Travelling has always humbled me more

I like and love to travel whenever I get time. I have travelled mostly in the western coastal belt of India from Mangalore to Gujarat via Goa and recent trips to Hyderabad from my home town. All the travels have helped me to feel how the people are living around, it gives me a different perspective towards life. One particular journey I especially remember is travelling to Gujarat to attend an interview.

I boarded the train at Madgaon (Goa) and requested TC to give reservation till Baroda. As few tickets were cancelled and not much travelers so TC gave a confirmed ticket till Baroda. Journey was pleasant. In the mean while I got introduced to a family (couple with two kids) from Kerala who were shifting from their home town to Ahmadabad in search of green pasture. Kids were small, just known to communicate in Hindi, wife did not know Hindi or any other language except Malayalam. Husband knew few languages roaming over the places for business. He had lot of dreams like getting his daughters admitted in good schools to make them educated etc., I wished them bye at Baroda and left. Waited for a long time at Baroda bus stand to reach the venue of interview. “I felt change is inevitable on the way of making a good life seeing the family who left their kith and kin and moving far to build a nest for themselves.”

I reached the place of interview and successfully completed it with a job offer. I had a chance to meet one south Indian lady at the interview venue, later her husband took me to their home and I stayed with them. It was an eye opener to learn from them how therefore fathers shifted to Baroda in search of job. Slowly subsequently they got adapted to the living habits of Gujarati people and staying in harmony with them. Whatever we do is for food and we are going to stay here for only few years. Why to live with having jealous, hat redness and anger with our fellow men spoiling our happiness and as well as of others. The delicious aloo parantha the couple served me for the night was indicating their adoption to the life style of Gujarat.

I left next day wishing them bye with a hope to keep in touch with them in future. I didn't get reservation, so took general ticket and boarded train at Baroda. I always heard that general compartments are the best place to get the knowledge of what is happening around us? Many unknowns will become known ones and start conversation without any limitation or boundary of state, country or world!

Crossing few stations I got seat at side single window seat and I was happy as if I was sitting on thrown as it is the chair mostly people like to occupy. One lady was sitting in front of me, neither too aged to call aunty nor too young to call as girl. Somehow the conversation started with her and came to know that she was an entrepreneur running own business of customized jewelers and it was one of her regular trip to meet her clients. She exchanged couple of her ideas how she is planning to empower rural youth and trying to find out ways of self employment to make rural women to earn using whatever skills they have. Conversation continued till she got down at Panvel (Mumbai)

One more interesting person came and sat in front of me was working at Saudi and had been to Gujarat to see any openings are there as he was a certified jewellary tester who do the job of testing ornaments and diamonds for their quality once the ornaments are made. He was telling his experiences at Saudi how hard it is to live without families and also without any regular contact with family members. He even told how the employers in Saudi will cheat once a person goes and joins for the job accepting their work order. Many times the job seekers end up in low profile jobs without enough money to go back to their countries.

Meeting these two I learnt it is not difficult to live a life on this Earth. There are various legal ways one can opt for leading a good life. I decided to not to give up my hopes and planned to continue with my efforts thinking some day or other my number will come.

I forgot to mention about one more family I met at Baroda staying back side the couple’s house which I stayed. They were also from South India particularly Mangalore. Their story was somewhat different. Many years ago they moved to Gujarat, their kids were born, educated and are doing job in Baroda itself. Now, the problem the family was facing is marriage of their children. Their children didn't know any language except Tulu or Kannada. I felt they are at cross roads and their kids in between junction of two roads. If they go back to Mangalore, they won’t have any job to do or make their living and if they stay at Baroda they won’t get suitable match for their daughters. Life sometimes throws questions at us which the time only can solve and give answers.

Travelling always taught me new lessons, making me more humble and less egoistic than earlier.

PS: This post is written for submission to Indiblogger's Expedia - Around the World contest organized by Expedia in collaboration with IndiBlogger.

He accepted her as Lover and also he accepted her as Pregnant

Rachana was my senior during college days. She was quite popular on the campus for her looks, beauty and also for the friendliness which she maintained with everyone. Many proposed her without waiting for the Valentine’s Day. It was the much debated topic on the campus that whom she will accept as boy friend finally.

Rahul was two years senior to us studying in the electronics and communication engineering department. He was a bright student looking for pursuing higher studies abroad. Rahul’s flawless English and the charming look unanimously made him to anchor for all the college events.

Rachana and Rahul came to know each other during one of the college events and the friendship continued. After some time they got committed and stepped into relation beyond friendship on one of the Valentine’s Day. Both of them spotted together in the canteen, in bus whenever they came to college. Need not to say explicitly that both paid fine for having less percentage of attendance. Also there were many in the college who were jealous of their relationship! I was a common friend to both so I always used to get the regular updates if anything new.

Two years later Rahul went abroad to pursue his dream of higher studies. Extensive study and getting adjusted to life in the new country was challenging for Rahul and couldn’t spend much time talking or chatting with Rachana with which she was quite upset. Being a long distance relationship it didn’t survive for a long time. Rachana thought that Rahul got a new girl abroad and neglecting her. Every effort by me and Rahul convincing her nothing like that couldn’t help. She left him but he didn’t.

Rachana also got placed in one of the top multinational company, joined there as intern and continued thereafter as employee even bagging the best employee award from the company. Even in company many proposed her as in the college but she didn’t accept. I couldn’t keep regular contact with Rahul and Rachana after the college days as I shifted to Goa, Goa to home for few months and then to Hyderabad.

After I shifted to Hyderabad I called her to wish on her birthday. She was surprised as the call was unexpected and she wanted to meet me. It was almost two years that we were not in regular contact. She was also in Hyderabad at that moment so we met on the weekend.

Without much formal talk she spoke about her work and the work pressure. Also, she said that she got committed with one of her colleague. I was quite surprised thinking how this can happen! I didn’t tell anything and also didn't dig into the matter. I just said ok as that is the case with many relationships.
I didn’t know how Rahul is and dropped him a mail about his whereabouts. He replied immediately and told his plans to visit India in two weeks as he got a job offer from an Indian employer. I was looking forward to receive him.

Rachana was in regular contact, recently she called and informed that she was cheated by her colleague with whom she was committed. He left the company and had cut all the contacts with her. More shocking news was that she is pregnant. She was quite upset. I applied for leave of one day from college and went to meet her. To cut her story short, her colleague cheated her making her to believe that he will marry her soon speaking to his parents and as well as taking permission from her parents. I didn’t know what to tell and console her. She was planning to go for abortion. She asked me to enquire in the hospitals regarding the procedure. I called couple of hospitals regarding abortion but all they required is reason for abortion or a certificate from a certified doctor that the baby is abnormal and has to be terminated. I felt it is a sin to terminate foetus which has no way committed any crime.

In the next ten days Rahul was back to India and had come Hyderabad to meet me. Casually speaking he asked about Rachana as he lost all contacts with her. I just said she is doing fine and she is also in Hyderabad. He asked me is it possible to arrange a meet with her. I said ok and on the very next day we met.

Rachana was mentally depressed that time fearing about her condition in the society. She readily started talking to Rahul without any hesitation as before as if nothing has happened. In the flow she even discussed regarding her current situation. By Rahul’s face itself I could make out he was shocked and took some time for him to digest the matter. He went out and made couple of calls. He was back and asked Rachana, will you marry me? She sobbed.

Rahul was able to convince his parents and as well as her parents for the marriage. They got married and living happily.

He once accepted her as Lover and once again he accepted her as pregnant.

Where to keep Money if it is not safe in Banks?

I have an account with Canara Bank and operating it on a continuous basis from last couple of years except the normal delays by the employees and the network problems associated with the ATM card, I didn’t face any serious issues with the bank till recently. Even I don’t have net banking or any other facilities from the bank. On January 28th 2012, my account has been debited with Rs. 10486 in a single transaction. I have not done that transaction or I didn’t give my card details to anyone to perform such transaction.

The money was supposed to be withdrawn and to be given to one of my roommate who has paid on my behalf when I was in need. I was shocked to know that money in my account has been deducted and also felt guilty that I will not be able to return the money to friend on time. I informed to the bank regarding the transaction and it took some time for me to understand or feel that it’s an online hack.

In the ATM mini – statement it was displaying that the cash has been debited. The account holding branch is in Karnataka and am in Hyderabad. I complained to all possible concerned authorities regarding the same searching on the internet. No one responded except the bank manager acknowledging my complaint. No response from the circle office and head office. Only thing bank authorities did is blocked my debit card and suggested for applying for new card and they would like to serve me better in the future transactions!

Thinking that it is an online cyber crime, I complained to the cyber crime division Bangalore through email, again no response. I also tried to call the numbers given on the website during cyber crime, no one was there to pick the call even after trying couple of times. I dint know for what purpose Government is maintaining one additional department called cyber crime division consisting of some senior officials.

Being disappointed, I informed my father to give police complaint at least in the local police station. Those people also promptly responded that it is a banking issue; police has nothing to do with it. I don’t know why they told like that? May be without any knowledge about cyber crime or may be that it doesn't come under their limits!

When I called bank again regarding the refund of money, they directed to lodge a complaint in police station so that further step can be taken.

Police are blaming the bank and bank people in turn directing to give police complaint. Am in dilemma what to do next for getting my money back with guilt that I will be not able to give money back to my friend on time!

It makes me to think what uneducated and innocent people can do if they lose their hard earned meager savings like this? Thinking itself pains me a lot. Where to keep our money if it is not safe in banks!

A creative blogging effort failed miserably

Ankur Shanker was an engineering graduate from Delhi College of Engineering and got the admission offer from London School of Economics with a condition to attend summer school as he didn’t study any related subjects of finance or economics in his under graduate studies. Ankur was from a middle class family and couldn’t afford the high cost of education in abroad. He tried many ways to accumulate money for pursuing higher studies, but nothing worked out. Somehow he came to know about blogging and advertising through blogs for earning money.

Inspired by that Shanker planned to launch his blog with an aim to accumulate money as much as possible, with a hope that it will possible for him to study at London School of Economies. He had around eight months time and he came up with an idea of writing one hundred eighty stories, posting a story each day. He wrote blogs with the title ‘Wake Up and Smell the Million DollarStory’ on blogspot (click on the title to visit stories of Shanker) and monetised his site with Google AdSense and also requested for third party advertisements.

Shanker’s idea and effort got wide publicity and even appeared in the national news papers which Shanker call as disastrous. Because of news paper article many landed on his site and clicked on the advertisements appearing on his site repeatedly to help him in getting money. But the people visited his site were more interested in clicking on the Ads than on the reading content, making the site against the policies of Google AdSense. 

Google AdSense and its policies are very strict that it checks each and every aspect of clicks based on IP address, the amount of time the clicker spending on the site. Even the slightest error or fraud like activity can result in disabling of AdSense account.

Same happened with Ankur Shanker’s case. His account got disabled with a reason of suspicious clicks. Shanker completed his series of stories but failed to accumulate money. Finally, Ankur left his dream of studying at London School of Economics.

Couple from Gujarat

It has been almost a year now that I visited Gujarat. That time I was in Goa and searching for a job took me to Baroda (as known as Vadodara) I wanted to join some job immediately as I had left the course at Goa. Searching in news papers applied for couple of jobs, got to hear from an employer in Gujarat. I went to Baroda boarding the Konkan railway service and to my surprise I met a couple whom I know were also travelling to Baroda. They were from Baroda and taking PG course at Goa University. Journey was pleasant and reached the venue of interview, finished the formalities and was waiting for my turn to come. But the queue was so big that it could be of very late in evening. I requested one person in the interview panel that I need to go back on the same day and it will be late for me as am planning to leave on the same day. She arranged for the interview soon.

Interview was successfully over and I was offered with the job of Assistant Professor with a condition to work for them for the next two years but the joining was in June another six more months to go! It was not possible for me to wait till that time without doing any job. Meanwhile, I met a lady working in the college from Tamilnadu and moved there after her marriage.

I went to railway station and there were no trains moving towards Goa that day. I didn’t have any idea of hotels or lodges. I somehow fear to stay in the unknown hotels or places without taking suggestion from anyone. I called the lady from Tamilnadu whom I met in the college asking for any idea about nearby hotels or something to stay. She said she will inform her husband and in few minutes her husband called me asking where I am. I told my location and was waiting for him to come. I went to Madras Cafe near Baroda to railway station to break my fast and had idly. In sometime he was there introducing himself as Nirmal. His down to earth nature didn’t take much time for us to converse. He took me to his home. I did not know where to stay for the night, I thought he will show me or guide me to the hotel!

He took me for a ride in the evening discussing about our families over the popular Guajarati chats and returned home around 7.00 PM. Then they told me to stay at their house only for the night. I agreed readily as I felt it is better to stay at known people’s home than to be at unknown place. I agreed readily stayed there for the night. They served me with delicious Aloo parathas. I left their home next morning.

The care and the comfort they made me to feel is what I remember most, how they can believe an unknown person and treat him as their own? I hope that is India and Indian culture.