Saturday, December 4, 2010

Artificial Kidneys!!!

I am taking a break from the Abha Roadies to write about this wonderful new invention: Artificial Kidney. I was browsing the usual news websites when this article caught my attention:Artificial Kidney.

An Indian, Mr.Shuvo Roy based in US, and his team has created the first implantable artificial kidney. WOW! This is something we should have had years ago. No, I am not complaining that it has come so late. This comment stems from my experience when my Dad was affected with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). He was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure 10 years ago and due to his smoking habits, his kidney performance deteriorated rapidly.

He is not the first in the family to be affected with PKD. My paternal grandmother, my first aunt all had this killer disease which proved fatal for them. Luckily, my Dad had the courage and more importantly the will power to overcome this disease.

A fistula and 75 painful haemo-dialysis later, we were able to plan for his renal transplant. But his kidneys had been so badly damaged that he had to undergo a bilateral nephrectomy. 4 weeks later he had a successful renal transplant.

It was really bad to see 200 odd pin pricks on his hand meant for dialysis. I sincerely hope this new device from MIT will help reduce the physical pain and the cost of dialysis for all those who are suffering from renal disease!

Congrats Mr. Shuvo Roy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Abha Roadies Part 2 : Al-Soodah & Al-Hablalah

Never thought mornings could be cold in the Desert Kingdom. Opening the window…. Awesome sight.. could literally see mist right in the middle of the road. And slowly brightness was filling in. Had a good night’s sleep and we were raring to go.

Lol.. I was challenged by a colleague that I wouldn’t find a hotel in Abha where I could get a decent breakfast. Little do they know about Malayalis .. well.. I forgive him.. because Mallus are the only guys who can set up a tea stall on the moon! Won’t believe it? Take a look!!

:D Yeah.. I found out a proper Mallu hotel.. the eponymous Kairali Hotel. And whats more, the owner was from TRIVANDRUM :D :D Joy doubled and I marched all of them promptly in for a sumptuous breakfast… Imagine : Having a breakfast of Aapam and Kadala curry in a place like Abha.. Fantabulous!!

Guess for the first time people realized the goodness of knowing Malayalam  There on.. Yours truly was the food guide for the ever hungry lot. Finally we left for the first destination on our sightseeing map. It’s a place called Al-Soodha. The way to Al-Soodha was scenic. Mountain ranges and splashes of greenery were really pleasing to the eye.. a far cry from the cement forest that Riyadh is.

A couple of stops for photo shoot later, we reached the destination. Please don’t mind the repeated adjectives I am using because it really looked AWESOME! After being in Riyadh for the past 7 months.. this place was heaven. Brought back memories of Munnar and Vampire’s place at Kodaikanal. Hmm.. that reminds me.. Devil.. we ought to plan for that trip soon.

Al-Soodha’s attraction is the rope car that descends down the valley. It has been set up by companies that run Ski gondolas in Switzerland… got passes for all of us and we planned to go together in a single gondola. Pity it could seat only 8 passengers. It was getting colder at the hill top so Harini and me decided to get our sweaters out. By the time we came back, our group had left. Since this is a country that gives importance to families, we were given an entire gondola  Amazing climate, good scenery and just us in a single gondola / rope car … very romantic right? Not at all  .. though we wanted a car for ourselves, we found the experience a little shaky.. dropping down 3km on an unstable cable car was difficult. 10 mins later we went down to the bottom station. We spent a good 2 hours there talking, walking and photographing the beautiful landscape.

The trip back to the top station was also good, albeit a little faster.  Once atop the hill, we enjoyed the cold weather and sauntered back to your cab. We had planned to go back to Khamees’ for lunch. And I was able to reserved food for us @ Delicia thanks to Mr. George Joseph who works there!  We stopped on the way to watch a few monkeys and also had a short trek down to a water reservoir before we had lunch.
Mr. George was at his courteous best when we went for lunch. Post lunch, we raced against time to visit a historical village called Al Hablalah. It’s a totally different place as it looked as if the world ends here. A sheer drop and nothing in front for a good 1000 – 2000 meters. Pity we couldn’t enjoy it in proper sunlight. Sunset started at 5:14 PM and before I could take some snaps, darkness crept in.  Sadly, we made our way back to our shiga mohfrusha and wound up for the day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Desert Trip : The Abha Roadies Part 1

Wow! What an amazing trip it was. After slogging for the past 7 months, finally got a break : Bakrid or Eid Al Adha vacation. We planned for an impromptu road trip to Abha, the southernmost city in Saudi Arabia which is the summer resort of Gulf-ites. 4 families on a Hyundai H1 on a 2650 KM round trip in 3 days.. you could call us crazy.. but whats life without a bit of craziness??

We started out on a pretty cold day at 8:00 AM from Riyadh, hoping to reach Abha by day end. Little did we know that it would take us 15 hours to do so! The trip started in high spirits with rousing cries of “Ganapati Bapa Moriya” coupled with a cued cry from Anusha, a toddler.

We ate, sang, slept and finally reached the city before Abha at 9:15 PM. Much to our dismay, all the shops were closed owing to Eid. Finally, found a hotel called Delicia.. and with high spirits wandered in. Turned out to be a Malayali hotel.  Blessed are these people who will not shy from setting up a tea stall on Moon. Happily I spoke my way through setting up a special table for the 19 of us (Oh.. 7 bachelors were in a separate vehicle) and ate our way to glory.. imagine running up a bill of SAR 335 for 19 ppl when a modest breakfast for 2 types of Parathas, chicken lollypop and tea/coffee for 60 ppl @ a get together had cost us a little around SAR 900 :D  Ahem… lesser said about food .. the better..
The Road to Neverland :)

Finally we reached the place we were to stay.

It was no Hotel California but what the locals here call as “Shiga Mohfrusha” (Arabic for Furnished apartments). Honestly, I don’t know the name of the apartment where we stayed during our road trip to Abha. But it was decent enough.

Plonked on the bed and went to sleep with expectations of sight-seeing the next day. Actually, both of us wanted to see if we could really use the leather jacket and Harini’s jacket in Abha :D and not to forget the sweaters!

To be frank.. yeah it was cold.. so the jackets did come handy!

Next day… next blog.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Its Classic!!

01 November 2010. Our first anniversary.

Before we knew, we have completed one year of married life! Time has just flown!! Been an amazing, fun and tension filled first year.

Looking forward to all the fantastic years ahead, with a Classical touch ;)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ambrosia and the CNN Hero of the Year

Ambrosia means food meant for Gods. Everyday we are blessed to choose from so many types of food which would make even the Gods envious.Have we ever thought how many of them outside have no access to hygienic food for even one time a day? Or have we ever thought of how much food we waste in a single day? In the Mumbai branch of the IT company I work for, there is a stats board that shows us how many KILOS of food we waste each day. That always brought back memories of the deeds of person I know in Madurai. He is family friend and an award winning Chef who used to work for a 5 star hotel in Bangalore. He was bound to go to Switzerland when an event changed his entire outlook towards life.

His name is Krishnan. Why would I be talking about Ambrosia, food wastage and Krishnan? It has a connection. Krishnan currently feeds around 400 odd people in and around Madurai every day, with piping hot food. The event that changed him is really a heart rendering story. How many of us will have the guts to drop sophisticated lifestyle and job to just help the poor?
Read about his story here (Source: The Hindu): Krishnan's Story

Now, why would I be reminded of him when I see the food wastage at my office? Well. 7 years ago, 3 of my friends and myself decided to celebrate our birthdays in a different manner. We decided to sponsor a meal by visiting his trust: Akshaya. We never knew that Krishnan would makes us tour with him in his Omni van and make us hand over the food parcel to the needy. It was an experience beyond words. The moment his van drove up to the designated spot, people who take food from him waited patiently for him to hand over the parcel, with an eager expectation.

Many of these people were in a state where they couldnt distinguish the food they were having. And it was his parcel of food that kept them going strong. Many of them were mentally unstable as well. It was a heart warming sight to see them trust a stranger and take the food he offered.His kitchen is impeccable with high standards of hygiene. And he personally oversees the food he prepares.

The palette might not have an impressive menu, but it filled a few 100 stomachs. Since it was our birthday we remember him making a sweet "Kesari". We promised ourselves that we should help him in any way possible when we started earning. Sadly that never happend. And all that wasted food at our office always brought back memories of the effort Krishnan makes to provide a sumptuous meal to the needy.

It made us more careful with the way we ordered food in bulk and have since considerably reduced the wastage after a party. Now, the main reason why I am presenting this story is because Krishnan has been shortlisted for CNN-Heros of the Year award to be held on Nov 25 at Los Angeles.

I request all of you accessing my blog to please vote for him and make him the preferred choice from India.
The prize money is huge, apart from the $25,000 he would get for being shortlisted, if he wins, he would get an additional $100,000. With that he should be able to build is dream home for the needy, the Akshaya Home and also medical service for them.

Please pass this story on to all of them.
Subi: I am depending on you to pass this story to all at St.Xaviers and ask them to vote for him.

My friends in IT: Please pass this on to your near and dear so that Krishnan wins maximum votes! Hope we reduce the food wastage @ our homes and work place.

To vote for him visit:

We need heroes like him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arun"Dirty" Roy

Hello Everyone!

I had wanted to write on a lot of things in the past few months, but couldnt gather my thoughts. But, one disturbing aspect that took place in Delhi made me write again. No, not the Common Wrath, ooops, sorry, common wealth games. Its more like the Satyam fraud. Every one knows its a scam but not guilty until proven so...leave that.

Arundhati Roy. She pops up here and there where there is a way to reach media nirvana. Guess she is helped by her cousin, the mighty Prannoy Roy of NDTV. I am sure we all have the freedom to express our views. But she has taken it for granted. It doesn't mean that having a won a Booker Prize you can thrust all your thoughts on an unassuming audience. Here she is voicing her support for a seperate Kashmir and declaring that it was never an integral part of India.

Congress is unpertrubed by this comment and still is mulling over giving a go ahead for her arrest. I would be really surprised if the press community raises their voice if she is arrested. This is tantamount to betraying India and she has to be branded a traitor.
Yes Kashmir is a huge problem with no resolution in sight. That doesn't mean that Kashmir can be given on a platter to any other country. Will this mean that if Darjeeling starts to pelt stones, she will go there and say Darjeeling was never an integral part of India? Is it not enough that China maps Arunachal Pradesh to their territory and Pakistan occupies a part of Kashimr? Do we need Indians to go ahead and say these inappropriate things?

This should be strongly condemned and she should be arrested and all her basic rights revoked unless she publicy apologizes to Indian citizens. Oh no!! Lets not do that.. then she will be hailed as the Suu Kyi of India. Guess the best thing to do is totally ignore her and make sure that she is never covered on primetime news. (Even thats highly unlikely with Prannoy Roy around)

Arundhati has dirtied herself. She is neither a novelist nor a Social servant.. she should have been confined to what she was doing earlier: Teaching Aerobics in Delhi's 5 start hotels.

Shame on you Arundhati!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Basement Al Saud

Kyhal falak? Howdy guys?

I almost forgot that I had blog!!! Finally, I realized that I was missing my scribbles and writing.So here I am ... back to my blog.
Two months have passed in Riyadh and lots of things happening here ... primary being Work.. God! Never thought I could work so hard ;) Guess Medhavi will be happy to know this :D Yeah.. putting in as much time as is required/demanded!

Football fever is catching up in the nation and my client is coming out with new packages for the football crazy citizens in the form of add on packages et al. And oh.. we are gonna watch the Argentina vs Germany match in a Bowling Complex this Saturday.. its good to take off on a working day right? That reminds me.. back in the previous project, we used to crib that we needed a break in the middle of the week.. am getting it here. Yeah.. Thursdays and Fridays are off for us and believe me I am still not getting used to it.. One thing is for sure though.. weeks fly by! So.. Rahul, Aditi and Riyaz.. its not so great having a weekend in the middle of the week guys!!

Okay.. breaking news: I HAVE LOST WEIGHT!!! Promise guys.. I have lost weight.. what the Suburban trains in Mumbai couldnt do has been quite spectacularly achieved by one and only Harini, my wife :D :D :D ( Need to hide the rolling pin today after I go home;) )Well.. not because she cooks bad.. she has transformed into my DIET POLICE! :'( No deep fries, no chips, no sweets and ... well ... the country forbids alcohol..) A bowl of All bran flakes and a constant stare from my wife is enough to lose weight I guess.. Devil!! Get married.. trust me.. this is the best weight loss program ever!!!

Jokes apart, I have lost weight coz finally I am getting to have home made food... more importantly, good food at the right time.. She cooks amazingly well.. a fact coz I invited two unsuspecting bachelors for dinner and they are still alive and kicking ;) Now, am trying to go for a walk in the morning.. I believe all we need to do is 15-20 mins of brisk walking.. and all the fat I so carefully and lovingly accumulated over a period of 4 years will melt in the bright white sun beating down on us. Mercury touched 53 deg C last week and now its hovering between 38-49 Deg C, a Natural Sauna...and if there is a sandstorm, thats a "sand-pack" scrubber thrown in for free!

As I type this, I can hear the imam calling out for the daily prayers.. Allah-ho-Akbar. La ila ha ill-Allah! Have learnt the salah (namaz) calls and rest assured, I have a job when I decide to leave IT for good!

Coming back, the country is HOT. It looks more like an American Colony though.. I love it when I see a Hummer H3, a Maserati, Lincoln Continental, an array of Dodges next to our office Cab.. WOW!! All the fuel guzzlers in the land of petrol.. amazing!! Any car ever produced on earth is available here (Will try to come out with an album sometime later) Only problem.. they drive like crazy!!! Its not unusual to see a dodge or a camry hit and left on the center of the road.. Have to be really careful when crossing the roads..Driving is left hand and the stores here are full of western costumes.. Every aspect of lifestyle is American... looks like being in the Wild Wild West (East?) with better infrastructure and ppl in black and white.. their Attire.

The Costume here is amazing.. the white dress the gents wear is called "Thobe" and they have a head band and red/white checkered head scarf to go with it as well. We have been warned that Saudi's do not like non-locals wearing their traditional costume.. but man.. I want to try it out.. dont be surprised to me in a thobe once back in India ;) The ladies have to wear the Abaya when in public. Thats all I know about them.

The week passes away pretty fast and its the weekends that are a big bore.. what can you do in a city where there is no Cinema, no music in public, no performing arts .. Answer is simple: Be guinea pigs in your wife's experiments with food! First, I seriously wish that someone bump off Sanjeev Kapoor and their likes.. they churn out un-prounouncable recepies and is tested on us!Ladies have access to the net and have become experts in trying out new varieties the chefs show.. the problem is compounded when there are atleast 7 families in the appartment and all of them are equally excited to try out new things!!

One thing is for sure.. East or West.. India is the best. Am seriously starting to miss the occasional vada pavs', the trains over flowing with people.... in short all the Chaos that we call 'Home'! Agreed, the job is exciting, money is good.. but there is that something missing in all of it... as the wife says 'its like the salt missing in sambhar' ;) (Rolling pin defintely needs to be thrown out!!!)

Sorry if this entry sounds a little broken up .. been some time since I wrote :)

Khuda Fiz.
Basement Al Saud {Basement The Saudi}

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hi there. Been very long since I blogged.I was held up in a lot of things.One of the things that was holding me up was this deputation to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My wife and me landed here on 01-May-2010.We are put up at Al-Fahd which is kind of a serviced appartment. I am working for the Saudi Telecom Company project.

Have to tell you that the city is pretty well developed. Malls and flyovers dot the landscape. Or should I say Sandscape??.I have a feeling of homecoming because every other person is a malayalee and they are proving to be of great help!!

Harini has to wear the burqa whenever she comes out of the house, and has to be accompanied by me all the time she is out.She is just getting used to it by the way. To me, it sure is different.Its a welcome change to see my wife open the door after a day's work!Home made food is great!! I hope I dont pile up more kilos!!

Had to tell you this thing. Imagine. you are in the desert kingdom, which is primarily arid.We dont expect it to rain that much right? I too didn't expect. But I was prove wrong and how!! This monday, (03-May-2010), Riyadh saw one of the worst downpours accompanied with hurricane like winds and hailstorm, enough to throw the entire city off track!! The major roads were closed and water everywhere!!

This is the kind of roads we crossed yesterday evening to reach home.It was a nightmare.Hope the situation doesn't reoccur! Now, coming to food... Devil and Bert.. .man, you guys will love the spread here.Its inexpensive, tasty and immensly filling.Heard from teammies here that the non veg here is amazing.. and bert, I will try to fulfill ur wish by bringing home camel meat!!!

Office is huge and work... am just getting started. Will keep updating the blog as and when possible! Ciao.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This God is Crazy!!!!

Slam! Punch! Crack! Thump! Sock! Heave! Slash! Whip!

No. Not any scene from a Hollywood action thriller. These were what Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar did to South African bowlers in Gwalior yesterday. What an innings!! The first ever double ton in ODIs! Words fail me to describe this audacious attack on the hapless South African bowlers. Awesome!! Ecstasy! Reminded me of the competition between India and Australia in Sharjah with Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz at the receiving end.

Sachin was a man possesed last evening as he unleased this furious attack.I had expected Sehwag to breach this record and when it came from Sachin,well thats simply amazing.Who cares if he plays for the recordS?All great people are remembered because of their individual records/greatness.21 entertaining years of cricket and still he is blazing away to glory.A thought for the bowlers.. I am sure they'd feeling totally violated by this little man into his late thirties.

I wonder what more is the government waiting for to honour him with Bharath Ratna. A century of centuries?? That will happen too. But for Sachin, nothing will matter more than bringing the World Cup back to India. I pray he does it in 2011!

No wonder people say,"Great things come in small packages."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Year Flies By

Mumbai has been tolerant with me for the past one year. Yeah! Today, I complete one year in my team and day more in Mumbai.Been a roller-coaster ride. From being jittery about being handed the pinkslip, getting married later in the year and now trying to move out of this place once again, it has been one helluva fast ride!

I haven't seen a lot of places in Mumbai yet. Hopefully, I'll do it this weekend. And to be honest, I've started loving the city. Seriously, you just can't help falling in love with this city. I have never been bored in this one year when travelling to work. Everyday, though we take the same rail route, it has been an engaging experience.From the odd banker who sings songs off tune, to the person who makes a tobacco ball in his palm, its never been dull.ET,HT,DNA,TOI etc.. all these papers pop up here and there in the train and you'd know wats happening around you.

The vociferous bhajans emanating out of the train adds to the background music. Many a times, I have remained silent, hanging out from the "door" as the entrance to the compartment is called, and soak in all these happenings.

No movie maker can ever capture the essence of Mumbai and its trains. The cacophony is so amazing that I have felt it odd when coming down to town on a sunday,with none of these available. Yes, it is tedious to travel in Mumbai,still, there is some magic in the city that keeps you hooked on.

Far from a paradise, its more like an asylum where people from all walks of life come to earn a living.I have had my share of fun being in such a happening place and I'll be sad to leave all this clutter and go back to an organized life in Chennai.

Mumbai is like the best wine in the world. It grows on you and you start appreciating it with time.

Though Bombay is cool, I'd stick with Amchi Mumbai for now!
Lets see how long the city plans to tolerate me ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Only thing that is constant is Change

Yupp.. this seemingly simple line from Heraclistus of Ephesus has great value in today's world.Change and evolution is a must for any individual or entity. So, I have great pleasure in inviting you to take a look at the new, crisp and colorful Neutronbalance.

Hope you like the changes. Comments are welcome, as usual.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bombay Rains Bombay Girls

If we are set our eyes upon a book so titled, I guess we'll walk over to at least see what it has to offer.I did the same with a mischevious smile on my face when I picked this one in Chennai. Sometimes intution pays and I would have only regretted if I hadn't purchased this book.

My dad admonishes me for the amount I spent on books. But I guess he'll be happy to know that reading this wonderful debut novel by Dr.Anirban Bose has re-ignited my passion to write again. In simple words: Its a Stupendous read. One striking aspect of this book, when compared to the books in this genre, is the fact that Anirban has been able to sell a book with out the most important S : "SEX"

Its a purist's delight and the language is amazingly virgin!! As I can't boast much of my vocabulary, this book really made me search for the dictionary!!!

The plot is set in 1990,location being JJ Medical College, Mumbai when a lad from Ranchi comes into study Medicine. Having nursed a secret ambition of becoming a Cardiac surgeon and abandoning the thought as I couldn't stand the sight of blood, I got an amazing view of the way a medical college functions. Its more of a tale about a self-righteous protagonist: Adithyaman Bhatt aka Adi :D yeah.. ADI.. this names does bring back a lot of my own college memories.. My dearest friend used to call me Adi ... and still does.. (this, we'll reserve for later ;) )The book is about Adi's life in college how he manages to grow into a person with great confidence over a period of time and his trials and travails during this period.. Ultimately, Adi wins over his friends and finds the love of his life. I am not going to delve deeper into the characters or the plot.. read
it and enjoy it. Dont get the pirated version though.. I'll circulate my copy :) BRBG steers clear from the normal pitfalls of booze and sex. This is what our film critics would call as "family entertainment". Rightly so. Friendship and love seems to be the major theme of this book.

Although long, once you pick up this book, its a breeze finishing it off. Fittingly, I read this book in 4 train trips from home to work, forcing myself to take the slow train in the evening in order to give me that extra 30 minutes of reading pleasure.

The book, at times, looks raw because of the way the chapters are structured... like.. what happens to Baba? Two-Three years in college, Adi hasnt heard or spoken to him..and Renuka?? What of her? Did Pheru clears is Pharmac?? And What happens to the Assam Home Minister?.. some loose ends could have been tied up. Nevertheless, the book will leave a smile on your face.

I have to mention about the author here. Dr.Anirban Bose(Consultant Nephrologist with a Kolkatta hosp???). He prefers to be called Anirban. How do I know? I mailed him and he replied me!!! Yeah.. I told him about how I picked this book and how I am ploughing through the pages like a mad man. He found it interesting and was happy to get a reply from one of his readers.

And the best part?? The book is being made into a movie!!!

Er.. this is my first review of a book.. so if it looks disconnected, please forgive me. Go get this book and read it guys.. you'll feel happy and feel a warmth covering your chest as you rapidly read through the pages.

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Solidarity with Cattle Class Travel

Sashi Tharoor Was right!

In solidarity with all the cattle travelling in cattle class! I have always scoffed at people when then say that they dont have a confirmed ticket to travel between cities. Little did I realize that I too was about to be subjected to such a treatement. Boy! I'd like to take Momta watever on this helluva ride from Bombay to Madras(Dare ask me change it to Mumbai!!! #$@#$). Well to begin with, as Devil would know, I had a proper ticket and a trip charted out. I love to plan a travel and I did it with great care, never letting my unsuspecting grand-aunt know that I am coming down for my grand-uncle's Sadhabhishekam (80th bday celebrations). But I guess God and Momta "Ban Her"jee (yes.. some one please ban her from running the Indian Railways) had other plans for us;unsuspecting train travellers.

I reached Dadar around 7:30 PM for the 8:30 PM train. I quickly settled down on the side lower that was allocated to me,stowing my luggage beneath the seat. In less than a minute that I had bent down to place my bags, the entire compartment was suddenly buzzing with activity.. and a whole herd of pilgrims just blindly rushed into to compartment and threw their belongings and themselves where ever they could see an inch of space. Before I knew, the side lower, where I had just royally reclined, was filled with 4 people including me! Well... for people who have seen me, they would know that I can sit on a whole seat myself. Adjusting my bulk against 3 more people with others sitting on the carriage floor is a nightmare. I should have changed to my shorts before I left office that evening. I told Riyaz, my teammie that I'll change when I get into the
train. Well.. that just remained a dream. I sat through my journey in my ducking (well replace and read it with the right alphabet) formals all through, barely managing to retract my belt when I tucked myself on the side upper berth. I had skillfully extracted my baggage from underneath the seat and put it up next to me in the upper berth. I could hardly fit
myself into the berth with this luggage.

Well, before I managed this, I should tell you the plight of the pantry car guys.. they closed shop because they couldnt walk through this sea of people!! And with it went my dinner!!! I was really tempted to have the Motichur ladoos I had got for my people.. but with three more people looking ready to pounce on what ever is offered, I put that thought aside. The wafer thin pizza I had along with my friends that evening was slowly slipping into oblivion and the grinder that my stomach is, started
making the wrong noises. Oh the worst part? My bladder was full and the belt was pressing into it! I jumped, hopped and skipped three side Upper berths and landed near the bathroom. Well this was when we had just crossed Pune at 12:03 AM...I realized that it must be cold outside coz the moment I let myself out, I could see vapours coming out of the closet... and here I was.. in my baniyans and formal pant with bathroom slippers and SWEATING!! Morons.. they had switched off the fans and closed down the windows and doors!! WTH!!

I was sure tat I will run into a TCSer during trip and I was right! A guy in the upper berth in the same coupe as me started noticing my difficulties and introduced himself as Anand from Powai TCS... heading to chennai. We started talking and despite all these difficulties we were laughing at our own predicament. By the time I came back from the bathroom, my berth was taken. I had to sit with those ppl for a good 3 hours before I could kick them out.My legs and arms thanked me profusely for allowing them to stretch finally. Guess it was 4-5 AM when I was able to lie down. And forget sleeping.. the lights were on full and no fans and I was sweating. I guess I would have been the happiest that night if our train had derailed!!!

In the morning, Anand and myself woke up and had a decent breakfast of idlis and medu vada. We had the same fear that if the train passed through the probable telengana, it spelt trouble. But after the way we were travelling, we were okay with them attacking us if they will!! Such was the frustration level!! After breakfast, he offered me his berth to sleep. By then my eyes were soggy and legs had already balooned. I readily accepted it and slept for an hour. I hardly knew how it went by! We
were hoping that the TTE will come and help us with the berths.. zilch. He made a Superstar entry at 12:08 PM when we were about to reach Renigunta. We muttered the juiciest profanity under our breaths when offering our tickets for inspection. He would have killed himself 10 times over if had even heard a word or two of what we said!!

At Renigunta, 1/4th of the train got down and finally, finally we had some way of letting down our feet. It felt like heaven.I was in no mood to change to shorts.. I didn't see the point in changing so late. And some 8 hours later, we reached Chennai Egmore half dead!

The very sight of Chennai brought fresh blood into my system. A hot water bath laced with Volini gel took away some pain from my battered body. I sms'd Devil telling him that I now resembled "a harried broiler chicken" being transported in tightly packed cages from the coop to the shop!

Let people say whatever about Sashi Tharoor's tweet.... we faced it!! I guess even those harried broiler chicken have a better transportation system in place!