Monday, March 21, 2016

12 Days being a Mumbaikar !

Mumbai – The city of dreams, the financial capital of India, cricket hub, Bollywood destination, the city which never sleeps etc. The  day before my training, I boarded an early morning train to Mumbai. People often go to Mumbai for accomplishing their dreams, well, I was the one who had achieved his dream being a CMA and then heading to Mumbai. I was excited and equally unhappy about why had the Institute planned a long 12 days Orientation & Training Program.
I saw the sunrise from the window. I can’t even recall when was the last time I saw the sun rising.(Every time I see a sunrise, I try recalling the last one.) I felt it symbolized a new chapter in my life. I had already completed my last chapter by completing CMA. I hoped like the rising sun, the new chapter will also be a good one.
As the train passed different stations in Mumbai, I could see locals flooded with people. The local trains also make peculiar sound when they pass. The sound of friction between the track and the train. Even a song was made in a Marathi movie based on this sound as a background.  Mumbai gets taller every time I visit it. As a child I was always fascinated by the tall buildings of Mumbai.
 Though the city was not new to me, the coming days were different. I had been here for weddings, visiting relatives and as a tourist like an outsider, but the next 12 days I was going to be a part of the city. I was going to travel by locals, BEST busses or even taxis which meant my feet had to run at the tick of the clock.
 I was just hoping that I don’t get bored for the next 12 days. After all, I was here alone with no friend of mine with me.
The moment I stepped down from the train, the Mumbai climate welcomed me. To any person who lives far from the sea, the moment he puts his foot down in this city, the humidity welcomes him. Either you work here till you sweat or the city itself makes you sweat because of its climate.
Its Day 1 and I step out by checking the train on M-indicator. The 9.04 Local to CST was the one I was going to commute every day. I reached Chinchpokli praying the local to be less crowded. God blessed me! And in 10 minutes I reach CST.
At the start of the session, on Day 1,we had about 7 persons to speak to us. Everyone congratulated us for completing the course and not referring us as students anymore but as members or professionals ! A sudden thought came to my mind that 21st February 2016 had changed the life of all the participants sitting with me. I felt like (and I believe almost all others had the same thing on their mind) the Rancho of 3 Idiots. The way he was happy for being in the engineering college, I was happy being a CMA, with the fresh talent of everyone turned CMA about just 10 days ago.

South Mumbai – Another thing I liked was that our training was in South Mumbai.For others it may be just another part of Mumbai with high real estate rates, for me it is a photogenic area. Many of the buildings in Fort are very old which takes you to the British era. Well, one needs to have photographer’s viewpoint to love old buildings. At times you feel you are in Bombay and not Mumbai !

CST – As a kid, I was fascinated about visiting CST because it is a huge railway Station and no trains went beyond this station. The elder I grew, I was in love with the architectural style of this building. I had clicked loads of pictures of CST whenever I got the opportunity to. So I was happy that at least I will be able to observe it every day. And this building looks magnificent under lights.


Anup – My post on Mumbai is incomplete without Anup. My friend from Aurangabad settled in Mumbai and the one with whom I can travel anywhere considering his interest and adaptability.His is the one with, Vasant, plan banate hai na kahi janeka every other month . We met one evening and roamed around. It’s always fun roaming with you AK77.

Changing times-
One cannot separate Mumbai and cricket. Football is also a loved sport here. But times are changing. I used to go for a walk post dinner on a ground. The very 1st night I saw a group playing Kabaddi. They were starting after 9.30 PM. And I realized this city never sleeps. It was on the 3rd or 4th day I saw kids playing cricket on some small road.  Even my cousin in 1st standard and his friends used to discuss about the ongoing pro kabaddi and not the Asia cup. Out of curiosity, I showed them a photo of Sachin Tendulkar from my phone and asked them whether they knew him. And they recognized him. So times have changes, but not completely!  It is said a kid in Mumbai learns to hold a bat before he learns to walk. Considering the kabaddi fever, the next generation kids may start pulling each other’s legs!

The responsibility factor –
We as the citizens of the nation utilize its resources but many times we are not aware about its wastages. I used to get down at CST and it was the last station any train used to go. One day I saw a person switching off the fans in the compartment before he got down. Watching him, another guy switched off the buttons where he was sitting. Those guys also had offices to reach like all others, spent 30 seconds to conserve energy. It’s really worth appreciating.  Even I got habituated to this in the later days.
The Accent – Every other town you visit in Maharashtra, you’ll find a different accent of Marathi. And Mumbai is no exception to it. I could observe the ‘Mumbai accent’ while interacting with the local people here. I also overheard some people speaking in Malvani (my mother tongue) or Konkani while walking around the roads which is a rare sight in my part of the state. Even my Hindi got contaminated here by referring words as khelega not kehlunga, Karega not karunga, Ayega kya not Aar aha hai kya and what not.

Achievers !
Six groups were formed on Day 1 for the purpose of presentation. Ours was Group no 3. We named it Achievers! Little did we know that we would live up to that name some day. In fact none of us was interested in even interacting. Out of the other 7 members, I interacted with only 1 the 1st day, Siddhesh who later turned out to be great friend . For a few days it seemed that only the two of us were interested in presentation.
There was lot of chaos about whether it’s a GD or presentation. Few of us assuming it’s a GD were reluctant to rehearse saying what is the use of rehearsing in a GD  and lets be spontaneous. Ultimately it turned out to be a presentation. And it was only then we actually started working on it.
We had a session on mock meeting, where we formed a Achievers Infra Ltd. Which was in deep troubles and we found out solutions to overcome them. I also recollect funny moments from it.    
We were done with the presentation soon. But don’t know why we were low on morale (‘Apna kuch bharosa nahi hai’ feeling). And on the Presentation Day, Akriti and Pooja were unable to attend due to illness. And already Krunali had come up with idea of a skit of Startup cofounder and a venture capitalist ! Either that could have taken us on top or let us sink. To frighten us, the groups who presented before us were bombarded with a series of questions by the judges.  
Our presentation was started by Krunali (Sharapova :P), and that was the opening we wanted (calm, professional and decent) and was followed by Siddhesh(he provided us real insights of the whole topic). Well, the skit was something which turned out to be our USP. While me & Krunali were performing, we realized the judges nodding in appreciation on our points. Next came Jayesh. I don’t know why he was afraid. He performed really well. Then came Kinjal who did overtime by coming on stage 2 times. It was Zainab’s turn later. We all were wondering whether she will shiver as she was in the mock meeting. But she didn’t. And while inviting to speak next, she renamed me as saavn/savnt. I think only the group members realized it (Guys I have seen you smiling in the video). Hahaha. That turned out to be a big joke which we still laugh. Then after my slide, Kinjal concluded the presentation and her last sentence was worth appreciating, ‘So anyone has any business idea?’          
The moment our presentation concluded, I felt ours was the best and someone had to outperform us to win. The ‘Challengers’ also made a brilliant presentation which was sort of challenge to our group. Ultimately we won it. It was a crisis situation earlier like in the mock meeting but we finally made it to the top. Even the one who didn’t  attend had a role to play. Akriti was the one who named our Group Achievers and Pooja was the one who made a significant part of the presentation. So overall a team effort. The presentation has led us towards a bond of friends than just a group.

The concluding days-
At the beginning of the Orientation & Training, we all were of the opinion, ‘When are these 12 days going to end?’ and as we headed towards the conclusion of it we were thinking, ‘Why is this coming to an end?’
Everyone was taking back a bunch of experience along with him or her. We had developed nick names of a few personalities in the training or some of their skills which I will remember. Some referred me as Blogger or Professor; Gaurav was referred as chef as he has his bakery or the guy with lethal combination; many were accidental CMAs as they introduced themselves,Thomas Cook(I came to know your name after few days Shubham),  Krunali (our chairperson!) as the Star performer; Sneha Chenge as The Topper, creative artist  and her desire to do something for the institute or budding CMAs; Taresh as the sketcher(Boss you have a real talent); Zainil(Future Blogger) as the one interested in technical questions and for his double thumbs up; Sneha Agrawal for interviewing you and talking(no offense), but I am sending you a bill for the photographs; Siddhesh for interest in sports( Sachin Tendulkar fans bhai-bhai), Jasleen for her interest in travelling and being a state level kabaddi player, Pankaj for realizing we have a mutual friend in Aurangabad, interactions with Shailendra and Sachin and many more. I can’t recollect everyone as I am writing it down. 

The last day everyone was planning to head somewhere with the friends they made during the 12 days. Before that we had the presentation ceremony ! (Not ppt presentation,                              but the prize distribution.) We had a special lunch on the last day. During the lunch itself, the photo session started. I believe no one has any idea about the number of photos and selfies taken on the last day. Everyone was seeing off each other and having a goodbye handshake.
Well some of us planned to visit the aquarium. And considering  my interest, I was more than delighted. Apart from gaining knowledge we were more interested in having fun the aquarium also. The best part was the game I played with Sneha, which fish does this resemble to and we had hilarious answers.

Later we spent some time on the Marine Drive. Me and Siddhesh were talking about not being able to watch the ongoing match at Wankhede whose floodlights were visible from where we were sitting. Instead, we along with our friends, witnessed a beautiful sunset from Marine Drive. I had started my post on 12 days journey with a sunrise and I conclude this chapter with a sunset. This chapter has definitely been a great one. Mumbai, you’ve been a great host, never felt like an outsider. I would end with what I wrote on the sheet for our reactions, ‘A wonderful experience like never before!’      


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