31 August, 2008

Weekend Photo

I was just standing in the bus stop having travelled 4 hours by train. After having waited for 50 minutes and clicking few shots I noticed there was another 10 minutes for my bus arrival. Suddenly I saw a funny scene. A lady was walking with her dog dressed in under garment. There was not a single person who could hide their smile and in a shortwhile, the entire crowd were watching this wherever she walked with the dog. There were weekend revellers who were laughing loud on seeing this. I took my camera to click. But everytime I was ready to click there was hindrance. I looked at the clock and there was 5 minutes left for my bus. Though the lady was walking on the other side of the road, I just thought I could still manage to run close and click them. So I decided to catch them. But they were walking fast and there was traffic hindrance and I could not cross immediately. Keeping an eye on them I went walking on my side hoping that I will be able to catch them. My target was to walk for few minutes until my next bus stop, since I thought of giving up after that. But within seconds I found that my bus was approaching. Alas! I was in between the two bus stops and realised that I may miss the bus even if I run faster than Carl Lewis. So decided to click the dog and went behind them and somehow met them at a close range. I clicked him happily.

I knew that my next bus was only after another one hour. But still the thought of making others laugh through this picture made me to feel happy and did not mind spending another one hour at the bus stop. Where there is a will there is a way. I did not feel bored at all. I managed to spend another one hour happily observing people and surroundings.

28 August, 2008

Transport services

Transportation and road networks are back bone for a nation. Most of the developed countries have wonderful transportation. The developing countries should try to emulate few good things from these places. Here in UK, we have wonderful public transportation. Still, there are few hues and cries. I had relatives and friends last month from US and they hailed the public transport system. Especially in bigger towns the night services are wonderful. The buses are kept clean. Every bus stop has a boarding as you see in the picture. It tells you the exact time of arrival of a bus. That helps a lot. Many times it has helped me to know about my next service.

Sometimes if there is no train services between two junctions, the railways arrange coach services to take you to the next junction and your journey continues after being dropped by the coaches at the cost of railway. This is being informed to you while you buy your tickets and board the train. So no hassles. It is a pleasure to travel by public transport in UK.

But I also need to mention the attitude of irresponsible citizens. It is really disheartening to note that few litter the public places. We do have appeals to keep them tidy and not keep their feet on the seats. I hate the public keeping their feet on the seats. Inspite of displays, I still see sometimes public keeping their feet on the seats.

In the mornings, most of the buses in big cities offer newspapers to public which are free. That is another good thing that needs to be mentioned. Those newspapers are second to none. They carry all local and international news. In major cities, apart from buses, they are available at major railway stations, and we do see people distributing them in big cities in the mornings and evenings.

Another important feature of these public transports are their staff. They are always courteous, with great manners. They seem to enjoy their job. They do know how to treat the odd customers, but still they remain calm and polite. Hats off to them! Once when there was disrupted rail services between two junctions, we were taken by a coach and once the coach reached the destination all passengers were in a hurry to pick their luggages and catch their trains. I did not mind getting delayed. I went back and thanked the coach driver who drove us safely and for the pleasant journey. He accepted my compliments with a smile.

I walked keeping my head high for having thanked someone for their wonderful service. There is nothing wrong in praising and thanking someone for what they did.

22 August, 2008

Festival season

The word ‘Festival’ brings us many memories. I have been wishing to attend a festival since long time. Luckily last week I had a chance. Due to work and business, I could not go to a particular event. But one evening I had a chance to walk around the area, and witnessed lots of road shows and it was a great evening.

Edinburgh festivals were started in 1947, during the post war to “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’. I came to know that it holds the world record for the largest arts festival in the world. Though I could not personally witness any special program, I see everyday the grand atmosphere that prevails in this town. Lots of comedy shows, stand up comedies, plays, musical shows, and art shows are happening around the town. I have tried my best to present some good pictures taken during a walk around the town.

13 August, 2008

Last weekend Train journey

I look forward for something entertaining every week. I have mentioned earlier, that I hate people who are dumb and those who immerse themselves into some book. So, while getting inside the compartment I was looking around and found there was a family with three kids and I thought that my journey will be excellent and settled in my seat. One of the kid was very curious and started attracting me. She was quite smart. I later learnt that she was just two years old. Two ladies were handling the three kids. They were speaking some language like Urdu and after few minutes I came to know that it was Turkish. There were two young girls who were seated opposite to those Turkish speaking ladies. These young girls were also speaking some language other than English. As the ticket examiner was passing by, these girls called him and explained that their seats were double booked and claimed that they possessed reservation for the same seats, as those ladies with the kids. The ticket examiner had a serious look for few minutes and left saying that he will be back. After he left, I asked them whether they checked it properly and vouched that it was not possible. They confidently replied 'yes'. I again asked them to verify whether it was the same coach since I have never come across such an experience in my train journeys in this country. They said circastically that even the Ticket examiner has checked it and has agreed and has gone to find a solution. This reminded me of a joke.

Many years before, a friend of mine witnessed this. He was travelling to Delhi from Madras. There were two people arguing over a seat. Each were claiming that they had reservation for the same seat. My friend who could not tolerate their arguments, intervened and checked their tickets and found that one of them had to travel only the next day since he had booked it for the next day. So, he has not checked his properly and was trying to travel on the wrong day. I thought about this incident and laughed.

After an hour or so, the destination place for the ladies with the kids arrived and they got down. I had to bid 'bye' to the kids who entertained me. In this new station, a Gentleman with his two daughters got into the same seat and the girls said the same reason. I again added that the seats have been double booked by mistake and the Ticket examiner knew about it and has not got back to them. After few minutes, there was a new Ticket examiner. As he approached us, the Gentleman showed his tickets and argued that his daughter need to be seated in the same seat and wondered how such errors could happen? The ticket examiner checked the tickets of those two girls again, and scrutinised for few minutes and agreed that the ticket seat numbers were right, but the girls were travelling by the wrong trains. It seems there were two different trains more or less at the same time, and the girls being new have got into the wrong train without bothering whether it was the same train they need to travel. They had to put a funny face and vacate the seat. That was a great experience for a passenger like me.

11 August, 2008

At last.....

It has taken 27 years for a country like India to strike gold in Olympics. Last time it was the hockey team in 1980 under the captaincy of Baskaran. She has been striving hard and keeping the pace in many other fields. But not in Olympics. First my hearty congratulations to Abhinav Bindra for striking gold. It should be the individual’s great talent and determination which should have brought him so far.

Having grown up in a country like India, I know how difficult it is to come up to that level. When the whole country follows Cricket as a religion, it is a shame that other sporting activities are not given the due importance. I congratulate Abhinav for carrying on whatever he was doing, overcoming obstacles and winning the gold in Olympics. I am sure he is going to be a household name in India. Let many youngsters from many other developing countries follow his footstep in achieving success.

06 August, 2008

Weekend journey

Life is rolling on. For the past two months I have been travelling in the weekends. Long train journeys. This time no pencil sketches. I enjoy the wonderful sceneries on both sides. I wish we had trains like we used to have in India with the windows opened so we could take more pictures. It is really picturesque. Sometimes while I walk to the pantry car and look at people, and wonder those who travel without watching those sceneries. I can understand for those who had been travelling often, it would have been regular. But I feel like waking up those who are closing the eyes and having a nap, and those who listen to ipods and close their eyes too.

On my way, the train crosses beautiful counties which joins the West midlands and the North. The train runs in the West coast and it is so beautiful. Shropshire is beautiful, and so Lancashire, and the places around the Lake District. I wish one day I visit those beautiful countryside which I see during my journey. Being a person, who takes life as it comes, and one who enjoy the positive side, I think this change has brought more other side of myself. Sometimes, it is causing deep trouble in my mind. Oh... god, will the future generation see this green in their life. What are we going to leave for them, the plastics and much worse concrete lands. Already, I feel that my kids are not having what I had in my life. It has changed a lot. I have discussed about this with people of different origin, lands and the thoughts are the same. Recently I travelled with a gentle lady who was living in a island with just hundreds of people. She was explaining me the difference between their island which is one among the North Western Isles of UK, and the towns of UK. Wow! On hearing her narration I wish I visit their place once. Such places are going to be rare. I wish all the developed countries stop developing and concentrate and help the world in preserving the green and help the third world countries to achieve the same. I think this should be done on war footing manner.

First let us stop all the wars. Enough said and written everywhere. Let us please live in peace!

05 August, 2008

Just like that

Everything happened suddenly. Job change, place change, family worries, and future all came together and blew me away. It took some time for me to stabilise myself and I am back now. Sorry to be away. I missed blogging and reading others blogs. I have just started and slowly getting back to normal. Whether I like it again or not, I have become a weekender again. Meaning, Weekend Dad, Weekend Husband and Weekend Son for my family members. I spend more than ten hours travelling by train. Wonderful experience. For the past few months, I must have met a lots of people, from different countries. I look forward everyweek end, not that I could be with my family, also because I can travel and meet lots of new people.

I have plenty of ideas to bring in to my blog. I shall do them one by one. Sorry once again and assure you that I shall blog as in the past my travelling experiences.

The pictures you see in this post were all taken where I live during the week now. Any guess?

Please do comment. I assure you that I will be regular and shall read everyone of your post and comment.
I need to say that I have been reading few of your posts regularly but have not commented. I missed you all!