Dawn at Castle Rock

Image

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In a journey we always find the fellow travelers intriguing. For a small time of the journey our humanly world is limited to them. A chain of countless unanswered questions starts popping out of our brains. We answer them in our thoughts. We have many answers for a single question. We go from one answer to other in the quest. Correct answer is too far. After the tiresome process of the assumptions and failures we begin the process of asking questions and getting correct answers.

Then there are dreams for a journey. Falling for someone in that just one look like Shahrukh does in Dil Se at Halflong  station, meeting a Geet on train or seeing a pale looking girl selling baskets at Dehra station like in the story by Ruskin Bond. One thing is for sure People who travel with us make the journey more interesting.

A trip to Dudhsagar has been one such memorable journey. We were to begin our journey in Goa Express which was late as being late was one of its mundane activities. The peculiar smell at the Pune Station was around which in itself is a collection of different smells including the track side shit and pee, the vendors selling channa chor and tea and coffee, beggars who did not bath since ages amongst other odours whose source could not be traced.  A lot of other people were waiting.

Jhelum Express was parked on the platform where Goa Express was to arrive. It was there for a long time and I don’t remember to which godforsaken place it was headed. News on the platform was that our train won’t arrive unless this whole mass of iron and steel gives way for our train. The only thing I could do till then was to eat some bhel and watch other happy people; happy probably because they also were headed to Dudhsagar. Others looked overzealous and I assumed their destination was Goa needless to specify the obvious reasons. Jhelum Express finally started crawling and Goa Express arrived. All the happy and overzealous faces now boarded the train.

It was an overnight journey and sometime around 4 in the morning we were supposed to be getting down at the Castle Rock station. At the wee hours most of the people got down at the Castle Rock station and other few were to begin their journey to the falls from Kullem.  It was all dark, the fog made things merely visible and it felt shivering cold. We got down at Castle Rock station in spite of our earlier plans of off boarding at Kullem.

Castle rock is a beautiful station with European style architecture and interesting history. It served as an important station where documents verification among other things would take place for people travelling from British India to Portuguese ruled Goa.  Avinash and I decided to take a stroll in the dimly lit station while Pratik decided to take a nap in the waiting room. We could barely get the whole picture of the station in the pitch black darkness and wondered where the population would be staying.

We passed a couple of times in front of the control room and found a guy a little fat and short sporting a non-shaped small beard speaking in Kannada to the official at the station for a long time and it seemed he was well acquainted with the person. He off boarded from the same train that we did and were sure he was from Pune but could speak a different language. We joined the conversation.

I did not understand Kannada. From the looks of the train attendant we gathered trek along the tracks from Castle Rock was not advised as it had rained heavily and wildlife besides the track had no mercy. By wildlife I mean only the leeches and we had no appropriate shoes to walk or any flash lights to get a good sight in the dark tunnels. Our hopes of having good, healthy and adventurous hike were shattered. We decided to wait for the next train to take us to Dudhsagar which was still had 3 -4 hours to arrive.

After the train attendant was gone to perform his duties towards the Railways we began speaking with the bearded guy (whose name I do not remember). After the formal introduction and the discussion about the weather our train of talks switched the track to the lengths of track this guy had covered and we realized he was a traveler of sorts and it was 5th visit to the Dudhsagar. His earlier visits were concentrated more on the jungle safari around the forests of Castle Rock. He was a lone traveler and had traveled from Pune to the other end of the country to Sikkim with a back pack and a sleeping bag. His mode of transport was a General compartment in any train with minimal cost. He never hired a hotel room. It was his sleeping bag and the waiting room of a train station.

This stranger told us more stories of his travel across the country. The real question from materialistic people like us then came “How did he manage to get money?” So he answered that he organises treks and trips for some part of the year and money earned is utilised for his travels for rest of the year. We were startled with his passion for travel. It was a kind of story we had only read, seen on a screen or had a dream about.

Visibility improved with time and talks at the station. There was still some fog. We decided to get into the hamlet for some breakfast. As we climbed the stairs somehow reminded me of the Cat town from ‘Kafka on the Shore’ which was only a one way journey to the town. I wondered whether we are in for a similar thing and I would not have worried for a day or two as the town was picturesque. We had breakfast and were able to catch a train to Dudhsagar just in time.

– Sumit Chinchane

Advertisements

Independence Day in the Life Of…

The Prime Minister

I should get ready for my speech (Also, the Dubai trip. Hehehe). It is a fantastic opportunity to woo people of Team India ( a team of Savaa sau crore). Also, I should take a note so as to not be the cause of any controversy by wearing anything that costs more than 10000 and it should not have anyone’s name on it, not even mine.

Damn, what should I speak of the One Rank One Pension?

TV News Reporters

This is my day of exhaustive reporting. My agenda is fixed. Sleep late as I will be reporting per-independence day reports, get up early to cover Modiji’s speech, look for controversies, mistakes if any and Tweet about them. God will be graceful if I trigger any trend on twitter. Then, I will be able to flash it continuously besides me on the screen.

I hope people notice me on the side of that Twitter feed.

Politicians

It is good I have been called by local school as chief guest for flag hoisting ceremony and not by any news channel for a debate. Those debates are so clumsy you have to raise your voice to a high pitch than other people in the debate if you don’t have any points on your side.

Children, they don’t care about what you speak; they are there just for the chocolates.

Teachers at Schools

It will be just like every year, attend the flag hoisting ceremony, distribute the chocolates and get home unlike the Republic Day so many programs to wait for.

I should protect my white shirt from getting dirty or I will have to bear the wrath of my better half.

Children at School

Independence Day is Chocolates Day at school and holiday. Yippee!!!!

Multinational Company Employees

It had to be a Saturday. Couldn’t it be on a Friday or Monday. How good a long weekend would have been? We have been robbed of a legitimate holiday. Nobody cares about our rights. I hope we don’t get any production issues this weekend.

Honey, where is my newspaper?

Indians in US

Let’s start the day with a patriotic song. I mean the patriotic song of India. Then, I will make a post about Independence Day on the Facebook, wish on all the WhatsApp groups. In the afternoon I will watch Swades and think of returning to India. After all, I too have duties towards my country. First things first, when is my Visa expiring? I better check rules and conditions for getting a Green Card.

Virat Kohli

Team India(only 11 out of sava sau crore will bat) better win this match. It is our Independence Day. I will be able to some nice things like dedicating my first Test win to the Indian Freedom fighters or soldiers. Also, Ansuhka will be happy.

Music Channel Executives

Where is my list of patriotic songs? Why hasn’t it started playing already? Where is Rahman’s Maa Tujhe Salaam? People dig that song. Play it at least 10 times today throughout the day.

Editor at Times of India

I have got new idea for front page for this year’s Independence day: We will quote Wishes from all the Bollywood celebrities with their photos.

I wish Honey Singh has something better to day

Common Man

What is the better option for a picnic near my city? Once the children are home we can go.

-Sumit Chinchane

Independance Day

Bullet Time Photogrphy – For Greater Good of Society

In Bullet Time photography, the bullet time effect is achieved by placing a number of still cameras surrounding the subject. The cameras are fired either sequentially or at the same time depending on the effect desired. In this way the still frames when seen one after the other in a faster speed gives an effect of motion. Also, this is the basic principle behind videos.  The below picture and video  at the end might give a better idea. It was used beautifully in second episode of third season of Sherlock (The sign of Three), Matrix, Max Payne and our very own Ra.One (If it sounds surprising, yeah, Shahrukh Khan is aware of the technique).  For more details please visit the Wikipedia Page.

bulletrig1

So I got this idea sitting in a famous restaurant watching bunch of girls taking photographs wherever they go.  Girls just entered the restaurant sat beside our table and fired a selfie. One of the girls went to order at the counter; here it comes one more selfie. I am sure the first selfie would have been captioned “Having a blast with Friends” and second one would have read “It’s time for a solo selfie”. Now the group moved to the corner tables which offered a good view of the streets and the next caption crossed my mind “One with the window”.

Then these guys took selfies outside the restaurant, at the parking lot of the restaurant, with the Guard who checked their vehicle into the restaurant, on the footpath in front of the restaurant, in between the traffic on the road in front of the restaurant, above a car in front of the restaurant, standing on two bikes just like Ajay Devgan with one leg on one bike and the second one on other in front of the restaurant and so many more. One thing was common; they had a pout on their faces and neon sign of the restaurant in the background.

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg if you are ever reading my blog, please make an arrangement so that people could check in at every place mentioned above and each check in should read distinct with it peculiarities. It’s a humble request Sir, just for the greater good of society.

Bullet time photography would really prove itself useful for these girls. We put a number of still cameras surrounding a person or group of girls or boys and suppose with so much science and technology around us we achieve a way such that wherever these guys moved these cameras surrounding them would travel along without disturbing the order.  They just wink and the cameras start taking multiple shots either sequentially or at the same time depending on the effect desired.

Their life would be so easy; go anywhere and wink and you get the number of selfies with different angles. Much of the effort to pout multiple times for different angle would be saved as each of the angles would be covered in one wink.  Just like the shoes they would have multiple options.

You wouldn’t believe me but I am in talks with the TV commercial magnets like  Naaptol and Teleshopping which sale things like miracle  Maruti, rudraksh, cushions,  pens with cameras, mobiles with six cameras and sixteen speakers etc. They are ready to promote the product in their usual way and that group of girls mentioned above are ready to help them for promotion and even ready to act in their ad campaigns for free. Asian sky shop whose business was closed years before is looking forward to enter the market again with this product.

People always ask “What do you think is your contribution to the society? “. Now I can proudly say that this idea is my contribution to the society especially to the youth of the world.

– Sumit Chinchane

 

The Social Networking Challan

Breaking rules is the rarest but one of the most joyous things to experience. But, breaking rules can be joyous enough only when there is some risk involved. It was the same Saturday at 12 noon when we had our breakfast (Yes… that is the time on a Saturday to have breakfast).
We had to break the rules but could not think of any risk involved. Say who would have found cops checking for vehicles on Saturday afternoon on a busy street.  Nobody finds any risk when you break the traffic rules in front of the cops. It’s just a matter of bribing.
So we went ahead with our plan of going with an extra pillion rider on both of our bikes. Well, without even risks we were having our own fun of breaking the rules.  Ignorant of the fact that there were cops checking for vehicles, we just went ahead and almost hit the one of the cops. So there we were six people on two bikes. The man looked at us as if we had committed the one of the most hideous crimes a person can commit.
Ordinarily, it would have been just a matter of handing over of a hundred or couple of hundred of bucks. But we were facing a different breed of cops altogether. Equipped with all kinds of smart phones these cops were just tweeting and updating the Facebook status, making fun of us on their Whats App groups. One just tweeted “Folks these days are not even sharp enough to slip away the extra rider on seeing cops #TrafficRules”.  Others had devious laugh reading it loud to us. We were left embarrassed.
These cops wouldn’t budge although we offered a little more than usual amount. We were left guessing what do to. They were not convinced even when we doubled the usual amount. We tried even following the rules and asked for a challan. We heard a thunderous laughter. They said nobody kept the receipt books with them these days and nobody even took bribe. Now, we were in a pickle, we had money to bribe and were also more than happy to pay the fine, but any of these could not be of any help to us.
We could not believe on what the cops were watching on their phones. They were looking at the selfies they had taken with the earlier defaulters. No bribes, no fines but the selfies did the trick these days. We were enlightened by this fact to an altogether different level.

Chingham

The recent release popurlarly known as “Chingham“among my pals and in reality known as “Singham” is creating lots of waves among viewers. Indeed perspective towards films like Singham and other goons in the party is becoming like chewing gums(Chingham); chew it, enjoy it and then spit it out when the tang is gone. When one chewing gum is spitted out you have the next one ready and for no surprises it has got the same flavor. Given the ingredients of a popular macho man actor with six or eight pack abs, a hit south Indian film and gravity defying action you get the perfectly blend “chingham”.

Worst Case Analysis

One of the most celebrated miseries of being a COEPian is facing a lot of exams. I would otherwise have not used the word ‘misery’ but for the two tests in the semester are for meager ten marks each. These two tests for each and every subject adds to the misery.

These tests are the scenarios for the real life application of the concepts. One being ‘worst case analysis’. The worst case would be getting zero. These thought provokes a series of thoughts and some more applications. People in the college learn theoretical concepts of cost estimation and calculation of probabilities. Here is the thing where they apply all their logic. What will happen if I score a zero or a five or what score is required if condition is somewhat critical. Then their starts some serious thought of surviving in the college. But nothing of these ultimately paves the way for study.

There are lots of other things which prove their importance on the day before the tests. There is a new movie that comes over LAN, there is a function or a party or there is a ROADIES episode. Then next day there is “shortcut to hell”. And nowadays there is always a match. Sometimes there is a holiday or two before the tests are scheduled. Then its the Diwali time. Then there starts a series of postponing the time when you start studying.

But behold your nerves as you may be surprised to know that this may be not the case with every COEPian. For some its a festive season, it is a battle of Mahabharta, and it is a question of life and death. It is the time for them to prove themselves. They wait for these days the whole semester. It is never difficult to find these people in COEP. Enter any class or you can just peep in you will find them sitting on first benches looking adamant, ardent as if everything in the world has died except the teachers. This all with due respect and a salute to their diligence.

On the other hand there is no less diligence in students other than the frontbenchers. As a matter of fact, it is proved in some different ways especially in tests. They are consistent in peeping papers of others. They are consistent in writing their ‘own’ answers, creating their own fundas. Mind you, they are a lot creative.

Anything may happen in the tests but most of the time people get succeeded irrespective of the approaches they follow. In COEP tests are after all meant to give some students to prove themselves and for some others it is an opportunity to save their ass. Faculty of the college is also not unaware of the fact. That is why they send in many times their M.Tech counterparts as they are more ‘generous’ towards students. The most vital aspect of the test saga is that students learn “survival” and also some learn “survival of the fittest”.