Monday, June 28, 2004

The Many Parks of Kopar Khairne, Navi Mumbai (Part 2)

(Read Part 1)


I discovered park P4 on my first day at jogging. The road seemed to be leading to a jogging park. The gentry here was much more up-market. Health-conscious people, a few youngsters. Another few practising yoga too. And then the odd couple who were real old and their energy inspired me.

This park is also built on the 'half grass- half bare' concept. However the park for jogging was much more well planned with a well designed path around it for walking. And the playing field much larger.

The beauty of the park is that it is at the end of KK. It is located at a corner with the swamps surrounding it on 2 sides. The swamps give way to the creek and in one direction one can see the new developments in Ghansoli gaaon. This guarantees a supply of fresh air to the park.


Now I have this strange feeling that I love my city which is Kolkata. Now that has come amongst other things with years of roaming around in the streets of Kolkata.

2 months is too small a time to love a city but nevertheless I decided to roam as much as possible within KK, Navi Mumbai. The experience was quite nice. And it was in one such aimless venture into my neighbouring area that I chanced upon park P5. Now park P5 (thank God) is an 'all-grass' park. The very first day I was greeted quite rudely by the maali for stepping onto the watered area. But that did not deter me. I liked the park the very first time I saw it.

It is hardly used by anyone. The people who use it are not the well-to-do people and thus do not have much time in the morning. So it is almost a private park for me. I have to jog in a to-and-fro motion which I have learnt from Hostel-Room-Neighbour and which is equally purpose-fulfilling. It is the nearest to my place and hence I visit it regularly.

I go jogging alone these days. This park gives you the feeling that it is your very own private park. I like being alone but sometimes it gets to me. One day I was wishing I had a jogging partner. One with no complaints, no talking while jogging, no hassles.. just to be there with me. Asking for a bit too much I guess. I guess just a partner will do... one with hassles, with complaints, but is there to jog with me.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Then and Now


If there were something called as a 5-star office, my present training stint can be said to be in such a place. A huge complex, beautiful roads, a lake replete with an adjoining mandir, grand food courts (Training Partner takes objection: no non-veg = no food), centrally air-conditioned.. the list goes on. Now I know what a white collar job means - it means that your collar remains white no matter how much you slog it out at office. Here I long to get a feel of the sun, to have a walk outside. I hate the conditioned environment. I feel that one should get to hear when it is raining while one is working. I pulled up the curtains one by one so we could have a better view of the outside.


I visited my father's previous office once (He operates from home now). It was in a famous office address in a busy office area in Kolkata. However it was office to about a dozen people or more. Computers were few, the AC was restricted to a few chambers. You had to go down into the busy street to get a snack.

A list

1. Bhelpuri wala-s
2. Vendors with sweets in glass-covered trays
3. The regular sweet shops (Ganguram etc)
4. Jhal muri wala-s

I cannot say which one of the two is better. But one thing: am thinking what is to come next. If I can foresee, then maybe I can start something to cash in on it.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Many Parks of Kopar Khairne, Navi Mumbai

I am currently doing my training in a company in Navi Mumbai. I am living in a flat in Kopar Khairne.

Firstly, Navi Mumbai is not Mumbai. Not yet at least. 'Navi' means new. For some reason or the other, the idea which we had conjured up about this place was that this would be a town just like the famous suburbtowns of America. Neat rows of houses, wide but empty roads, shopping malls, with our offices within walking distances.

Fortunately this place was nothing like we imagined it to be. Far from being a slice of America, it had India written all over it. Need I list out what that stands for.

I can proudly say that I witnessed this area at a time when it is growing. Probably many years later this area will have a completely different look.

This place called Kopar Khairne is removed by 2-3 km from Vashi, the main business centre of Navi Mumbai. For some reason, Kopar Khairne abounds in the following things:

1. saloons
2. parks


Every step in KK leads you to the door of a new saloon. They are variously termed as "Hair-Cutting Saloon", "Hair Art" or the encouraging "Hire-Cutting Saloon". They cater to all strata of clientele with rates ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 50. The funny thing is that none of these are to be found empty on any day of the week at almost any given time. And weekends mean lining up for 10-15 minutes before finding your turn. (We guessed that people here avoid shaving at home and land up in a saloon whenever the need to shave arises.)

The barbers take up an eternity snipping at your locks, give you a real good champi maalish and spoil you like anything. However the net hair that is removed from your pate makes sure that you visit the saloon at the end of every fortnight.


This area is relatively new and if you observe closely has some planning behind it. This is proved by the presence of numerous parks within a small area. (Refer to Figure) Parks P1, 2 and 3 came in the way of our going to office, shopping or eating out. The others, we discovered during our morning jogging.

P1, P2, P3

KK is divided into square shaped sectors which have wide roads running around them on which buses ply. At the centre of each of these sectors lies a park. Now these parks are quite funny ones. Half of them are covered with grass and the other half is left bare. The green half is meant for evening walks or chat sessions because evening is the only time when the people get time for leisure. The crowd comprises of what I presume to be the lower middle class type of people.

The other half which is barren is busy all day with budding Tendulkar-s perfecting their skills (most are hopeless fielders) and very rarely some budding footballers. You get the occasional kite fliers too.

We decided that grass growing must not come naturally in these parts which would explain the nature of these funny parks.


I discovered park P4 on my first day at jogging. The road seemed to be leading to ........

to be Part 2

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Lazy Sunday morning 13th June 2004 - (Part 2)

(Actually written on a Sunday morning, posted the next day.)

Blues -

The training period of mine has (touch wood) gone very peaceful so far. The last time I remember being so at peace with myself was in NCC camp. Usually my college semesters go along with some thoughts at the back of my mind. The issue might be related to some people, academics, or my attempts to fulfill my overbearing ambitions.

The result is that I feel I do not enjoy life as much as I think I should, and end up screwed up about those issues. Maintaining hobbies becomes a forgotten thing (they are reading and writing).

And then again I cannot exactly point out the circumstances which are making this training period or made the NCC camp so peaceful, yet enjoyable. Otherwise I would make sure they persisted for eternity, would not I?

Probably life is like this only. Giving me a vacation which I am loving a lot. I will list down a few things which are making this vacation a real cool one.

1. Workload - It is presently less. So was it in camp. Not like a college semester. However, Neighbour-friend says our college semester is a load only because I make it so.

2. Company - Must thank my training-mate. I can learn from him how to enjoy life. Similar learning from Friend-on-Neighbouring-Bed in camp. Kudos to you too.

3. Decisions - I hate them. Favourite-College-Seniors' blasting on my habit of indecision has helped me in making prompt decisions this summer.

Bye 4 now

PS - I feel good when writing. I think I am passionate about this. At least this. Why don't I do this more often.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Lazy Sunday morning 13th June 2004 (Part 1)

(Actually written on a Sunday morning, posted the next day.)

It is a Sunday morning. Again there are pressing matters at mind. I am beginning to doubt how great the piece about the parks in Koparkhairne will come out to be. It is a bad thing for an amateur writer like me. The appropriate mood or the previous intensity of feeling just does not seem to come back.

I had a nice dream today. Two friends and I were in top of a hill which provided a good view of Mumbai city. 1 said he could see Kanheri caves in the distance. Looking in that direction, all I could see was a big mosque and a lot of forest like area after that. Must be Sanjay Gandhi National Park, I said.

Friend 2 had earlier raised a point on the presence of colour in dreams. That time, while recollecting a dream and relating it to him, I could not remember any. But this time, I clearly do remember the green of the forest. A few days back I woke up and was sure the oblong shaped watermelon which is found here in Mumbai was hanging from a shop in dream-land. And in exactly the colour it is supposed to be. I am yet to point this out to Friend 2. be continued

Saturday, June 12, 2004

excerpt from Good-Wingie's mail


aur 1 witty ques other than what it stands for why is(or y it may be) e-mail called so?


humko bhi nahi pata...kabhi koi bataye to humko bhi batana


jokin yaar,i know the answer.dont u?

are kyunki e-mail to eeee (sounds as in kEY) waala mail hai na. ooooooo(as in mOO) waala thore hai.
koi aage is ka mention appne mail me karke aapna time barbaad na karna. mere paas tumhaare sawaalon ka (if any) koi jawaab nahi.
aur bakkwaas nahi sujh raha
chalte hain.fir milenge jaldi hi


PS: if you have not understood the above piece then try to read it keeping something Bihari in mind.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Sometimes you think that something just has to be written down and preserved for posterity..... Later when you sit down and there are more pressing matters on your mind, you just do not have the 'mood' to write the previously thought out things down.

What do you do? Force yourself to pen down the once intense thoughts or go with the mood of the moment. I am opting for the latter.

I have taken a step differently this time. In stark contrast to my previous two attempts at maintaining diaries, I have made this one freely available to my mom. And to some other elder people. Now a public web log is not really a diary. But at least one is supposed to have total and complete freedom of expression over here. The thing that is bothering me is that whenever I think of writing something I imagine mom reading it. And that is like censors breathing down your neck....

And that's not good. Which made me think of maintaining an alternate, actually free from censorship, second blog. Then I thought otherwise. I imagined the case of a serious writer who has embarked to publish some text involving passionate love-making, or an idea which in itself might be path breaking or addressing the aspirations of the country yet makes him feel a little 'weak-in-the-knees' in front of his mom. And I decided that this blog will have to do. This shall be my medium.

tata for now

PS: A confession. I am using office time and office connectivity for maintaining this blog. And no Mom, my company does not encourage this. But if people can chat on hours with girlfriends using the office phone then I can do this too. I agree citing others' examples is a vague excuse. But that's the best I have right now.

To myself:"Better not waste too much time thinking on this.... get prepared to face the wrath of the 'censors'.

A good idea!!! Fix up a time everyday. Or every alternate day. Do not keep thinking about it all day. DO NOT think that this is a crime."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

....times were changing

I've been wanting to say this for quite a while now... but probably never got the right forum to express it. This blog, I guess is a nice place to do so.

I have just completed my 3rd year in Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Presently I am doing my summer training in Navi Mumbai. The total duration is of 2 months of which half is already over.

Was that so difficult to say that I needed a forum and all that... Of course not, that's not what I intended to say. But I think an introducton to my present whereabouts would be necessary anyway.

When I used to be in school, (I will avoid the phrase "When I used to stay at home") I always wanted to be independent. Being an only child I was always the centre of the universe as far as my parents were concerned. I somehow did not like that state of affairs too much. At least some things about it. I despised having to go to sleep at proper times, especially when I was nearing the end of a thrilling book or movie. I did not like being bossed over all the time.

I slowly developed this feeling that if I were to study in a hostel away from home, many of my woes would automatically go away. When I got admitted to college I knew it was near home but still quite 'far' from it, that is as 'far' as distance was concerned. I do not remember quite clearly what my feeling were at that moment even though it was just 3 years back. It was definitely a mixed feeling. I was sad at leaving home, leaving a beautiful neighbourhood, leaving a few things half-done or not done well. But I was leaving them.

And I was also eager to leave - I wanted a change. I wanted some adventure. Something bigger than just studies and expectations of people and routinely falling sick. I somehow thought that with the freedom that I would get in college, these issues would get solved. And so it did. At least for the first semester. It was easy going. Making friends was easy. Time sailed through. everything I touched, almost literally turned into gold. But then this otherwise beautiful
dream was awaken by exams, tension, illness, hurt ego-s, friends behaving otherwise.

And then came responsibility.

I remembered when I was at school I always fell sick the night before the last exam. This started here also. Only here there was no mother to spoon feed you to the exam.

I was free. I could wake up till as late as I wanted to. In fact I regularly remained awake till the break of dawn with nobody to force me to sleep. Which left classes either unattended or attended in half sleep.

I could sleep those extra 15 minutes in the morning. But who would wake you up after that?

I could get away without bathing for a day. I could skip it for months altogether. There would be nobody to care.

I could bunk labs as I wished. But could I. Most people did not do that. But again, some did.

..... times were changing.

As someone put it, "You can oversleep peacefully only if someone elder to you tells you its alright to do so."

But then who was there elder to us to tell us... We were growing..................older.

Friday, June 04, 2004

As usual I am finding the habit of maintaining a blog quite a tiresome one. My previous two diaries saw premature deaths due to this attitude of mine.Let us not dwell on this subject for long. There are many much more interesting things to write about. The funny thing however, ( just a little more dwelling) is that for the few days after I had just started this blog I was viewing all things with the eye of a writer. I made mental notes of many things and wanted to record it for readers. However when the question of actually writing them out came along, I had many other odd-jobs to tend to. These might include going to lunch, leaving office early for some other work or some work at office itself. Now one would have to do these activities anyway and is supposed to get time after that to maintain blogs and other such 'extra-curricular' ambitions. Unfortunately I find it exceedingly difficult to satiate my extra-curricular apetite. There are at least two things I must confess at this point of time to give the reader an idea about my self regarding this subject.

I am quite fussy about the work at hand, be it studies or the assignment I am presently doing for my summer training. I have this penchant for being perfect. You might call it a good thing but sometimes I am forced to think otherwise.

The second thing is not totally unrelated. My mom always pointed out to me that I needed to speed up my work. I disagreed with her on the ground that delay is a small price for perfection. But lately I am forced to disagree with my earlier convicitions. If I am to do all the things that I want to do and do all of them well, then I am afraid (sometimes) that it is impossible. Mom says that I must be absolutely and she means absolutely punctual to do so.

Which translates into having to end this blog dot at 7:10 pm. And being regular in maintaining it... Sounds crappy doesn't it?

Neways bye for now.

PS: My initiation to blog-dom was through a blog by a girl who wrote about:
1. how she knows she does not deserve her luxurious life,when millions are much less fortunate
2. her trip to singapore (most probably)
She was probably Bengali ( but might not be), but surely Indian
I read her on rediff (again, most probably). Got her link from another girl's blog which was titled "A Beautiful Girl's Life" or the like.

Have lost her in webspace. If anyone can help me, please do.