December 29th, 2005

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Thoughts about a trip to Maharashtra and Gujarat...

One thing I find very funny is the fact that all buses in Maharashtra (and in Pune, even autos) have their licence numbers written on the back in sides in numbers more than a foor tall. I can understand the route numbers being written so large in order to ensure that passengers can clearly see which route it is...but why the number plates? Do Maharashtra buses get into so many accidents that it must be easy for the other party to get their licence numbers?

With the Pune autos, it looks even funnier to see these HUGE number plates on the small vehicles!

But after Bangalore...how I loved the concreted, shiny, GOOD roads in many parts of Mumbai....

But in both Pune and in Vadodara, I have become familiar with what I call the "two-wheeler/terrorist headgear fashion". NO ONE of course wears helmets while riding two-wheelers, but many people, mostly women, wear a scarf that fully encloses their heads, so that only their eyes show. This gives them the unnerving look of Jaish-e-Toiba terrorists...but all they are trying to do, I think, is to avoid the exhaust fumes of the traffic....
  • Current Music
    Humming my own music...."na jaane kyon" from Chhoti si Baat
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I am not going to let my spouse forget this number

We drove down from Pune to Mumbai...two hours on a superb road, and we were in Chembur at 1830 hours. It then took us two and a half hours to reach my husband's cousin's home at Goregaon West...we literally INCHED there, and reached by 2100hrs.

We had to catch the Vadodara Express, leaving Mumbai Central at 2330 hrs. The cousin suggested that going to Mumbai Central was an impossibity...we should catch the train, 0010 hours departure at Borivili station. "No," said my dear husband, "I am more comfortable with Dadar." "Are you sure the train stops there?" I asked. "You pessimist!" he said. "99.9%, it will stop there." "Yes!" assented the cousin. "As you say...99.9% the train stops at Dadar." So we took a cab to Dadar...reached there at 2320 hrs.

.....Guess what. The train didn't stop there, the porters informed us. We scrambled into a local train ( a car to Borivili would be useless) and travelled in a dense crowd. My husband asked some regulars on the train, " Which platform does the Vadodara Express stop on?" "That train follows this local," said they confidently. "It will probably stop on the same platform after this local train leaves....99.9% same platform." My husband could not bear to meet my eye.

Thank goodness...this time the 99.9% was 100%...the train came in about 2 minutes after the local left...and we caught it.

I am going to refer to 99.9% once in a while....
  • Current Music
    Chennai Music Festival....Santhanagopalan