Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Petrifying Experience on the Mumbai Locals

This post got featured in the Tangy Tuesday Picks on Blogadda.

A lot of times unexpectedly we are witness to events that we can’t forget for a long time. These are some visuals our eyes see and probably shock us but we can’t take them out of our mind even after persistent trials. They just wouldn’t go.

I remember seeing this lady lying near the Emporium Complex in Connaught Place, back in November 2010. Striking visual. Forced me to think and even write a blog entry (Read here). But the image, it just never goes away.

And then there was another recent incident that I was witness to. A much graver one. It was a Sunday and I was at Goregaon Station in Mumbai. Half past 12 in the afternoon.
The morning hours at a typical Western line station after the 7-10 AM rushhour. Location: Goregaon Station, Mumbai
Sundays for Mumbai local travellers could be problematic if one is not aware of the ‘megablocks’. I was to take a train to Dadar, from where I had to catch the Jan Shatabdi to Aurangabad. I learnt that the slow trains were running from platform #4, instead of the usual #2 due to maintenance work. I climbed the foot over bridge and got down at #4, to find a fast train standing at the platform. If a train is already standing when you get to the platform, do not take it. You can always wait for the next one rather than risking your life, my friend had told me right on the first day of reaching Mumbai.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One day as an AD on a Bollywood film set

The SUV took a sharp left turn right before me, moved a few feet and came to a halt. I held the walkie close to my mouth, waiting for visual confirmation. As about 10-15 people gathered around the SUV, the back door opened and I, less than a few feet away, spotted him. I was right. As he got down and swiftly followed the red carpet into his vanity van, I spoke slow and clear into the walkie, controlling my excitement, the news everyone was too eager to hear: “Mr.Amitabh Bachchan is on location!”

It had been a sleepless night after coming home late the previous evening from office. I was way too excited. I woke up as soon as the alarm went off at 6 in the morning. In less than an hour, I was out in the auto on my way to the location. (Okay, rikshaw- still trying to get used to the Bambaiya lingo!)

“Just get me involved in any project. I don’t have much time but I would really like to see how it all works. I want to experience life on a set, for a shoot. I have no clue of the magnitude and amount of work and efforts involved in film production, and before I leave Mumbai I would really like to experience that,” I had told my friend almost a month ago. Things somehow have a magical way of working out in your favour when you are desperately willing to do something.

‘Make sure you are on time. Be prepared to be thrown out if you are delayed by even a minute’, I had been warned yesterday. I reached the studio 45 minutes early.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

#Mumbai: 40 Days of Adventure

I arrived in Mumbai in the early hours of a hot summer morning in May. Just a few moments after stepping out of the air-conditioned train compartment at Mumbai Central station, two distinctive things had registered into my senses- the stench in the air and the high level of humidity. Welcome to Mumbai!

Chuski Ice cream Gola at Juhu Beach, Mumbai. I somehow love my expression!
As I lay awake on my berth the previous night in the train, millions of thoughts and questions had crossed my mind. I was not able to determine how things were going to be. ‘No clue what I am going to see when I step out of the train at Mumbai. No idea how things are going to be. I might just love it all. Or I might simply hate it. I don't know. Everything is uncertain. But I somehow like this feeling- it doesn't happen very often- it's a combination of excitement, nervousness, anxiety and some kind of a very different feeling. This is the kind of adventure I have wanted for so long. I like it.’

Well technically, I was in Mumbai for an internship. More importantly, I was in Mumbai because I wanted to see, live and feel life in this city. I wanted to determine answers to certain very important questions of my life. It’s a quest for self-discovery, I told myself. These were going to be 40 days of adventure.

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