Thursday, 7 September 2017

A 'likely unlikely' National Monument! - Gilbert Hill

Devils Tower National Monument, California
Devils Postpile National Monument, Wyoming

Devils Postpile and Devils Tower in the USA are two rock structures which are older than time (66 Million Years Old! - No Kidding!). These two structures have been well protected, preserved and popular tourist attractions. And why wouldn't they be? They are significant enough to be showered this respect. 

However, what if I told you that there is a third rock structure which is as old as these two and matches their characteristics and it is in India - in Mumbai - in the heart of Andheri! Here it is. 

Gilbert Hill, Andheri

Gilbert Hill has a sheer vertical face and was formed when molten lava was squeezed out of the Earth's clefts during the Mesozoic Era about 66 million years ago. Although it is a 200 meters high structure, one of the greatest geological wonders of India, is actually quite irritating to locate. You have to make your way through crowded roads, slums, potholes, high rise residential buildings and still not see the structure until you are right in front of it - at one point we started to doubt the GPS! 

Devils Tower has a boundary of 1347 acres. Devils Postpile has a boundary of 798 acres. Gilbert Hill has no boundary. It's lucky to still be there. There has been construction debris dumped at the foothill of Gilbert Hill. Residential buildings have virtually encroached into its non-existent boundary.   

The Gilbert Hill Rock structure in itself is very beautiful; I wish I could ignore the path to reach it and how the surroundings looked like.

An aerial view of Gilbert Hill. 

Devils Tower and Devils Postpile offer a wonderful panoramic view of lush greenery, mountains, lakes and rivers. Gilbert Hill offers a view of the mountains of SG National Park, Versova Beach sea and the slums, high rise buildings, broken roads and multiple dump yards. 

An aerial view of Devils Tower 

Gilbert Hill is definitely not prepared for tourists from far off places. However, Mumbaikars and experimental travelers, try to check this place out. Because if you do not visit this place soon, the hill is eroding and getting smaller every day until one day there are no remains of this monolith rock to claim its existence.

It's a shame - what could have been a National Monument for the world to see is nothing but a Monumental Disaster.  

P.S - Avoid taking your car there. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Tap Dance to Work Everyday!

There are numerous people who absolutely hate their jobs but just cannot leave them. They have dreadful bosses but wonderful colleagues or wonderful bosses but dreadful colleagues.
The worst; they don’t like the work they are doing; day in – day out. They will not leave either because they are stuck in golden handcuffs (Splendid salary & perks) or because they really don’t know what their passion really is! They may know their strengths but cannot back it up with courage.

There is another unique reason only us Indians can boast about. We are doing the job for which we slogged for years in college and post grad. It wasn’t by choice. It was our “parents’ dream”!

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid"

I love this quote. Some say it was quoted by Albert Einstein. Nevertheless, it's an amazing quote to talk about. To back up this quote, I found an amazing story to tag along as well. Here it goes:

One upon a time the animals had a school. The curriculum consisted of running, climbing, flying and swimming, and all the animals took all the subjects.

The Duck was good in swimming—better than his instructor—and he made passing grades in flying, but he was practically hopeless in running. Because he was low in this subject, he was made to stay after school and drop his swimming class in order to practice running. He kept this up until he was only average in swimming, but the average was passing so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The Eagle was considered a problem pupil and was disciplined severely. He beat all others to the top of the tree in the climbing class, but he always used his own way of getting there.

The Rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but he had a nervous breakdown and had to drop out of school on account of so much make-up work in swimming.

The Squirrel led the climbing class, but his flying teacher made him start his flying from the ground up instead of from the top down, and he developed overexertion at the take-off and began getting C’s in climbing and D’s in running.

None of the animals were happy!
Do what makes you happy. Back your strengths. If you like numbers, take up a job involving that. If you love talking, how about teaching or counselling? Or even sales? Our educational system is traditionally designed to groom us into ‘employees’. I know a guy who barely passed 10th STD but has his own tours & travels agency because he loves travelling. He is on the verge of starting his own hotel too! It's better to invent a job than finding one.

“LOOK FOR THE JOB THAT YOU WOULD TAKE IF YOU DIDN'T NEED A JOB." Doing otherwise, or what he calls "sleepwalking through life," is "like saving up sex for your old age. It's not a good idea!" 
That last comment makes the audience laugh. But, jokes aside, he says, "You really want to be doing what you love doing." And if you don't connect strongly to your first job or two, "don't give up before you find it." 
- Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Just School Stuff.

"Recess" as we used to call breaks in school meant so many things; here are the top 5 highlights from the cooling off periods from my school life!

1. Hogging food

Not from your own lunchbox, from everybody else's and definitely in an uncivilised way! The usual drill was to finish off your own food during the initial periods slyly and attack others in the recess- worked like a charm. If there was something good in your meal, there would be a mini-stampede approaching you!

2. The canteen

Our school's canteen was famous for its 'iconic' samosa-sambar. It's been a long time since passing out and it's a craving to go back and have that dish one more time. Then there was the hotdog/burger guy everybody stole from. (:P)

3. Games

Chor-police, cricket with a pad and a ball made of a stone & handkerchief, pakda-pakdi, hand cricket, arm wrestling and PEN FIGHT! (I miss this one a lot!). The pens were weaponized with extra caps and grips. As much as it sounds silly now, it was a serious affair back then!

Pic only for demonstration

4. Terrorism in the washrooms

One of my locality friends was denied the possibility of admission in my school after his father had walked into the washroom and witnessed the graffiti by our in-house artists heaping praise on the teachers. Firecrackers, 'Wanted' posters of the faculty etc all kinds of things have happened!

5. Slogans

This was just plain crazy. The cries for an half day at the smallest cue of rainfall- 'halfdayyy halfday-Lday' or 'D D D D D D D'Assissi boys....Francis boys are ...!' for no reason whatsoever still reverberates in my mind when I think about school times!

If you know what I mean :D

A blog written by another Franciscan I just came across!

I'm sure I have missed on other stuff, care to comment?

(Batch 2008-09 - We rocked the Lonavala trip, didn't we!)

Friday, 3 June 2016

Library-goers, assemble!

Not everybody can go and do time-pass at a library! Aayyy mean study.. Nevertheless, it’s not every tom, dick & harry’s cup of tea. People can give all kinds of weird reasons for not entering a library. Even your best friends in crime might resist this ONE crime for reasons only they can fathom. The mujhse na ho payega reverberates in all anti-library-goers. Here’s how it actually is to be a member of this elite tribe:-

MIDC Library
 1.         Second Home

The first few days can be awkward, just like any new place. Once you’ve made your mark, fixed your seat (or seats for different seasons!) and spend more time at the library than your actual residence, congrats; you’ve just acquired a second home! Some hardcore personalities can only study in a library and nowhere else. Period.

2.                  Second Family

A family is what separates ‘home’ from a ‘house’. With second home comes a second family. These are the guys whose presence in the library becomes a necessity after a while; warna jug suna suna laage re. These are the guys who will sit far away from you (to not disturb you!) but are the closest to you.

3.            The Librarian

It is that authority which provides security and maintains sanctity of the library. They can talk amongst themselves and put on phones on loud, we would be criminals to do so. “This is a library, not a garden” is what they are taught to say at every Librarian B-Schools. Does that dialogue not have an expiry?! Yeah we know we should be maintaining silence and all but doubts solve karte waqt chalta hain reee.

4.              Breaks

The most silent people inside the library become the loudest outside of it! There are mandatory breaks like lunch time and evening tea. And random hunger-break. And because you are bored-break. And because (s)he is bored-break. And kitna padhega be-break! Here’s the truth - We don’t take breaks to study better, we study so that we can take breaks later!

5.               Veterans

Remember Lucky? Well there is always one in every library. When you start your library journey, (s)he is there. When you finish your curriculum, (s)he is still there! Maybe Lucky’s stars are not favoring him/her. Or another perspective would suggest (s)he is taking up additional courses just to be in the second home with the second family, make peace with the librarian and take breaks! Just saying..    

P.S – There is a lot of under the table smuggling of candies and toffees. The bottle pockets of the bags are the deemed dustbins.

Personally, I get THE most sound sleep in a library. Time just slows down like craaazzyyy!