To Mumbai and back

This article originally appeared on my blog http://lifeofpradeep.wordpress.com. I recovered the post using Wayback Machine.

Diwali gave me my first occasion to return home from Bharuch. This is a relatively small route to travel but is perhaps the busiest. Being on the straight Mumbai-Delhi line via Ahmedabad means some pretty heavy rush on the train lines. Wait listed tickets and endless refresh button clicking ensued.

The Bharuch (BH is the Indian Railway short code for Bharuch Junction) – Mumbai Central (BCT is the Indian Railways short code for Mumbai Central) journey was nice enough. Got on board at 2338 hrs and reached Dadar at 0415 the next day and reached home by about 20 minutes.

I used IndiaRailInfo.com to get the time-table. The website is pretty accurate in this regard. I also found it had this volunteer group that did many interesting things around the website – reported train progress reports, guessed whether a waiting list ticket would get confirmed or not (it predicts this but does not claim accuracy) and provides a very basic interface. I first started using this website in January when Kirk was here. Slowly I began to notice some of the crowdsourcing features around this website. One more piece in India’s strange love story with its Railway network.

IndiaRailInfo.com predicted that my ticket would be confirmed, however it did not and I returned from home by bus – a Neeta Volvo. I slept pretty well and reached Bharuch at 0430 hrs and walked the last mile home.

As I type this, I am back in Bharuch and back to work.

Watching Snehaveedu in Bharuch

This article originally appeared on my blog http://lifeofpradeep.wordpress.com. I recovered the post using Wayback Machine.

Yesterday being a Sunday, I took a long walk into the shopping hub of Bharuch. The walk took me about 40 minutes to cover.

Bharuch has this wonderful collection of cows, buffaloes and donkeys that run around on the street that makes it a unique driving experience if nothing else. It also has quite a number of fountain soda spots for really cheap rates. The other exquisite feature of Bharuch is some of the wonderful mosques that dot the city.

Bharuch has two multiplexes (multiple screen cinemas) – INOX and FAME. There are several single screen cinemas here as well, which going by the looks still run movies and seemed profitable. I went to FAME cinemas to watch a Malayalam movie, Snehaveedu.

The movie was okay – a plain story unlike many of the movies that we see today. A very simple story told well. You can learn more or less about the storyline by reading the Wikipedia article linked above.

This post is more about the experience than the movie. To give you some context, Bharuch is a town playing a Malayalam movie whereas all it plays are Hindi movies. It does not play English movies. The idea of watching a Malayalam movie here seemed surreal, to say the least. Lots of Malayalees from around the city dropped in. The other thing, which I have not yet written here about is the monthly Kerala meals served on the first day of the Malayalam calendar month. More on that, some other day, perhaps.

At Bharuch

I usually look up the place I am going to – if not days in advance then at least while going there using a mobile web application. While reading up about Bharuch where I have been since October 6, 2011, I found little or no information. The geographical information (which I have taken recent interest in learning more about) about the place is lacking. The Wikipedia article on the town just keeps on repeating a similar set of facts and figures and is in need of copy editing and addition of a lot of information. Google Maps doesn’t do much better. While it has captured major town locations, it does not have road names for every road. In short, it is a mapper’s paradise.

All of that said, my first experience of staying in any place other than Mumbai can be best defined with just one word – SLOW. Bharuch is a slow town. It is a small town. Although, it is a town that is growing at a frentic pace as the nearby Dahej SEZ project is building up. The landscape is changing – faster than the pace of life here. People seem to be only coming to terms with the change. Slowly, there are more people from outside Bharuch in Bharuch than people who are originally from Bharuch.

It has been 2 weeks since I have been in this town. I have spent most of that time going to and fro to work and learning the ropes there. I am yet to go into town and explore it like it should. Mostly, it is the heat that stops you from wanting to go out anywhere after 9 AM in the morning. Then, it’s only after 4 PM that it is even worth considering going out. The constraints that this places means that I have not had time to explore this town.

Moved to Bharuch

This article originally appeared on my blog http://lifeofpradeep.wordpress.com. I recovered the post using Wayback Machine.

I travelled in Saurashtra Express for about 7 hours to reach the city of Bharuch on October 6, 2011. I got off the train, checked myself into Shital Guest House and on the next day reported to work at ABG Shipyard Ltd on October 7, 2011. My position here is as a Graduate Engineer Trainee (GET) in the Planning Department.