Packing of my CT100 – Part 4


By 3PM, we already understood that our fate is going to be in this Yelahanka Railway Station for an eternity. Till 4PM, the policeman kept telling us that no need of wrapping the vehicle, but the agent was telling us that it’s a risky affair to transport without any wrapping. The agent who agreed to wrap the bike said it will be Rs.700 for each vehicle. We three, with our puppy faces started bargaining and finally, my friend played the victim card.

He said, “Boss, look at the bike and arrive at a decent price… We do not even have money to go back to Bannerghatta… Please adjust…..” The way he said made that agent feel pity for both of us and then he generously agreed for Rs.400

We paid our dues and then walked back to the platform. And then started discussing whether 400 rupees was even worth it or not. Right from draining the fuel, to pushing it till the platform it was all our effort. All that the agent did was to put two cardboards on my bike and then use some plastic gunny bags to wrap it all over.

(Remember that CT100 is an economy bike… Even if you think there is no fuel left in the bike, you will still be surprised to find fuel in the tank. In my case, we got around 2L of petrol from the tank).

By the time it was 5:45PM we had lost our patience. We kept on stalking the supervisor chamber every ten minutes. We were literally the most hated personalities of the day for the enquiry office personnel. At 7PM, the supervisor arrives and says throw away the old paperwork and write a new challan. We wrote our details in it and put the value of the vehicle as described by him. (Poor RE Rider had to re-brand his bike from RE to Bajaj Pulsar to avoid extra money for shipping). I asked for places where the bikes will be delivered from that particular cargo…to which he responded that it stops only at four places i.e. Mumbai CST, Kalyan Jn, Pune, and Lonavla. I did not have a clue on other places and just wrote CSMT. (Short form for Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus – UNESCO Heritage Site with daily over lakhs of footfall every day)

In ten minutes he finished off all the work and asked us to leave. Before leaving he told us “We are pushing your vehicle today and it will reach CST the next day. First 6 hours it will be kept for free, post which you have to pay a fine of Rs.10 per hour. And please write your phone number on top of the gunny bag so that the railway personnel can call you (TBH Nobody called me when my bike was dropped at CST. I had to pay a fine of Rs.380 to get my bike back)

With my two-wheeler safely packed to board inside the cargo, I breathed my first sigh of relief. I knew something big awaits me in Mumbai (in terms of dealing with Indian Railways) but I was mentally prepared for everything.

To be contd...
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JLT – Just Like That


I won’t be continuing the Part 4 of my Mumbai series, partly because today was one hell of an adventurous day. Traveling the GULLY BOY featured Lower Parel flyover and attending the Grazia event at Phoenix City Mall…. it was all life in fast forward.

Every day is an opportunity to learn something new. We learn new things only to apply it tomorrow for a better future. Today was no exception. One of the biggest lessons that I learned today was about the importance of being authentic in the job that you are doing.

A series of events today taught me that, if you are not truly passionate about the work that you are doing, you will definitely not enjoy doing that work. It’s very important to love what you are doing. Otherwise, you will end up being an imposter amongst a crowd of spectators.

PASSION is something which cannot be copied.

LOYALTY is something which cannot be bought.

BEAUTY is something which cannot be judged superficially.

TRUST is something which you can never break.

SMILE is truly the most inexpensive gift of human life. But unfortunately, the wave of social media has truly changed the meaning of a smile. Almost everyone whom I met today was sad…. for one thing, or other. But everyone had mastered the art of hiding it and faking as if they are leading a 100% perfect life.

While I am nobody to judge them. I mean… who am I to ask them to not hide their real feelings. Everyone needs a mask. Some need it to hide their pain, and some need it to hide their demons. Reasons could be many, but the overall objective is to hide your real self from others. Social media today has made it really difficult to stay authentic. Everyone wants to be seen, and everyone wants to be accepted just like others.

What everyone has forgotten is that “You are unique and You are beautiful…. just the way you are…..”.

That’s it for today’s JLT post.

Thanks for giving it a read!

Unpredictable Indian Railways – Part 3

Indian Railways Royalty Free Image

Whoever has shifted their vehicle from one state to another using Indian Railways are very well aware of the kind of paperwork and jugaad that goes into transporting their vehicles. While, packing of the vehicle is one aspect, the amount of unrest that one has in their heart until the vehicle reaches its destined place is another thing.

For a noob like me who dreads train travel primarily because of all the jargons that they use, it seemed like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. But, thanks to my friend Arun who had mastered the art of sending all kinds of bikes safely from point A to point B through Indian Railways.

“CT100 in rail? What if something goes wrong? What if there is damage?” were the initial questions that I asked Arun. His one answer was “People send RC390’s man! ….”. (Okay, I got my answer)

My bike had almost zero fuel, but still, to be on the safer side we filled fifty rupees worth fuel and went to Majestic Rly Station. As our friend Arun was well versed with the paperwork, I took my pen from my pocket and started filling it as if this is the 100th motorcycle I was sending from Bangalore. Halfway during the paperwork, there was an agent next to us. With a thick Kannadiga accent, he asked: “Baaambay huh?”. In unison, we both nodded yes. He then passed a wry smile and turned his head towards another Railway official. The officer said, due to some unexpected repair work in the platform, for the next 10 days all the cargo that needs to be sent to Mumbai had to be sent via Yelahanka Railway Station.

I immediately had this sentence in my mind “Did I hear him say Yelahanka?”. (Whoever has stayed in Bangalore knows what a pain it could be to go from Majestic to Yelahanka in the noon).

I went to the nearby ATM, withdrew some 2000 rupees cash and then we started slowly riding towards Yelahanka. After some time when we reached the station, we saw there were few officials and a whole idle station with barely a few passengers waiting for their trains. When we asked the Enquiry, he confirmed that the cargo for Mumbai arrives there and one needs to wait for the Supervisor Incharge for Cargo until 5:45PM.

We checked our watch and it was just 1:45PM.

With the already filled paperwork in my hand and a helpless face, I looked at Arun. My expression clearly said, “Now what?”

He quickly said, “Let’s check how do we empty the fuel and keep the bike ready so that by the time the supervisor comes we are all set to transport it”. Right then, we could hear the railway police shouting at an RE rider. He was arguing that how will he push his bike all the way from outside to get it packed inside but the police had his grim face which said: “That’s your headache….”.

At once we both were happy that someone else is also part of this safar (suffer).

To be contd

 

Before Packing Bags to Mumbai (Part 2)


With little knowledge of what awaits me ahead, I entered Hotel Grand Hyatt at Ulsoor.

Little did I know, that things were about to get a 360-degree turn.

I answered my interview questions and vroomed back home zooming past the Bangalore traffic with ease. (All thanks to my humble CT100).

After a few days, it was confirmed that I had cleared the interview and my new job location would be Mumbai. I did not know how to react for a moment. I asked myself should I be happy or confused or sad. And a strong gut feeling said “Fuck You… Buckle Up and just go with the flow”.

In December 2018, I took a 2-months break from my awesome job at a fintech startup. This two-month window gave me a strange level of daredevilry to accept whatever was coming my way. I said yes for the relocation and dialed all my possible acquaintances to understand what is it to stay in Bombay. I have to say 90% of the feedback was not so positive.

But as I said, I was already pumped up with blind confidence… So, I asked a 2-week window from the new employer to sort things from my end and start this new journey to Mumbai. In this short duration of two weeks, all I did was put a closure to all the issues that would bother me once I go to the new city. One of the key important things was to first hunt for a stay in Mumbai until my PG was sorted. The second important thing was to transfer my two-wheeler to Bombay.

While the majority of them said that riding on my CT100 would be an awesome experience, there was this one friend who put some sense in my head. As the joining date approached near, my accommodation was becoming more of an issue. Primarily because the employer did not have the arrangements for the stay inside the campus. In this kind of situation, it was definitely not the best option to ride all the way from Bangalore to Mumbai on my humble 100cc vehicle. Because it would only make me more tired and would have left me with very less time to go and hunt a decent room for myself.

Two days before my departure to Mumbai, I did one last round of checkup for the bike, removed the clingy mobile holder and vroomed to Majestic Rly Station with all the necessary papers… Little did I know the drama that was about to unfold before me…

(to be contd...)

Moving to Mumbai – The City Of Dreams (Part 1)


Life in Bangalore was too good. Surrounded in a bubble-wrap of love, warmth and my lovely family in Bangalore I have now moved to Mumbai. Well, a lot of my friends still think it was my worst decision ever… But why let others decide what you want.

I have always believed “CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT THING IN THIS UNIVERSE.”

And every change has some meaning in it.

A friend of mine once said, “I am getting good opportunities in Gurgaon but I do not want to leave Bangalore and here the salary needle is not moving at all”. I could push him to an extent to go to Gurgaon but ultimately he did not budge. He chose to stay in Bangalore only with the same position.

This friend had the fear of missing out on all the fun and activities that he was used to in Bangalore. He simply did not want to take the risk of traveling to a new place again, relocating all his stuff and getting adjusted to the new surroundings.

To be honest, even I was like him a few years back. I longed for my comfort zone. Bangalore – my Kannadiga people – the comfort zone of not having to deal with an identity crisis or deal with totally new kind of people. It put me in the FEAR ZONE – where every little thing started bothering me. I was affected by opinions from others and cared a lot about what others would think of me.

What happens when you dwell in this zone of fear?

It leads you on a negative path which hinders your progress in life.

So, stop wasting too much time thinking about what could go wrong and trust your decisions.

Travel as much as you can right when you are young and independent enough to achieve it. Hold yourself accountable for every action that you take in life. Do not take anybody for granted. Hustle. Persevere. 6 months of consistent hustle can put you two years ahead in your career.

Never let go of a good opportunity just because of your fears.

Trust the process. Everything happens for a reason. Even if you fail, you will learn something from it. Do not let your past mistakes dictate your future.

Do something every day that scares you. Each day is a new beginning to explore your fears and grow. Just take a deep breath, gather your five seconds of courage and let go of your comfort zone.

Conquer your fears every day. When I initially landed in Mumbai, I had (and I am still having) my own share of struggles. Everything was confusing at once. But then, that’s the part of life. Nothing comes easy in life. And if you think, life is unfair to you, go watch GULLY BOY. Life is always unfair at some point for everyone, but that’s nature teaching you the art of survival. Do not put yourself down just because of your inexplicable assumptions and fears. Thousands of people come to Mumbai every day, with no solid background or money with a small hope of living their dreams. Every day when I see those people walking briskly near Kurla station, I can feel their enthusiasm, their struggle to get things going….. and their sheer determination to achieve their dreams.

After having stayed in a beautiful and pleasant city like Bangalore, for sure it was difficult to adjust in this kind of fast-paced city. Everyone is in a rush here…. Nobody has time to ask about your whereabouts or your well-being. Everyone is so disconnected but at the same time connected to a common thing “DREAMS”. Getting a proper accommodation is a big hassle in Mumbai, but there is nothing to be afraid of as there are umpteen number of FB groups and apps whose daily life is nothing but connecting you to a potential PG or a flatmate.

When people used to say Bombay is the city of dreams, I used to wonder what is so special about it as any city is a dream city. Now I understand why….

This city is like a melting pot. And this is just the beginning of my experiences here. (to be contd….)