do all the things you have done in your childhood. Like watching Tom and Jerry cartoon, playing marbles, riding bicycle, read comic books.
  • Reach out to old friends Talk to your best friend from school and do inform him/her how much you have missed him/her all these years. Bring alive the old memories.
  • Do something for others All these years you have been doing lots of things for yourself. Now this is the chance for you to do something, well at least one thing for someone. Small things like pay for the education of your domestic’s help child. Or sponsor a full year meal for a person in need. All these small little gestures will take you a long way.
  • Spend time with your kids – till the time they want to spend time with you. Once they growstock-vector up they will have their own priorities in life and their own children to look after.
  • Know yourself Take few days off and go for a holiday just by yourself.  Unwind, clear your head of the past, think about yourself and know your life & its meaning.
  • Take control of your health – Are you a person who is fond of butter, cheese and all oily food and you have never exercised till date. If yes then start exercising, walk more and more, do climb steps instead taking the lift, give up parathas for rotis, give up cheese and butter. Start indulging yourself in Yoga. If you wait any longer, it may well be too late.
  • Last and not least – take stock of your life. Take a good look at what you have accomplished and where you failed till now. Start your journey fresh and alive.

Life is too short and it’s getting shorter every minute. So just don’t waste a single second – do the things you always wanted to do and which you know is good for you. Learn to say no to things which you don’t want to do but because of pressure you are forced to do it.

07.18 local

Today I had an early start to my day and had to reach office early for a video call. I reached the train station and managed to get into the 07.18 am local. Seeing the indicator of the train as 07.18 my mind went into flashback. The train was relatively empty and I got a place to seat. As a normal routine I started reading my book but today my mind was wavering into the good old days… my college days early 90s.

Morning 07.18 train is always a history for me. Years before this is the train in which I had bumped into set of my college friends as my college timing was from 9am. If you are staying in Mumbai then you would know that the main rush hours in trains start after 7.30 am, so I always preferred catching the train as early as possible to avoid the maddening crowd.

Down memory lane during my college days, 7.18 am train was the fixed time that we all friends used to travel irrespective of our college start time. We had a fixed coach and fixed place since 2 of my friends used to come in that same train but from 2 stations before mine. Those days I used to stay at Malad (a suburb in Mumbai) and my college was in Worli area.

Every morning all of us (my college friends group) used to play cards while traveling, well the train journey was approx 45 minutes and we had to do something to kill time. Although during our exams we all used to study and discuss important topics but during rest of the days playing cards was on the list of activities. Today I got into the 7.18 train but now I travel in the First class compartment as compared to my college days where we all used to travel in the general class.

If I think about the amount of “masti” we used to do while traveling brings a smile on my face. I really miss hopping into the train, the big discussions on various topics, pulling each other legs, having snacks in the train, the loud noise while playing cards, the disturbance to others which could be noticed easily on the faces of the co-passengers who many a times used to give angry looks to all of us and ask us to shut our mouths. But even after all this, our giggling and playing of cards never stopped. 7.18 was the train we never used to miss and while departing at the end of the day our parting words were “see you tomorrow in 7.18”.

I miss those days and I still wish I can rewind my time and that we all… NP, SR, GD, HS ….. guys hope you listening to this … lets all plan to travel once again for a few days in the same train, same coach and same sitting place along with all the fun and “masti” we used to do during our college days.

Visit to the Queen and Princess of Hill stations

The much awaited trip which I was anxiously waiting and had planned from last 4 months was the marking of end of 2014 and welcoming of 2015.

To start with, I am thankful to all my friends and their spouse who made this trip a memorable one and this trip will always be cherished through out my life. Planning the whole trip on our own and executing it in a successful way was one of the key point which I feel proud of myself and all my friends. I would like to mention that Tripadvisor was a helping hand in the process of selection of our stay. The amount of hours we spend meeting up and setting things well in advance is worth appreciating. I can never forget all the meet-ups in the evenings to discuss the itenary of the trip.

So here I am back home after visiting few of the most beautiful places of South India. This was the first time I have been to Mysore, Coorg, Ooty and Kodaikanal. I know this blog of mine will be bit longer then my usual ones but I can’t restrict myself describing all the places I had been too.

  1. Mysore – Also known as “City of Palaces”. The name itself reminds us of History of India, the great “Tipu Sultan”. Main attraction in Mysore is the “Mysore Palace” and the “Mysore Zoo” which is one the oldest and most popular zoo in India and is a home to wide variety of species. Do visit both this places if you are in Mysore.
  2. Coorg – Also known as Kodagu. Famous for coffee plantation and is also locally called as “Kashmir of Karnataka”. On the way to Coorg falls one of the largest monastery and home for Lamas known as “Namdroling Monastery” or “The Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple”. A must stop over and do have a visit.
  3. Ooty – Also known as Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund insort Udhagi or Ooty. It’s a popular hill station located in the “Nilgiri Hills”. Ooty is also called “Queen of Hill stations”. Pleasant climate and scent of Nilgiri in the air makes you feel fresh throughout the day. The main attraction is the Heritage train which runs between Ooty and Coonoor. The scenic beauty and the cool breeze makes the one hour journey a pleasant and joyful.
  4. Kodaikanal – Also known as “Princess of Hill stations”. Small but lovely place to visit. Although reaching Kodaikanal is bit tiresome due to the hilly region but its worth spending holidays over there. Especially the boating and cycling around the lake is the main attraction. Climate plays a romantic role is most pleasant among all the above places.

Ok back to me, the trip has left with me some un-forgetful memories. The almost daily eating of idli, dosa, curd rice (which are my favourite dishes), the late night gossips (gossiping of everyone we can think of, not leaving the politicians too 🙂 ), the 31st Dec night party marking the end of the year, finishing of Double Black, Glenfiddich, Black Label, Black & White and the countless KF cans, the always front seat bus travel (sometime next to the driver too 🙂 ) in the hilly region (which I don’t like at all as I get sensation of nausea), early morning and late night walks with friends & hot coffee cups, the “jugaad” (a work around solution that bend rules) of booking the Heritage train tickets from Ooty to Coonoor & free upgrade to the first class compartment, the different posses for clicking pictures with all, tasting of so many chocolates in many different shops and last but not the least the amount of fun all the kids had together, playing, eating and sleeping all in one room is beyond description.

I will do a picture post of selected pictures later on but till then enjoy these….


View from Kodai hotel room


Heritage train from Ooty to Coonoor


Famous Botanical garden in Ooty


Kidos at Ooty railway station


One of the best Zoo in Mysore….


Scenic beauty as seen in Ooty


The Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple


Mysore Palace


Dormant contacts – do we need them?

“We both are friends but we will not be talking with each other” one of my colleague showed this message to me as he had got from “someone” whom I also don’t know. Now what the hell this means? I was asked by my colleague to answer this. So I read it one more time slowly interpreting it word by word. We are friends – true; but will not be talking with each other – huh? Contradicting statement, don’t you feel so? I told my colleague to reply “Ok”. So my colleague (more smarter than me) replied with 2 Oks; 1 ok for being friend and another ok for not talking :).

Later, I thought into this and I asked myself, how many contacts do I have who are friends of mine but not talking with me. So I checked my friends list on FB and my contacts in mobile. I first started browsing thru the list in mobile, all the contacts starting alphabetically from A and by the time I reached half way i.e. till alphabet H, I got tired counting the number of people who are in my contact list and are either friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues or family members whom I am not in regular in touch or rather not at all in touch with them for a long long time. I also gave a glance on the list of friends on FB and there too I found so many people whom I am not in touch with at all :(.

Social media, helps keeping in touch with many of them, but it rather seems that once you add the contact of the new person, then they are just lying inside your contact list for long long time. Actually most of us forget many of them after few days. We all have fix set of friends whom we prefer to stay in touch with each other.

So again back to my first sentence of this post. I said to myself, Hemang what if tomorrow one of my near and dear friend sends me such message. What shall I reply? I noticed that there is still lot of empty space in my mobile and in my FB account wherein people can stay in the list. I simply will not delete anyone. I already have so many dormant contacts, one more will be added to the dormant list. I am hoping some day these set of people will definitely come alive (I mean not from the grave yard but in sense of keeping in touch) and will start talking with me again. Hence as of now, I am keeping all the people-who-are-silent-in-my-life safely in my mobile as well as FB list :D.

What if someone says one such statement to you? What will be your response? How many such people do you have in your list?