Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Days in Gurgaon - III

The days at internship were going smoothly but one thing which used to worry me was the shortage of time which I had after the office hours. And this made me realise the importance of college life where we get so much of time apart from our regular studies. Perhaps I am lucky enough to enjoy the importance of college before actually leaving itJ.

We visited some  power substations in Gurgaon and once went to Panipat SLDC as well as a part of the project (Study of Power Sector in Haryana, Analysis of Problems & Recommendation of Solutions) we were working on. And my observation about the government offices is that they are in a pathetic state. There is no accountability on any person. Records are not proper. It looks people there are just working for somehow sustaining the system instead of improving upon and providing better services. So, who to blame? Definately, the government which doesn’t do anything concrete and effective to improve the system. Rather the political parties leave no stones upturned to get political favours during elections by bringing about undesirable regulations. Someone (I don’t know who) said it right that “Corruption starts from the top level and trickles down to the bottom”.

The last few days of our internship were dedicated to report making. And those were the most hectic days of the intern. We were supposed to make a very detailed report in the least possible time. And then, there were changes to be done each time we prepared something and submitted it. In fact, I literally got frustrated on the last day (7th July) of office. Thanks to Mr. Gautam Agarwal, our project guide, who suggested as many as 35 changes in the final report and that too on the final day. However, the good thing about the day was we were treated with pizzas for lunch by Gautam Sir.

Finally, we left the office a bit early that day with our internship certificates in our hands and smile of relief on our faces. The same day, we said ba bye to Gurgaon, the city where we lived for the last seven and a half weeks.

Despite being called as ‘Singapore of India’, Gurgaon couldn’t fascinate me much. It’s too much dusty and it’s a bit difficult to travel within the city without own vehicle.

To end it, I would not like to say whether the time I spent in Gurgaon was a good experience or a bad one or was just a usual one but it certainly was an experience!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Days in Gurgaon - II

It was 20th of May and I was excited.........perhaps a bit more excited as I had to wait for two more days. But this excitement went away as soon as we (Vivek and I) reached office on that day. The lady to whom we had to report was late and we had to wait. Once she arrived, she had to look into other important stuffs and we had to wait more. And when she was free, there were no computer systems available for us. So, we had to wait some more. And once the system was ready, we discovered that it there was only one system which both of us had to share. And ultimately, I was waiting the whole day to do some work as Vivek was using the available system. Looking back, I realise that the first day itself one of the worst days of my internL. I was so tired of doing nothing the whole day that what I wanted to do after reaching my room was to eat and sleep.

The next day I got my system, though again after waiting for some time. But al least I got oneJ. However, later I found out that it was with one of the slowest speeds possible and I had to jhelo (bear) it for the entire duration of internL.

But once we got adjusted in a couple of days, everything looked ok. And since the work was not too much, I got enough time to read random stuff on internetJ.

We used to go to Delhi to enjoy Sundays (the only holiday we had in a week). And it was fun exploring Delhi. Here, I would like to specially mention about Hotel Sarwana Bhawan, the South Indian food chain in CP where we ate too frequently whenever we went to Delhi. The food, though a little expensive, is very delicious and you have complete paisa wasool (money back). Do try out the food at this place if you happen to go around the area. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Days in Gurgaon - I

Here comes the much delayed experience of Gurgaon.  I left Roorkee on 14th of May, Thursday, to do a summer internship in GNG Group. Instead of being excited, I was reluctant to go. The reason was quite simple: I didn’t want to leave Roorkee and the people, I mean the few passing outs, so soon. Moreover, I didn’t have any idea about where to go or where to stay once I reach there.

So, finally I, along with Nitin moved out of Roorkee saying good bye to the exciting and fun-filled third year. We (Nitin and I) stayed at a PG hostel which was arranged through some contact of my uncle after I reached Gurgaon. I still remember the phone call by Sudhir that day enquiring about my accommodation and asking me to stay at his home if I couldn’t find any place. Dude, I am very very thankful for that call even today and perhaps will be forever.

So, somehow, tired, hungry and exhausted, we reached the PG hostel. Himanshu joined us there. The room which we had got is worth mentioning. It could be neither locked from inside nor from outside. That meant our room could be used by anyone in the hostel any time of the day, for reasons ranging from using the washroom to having a nap. We also had to struggle the large and trained army of deadly mosquitoes and no power conditions in the boiling heat of Gurgaon. But at least we had a got a place to stay and that was better than nothing.

The next two days we were out in the scorching sun to search for a place. And after some efforts, we got a very decent place near to the bus stand in Old Gurgaon.  Meanwhile the date of my joining at the office got postponed from 18th to 20th. So, I had to wait and control the excitement of joining the office for two more days. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back Home

The following two posts were written by me when I was enjoying my holidays at home. Since I had limited access to internet back home, I am uploading them now.

At Home (10 July)

As I am writing this post, I am enjoying the luxuries of home. The absence of electricity in the morning hours still remains a big pain. But good food compensates for that, I guess. Absence on internet is also a big problem here but I don’t really care about that. Rather it’s good to be out of touch with my regular life for a few days.

I had been thinking of writing a post for past four or five days but wasn’t able to get much time. Thanks to our project guide during the internship who remembered all the work to be done by us just couple of days before we were to leave. So, as the internship is over (and I feel like a student again), I promise myself that I will post my Gurgaon experience very soon. The posts might be short and simple but there would be a couple (at least) of posts containing the memories of those days.

As all must be knowing that Roger Federer won the Wimbledon Trophy’09 and became the greatest player ever officially. But the person who won many more hearts than Roger on that Epic Sunday was the American. Yes, Andy Roddick played like a winner and showed the determination which only a few have against the great Swiss player. And who says it’s important to be at the first position? After all, what’s wrong with being second? At the end of the day, even the runner up has played better than all but one. And this is what I say to the great runner up “Andy! I am your fan now!!”. And for anyone love from fans and popularity among them is much more important than many trophies. Isn’t it??

A funny thing happened this summer regarding my tennis fanship. As I had written in my first blog post, I initially wanted Roger Federer to win both Paris and London. But as the results came out and he really became the champion at both the places, I was not happy. Every time he lifted the trophy, it was someone else I wanted to see with the glory. In Paris, it was del Potro and in London, it was..........well, do I need to say?? So all I can say is that we change, our desires change, and we never know that what is it that we will actually want tomorrow. So, why not sip all the marrow out of life today, instead of working tirelessly without rest and fun for creating a better future?

One thing which I felt about strongly this Tuesday was the effect which Women Reservation is having on some of the middle class women of the country, especially the big cities. As I was in queue at the Karol Bagh metro station to get a token to R K Ashram Marg, a middle aged lady came and tried to get ahead of me as soon as my number came. As I became aware of her intentions as soon as she came near the counter, I tried my best that she doesn’t get her business done before me. And I succeeded too. But I couldn’t resist my temptation to remind her that she was breaking the queue and had no right to do so. And the reply which I got shocked my nerves, and even lungs, kidneys, liver, and what not. That lady didn’t take a second to say “to kya hua??” (so what happened?). I again though of replying “ho to kafi koochh sakta hai madam, agar koi chahe to” (if someone wants, many things can happen) but restrained myself. After all what’s her fault when she says that? This is the way she has learnt to live, a crippled life where you get everything because you are of fairer sex.....errrr.....did I say fairer? I am sorry, I actually meant weaker. Some of the ladies reading this post might not like being called weaker but is it not why women are given preferences at many places?

We need a country where everyone gets opportunities according to one’s capacities. But it never means that we rate anyone’s capacity just because of gender.

Do we need women reservation? This answer can only be given if we ask ourselves whether we need women who can only move forward in life if the jungle of difficulties and problems is cleared by males. Or we need women who have the capacity to pave their ways through that jungle and emerge as the true winner in the battles of life.

At Birganj, Nepal (18 July)

I reached Birganj yesterday. The journey from home to my uncle’s home here took almost 12 hours. 205 kilometres in 12 hours!! This is the speed with which Indians travel on trains. And our ex-railway minister used to boast of his remarkable achievements. However, my plight during the journey can’t be solely attributed to our railways but also it has to do a lot with my luck.........or bad luck, I guess. Ya, perhaps Lady Luck was somewhat angry on me yesterday :(.

I had got a ticket booked to Raxaul (the last station on India-Nepal border) by the midnight train but then there was this murder in our hometown on 15th due to which my family didn’t allow me to take the 2:30 am train on 17th. After that I got a reservation in the morning train but even here also, something else was being conspired by my dear Lady Luck. The train was unexpectedly late which meant that I had to take the passenger train finally. Moreover, I couldn’t get my earlier ticket cancelled because the angry (due to the murder) mob had damaged the Public Reservation System (PRS) at the railway station. So, the death became too costly for me literally!! How much aware is Indian public which doesn’t bother to destroy its own property when anything happens!!

Man, sometimes it becomes too difficult travelling in passenger trains in India, especially over long distances. You get to meet too much crowded compartments, excessive heat, step motherly behaviour by the authorities with these trains, and above all, very very difficult passengers. Some of them don’t even bother spitting in the railway compartments, forget about getting tickets!! And they don’t want to listen anything when one tells them not to do so. But this is India!! I don’t know real or not, but this also is one face of the country. And it’s not at all wrong if Danny Boyle or any other person makes a movie to show this face.

And a passing thought before I end writing now, I went to Barahiya (the birth place of my grandmother) once when I was at home. There, I met a person who said a very interesting thing about the power theft in the state:

Bijli to sarkar deti hai to paisa bhi sarkar ko hi denge, ye afsar kaun hota hai paisa maangne wala??” (The government supplies electricity, so the bill has to be paid to the government and not to the officers in-charge of the electricity board)

As told, the village has 15-16 hours of electric supply per day but 95% of supply is either unbilled or if it is billed, the bills are not realised.

Looks the villagers, like the above mentioned person, are waiting for the Chief Minister of the state to come to him to ask for the bill...............or may be for the President of India herself.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Panipat Darshan

We (Vivek and I) went to Panipat yesterday. The purpose was to visit the SLDC (State Load Dispatch Centre) of Haryana and study its SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system. Though we spent most of the day in bus or at the SLDC complex, but I had a few glimpses of the city too. And what I found out about the city was quite different than what I had expected. Despite being so close to Delhi, an industrial centre and one of the major cities of one of the most prosperous states of the country, Panipat is more or less same as other cities of the same size in Bihar and UP. I mean same when I talk in terms of condition of roads, traffic movement and planning.

The roads are not good in the inner parts of the city, at least those parts which I travelled to. There is acute problem of water-logging on the roads when it rains. In fact, water comes up to the knees sometimes. As put by one of the rickshawallas (rickshaw-puller) about Adarshnagar area (where I went):

“Is area me to koi bhi nahi aata hai baarish k time me, bhale hi 500 rupaye kyon na mile”
(No rickshaw-puller comes in this area during rains even if someone is ready to pay Rs 500)

Even the flyover on the national highway (G T Road) is also built in such a way that there is no way to evacuate water from the highway during rain. Though there was police patrolling at many corners of the city for ensuring that people adhere to the basic safety standards while driving vehicles, but as told, it was mainly because of a recent change in the SP (Superintendent of Police). So, it can’t be said how long this patrolling will continue.

The SLDC centre too was like a typical government office in the country. Most of the employees were enjoying the extended lunch time when we reached there. And when they resumed office, it was actually resuming of the bakar (gossip) session of criticizing the modern culture and how English and its wide-spread use in the country has ruined the Indian culture. I don’t know when they will understand the importance of English in our lives. And more importantly, when they will come to realize that culture is not a static thing. It keeps on evolving and is affected by all the developments going on around us. So, when the British ruled us for about two centuries, how can their presence in our country not affect our culture? And nobody wails about the effect of the Mughal Rule on our culture. Why such a discrimination with the English?

And finally, the journey back to Gurgaon was a pain, as expected. Firstly, we couldn’t find any direct bus from Panipat to Gurgaon. It was a surprise thinking of the fact that Panipat is an important industrial town and Gurgaon is the major corporate hub of the state. So, we took a bus to ISBT, Kashmere Gate, Delhi. We reached Delhi around half past nine. It’s not late if you are in a mega city but Delhi starts sleeping completely at around that time. Surprising, but it’s a fact!! And we could not find any way to travel to Gurgaon from the largest bus stand of Delhi!! After taking two rounds of the bus stand, desperately looking for a bus to Gugaon, we decided to take an auto-rickshaw to Dhaula Kuan. Needless to say, the autowalla took a hefty anount from us. And from Dhaula Kuan, we took a bus to Iffco Chowk (Gurgaon) after paying more than double the amount to the conductor, that too without receiving any ticket. So, the conductor too got his pie in our plight. Finally, to the love of the Lady Luck and her blessings, we got the auto to Gurgaon bus stand very easily without waiting for a second at the Iffco Chowk. At the end, we reached our room near midnight.

Some might say that our journey from Delhi to Gurgaon must be a thrilling experience. But for me, there was more of anxiety than thrill in it. And what makes me wonder is the fact that neither the government of Delhi nor that of Haryana has taken any step to make travel easy and tension-free between the two cities after late evening. Despite so much of pyar (love) between the cities, commuting from one to the other is a big pain. Sometimes during daytime too!!

Hope and Wish the transport facilities between the cities bear a testimony to this never-ending love soon!!