Thursday, November 5, 2009

If in Mumbai Keep your tickets very very safely!

If in Mumbai Keep your tickets very very safely!

In Mumbai (I’ve worked in Mumbai for a few months), either you happen to love your first job or you loathe it. In my case I loved Mumbai (For me the City of Dreams), because it taught me many things, never ever did I feel any kind of disgust for travelling long distances, staying in a hostel (foods prepared by the Mausis) washing and ironing one’s own clothes, preparing milk as early as 4:30am etc. But my job. . .hmm that was something that kept pinching me at the back of my mind: partly because of the work atmosphere, partly because I wasn’t offered something as per the commitment and majorly because I wanted to do something better ...much better than my current job. So what did I do? Well, I started searching for jobs in Classifieds (just like all working Mumbaiites do....this desire to do something better is a bug that gets into you, once you start staying that city
One such day (Monday, because that used to be my holiday), I was flipping through the Newspaper, when I saw an interesting thing, “Dietician, needed at an Endocrinology Clinic”, Now that was something definitely interesting that just being a Trainee. I thought there was no harm trying, as it is, it was my holiday.
I called up, fixed an appointment and left three hours in advance (that was the minimum margin I used to keep; since I used to travel by buses and wasn’t accustomed to the timings of Locals, plus I was new in the city). I reached Dadar station; waited very patiently in the queue, got my ticket, had a look at my watch and stood there relaxing, thinking that I had plenty of time.
Suddenly, I don’t know how I got into "panic mode", when I heard the announcement for the departure of the local, the only thing that I heard was: the train on Platform Number One is about to leave. Without paying attention to the destination of the train, I ran towards the Ladies compartment (which was a bit far from where I was standing, while listening to, the announcement) And For the First time in life..I boarded the train after it had started. Slowly I gathered my breath and settled down in my seat.
It was then I realised that, instead of boarding a train from Dadar to Churchgate I had boarded a train from Dadar to Borivli (just the opposite) and when the train didn’t stop at Mahim, I realised that I had boarded a Fast Local- which meant it would directly stop at Bandra ..Trust me, that was a sheer waste of time!
At Bandra station, I could have easily got into a local on the opposite platform, but like a responsible citizen I thought that first I should take a ticket from Bandra to Dadar; only then should I board the train to Dadar (thanks to my parents for instilling in me this "BHOOT" of Responsible Citizen; you know no matter how much in a hurry I am, I always ask for a bill). And I climbed the bridge, just when the bridge was about to end, and I was nearing the ticket window, I saw a ticket checker coming towards me, I had this huge feeling of Pride in me because I was doing a right thing, climbing the bridge all the way just to get a return ticket :)
And guess what, of all people around me, he asked Only Me for the ticket..Astonishing!
No No..whats astonishing is, when I put my hand inside the purse to get the ticket, I realised that, the ticket was not there, I stood perplexed for some time and then got the hang of the complete scenario.
Actually when I ran to board the train, the ticket in my hand; slipped when I caught hold of the pole while boarding..I could feel something slipping, but the fact that, it could be my ticket, didn’t occur to me!
Okay now what! I told the inspector the whole story, but to my sheer disappointment he was not ready to take a single word of it. I explained him again and again; to the extent that I started telling him that I am a daughter of a Central Govt Official and I’ve never ever travelled without ticket, I was going for an interview and this all happened because of hurry and Blah Blah Blah! Alas! to him I was a culprit. I even called up my father to explain him, but nothing could stop me from paying the fine..or else I was supposed to sit in his office till his senior came.. and what base I had?...who was going to believe me! I knew the answer - no one apart from Yours truly.
So, with a heavy heart I paid the fine of Rs 300/- (that’s a big amount {not when you spend it, but when you earn it, especially if it’s your First job} and I literally cursed myself for such sheer stupidity), it was then, the inspector allowed me to leave.
After that? What else, I took a return ticket from Bandra to Churchgate (to avoid any hassles of getting in the queue again) and left.

For few minutes I kept wondering, what would have been the case if I had immediately boarded the train on the opposite platform? Is being a responsible citizen so bad after all.. Leaving all questions apart, I started going through my subject notes (to help me in the interview).
But Friends this “wonderful incident” didn’t deter me from asking for bills at petrol pump, medical store and all such places {And even buying tickets :), till I stayed in Mumbai}...Do you do so?
So this was one of the incidences that happened when I was in Mumbai.
adiĆ³s para ahora

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The world is small (part 2)

Okay so I got to start with Part 2 of the Story
The incident described in Part 1 was of 1996 when we were in Rajkot.  Since my Father was in a transferable job, we stayed in Rajkot till June 2000 and then shifted to Surat.

Surat - the city of Diamonds, the City of Textiles and the city of filthy rich people.  I started my college from there. There is a famous saying: “Surat nu Jaman and Kashi nu maran” There is a huge variety of desi junk that one can get in Surat starting from Cold Coco, Locho, Khamani, Dhokla, Half fry samosa, Dry kachoris, Collegeian to name a few.
I was very happy with the new city we had shifted to, the college I was in, because I got made very good friends there, shall discuss about them later on. I reached the 3rd year of my graduation. We had an internship of one and a half month in one of the hospitals selected by our College. I-Nidhi Shukla, Shikha Mehra,(a very good friend of mine),Kruti Desai and Manju Srivastav were assigned Mahavir Cardiac Hospital (one of the first Cardiac hospitals in South Gujarat at that time, i.e.: Dec 2003). Once done with our internships we had our Presentations for the same in the last semester. Of all the presentations, I happened to like the practical Diet tips that the students of Nirmal Children Hospital had presented, because they were very easy to instruct  and implement (Here, I got to tell you that I did my Graduation with Foods and Nutrition as a Major)
I liked the tips so much that I decided to undergo an internship under the Dietician of Nirmal Children Hospital, Ms Sheetal Chhaya.
Shikha, Manju and Pallavi(another very good friend of mine) also expressed their desire to accompany me. As I was the one most keen to join in, just after 2 days of my Graduation final exams, I reached Nirmal Hospital, spent some time in the waiting area (doing nothing, I wish they had kept some good Magazines in the waiting area). Finally my turn came and I met Ms.Sheetal Chhaya, who agreed instantly, to be our Guide during the internship but as we were college pass-outs, the maximum time we could join in as interns was 15 days. She also agreed to give us a Certificate from the hospital which mattered a lot to all of us! (And was like a huge favour during that phase) I agreed, because I felt that if I got to learn something from this lady I should grab the most of whatever time that I get.
Another reason for that was, I felt at ease with her the very instant I saw her.
We started our internship from the very next day, morning 10:30 {Pallavi got late...Aah! that was her habit since the very first day of First year...Old habits die hard. . . }Although we had joined in as interns and were supposed to study only Diet related to the particular hospital; we found that Sheetal Chhaya Mam every now and then told us many important things that would be helpful to us for our Entrance exams for MSc. (She also gave us few books of hers which we kept with us, till we were done with our exams
J )
Once when Madam was giving us tips to build our Resume’, she mentioned that she had also worked as an ADHOC Lecturer in Rajkot for a few years. As it is if you meet someone from the city where you’ve spent your childhood, it makes you Overjoyed....and Rajkot for sure was a city of delight, a city where you shall find all smiling faces, even unknown passers-by would smile at you (ekdum dilse). So that was it, we started discussing how Rajkot was better than Surat in few respects and vice-versa (a typical discussion
that happens when 2 people have stayed in the same city previously) This was the 8th day of our internship. Every day I used to come back and note down what all, we had learnt plus prepare for entrances. {I also used to write poems during those few years..}
One night I was sitting in my Balcony with the books ..Not Studying At All (my balcony is the most beautiful place on earth because hardly twelve feet from our building was the flowing Tapti river, our colony and the river were separated by just one big, huge - boundary wall..that was a sight at any time of the day or night!
I was thinking about my schooldays and something started disturbing me from within...Few more moments and; I got reminded of the dull, gloomy, horror-show wala home that I had been to, when in Rajkot - way
back in 1996 (my 8th std) and then I could relate it with the present day scenario and I was stupefied. .I could now actually get who this lady was..About whom I kept wondering for many years, when ever I  passed by her building, but never dared to go to her place.
I got ready very early the next morning, reached the hospital - even before Madam, and the moment she arrived the first thing that I asked her was, “Mam do you remember two small girls whom you had met at the post-office” and the answer was just what I had thought, Madam took not more than 2 seconds to recall the incident and exclaimed, “Accha woh tum thi!”
She kept mum for a few seconds and said, “I always used to think about those 2 little girls, and wondered how easily they came to my place, and then suddenly looked confused and wanted to go back, and then never came back”.
And then for few minutes we both sat, recalled the incident and kept wondering over the fact, that the world is indeed very small! We both kept wondering over the fact that Who was she! (Madam about me and me about Madam) And see this is how the riddle got solved... after 7 years!

With that, I end the part 2 of the story here, hope to recall some other incidences and pen them down. .
hei hei!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The world is small!

The world is small!

I’ve been a talkative kid right from my childhood..infact my mum says I started talking very clearly when I was 9 mnth old..:)Today as I sat in the office and saw the comments on my 1st Blog; somehow I got inspired to write more..Once when I was in 8th Std{(1996} I had been to the Post office to do Registered post, with my younger sis Chots (Ms Shrini Shukla) sitting on the back of my bicycle seat. Because of my talkative nature my mum always used to advise me whenever we both moved out ..this time also the same thing happened: “Anjaan logo se baat mat karna”,”Chupchap apna kaam karna aur aa jaana”, “Kisiko apne ghar ka address mat batana”etc..etc
When we were standing in the queue, me and my sis started arguing for small small things..(Letme tell you @ that time we were in Rajkot, a city where Hindi was not a language of conversation...even if you are Hindi speaking , you got to interact with the Gujarati people in Gujarati; therefore somehow all Hindi speaking people used to get happy when they heard anyone else speaking Hindi)

Seeing us speaking Hindi a lady aged between 20-25 yrs came to us and asked us: “Aap log Hindi bolte ho?” and we had a small chitchat. During this she told us that she had also come for a Registry and just because she was happy with us speaking Hindi, she asked us to come to her place.

Hold...that’s not what is surprising...what’s surprising is. . . I agreed to go with her
(inspite of my sis reminding me “Di mum told us not to do so”...and I was like,Chalta hai...acchi dikhti hai aunty.
And we went to her place..Her flat was in a colony just on our way, a bit in a secluded place...and when she opened the seemed like an extremely old.. horror show type ka ghar...the worst part was the door creaked very badly while opening . Inspite of being Afternoon hours, it was near to pitch dark inside.
I was shocked and didn’t know how to react {After this somehow that aunty also started appearing like some Suspicious character to me}.
She very decently offered us water..Chots didn’t drink it; I somehow gulped it down my throat..and told her “Its late, you know we need to go”
While seeing us off She told us.."Beta, Apne Papa Mummy ko leke zaroor aana" but I was so damn terrified that without even looking back I nodded in affirmation and came back home...
I still remember the fast pace of my heartbeats when I was cycling back home..

After coming back..Mum didn’t ask us much  all the more better for us.

               After that day, I very often used to pass by that building (in which that aunty lived) because it was on my way to my tution classes and stationary shops..although I never ever dared to go back to that flat of hers...but the thought of that lady always kept lingering in my mind.

End of part One of the story  For part Two keep waiting..

Monday, November 2, 2009

My 1st Blog

Hey all !
Whoa so finally I am getting an opportunity to write my 1st BLOG.
Oh! BTW Let me introduce myself: Hi! I am Nidhi Pandey working in capacity of a Web 2.0 Expert with (a product of Citywala Infotech Pvt.Ltd) specialises in providing intra-college portals. And on 25th Oct ’09 partnered with IIM Indore for Entrepreneurship Workshop titled: ‘Business Ideas and Opportunities Evaluation’.
So it goes like this, we [Me and the CEO- Raghu Pandey] reached Indore one day before the workshop, with our bags packed with almost everything that we might/might not/just in case need there J
So the morning of 25th we got ready and left for the venue. Now the problem was that our driver was very Slow + New (which means just like us he also was unaware of the route to be taken) so, we had to stop not less than some 15-16 times...first to ask the route to RAU and then towards IIM Indore.
A little Blunder! Why! Oh don’t the due course of asking the route we had taken fifteen minutes more than the scheduled time for the workshop (Hey but that wasn’t our fault...our margins completely exhausted during the inquiry of the route...BTW. . .IIM students please don’t mind if I suggest you something, For Heaven’s sake Please get a good signboard in English..that tattered Hindi signboard Doesnt go well with the Reputation of An IIM.
On reaching the premises we were escorted by another organiser to the Venue.. It was a great feeling as this was the 1st time I was visiting any IIM, and I was attending a workshop long after my college days i.e.: Apr 09
When we reached the Hall... The Director, Prof. Ravichandran was giving his “3 min” speech.We were just settling down in our chairs and then came that heavy feeling of Nostalgia when The Director Sir, got angry over some student because He/She wasn’t paying attention to his words... I remember how we loathed these few minute speeches when we were in our college..and now we can’t help smiling @ our reaction during those small-small incidents (M sure Ravi Sir & Jimmy Sir You Are Reading That :P ) ...but nevertheless this incident made me feel at ease immediately :)
As soon as The Director Sir finished his speech he came and sat in our row..I don’t know what occurred to him.. He suddenly got up and said give that another bouquet to this lady...and I got up..(totally blank...coz i dint know how to react) and then he said..Bring the camera take a snap..(this made me elated) and then Sir told me..” Arre Smile karo..Smile for the snap” J
Wow!Good experience it was!
Then Prof.Vasanti started off with her session. The startoff for the session was definitely a monotony breaker for the entire crowd out there..coz She asked us to check our chairs as there were gift boxes beneath every chair.....her motive was to know what all had we expected to gain out of this workshop and take back home as our gift boxes... Now isn’t that a fabulous way to start off... by the time you look out for the gift below your chair and all you realise that you are Totally Fresh for the session..:)
Prof.Vasanti started off with some basic quizzes related to attitude and approach...then came Idea generation using newspaper articles... one thing she constantly emphasised on was - the importance of New Ideas and various avenues available to assist with the same.. So, Basically I would categorise the entire Workshop as a Brain storming Session wherein everyone was constantly involved..
We had 3 breaks during the workshop..2 Tea breaks and 1 lunch which we (me and Raghu) enjoyed the discussions that we had with Prof Vasanti, Prof Sundar and the students-Bhumika, Harshil, Kumar & Raghav. The interesting thing about going for the Lunch sessions was that we had to cross a wide stretch of garden and the building before we reached the dining hall...and then the same way back (No chance of weight gain :D No wonder I found no student on the Bulky side)
In the post-lunch sessions all students were asked to present their business idea to their peers (a group of 8-10 students), the group was asked to finalise one business Idea and prepare a Sales pitch of 2 minutes regarding the same.
And guess what! Raghu held the responsibility of judging them..(Prof.Vasanti’s only instruction was don’t judge them very harsh..keep it on a lighter note)
Some of them which I remember are:
1) Get your office (outsourced export office)
2) Online Animation studio
3) Grah Seva ( office that sends Housemaid as per requirements)
4) Robotics (Sorry but m not a techie person..the only thing I got from this was: It Was Related To Robotics)’
Raghu gave 1st rank to the idea of “Grah Seva” and who else must have been the driving force other than yours truly :P
After the Lunch session discussions, Prof.Vasanti was so happy to have a struggling entrepreneur from a Startup to be there in the workshop..that she asked Raghu to explain the Mullins 7 Domain Framework in relevance to his business i.e.:; once she was done with the theory part. And this to her and everybody’s satisfaction was a thorough practically oriented session!
After that session we had a session with the non-IIM students...and I don’t know how but Raghu again lead almost half of the session...(by that time I was already figuring out how am I going to spend the rest of the evening) It was evident from the attitude of students that they enjoyed the session thoroughly and they, just like us were, looking for a long term association J
Finally we left the IIM Indore Premises and headed towards home...(which was slower than the morning one ..(Why! Haaah! Because the headlights of our car somehow dint start only) I felt as if I was driving back on a paddle rickshaw. can I forget to mention that we hadn’t taken our camera...And so the only way we could capture the beauty of the vast & lush IIM premises was to store it in our memory... till we go back to Indore or to other IIMs