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Posts Tagged ‘railway

The IPL Team that wasn’t

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IPL auctions, held recently grabbed everyone’s attention. With millions of dollars floating around, it turned out to be a landmark event. Not everyone seemed happy though. Some politicians were enraged by the amount of wealth at display. “It’s pathetic”, said one. Its gross” said another.  “Why were we left out from earning the moolah. It’s wrong”. “Let’s form a team and enter the IPL. Let’s rename it the Indian Political League”, came one suggestion. “Yes, let’s do it”, they gave a Spartan cry. We will show who the real boss is when it comes to earning monies.

“From next time on Mr. A. Raja will be the auctioneer given his huge experience with 2G auctions”, they passed a resolution. “All those who want to bid for someone at a cheaper cost, pay me 20%, I will bring down the hammer. I am the 1st, 2nd and the third umpire”, Raja promised. Point well taken!

The team was called, “Indian Commoners”, given the “aam aadmi” thing is in vogue. The team is as below.

1. Suresh Kalmadi: The way he accumulates money, he can accumulate lots of runs. His tendency to generate money out of nowhere is seen as his ability to get wickets out of nowhere. He is a genuine all rounder. He can even keep the umpires happy, if you know what I mean. He never hogs the limelight. Always owes it to teamwork.

Kalmadi 1 Kalmadi 2

Kalmadi 3 Kalmadi 4

2. Sharad Pawar: The Maratha pride. He is a bit lethargic in field. Takes time to move; needs a little push sometimes. But with him on the side, the team can make records, given his habit to make records of prices of onion and sugar. He does not care much about win or a loss. Cool as a cucumber. After all he is not a jyotishi.

Pawar 1 Pawar 2

Pawar 3 Pawar 4

3. RR Patil: A master planner. Sometimes caught off guard, when the opposite team strikes. To him even a huge loss does not matter. After all such small things happen. He is like a phoenix, rise from the ashes. The only thing that goes against him is his evident dislike for cheer leaders.

Patil 1 Patil 2

Patil 5 Patil 3 Patil 4

4. Mamata Banerjee: Bound to appeal a lot on the ground. Ei No Cholbe, Ei no Cholbe. Will sit on hunger strike if umpire does no give favorable decisions. Batting and Bowling will be on track with her in the team, well almost.

Mamta 1 Mamta 2

Mamta 4 Mamta 3

5. Sheila Dixit: Hell of a worker. Can make 200 in just 2 over’s when time comes. Though old age affects her memory a bit and she keeps forgetting things, considered a long innings player. Is well regarded for her mystic youth.

Sheila 1 Sheila 2 Sheila 3

6. B. S. Yeddyurappa: With him, we will have our grounds to practice and play on. Whatever pitch/land/conditions we want to practice on, he will grab it and will make it available for us. Also he will cry when caught, so umpire will not give him out. He likes to keep himself in shape too. He respects the coach a lot.

Yed 1 Yed 2

Yed 3 Yed 4

7. M. K Alagiri (Karunanidhi’s son): He will hardly be present during the match but during the pre and post ceremonies, he will be there to complain that he is never given a chance to perform. Such spirit!

Ala 1 Ala 2 Ala 3

8. Nitin Gadkari: Will sit on the opposition and kill them. He is dealer and so is easy to deal with. Will keep asking for a wicket from the umpire. He will not let the match go on and may do a walkout, till his request is acceded to. His motto is “Eat and let Eat”, and eats up the wickets of the opposite team.

Gad 1 Gad 2

Gad 3 Gad 4

9. Narendra Modi: Tried his hand at umpiring. Took no decision and the two teams came to blows. Want to enter this time round as the player. The team is bound to win, err…only the home matches perhaps.

Modi 1 Modi 2

Modi 3 Modi 4

10. Rahul Gandhi: Likes to play test matches, slow and in whites. So that might be show-stopper. But has a fan following among elite youths (where the money is), so might be able to bring in sponsors. Also is young. Invest in future.

Rahul 1 Rahul 2

Rahul 3 Rahul 4

11. Manish Tiwari: His team is the reigning champion and he never misses a chance to be smug about it. He will murder anyone who says anything against his team. Such is his loyalty. Don’t need to know the context. All he knows is defense. He is the Wall. He can take on one, two or even three bowlers at the same time.

Manish 1 Manish 2

Manish 3 Manish 4

12. Jagan Reddy (12th man): He is a good fielder and practices a lot. Be it ‘Odarpu Yatra’. He has a lot of female fan following too. Charming! The flip side is that he will not play unless made the Captain. He will make a new team from the breakaway players if he is refused the Captain cap.

Jagan 1 Jagan 2 Jagan 3

13. Sourav Ganguly: Pissed at his exclusion in the IPL, he gave his name for Indian Commoners. Unsold here too. Left has told they will find a role for him and no team in India is possible without him.

Sourav 1 Sourav 2 Sourav 3

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Laluisms and Indian Railways

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Lalu Prasad Yadav’s railway budgets used to be special. He started a trend of sorts with rhymes in his speech. It takes an orator in command for the words to take effect. Not everyone would have had the same effect. The rhymes themselves were not a random phenomenon. They reflected the state of affairs of Railways. The Mood. I try to put together few such rhymes in accordance with the changing Railways each year. Could be easily divided into three phases.

1. Phase I: The Beginning
When Lalu got hold of ministry, it was in shambles and Lauisms in the initial budgets reflected that.

There was hope of building a new future. Hard labor was needed to fulfill the dream.
                “मैंने देखे हैं सारे ख्वाब नए,
                  लिख रहा हूँ मैं इंक़लाब नए”
                “मेरे जुनूं का नतीजा ज़रूर निकलेगा,
                  इसी सियाह समंदर से नूर निकलेगा”

There was a tough path ahead. Help of every individual was needed to overcome the hurdles.
                “जीवन के हर पथ पर माली पुष्प नहीं बिखराता है,
                  प्रगति का पथ अक्सर पथरीला ही होता है”
                “एक कदम  हम  बढे, एक कदम तुम,
                  आओ  मिलकर नाप दे, फासले चाँद तक”

Overall it laid expectations from the future.

2. Phase II: The Delivery
During his later budgets he stood on solid performance and growth. Hope gave way to conviction.

We have come so far by a collective effort. We have redefined success.
                “नवाजिश है सबकी, कर्म है सभी का,
                  बड़े  फ़ख्र से हम बुलंदी पर आये|
                  तरक्की के सारे मयारों  से आगे,
                  नए ढंग लाये, नयी सोच लाये”

Charges were not increased amidst the inflation. We came good on our promises. Wait for more.
                “दौर-ऐ-महंगाई में भी रेल सस्ती रखी,
                  पर कमाई में कोई कमी न रखी”
                “जितना अब तक देख चुके हो, ये तो बस शुरुआत है,
                  खेल तमाशा आगे देखो, दरियादिल सौदागर का”

Overall mood migrated from hope to conviction of delivery.

3. Phase III: The Continuance
His last budgets were more of a commentary of his achievements. Election budget!

                “गोल पर गोल दाग रहे हैं, हम हर मैच में,
                  देश का बच्चा बच्चा बोले, चक दे रेलवे”

He summed up his achievements. What had been done in his tenure will help reap benefits in the long term. We have just planted a tree. Everyone will grow with it. Commitment to duty.
                “सब कह रहे हैं हमने गज़ब काम किया है,
                  करोड़ों का मुनाफा हर एक शाम दिया है,
                  फल सालों यह अब देगा, पौधा जो लगाया है,
                  सेवा का, समर्पण का, हर फ़र्ज़ निभाया है”

Overall mood was of letting people know of what was delivered. Of coming good on the promises. One more chance, perhaps!

Here comes the Train

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I like tuning in to hear Railways’ budget speech. Lalu’s witty rhymes were always a treat. One never felt bored. Even the opposition members had a laugh. Mamata Di presented the budget this year. There were a number of good announcements including low price bottled water, women RPF and the proposed new lines.

Don’t worry I have no intentions to dissect the railways budget. You can watch the balding man with broad specs on the news for that.I have always rued the fact that Indian Train never got its due. Consider its contribution to Hindi Cinema. Had Bollywood been the same without the Indian Train? I have always visualized Train as a movie star. Train has played innumerable roles over the years. Do we remember any? No! We would remember the silly dog from Teri Meherbaniyan instead. What blasphemy!
Movies came and went but nobody noticed the Train. There were silly whistles for Madhubala to Maduri to Aishwarya. But when it came to Train, Nothing. It was looted, plundered, ran upon but never did any film critic found its performance worth mentioning.

It was time someone stood up and brought an end to this madness. Here I present before you top 10 memorable roles played by Train in Indian movies of the modern era. Its redemption time!

10. The Train
One of the few lead roles over a prolonged career. Train transformed itself from the dusty old Passenger to the modern Metro. And all we remember is Aamirs transformation in Ghajini. The movie proved to be a dud and all the blame fell on Train. A leading movie critic said and I quote, “Not catering to Indian sensibilities. We like the dirty and dusty old train. Train now makes movies for the NRI’s only.”

9. Veer and Bros.
Since eternity, actors have loved running atop the Train. I don’t know why. Maybe they take some carnal pleasure in keeping Train under their feet. From Amitabh to Salman to Imran, all have tried their legs at that. How Train manages to leave an impression even in such inconsequential roles is a different matter altogether. Bollywood has gone as far as to oppose the electrification of Train. It wants to keep it the old coal run. All the wires above would prove to be a hindrance (to run atop, Of course!).

I chose Salman’s Veer for the sheer love he has for the Train. He even dedicated his muscled body to the Train. In an interview he said, “I Train in the morning. I Train in the afternoon, I Train in the night, I Train all the time. How else do you think I got these muscles?”

8. Ek Chaales Ki Last Local
Train played the role of an invisible being. It was there, at the same time it was not. We felt the presence all along but never saw it. Observe how in the image below you see the tracks but no Train. It’s there, believe me. It’s just invisible. Being a method actor, it is said that Train decided to become invisible for the whole 2:40 mins and still does so every night.

7. Sholay
Remember the scene where Daaku chased the Train on horses and Jai Veeru helped Thakur. Train played a highly praised cameo. As memorable role as that of Sambha. A single scene but we remember it till date. Don’t we? I mean Train not Sambha.

6. Jab we met
The modern day love story. Just when we thought that Train has reached the end of its career, it managed to rise form the ashes. Scintillating performance. The timing when it decides to leave the station thereby aiding Shahid and Kareen to meet. Perfect. How it was able to fool the intelligent actress twice is worth mentioning here. Way to go Train. You made yet another love story possible

5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
One of my favorite characters. In the image below we see Sharukh getting emotional to part with the Train. And we thougt it was because of Kajol. He wanted the Train to stay. Train increased the speed just enough to let the dupatta fly away. Perfect execution. Such an emotional performance by the Train. Lovely.

4. Jai ho
Indian train decided to go global. It was offered a role in Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire and it grabbed it with both hands. The dance sequence was excellent. The Train arrived at the Oscars with a whistle.

3. Dil Se
Who can forget the amazing balance of the Train in the song Chaiyya Chaiyya. Train outperformed itself yet again. The way it carried the weight of the characters and the story on its back, still was able to keep its track was showing of a great performer. In fact Shahrukh secretly credits his success to the Train.

2. The Burning Train
Train was in the lead here and came out with flying colors. Junta clapped each time the train whisteled. It was a difficult role. Train was badly burnt and bruised by the time the shooting was over. But it never swayed its way. It kept running at the constant speed. Come what may! It was Arjun, in pursuit of the Eye. Majestic!

1. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
This one comes right at the top. In fact for me it’s all over from 1 to 10. I fell in love with Train for life long. Observe the different getups of Train. Disguised as Euro Rail, it made Shahrukh-Kajol meet. Remember the scene where Train decides to lock them up in a compartment with a couple of shakes thrown in. The improvisation was excellent.

At the end observe the Indian getup. How well it looked on the Train. Running fast and slow at the same time. Fast in long range shots and slow in close range shots. Exquisite. It slowed itself down at the appropriate moment to let Kajol in. I can watch the scene again and again. In fact I would give the award for the best trio to “Shah-Kajol-Train”.?

The journey was jinxed! Not entirely my fault.

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Blank Blank Blank. Tring!!! Tring!!! A pain burst across the head. What was the time? It has been just half an hour since I slept. Who could it be?

Me: Yes?
Caller: “@#$%^!!! what day is today?”
Me: Such a stupid question! “Why, I asked?”
Caller: “Today is 2nd Feb and you @#$%^!!! booked my ticket for 2nd of March. I am stranded like a fool at the airport.”

I came back to senses. What angered him more was that I burst into laughter. Dude, your journey was jinxed, not entirely my fault. I broke into laughter yet again. Let me give you some insight as to what happened earlier to understand my point.

The friend of mine in question was supposed to travel from Pune to his hometown. And since he is my school mate, my hometown as well. He booked train ticket for Friday afternoon. On reaching the station he found the train to be late by 6 hours. Indulging himself with the usual gallivanting, he came back to the station at night. Still late! When he finally boarded the train, it was running good 7 hours late. Hardly 10 minutes and the train came to a halt. It was a station at the outer. 10-15-30-45 minutes passed. His patience was running out. He caught hold of a pantry worker. “Sahib, the train will eventually be 12-13 hrs late“. He decided to call it a day. He was on phone with me when he got off. The train started off with a whistle just as he reached the station exit. Dude you made Jab We Met 2. Having nothing to do and getting a bit frustrated, he decided to travel to Mumbai on his bike. “Are you insane, it is 11 in the night and you have to travel whole 140 kms?” I am traveling was the reply.

I want to tell you that traveling at night is not safe even for a youngster on bike. The security checks would suck your pockets dry. On top of it, if your vehicle bears an outstation number, you are on your own. Street smart that he is, he reached Mumbai in record time nevertheless. He was so exhausted that he dreaded his decision to bike to Mumbai and was at wits end, how would he return?

A friend of mine from college had joined us too. I would spare you the details of the party that night. Next day I had to attend to some urgent work at office so I left them both at the house for around 2-3 hours. They called me at office that they have planned to leave for their respective home towns and since I have net accessibility at office, if possible to book their flights. There was some confusion and I ended up booking, a return ticket for my college friend and two tickets (going and return) for my school friend. Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai. Their flight was to depart Monday morning. 6:45. They left at 5 am. I decided to retire into sweet-sweet sleep. Blank Blank Blank. Tring!!! Tring!!!

It turned out; I had booked 2nd -7th Feb for my college friend, but 2nd March and 7th Feb for the school friend. He got the ticket canceled, booked another one and ended up paying 50% more.

To begin with, his train got delayed. No sooner had he got off the train than it started again. He biked all the way to Mumbai fully exhausted, harassed at various checks. If these weren’t the signs, what are? Paulo Coelho would have written a book on this had he not written The Alchemist, so prominent were the signs. My plea is, what I did was not a mistake but the eventuality of various signs. The journey was jinxed. Not entirely my fault!

Written by arpitgarg

February 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

हकीकत

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दिल क्यों रो रहा है, मुझे नहीं पता। पसीज उठा हूँ मैं आज, न मालूम क्या करूँ। भाग जाऊं यहाँ से या सामना करूँ। यह हकीकत है जो भयानक रूप धारण कर मेरे सामने प्रकट हुई है।

यह रेलवे स्टेशन का दृश्य है। दिसम्बर की सर्दी भरी रात है। सुबह के चार बजे हैं। मैं इंजन की तरफ पीठ करके बैठा हूँ। पीछे से काफी शोर आ रहा है। वैसे तो कड़ाके की ठंड है, पर अचानक ही मुझे गर्मी लग उठी है। एक हाफ-स्वेटर में मुझे टनों ऊन की सी तपन महसूस हो रही है।

कारण? कारण है मुझे अपने सामने दिखती दरिद्रता जो नग्न्ता पर मजबूर हो रही है। एक छोटी बच्ची फूलों की सेज पर सोने के बजाए नंगे फर्श, पर गत्ते के डिब्बे का बिस्तर बनाये सो रही है। तन पर कोई गर्म वस्त्र नहीं, ओढे हुए है तो सिर्फ मोमजामा।

उसके सामने मैं खुद को गर्म चादर ओढे पाता हूँ। जो ठंड मुझसे बर्दाश्त नहीं हो रही थी, अब महसूस ही नहीं हो रही। क्या यही हक़ीक़त का असर है? क्या है उस नन्ही सी गुड़िया का भविष्य? दूसरी तरफ मैं अपने आप को देखता हूँ। हर्षोल्लास करते हुए। मजे करते हुए। यह उचित है या अनुचित, मुझे नहीं पता। पर क्या हमें अपने आप से यह सवाल नहीं करना चाहिए, ऐसा क्यों?

क्या वह बच्ची भगवान की देन नहीं? क्या हम और वो बराबर नहीं? क्या हम एक ही मालिक की औलाद नहीं? मुझे पता है कि आप में से कुछ मुझ पर हँसेंगे। सोचेंगे नहीं। क्योंकि अभी तक आपने हकीकत को देखा तो है, पहचाना नहीं।

कृपया हक़ीक़त को जानें और आगे बढ़ें ताकि इस धरती पर से दुःख और दर्द मिट जाएँ और कुछ ऐसा समां बने जो हकीकत को सुनहरा बना दे।

Written by arpitgarg

March 28, 2008 at 11:28 am

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