Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Konnichiwa! - Land of the rising sun

On 12th Sept, 2013 I got an e-mail from the HR dept of the company I work for, asking for my passport details. Sensing something good I promptly replied with a scan of the document. Only on 2nd November was I informed that I, with 3 other colleagues would be travelling to Japan on the 16th for plant visits and general induction. Overall the schedule was pretty tight with us travelling to a new city/town in Japan every evening which meant we had to checkout of every hotel, 7 in the morning and go to work with our packed luggage, move to the next destination in the evening and repeat the same the next morning. However tiring it might have been, it was double the fun!

After the 12 hour flight from Bangalore, with transit through Bangkok, we arrived at the Tokyo International Airport. I had well spent my time in the flight with "The Great Gatsby" & "The Prestige." After claiming our baggage, we immediately rushed to the metro train for Ginza, the place we stayed at in Tokyo. Its astonishing how well connected Japan is with the airport, train station and the metro, all synchronized and consolidated. It took us 50 mins to reach Ginza. Ginza is a popular area famous for shopping with brands like Vera Moda to Louis Vuitton shining, adding to the bright street. We were lucky as Tokyo was lit up with Christmas lighting.



The next morning we visited the Mitsubishi HQ in Tokyo which was 15 mins from our hotel. The taxi driver in the black suit helped squeeze 4 gigantic Indian suitcases into the trunk of his old Toyota Crown. Taxi drivers there are generally old, in their 50s. On asking why is that so, we got to know that people in Japan marry only after they reach their 30s, and most of the couples do not have kids. Post retirement, they lack any kind of support system, and they become drivers. Unreasonably courteous and amazingly helpful people.

We met a few biggies there at the HQ, had lunch with a team of 4. Gulped down fish roes, Mizo soup, all kinds of fish. The only recognizable thing in the fat buffet was fried chicken! Anyhow, we bid farewell there and caught the train to our next destination at around 2 o clock.

Journey from Tokyo to Ako was amazing! We were travelling half way through Japan in the famous Shinkasen, the world's fastest train (Bullet train) which is designed by Mitsubishi, my very own boss for which he had been awarded citizen of the year award by the Japanese government. The ticket was costlier than that of the flight but we had to experience what Mitsubishi & Japan is so proud of! :)


We reached Ako in the evening at around 5:30 pm. Right at the station we saw a restaurant called "Mera Sapna" and without thinking twice we entered to find 3 Delhites serving indian cosine in Ako. Though the tea costed INR 700, but they seemed to be doing pretty good for themselves. Ako is a small town with tar roads better than Chandigarh. The town is so small that we could cover the whole of it in a 15 min drive. We noticed the car sizes had reduced considerably from Tokyo. In fact whichever company car we saw, they all looked like Wagon Rs. May it be from Honda, Mitsubishi or even Toyota, they were all cousins of Wagon R. We could also spot the original Swift and Wagon R there! The evening was well spent with a team of 7 gentlemen joining us at dinner. Undoubtedly that was the best meal we had in Japan. Authentic, sumptuous and greatly satisfying. We got to taste octopus, eel, salmon, tuna, oysters and a lot of raw fish! YUM!  

Not to forget the famous alcoholic drink 'Sake' made from rice. Transparent, a little like vodka! Had it with every meal hereafter! ;)


Mitsubishi manufactures transformers of various industrial uses at Ako facility. Transformers for Nuclear plants, Substations, trains etc.. After visiting the facility we were off to the airport to reach the Itami factory near Osaka.

Itami factory is the main facility contributing to the train traction systems and hence the most relevant to us. We were scheduled to visit the plant for 2 days but due to technical reasons, we ended up finishing the whole schedule in one single day! Now that we had a day free, we were advised to visit Kyoto which was not very far from Itami, and would have been beautiful in that season (Autumn) with trees going orange to red. So, we took cues from the Itami team, noted down the names of 2 most famous temples there and decided to visit Kyoto!

This was our bonus day for site seeing. We reached the first Buddha temple which was made of Gold in a pond with beautiful trees surrounding the area. Every vision, every angle, every view was so amazingly scenic and beautiful, we clicked endlessly. We bought the first souvenirs from Japan there, a Japanese fan and a few key chains for near and dear ones.

In Japan, every 100 meters you find Kiosks with Juices, Cola and even Beer. The curious person that I am, I ventured to one of them with the weird looking currency notes and excitedly shoved a JPY 100 in the machine only to realize I could not read Japanese and the machine assumed I did! After pushing all possible buttons, I retired and left donating the JPY 100.



Next we went to another temple which was on a hill top. We saw beautiful ladies in traditional Kimonos and a huge market of souvenirs as we approached the temple. The trees were still orange and red, the surroundings still scenic and our cameras still active! While finding our way to the taxi to reach the airport, we found a mens' purse on the road. Mr. Nawata from SONY Corp. We took the same to the airport with us and from the Post Office at the airport, couriered it to the address on the gentleman's visiting card. He safely received the purse and is now a friend! :)

Nagasaki is like Shimla, a city on the hill slide towards the ocean! Yes, unlike Shimla which spreads downhill to a valley, Nagasaki spreads to the open sea. Our host, as punctual as all Japanese, arrived sharp at 7 pm to receive us at the New Nagasaki hotel lobby. He took us for a drive around the hill and thats when we realized how pretty the city looked!


He also told us that Nagasaki was all Mitsubishi. The two of the most famous beer brands, KIRIN and ASAHI both belonging to Mitsubishi. Basically, starting from TVs to full sized Ships, we make everything! The next day we visited the factory, after which we still had time left for the flight, so we ventured out to the Nagasaki Peace park, constructed in the memory of the Nagasaki nuclear bomb tragedy.


We genuinely felt how grave and sad the tragedy was. In 1945, the Plutomium bomb exploded 50 meters from ground aiming at Mitsubishi Arms factory causing a nuclear rain. The impact of the blast was so great that people 1 km away from ground zero, flew to a distance of 14 meters.
Our 6 senses are unable to sense the radiation, we can sense only the burns caused by it. When people started experiencing the burns, they jumped into the sea only to find that the sea water was at 100 degrees. The blast caused 99% destruction. The map of Nagasaki after the blast was a plain canvas. Everything was wiped off.
In 1955, the Nagasaki Peace park was formed. The statue's right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons while the extended left hand symbolizes eternal peace. The mild face symbolizes divine grace and the gently closed eyes offer a prayer for the repose of the bomb victims' souls. The folded right leg and extended left leg signify both meditation and the initiative to stand up and rescue the people of the world.

After crazy meals, tiring schedule, beautiful sights and a superbly hyper week, we once again found ourselves in Tokyo. It was Friday evening and we had Saturday to ourselves for sight seeing. We had managed to book the HATO (city tour) bus which showed us around the Tokyo tower, Tokyo bay cruise, a monastery, an old castle and a souvenir street. Content with whatever Tokyo had in store for us and extremely tired, we embraced our beds replaying the unbelievable experience we were to take back to India.



I had to specially mention the hi-tech toilets people use in Japan. We all have heard that joke where you sit on the toilet to find 3 buttons, on pressing one, a hand comes out of nowhere and wipes you off. When you come out, you find Dr. Manmohan Singh washing his hands.. Well, the joke wasn't really fiction!


Observe carefully to admire the pictorial representation on the three buttons as options to how the water would wipe ur rear. The knob is to regulate the temperature of the seat. So when its cold, Sikaai hona to banta hai boss! hahahaha....

I guess that would be all for this travel log! I hope I'd be lucky for some more travel in the future!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Its all about love...

"Marriage is a sacred institution."

"Marriage is an unbreakable bond, tied with love and blessings-from-above."

"A successful Marriage requires falling in love many times with the same person."

We all have heard sweet, heavenly statements like these about marriage. Typical Indian cinema concludes itself with a happy ending, which usually is a marriage. Marriage is talked about like it is supposed to be the penultimate goal of a man/woman's life! After which, we just have to pursue our happiness in our 'settled' life. They call a married guy/girl settled, for the same reason, maybe!
So, as a bachelor everyone is Unsettled? Even if he/she earns well, maintains an independent house and are overall happy?

Anyhow, marriage takes away all credit for settling all of us in our lives, for sure. But that is not really what made me awaken this half-dead blog. What bothers me is the superlative hypocrisy surrounding the concept of marriage. For starters, I look at marriage as a formal ritual to declare to the world that the man and the woman are bound by love and the love is socially accepted, this day forward. Some may speak of the vows, but then aren't they already their in the hearts of the couple if they are in love.

We'll get to arranged marriage in a bit as my thoughts are more scandalizing about it. Anyhow, so this extravagant announcement of acceptance looses its purpose when its foundations are laid by greedy pundits singing tales of Raahu and Shani in hopes of looting big currency, in exchange for a highlighted colorful display of flowers n mantras, basically to settle the unrest generated in the minds of the family, by the pundit, for the pundit.

Not only is the acceptance dependent on bizarre meta-physical elements brought to light by the trustworthy punditji, even the after-party is subject to the proceedings. You should be able to afford a wedding! The bride's family has an extra burden of taking care of the Pati's favorite drive or the Saas's favorite jewelry, apart from the costly arrangements. The deal does not come easy, as usually, its negotiated against the level of education, color, caste, status and even looks of the Pati. 
And we thought only women were treated as objects in our society!

Anyhow, if you can't afford the after-party, there need not be a party at all! "Hum uuth jaenge."

However, the groom's family shells out a fortune too, to show how well-to-do they are and that they really did not need any generosity from the bride's family.
"Aakhir hume to bitiya se matlab hai. Chahe ek joodi kapdo mai hi aa jae! he he he"

So lets see what we have established,

Marriage = Public announcement

Announcement = V costly these days. Involves lot of money!!

Lot of money = Corruption!! Everyone wants their share!

Well, honestly the only way, to avoid this hypocritical show of care and affection and to avoid ur wedding turning into a potential sensational scam, is to have a registered marriage.
But then, the dramatic people that we are, the love of our lives, dream of their prince charming riding a horse and them wearing an unreasonably heavy saree with loads of jewelry, would never trade their dream with anything in the world!

"Marriages are about dressing up!"  - LOL (Love Of our Life)

I wonder how the couple would feel seeing their families get so embarrassingly illogical and humiliating over their happiness. Everyone seems to be worried about their own parallel motive.

When the fiesta finishes, the expectations of pure affection, the dreams to unite, when face reality to attain their destiny, are hardly as happy as were foreseen. The two most important people in the wedding, in the spotlight throughout, might actually end up feeling left alone. Unless they decide to just get over with it and be happy together! In short, unless they treat marriage as a formality, which I feel is really the case.

Such cynicism is inherent sometimes and I've grown to adjust with myself.

Ahem... Arranged marriage?

To all the hell, add two innocent souls who are strangers to each other, are unaware of what they are getting into, oblivious about the future, excited, scared, nervous, uncertain and somehow happy about it!

Sounds like a delight!

But eventually arranged marriages last longer. Its often said and is definitely true. Parents take the credit for it! As THEY choose the RIGHT match for their ward! YO!

But, sorry to burst your bubble mums and dads of the world, logic prevails! Strangers, when told that you are bound by a holy, invisible, supernatural bond which shall never be broken, tend to go out of their way to make it work and be the last reason for stress to that bond. Doing this, they end up being super nice and impressing each other, winning admiration and falling in love eventually! Then starts the honeymoon period where they kuuchi-koo their way to glory. By the time they get back to their senses, a year has passed and the better-half is expecting! Basically they are too held up in strides of time to fight and be discontent. By the time the sloppy period starts, its too late and they are too lazy to light up that fire again!

Love marriages start where arranged marriages end. Their kuuchi-koo period is long passe! They've been together for long enough to know one another in and out. Which means.. nothing is new! Its all routine! It ends up being like the desire to conquer the summit of a mountain. When you do.. its just you and cold wind... What next?! So, our married couple has lots of time to explore their differences, put their patience to test, argue, talk about their pasts and have a loud marriage, like literally, loud!

If we keep aside all the pomp and show, all the mess, all hipocracy, and try to figure out what really makes it last:

1. The desire to be together. (Love)
2. Understanding that they both would never do anything purposefully to hurt the other. (Trust/Respect)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The obvious choice...

There are times when you know what is right for you and what isn't but still you keep on doing what you shouldn't for no reasonable explanation. Is this a phase or is this who I am turning into? 3 years earlier, I would have judged my present self as confused. But I am not confused. I am conscious and aware. I know what I am doing and I know what I should do. I am able enough to project the consequences of my actions but I do them anyway.

Am I unable to say No to my will? Have I gotten weak? No. Because this isn't even about me wanting to do something and having to restrict myself from it. This is about simple choices. Black or White. I have come to believe I've been choosing more Blacks than Whites lately. I would have been fine with White as well, wouldn't even have missed or longed for the black, but then I still chose it.

No one would know. No one would even care. But the thing that matters is that I do.

Maybe a few choices would not change me completely but they may stain me forever. I don't want to miss out on the person I wished to be by making choices I don't even seem to comprehend. I don't want to loose my will and desire to choose what I really want or wanted I guess.

Maybe its not about what I want, maybe its about what I DON'T. Maybe the obvious choice is being neglected cause I am overlooking the fact that the other road is not mine to travel though it looks equally inviting.

Maybe I need to focus on what I should reject, than select. Maybe then, I would be happy with my choices. The obvious ones, of-course!    

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Namma Bengaluru - Update

PHASE Ludhiana - (April, 2012 - May, 2013)

It was the first time someone paid me for doing what I did. It felt good! Had a lot of presumptions, a lot of expectations, a lot of apprehensions before I started. In time, I journeyed through a plethora of emotions, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, curiosity, rage, disappointment and even regret.

After a lot of ups and downs, witnessing a lot of people leave/escape from my previous paymaster, I decided to move on too. It was tough. Leaving behind my 1st ever job, friends, companions, colleagues, everyone who had introduced me to work-life, helped me, guided me. Moreover, I was skeptical if I would find a decent switch. I knew I'd have to take a cut in my pay-cheque wherever I'd go, but it had to be worth it.

Finally I negotiated a good location and a great brand for the switch.

Now, I am happier, more satisfied, can see a clear future for my career, which seemed pretty shady earlier.

PHASE Bangalore - (June, 2013 - TODAY)

Its been 2 months since I arrived here. Great food, endless places to go out to and with 2 of my closest friends here it feels like bliss. Work is good, people around, great!

I am in a engineering oriented firm and I am delighted by the way of thinking here.. the culture, the processes and almost everything about it.

I was scared about this decision. But now, I feel happy.. content.


I happened to read this post via a tweet, as a friend had shared it.

"23rd June, afternoonish, I board the metro from Noida City Center. The train was almost empty, I find a spot by the right side of the car near the door, put my earphones on and prepare to wait through all the stations till Rajiv Chowk. Few stations afterwards, I feel someone hovering, I turn to look and this guy wearing shades is leaning towards me, his arm extended above me brushing my head, holding the seat railing, his breath fans my hair. I look beyond him, the coach is still relatively empty with plenty of space for someone to stand comfortably without being forced to lean on another passenger and breathe down their neck. I assumed he wanted to get off at the next station and waited. Station arrives, we are standing to the right of the coach, the doors open to the left and he doesn’t move. I ask him now, do you wish to get off at the next station? He answers in negative and looks away. I continue to address him, please step back you are crowding me. He ignores me. I speak again. He turns and says, why are you here, you should be in the women’s coach. I tell him, women do not have restrictions on travelling cause they apparently can travel in decency, step back please. He continues to ignore me and doesn’t move. 

Another guy standing to the front us says to 1st guy, when she’s asking you to move why don’t you just move? 2nd guy says, what is it to you? You are her what? They start arguing. 2nd guy says to 1st guy, hey! speak to her however you want but speak to me with respect! Interesting how suddenly the dynamic of the situation changes. It’s about respect, not towards me but to his manhood. Sufficiently angered they start shoving each other. I try to turn away and ignore them hoping they will stop and quit being assholes. But it escalates. The other passengers are watching but not really doing anything to stop the fight. In a matter of seconds it turns horrifically ugly, 1st guy smashes his fist into 2nd guys face and 2nd guy falls to the floor, blood gushing out of his nose and forehead. The other passengers go wild. Few turn to me and start shouting, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT, THIS IS ALL BECAUSE YOU CAME INTO THIS COACH. I’m a little surprised and I try to tell them, I am not the reason they started fighting cause 1st guy didn’t speak with “respect” to 2nd guy. Of course no one is listening. The crowd is a frenzy. The 2nd guy get up off the floor, blood dripping everywhere, no one helps him. 

One of the passengers steps up to me and shouts, DO SOMETHING THIS IS YOUR FAULT STOP THEM FROM FIGHTING. Can you imagine stepping in between 2 aggressive physically violent men and trying to stop a fight? Me, a girl? When all these other men in the coach haven’t yet made ANY moves to stop the fight!? The train stops at Akshardham station and 1st guy runs out. 2nd guy starts calling his friends and runs out as well. The crowd is screaming at me to call the cops. My shock is a delayed reaction, but it finally sets in. I am supposed to call the cops? If I was in an accident am I supposed to call the ambulance? I dial 100, networks choppy no surprises there. Someone answers, I give the details, which station, 2 men fighting, badly hurt. The guy on the other end of the line hangs up. I can’t believe this is happening to me, I’m standing here in a coach with 50 odd men and they are all shouting at me. - YOU WOMEN ALWAYS DO THIS, YOU STARTED THIS FIGHT - I did not start anything, I spoke up because he wouldn’t move! - WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE GO TO THE WOMEN’S COACH - I have as much right to be here as any of you. I’m not the reason the government made separate coach for women. - YOU ARE THE REASON, GET OFF - The reason is men like you who cannot respect women and instead of stepping up to stop harassment you encourage it by segregating us. Yes. I shouted these words. Perhaps not coherently. Perhaps not eloquently. I couldn’t understand how even one individual out of all these people didn’t have the decency to REALLY see what had happened and try to stop it. My disbelief had turned to royal fucking rage. There were a few women, who looked on like how you glance back at road accidents. I shouted at them as well, shame on you for standing there, this happens to you too and you don’t have the balls to say a word now. My head was a screaming mess of thoughts, my heart felt it will explode. Strangely even though my knees were shaking like hell, I felt a strange compulsion to stay and not flee. There’s a button by the door for emergencies. I recall this hours after the incident. The crowd wouldn’t let up. 

Every time the coach doors opened and new passengers got on they ask about all the blood on the floor, everyone starts pointing fingers at me, SHE STARTED A FIGHT BETWEEN 2 MEN. WHY DON’T YOU GET OFF, GET OFF GET OFF GET OFF!!!! After 3-4 more stations I’m trying really not to fucking loose it. I continue to stand by the door. One man in the back shouts, Ladkiyan to hoti hi aisee hain… I turn to see who spoke, he’s hidden between passengers… wo dono pit gaye par isko koi asar nahi huya. I turn back, FUCK YOU! Another man from the front of the coach jumps out, HEY SHOW SOME RESPECT!! - Respect????? I’m aghast. Respect to whom? You all stand around and do nothing and I said fuck you so now you want to teach me respect. - YOU WILL SHOW RESPECT. - All the men all the time keep saying vile abuses, maa bahen ki gaaliyan and NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING TO THEM. I said fuck you, so you want to teach me respect! I’m glad he didn’t dare. I do not know what I would have done. I start clapping and giving everyone the thumbs up, THANK YOU EVERYONE, brilliant display of support, I feel so good about my country. Keep it up. I’m sure they all thought I have gone completely mad. I was mad. Stark raving mad. But I stood there listening to them talk and laugh and stare at me. I wondered why I wasn’t crying or falling apart. My shock was tremendous, my disappointment crippled me. Frozen I continued to stand by that door. 7 stations later I get off at Rajiv Chowk. I do not know why I didn’t just get off before. I probably should have. But I felt at that point, perhaps stupidly now that I have hindsight, no fucking force on earth is going to make me feel like a victim, I’m not going to get off, I have as much right to be here as any one of these barbaric men. My knees wouldn’t quit shaking by the way, I felt as if I had no oxygen. I didn’t want to report it. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to be left alone, that’s all I had asked. 

Thinking back I cannot still understand how literally the most ridiculous thing turned so ugly. I’m sure you are thinking, why did she do this, why didn’t she just leave, why did she even get in the general coach, what was she wearing, what does she look like to elicit such an incident. And you know what, that’s precisely the whole fucking point. It doesn’t matter what you think might be a cause or a reason. No one, NOT A SINGLE person had the balls to step up and help me. And all these 50 odd men, your regular joes, college kids, engineers going to office shouldering laptops, salesmen and just normal folks commuting. I have never felt this alone."

As much as I am surprised at the reactions from the crowd after reading this, I cant help but feel equally helpless about the pitiful state we are in. How do you really expect to turn around Delhi, or any other city for that matter, for these are the people who make Delhi! A city is not stone and bricks.. its made/characterized and even projected by the people there!

But then, is this mentality/attitude restricted to a metro train or a single city?

The balls that guy had to harass this girl in public, nobody in the whole train had half of them to oppose it. And the one who did was probably trying to impress her in some way for he didnt really care about what actually was going on, didnt actually stand up to stop her from being disrespected like that.

The events just worsen further breaking all hopes we might have on morality.

This is highly Hippocratic, shameful and pitiful.

I am just sincerely sorry for she had to go through this.

Source -

Monday, January 14, 2013

A mean relationship - My perception.

This is a mean relationship I have with my blog. It has always been there when I needed it, but I have never been there when it needed me. 

The last visit I paid was in June, 2012. We have seen ups and downs but this was a considerable break. Whats good is that we both are mature enough to let bygones be bygones and move ahead. 

Well, starting afresh I'd want to have a strong foundation of honesty and clarity to this phoenix of a relationship, so allow me re-introduce myself:

  • I am Dhruv Mathur
  • 5' 11" tall, weighing 75 kg at 23, turning 24 this April.
  • I work 9 to 6. 
  • I sell yarn!! From Ludhiana! Imagine!
  • I live with a collage-mate turned colleague. 
  • I am enrolled with a costly gym which hardly expects me to turn up. 
  • Currently my priced possessions include my 4 pairs of shoes, my moto-scooter (Dinky), my bean bag, a snakes-and-ladders carpet and my very own TV with Tata Sky.
  • Its been 6 odd month since I broke up. I am single. I flirt! 
  • I am in constant search of excitement and newness. 
  • I miss home. I miss home cooked food. 
  • I visit my uncle in Chandigarh on alternate weekends. 
  • I still like to make my bones click and look at myself in the mirror for endless hours.
  • I do not like authority. 
  • I do not like flattery. 
  • I wish people were straight and upfront. 
  • I miss being a kid... Kiddish, I still am. 
  • I do not keep in touch with old friends, but I do miss them. 
  • My current wishlist includes a mid-ranged hatchback and a expensive android phone. The particulars of both these wishes change on weekly basis. 
  • I wish I be more creative than I am these days. All work and no play makes me a 'lull' boy! I definitely am not in staying that category! 
So, now you know why I called this a mean relationship. To kill the lul, revive the relationship regal. 

Once again, I find my sweetheart when I need her the most with Unconditional and unreasonable warmth. 

I wonder if such honest warmth could only be derived out of something as dead as this blog or could it still be somewhere hidden in humanity. Well, count me out of that race as I'm being mean even to this blog! :P 

Reading my own canvas painted above, makes me look so self absorbed, even to myself. Maybe that is what I have grown to be. Now I do not analyse much or ponder on things like the old times. It has become more of accepting and dealing with facts. 

The interesting part being, the fact remains subjective to my perception.