Not On Assignment

A journo's jottings under no deadline pressure (since Jan 1, 2010)

Archive for September 2010

Green Ganapati 2010

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Raju Bist Photography
Environment-friendly Ganapati immersion in Thane city

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Written by Raju Bist

September 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

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Best Links – Politics by Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar

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Written by Raju Bist

September 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

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The man in the bus

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Man in AC bus from CST to Sion
Calls on phone:
Hello my darling daughter! How was college? Have they announced the exam dates? Let me know if you need any more text books and I’ll buy them tomorrow. Acha listen baby, my balance is very low. Tell mama to call me.
Takes call:
Acha suno. I will be reaching home in 10 minutes. I had some snacks before leaving office so I am not very hungry. I will just have one roti and a dry sabzi for dinner. See you.
Makes one more call:
Hello Jaanu! Kya kar rahi hain? Mujhe teri bahut yaad aa rahi hain. What are you wearing now? Okay, have you managed to tell bade bhaiya that you have to attend a conference at Khandala over the weekend? I will tell my wife I have a sudden client meeting in Indore. Dying to meet you love. Bye!

Written by Raju Bist

September 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Eavesdropping

The Lal Dabba of Maharashtra

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You may deride them for their unkempt appearance, laugh at their sense of punctuality but to whoever has cared to listen, I have always maintained that nobody else can match the reach of the familiar red ST (State Transport) buses, owned and operated by the MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation). I can definitely say that there is not a single village in Maharashtra which is not serviced by ST buses.

So a few days back I was pleasantly surprised to find a website devoted to the bus service and quaintly called Lal Dabba (Red Box).
Intrigued, this journalist promptly shot off a mail to the blog’s moderator, asking him for more details.
Here, verbatim, is Shekhar Sidhaye’s response:

Hi Raju,
Basically this idea came in the minds of Amit Karmarkar, Darshan Naik, Kuldip Gandhi and myself.
We four working professionals have a passion to explore places using the best available transport, i.e., ST which has a very wide reach to the remotest places.
While travelling to several fantastic places in Maharashtra by ST buses, we realised how important an ST can be to the person staying in the remotest place. For him the ST bus is just like what local trains are for the people of Mumbai city.
Hence we started this blog and started contributing to whatever we came across.
We have already established ourselves in our respective fields. Amit and Darshan are passionate graphic designers working in MNCs. Kuldip is a hardcore programmer and tech-savvy guy who also loves the winding roads of the Konkan.
I was once a graphic designer but have now turned into a full time travel and documentary photographer.
Through this blog, we aim to capture the essence of this mode of transport which is considered to be the largest in India in terms of fleet and reach.
Shekhar.

Written by Raju Bist

September 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

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Happy Ganeshotsav 2010!

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Photo by BIST of THANE

Written by Raju Bist

September 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

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Neighbourly chat

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Mr. Raheja narrating:
Jumped into the train this morning just as it was pulling out of the station, scrambled to find a seat and found Mr. Swamy, our neighbour from the 4th floor, sitting next to me.
“Good morning!” I wished him.
“Good morning!” he replied.
”Do you take this train every day?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he replied.
End of conversation.
We both then bend our heads and went off to sleep. I got off at my station 40 minutes later. He must have woken up at the last stop, an hour away from the starting point.
Mrs Raheja and Miss Raheja who were listening:
HaHa… HaHa… HaHa… I don’t believe this! HaHa… HaHa… HaHa…
Miss Raheja:
You men! When will you learn how to communicate?
Can you imagine what would have happened if it was Mrs Raheja who had bumped into Mrs Swamy?
They would have talked non-stop till Mrs Raheja had got off at her stop – and then promised to catch up again in the evening!

Written by Raju Bist

September 10, 2010 at 9:11 am

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By Invitation: Why only Indians are reborn

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By Diwa Pandey / Via Arati Datta

The angel Gabriel came to the Lord and said ‘I have to talk to you. We have some Indians up here in heaven and they are causing problems. They’re swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, they are wearing Dolce & Gabana saris instead of their white robes, they are riding Mercedes and BMWs instead of the chariots, and they’re selling their halos to people for discounted prices. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clear, since they keep crouching down midway eating samosas and drinking chai (tea). Some of them are even walking around with just one wing!’
The Lord said, ‘Indians are Indians. Heaven is home to all my children. If you want to know about real problems, give Satan a call.’
Satan answered the phone, ‘Hello? Damn, hold on a minute.’
Satan returned to the phone, ‘OK I’m back. What can I do for you?’
Gabriel replied, ‘I just wanted to know what kind of problems you’re having down there.’
Satan says, ‘Hold on again. I need to check on something.’
After about five minutes Satan returns to the phone and said, ‘I’m back. Now what was the question?’
Gabriel said, ‘What kind of problems are you having down there?’
Satan says, ‘Man I don’t believe this… Hold on.’
This time Satan was gone at least 15 minutes. He returned and said, “I’m sorry Gabriel, I can’t talk right now. These Indians are trying to install air conditioning and making hell a comfortable place to live in by putting out the fire… fire has been kept here to keep them uncomfortably hot!! Since they are so tech savvy, they were trying to start a telephone and Internet connection between heaven and hell, between ME and GOD. I am having such a hard time controlling and dealing with them!! Some were trying to start a chai-pakora, chole batura, channa, dosa and samosa, barfi, chakli and dhokla, jalebi, idli, paan shops, which I had to stop… I am requesting you OH LORD PLEASE send them back to earth as soon as they arrive for re-birth”.
So this is the story why Indians are the only ones that are re-born!!!

Written by Raju Bist

September 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm