Friday, June 5, 2009

A metro in a metro :)

One of the saddest days of my life was when I came to know that the Delhi Metro was going to be built!! In fact, I think all of Kolkata went into mourning that day... suddenly, overnight, the crown of being the only city with a metro service was going to be snatched away from us :D But, on my recent visit to Delhi, I was forunate enough to use the metro... and I must say I was very impressed!! The service was something like it would be in foreign country... smooth and efficient.

I used the metro to travel from DU to Delhi Station (at peak rush hour). By road this journey would take about an hour (thanks to the traffic !) if not more. But using the metro... it took just about 20 mins :)

But, it was not just the time factor which impressed me... it was the whole experience that the DMRC (Delhi Metro rail Corporation Ltd) provides its customers, which starts even before you land in Delhi! Not being very familiar with delhi or how to get around, I was confused about which metro I would have to catch, how frequently do they run etc. Normally, the internet is my saviour, I swear by it :) But I was apprehensive as to whether the DMRC would be 'online' :)

I was pleasantly surprised by the results :) Almost every information that a traveller would need, is available online -- the routes, the fares, the frequency, the distance, the time taken, the stoppages.. everything. For the calculation of fare, u just enter the two stations, and u get the fare... unlike Kolkata Metro website, where they tell u the fare according to kilometres and leave it up to u to figure out what is the distance between the two stations :D

On entering a metro station, u feel like u have entered a airport :) Huge, spacious, extremely well kept, well decorated, with signboards to help people figure out where to go. This again is in contrast to the dirty and dingy metro stations of Kolkata where people consider it their birthright to spit at every which place.

Once in the metro, there are announcements regarding the next station, but the best thing I liked is their announcements regarding which side the platform would come... thus saving the people the trouble of rushing at the minute. And, maybe the DMRC has conducted market research, but the metro doesnt stop at all stations for equal amount of time. At places like DU and Chandi Chowk, where their is a heavy rush of people... it stops longer... while at other places it has a shorter stoppage. Amazing strategies !!

There are some other interesting facts about the Delhi Metro -- like the first section took merely three years to complete, while the kokata metro took eleven years!! Also, Delhi Metro was the first metro in the world to be ISO 14001 certified for its environmentally friendly construction. How can a metro be environmentally friendly you may ask. Well, most of the Delhi metro stations conduct Rainwater harvesting and have established catchment areas fo this purpose!!

Oh and yes.. do I need to mention... Delhi Metro is one of a few metro systems in the world that are operationaly profitable. In the financial year '08, it had revenue of $100 million and profit before tax of $3.98 million... haha.. so I guess both DMRC as well as the citizens of Delhi, have a reason to smile :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Paint My World :)

There are times when you want to fill colours into your boring life, but dont know how. There are times when you want to escape from the concrete jungle, from the hustle bustle of life, to a more calm and serene place but are short of vacations :(
And then there are times when you feel as though all the people on earth are out to get you :) And that nobody understands u... and u just want to talk, express urself... but dont know to whom :)
Well, surprisingly all these situations have the same solution (And this is NOT an advertisment for one of those stupid things on Tele shopping Network, although it may sound like that :D )
The solution to all these things, for me (I guess it varies person to person), is to pick up a brush and paint. Paint the place I'd like to be in... paint what I want to express... see the colours mixing freely... as though they are so happy to meet each other after being locked in the tubes for so long :D

Painting, for me is therapeutic... and I am thankful to my mother to have introduced me to the world of colours. She always inspired me, and praised even the lousiest of my paintings (still does :P). I must be one of the rare souls to own a Grumbacher Brush set :) and even artist grade water colours :)
Anyway.. So today, like everybody else, I too was getting crazy due to the heat (and due to the construction in the house :))... and I just wanted to run away... where?? Where ever my brushes and paint would take me :)

For today, I choose to be by the side of a lake... peaceful, calm, serene, cool :)

The world is my canvas and I shall paint it :D

Happy Painting to all fellow painters too :)

Monday, June 1, 2009


If there is anything that Indians value more than an IIT or an IIM degree, it is being 'Foreign returned' :)

For ages, anything and everything 'Videsh' has seemed lucrative and 'swadesh' looked down upon! It is a matter of great pride and honour for a middle class family to be able to send their children abroad (In fact, I too feel immensely proud of the fact that my sister is in USA).
But the recent racist attacks in Australia raise a number of questions.. especially 'What is being done to protect the minorities?' The situation has gone beyond asking 'Why are these attacks taking place?'

Yes, agreed that it is a well known fact that racism is rampant in Australia but does this give anybody the right to indulge in racism?
Should not the government and police forces be more alert?
Is merely asking the PM to apologize, enough?
We have had an reknowned Indian actor declining to accept an honor from an Australian University... is this going to help? Are the people who are indulging in these hate crimes bothered about this actor or the university or his decision to decline the offer?

It is time to bring in CHANGE. Time to educate the children and the youth, that hate benefits none.
India is the 6th largest importer of goods from Australia, contributing a masive A$ 9.28 billion to their economy in the year 2007 . (Source: Website of the Consulate General of India, Sydney,

Are people not aware of these figures or do they choose to ignore them? It certainly will not do Australians any good if Indians stop doing business with them... probably this is what they have to be made to realise and understand. Only then would they appreciate the so called 'minorities' :)

Till then, we Indians should beware of the lucrative foreign shores... and make sure that we don't fall 'victims' to the glint of being 'Foreign Returned' :)