Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Ride to Remember!

Last weekend dad brought home, for a test drive, the world's cheapest car, The TATA Nano. Though its named Nano, the 623cc, MPFI, 4 geared car with a 2 cylinder engine on a single balancer shaft (for the first time in car history) can very easily accommodate five people. It is peoples car, perfect to drive in crowded cities like Mumbai, Pune, and can easily attain a speed of 100. It is an example of cost effectiveness and one really feels amused when he sees the places where the cost is reduced. After seeing it we realise we have so many unnecessary things plugged into our car just to make it look royal. For a couple of days, this engineering marvel was at my doorstep, I and can literally feel that our "market value" was increased. :D
It was Saturday morning and we decided to take a ride to my granny's place. As I unlocked the door, a couple of children came running and started looking at the car, as if they are seeing some UFO in the society. Uncle Uncle it is the same car that was shown on the TV the other day na.. they asked my dad! Wow!.. its soo small n cute.. their facial expressions could easily reflect their thoughts about the car, and the desire to take a ride in it. After observing the car inside out they suddenly remembered their unfinished cricket match and left.

Nano chalavtana yenari maja kahi veglich! (there is a diff joy in driving Nano!). Chalavna he kriyapad ithe hatyaar chalavna kinva chalval chalavna ashya arthana vaparlay.(idea given by manjo) This was the day, when I actually wanted to stop at the signals. Nano cha mukhya upayog vahan mhanun n karta, vahatya rastyat madhyabhagi kondala karun, pradarshanat thevleli vastu asa kela! With each and every guy on the road looking at us (actually at the car), I felt that our bhaav in the city has suddenly increased. People in front of us were turning their heads back and staring, and people behind us wanted to overtake. That day I actually let people complete their desire of overtaking! :). I heard a wife sitting behind her husband on a Pulsar saying with a largest ever smile I have ever seen.. "Aiiyaa.. kittti goad!!..Aho apan gheu na Nano." (So cute.. we will also take it!). Teens had similar expression.. "Abbey.. Nano dekh saale.. sexy hai!" and the girls who were clinging to their boyfriends on bikes, after seeing us, made them reduce their speeds from 100 to 10 Km/hr and sat in a posture that was comfortable to look at the small car. Children were literally peeping out even from cars like Scoda and Benz to have a look at this piece.

Driving slowly, we reached my granny's place. Now it was pensioners time to have a look. People over sixties gathered around bombarding questions at us.. "Kay ho.. on-road performance kasa ahe?" (what is the on-road performance like), "Kay 1 lakhat milte ki vadhliye kimmat, amche kinai, bara ka.. chiranjeev mhanatayt ghyavi mhanun!!" (Is the price still 1L, my son is planning to book one). Tackling all the questions we finally went home and had dinner with my grandparents.

The next day we went on a ride to Girivan. Its a place in mountains, nearby Pune, where we have a plot. The surrounding area is developed by a private company and made it a tourist attraction. We had some work at our plot and after finishing it we went on a mountain hike. As it was Sunday, there were lot of people. We parked the vehicle and got mixed with the junta. Without they knowing we were behind them, I heard a group of people chatting.. "ara Nyano ali bagh dongarat... chayla Ratan Tata cha kooni bhau banda distoy aalela!!! Chadli ki r pan choti gaadi!! (in a rural accent.. 'see Nano is in mountains.. I think some Ratan's Tatas relative has come'). I couldn't control my laughter and started laughing. They soon realised that it was our car and we had heard whatever they were speaking... and went in other direction. (I shouldn't have done that.. but it was so involuntary!)

Well after these two days, when I think of them, I feel that its a real marvel that the Tatas have given to India. I feel proud that we have got such great visionaries, and it does motivate me. Something regarded as impossible 10 yrs before, is seen on roads today. It was just like a very beautiful college gal walking down the streets and the pedestrian teens commenting on her!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Water Crisis..

Place: Pune, Maharashtra

Day: 25th May - The monsoon is predicted to arrive on 6th June - Pune weather report
5th June - Monsoon hit Western coast, might delay its appearance in Pune
10th June - Monsoon may be delayed by a couple of weeks, rains expected on 25th June

Today: 12th July.... No rains in Pune!!!! Sharad Pawar declared draught situation in the city.

This year two world records might have been created... 1) Draught condition in Pune after around 51 years and 2) Maximum number of times weather forecasting went wrong!!

Its raining heavily everywhere around Pune, but not in the city. Today's condition is very bad. There are two dams which are primarily used for supplying water to the city. One has existing water storage amount of 5% and other 0%. Zero percent!!!! That's something I never thought can happen in Pune. Every year, in a news paper called Sakal, I see a picture of a farmer sitting on his arid, cracked land looking at the sky (I think, they copy past the same picture every monsoon!!), but this year I saw a happy farmer, and worried Puneites queueing up for water tankers. Accha hua.. hum apne aap ko bahut khush naseeb samazte the... ab bhugto saalo!!

The corporation stopped water for hours, people had to fill tanks and keep water ready for morning programs! I remembered my second sem in BITS where we had a similar water crisis... par us waqt authorities ko gaaliya to de sakte the.. ab kya karen!! Today we have to find our way out. My mom, being the secretary of the society, made a schedule of how to save and use water that was stored in the tank effectively. She was very involved with all this situation, and I said.. humne 6 mahine aisi situation me nikale.. tum log to 2 din me hi frustrate ho rahe ho!!.. She called me to accept this challenge of managing this crisis... obb..I backed off!!! :D (pata tha mom kitna kaam kar rahi thi.. its really laudable!) As I am going abroad now, I am learning to cook... Lekin ab 1 hafte ke liye chutti... coz if I start cooking, I will use all the stored water in one shot... and that will not be acceptable to anyone! :D (one benefit of water crisis)

Something more was there to worsen the situation...Borewells were drying up (8 wells in our society are completely dry!). Ye kam nahi tha ki.... MNS attacked the water tankers (obb for no reason) and the tankerwallahs called for an indefinite strike... LOL!! ab woh bhi paani band!! After many many phone calls, and meeting with nagarsevaks n all, finally the strike was called off.. but now knowing the situation the tankerwallas demanded Rs 3000, Rs 4000 for one tanker (which is generally for Rs 200). We had to pay!! :(

Now the situation is better. Its still not raining that heavily, but yes, the rains have appeared in the city. Corporation has resumed the water supply every alternate day and tanker wallas have also come down to 800-1000 Rs. ....... n I have started cooking!!!