5 entrepreneurial skills I learned in Mumbai Locals

The city of Mumbai works on local trains that operate efficiently and to give you the facts it is spread over 465 kilometres, the suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and carries more than 7.5 million commuters daily. By annual ridership (2.64 billion), the Mumbai Suburban Railway is the busiest rapid transit system in the world. So the tag ‘lifeline’ is totally justified. The narrative versions of each commuter on mundane affairs are boundless. It could mean getting inspired by a 60 year old woman trying to subsidize life by earning a living beyond bare necessities or fret over swamped compartments. I have bounteous inwardness to give away and I choose to tell 5 entrepreneurial skills that I learned in the Mumbai locals.

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Here are they:

1. Punctuality.

1 minute of delay to catch the train you commonly take, can cost you snide looks from your boss, a half day pay (maybe even overtime) and unnecessary stress. And to start your day with so much antagonism is something we all want to avoid. Hence, we try to reach on time or at least just in time to make sure we don’t miss the train.

2. Negotiate

Mumbai Locals will let you learn and use your negotiation skills synchronously. After all the squabble and bickering when you finally get in, it’s difficult to survive. It’s time to dust off your negotiation skills and put them to use by asking the fellow commuters when are they going to get down? So you can secure the seat after them.

3. There’s always place for more!

When you think your plate is full and you can’t squeeze any more tasks at hand, come check the infamous fourth seat of the train.

4. Get tough

There are 7.5 million commuters transmitting daily and to get in, in the span 40 seconds to one minute is not easy. You need to build a strong guard, make sure you climb in without someone pulling your hair or transforming your clothes in raggedly fashion. It just doesn’t end here you need to be tough to be able to stand steadily for under an hour because chances are you won’t get a seat till Dadar.

5. Charity

As a entrepreneur it is very important that you give back to the society. I see an act of kindness when a passenger wary from their day who probably looks more stale than a day old bread, offers his/her seat to the 40 year old who’s not only struggling the chaos of life but also fighting the inevitable debacle of their age.

It is crazy what these perilous, unstable, swamped 12 compartments hold for you.

First Innings.

Remember the much ado about your firsts? Well, it’s rightly deserved so. Every first experience guides you to your others. It’s a zero scale measure which will help you account for how good or bad you have got. Or how far you have come. We have been those lucky bunch of sick kids who have been able to witness a transition of age i.e. From industrial age to information age. The information age reaches a new high with every coming year and it’s difficult to catch your breath.   From those big telephones with circular dials to buttons and then to cordless & pagers. The big Nokia mobile handsets that could easily cover one side your face, were slowly squeezed to smartphones. The innovation of smartphones really impressed me.

The best thing that about a smartphone was Qwerty keypad. It meant no longer would I have to pass through G & H, to reach I. ‘I’ was easily accessible. Unfortunately, around the same time our dear friend ‘Mr. Text Message’ went from hale and hearty to potentially dead.

Kiss and tell? Bleh.

Touch and Swipe.

Everything and everyone was on the go. All the people I was friends with or once remotely knew, were soon a close knit circle of friends. And the classic three words that are music to any budding relationship – “I’ll call you.” were almost (ALMOST) replaced by “I’ll whatsapp you.”  Things have changed a lot from that day with the smartphones and here’s a list of few things which I still think a smartphone needs to pioneer in:

1. Contacts, photos and other requisites should be easily transferable while shifting phones.

2. AN ALL DAY BATTERY.

3. A smartphone that’s smart enough to juggle various apps in any time. Most of these smartphones reach a saturation point and end up getting hanged.

4. 4G speed please!

5. Upgrade and update! Easy OS version upgrades and updates.

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Vegetarian Plate.

One downfall of having a vegetarian plate is that your food options are narrowed down to a sizable amount. Indian cuisine is good for vegetarianism but when exploring world cuisine, one is often left to frown upon seeing the menu. When an impulsive craving hits you to have Singaporean food, what do you do? You track down every place on your requisition list! Singapore cuisine homes many cuisines like Malay, Chinese, Indian and gives them a total makeover dressed beautiful Singapore colors. It is safe to say Singapore cuisine extends the horizons of these other cuisines. And if you are bored to eat noodles or think that they maybe your only option…think again! Here’s a vegetarian recipe for Loh-bak (a very common Singaporean hawker food which is mainly found in Non-vegetarian version) but here’s a vegetarian recipe I picked the from the internet and I would love to put it down for you:

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Ingredients:

8 oz yam, cut into 1/2-in width strips 3 oz yam bean, peeled and grated with a grater 1 tablespoon five-spice powder 3 heavy dashes white pepper powder 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste 1 tablespoon water (optional, add if the mixture is too dry) 8 pieces tofu skin (6 x 6 in squares)

Sealing starch: 1/4 cup hot water + 1 teaspoon corn starch (stir well to firm a sticky paste)
Method:
Steam the yam strips for about 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked through. In a mixing bowl, mix the grated yam bean with all the seasonings. Add the water if the mixture is too dry. Add the steamed yam strips into the mixture, be careful not to break the yam too much. Try to keep the strips intact. Lay the tofu skin on a flat surface. Soften it with some water until it’s ready to wrap. Add about 2 spoons of the filling onto the center, arrange the yam strips horizontally across. Fold in the two sides and roll up tightly. Seal the edges with the sealing starch. Set aside. Heat up your wok or frying pan with enough cooking oil. Once the oil is fully heated, deep-fry the vegetarian loh bak over medium heat until golden brown. Dish out, let cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut it into pieces, serve with your favorite chili sauce.

So do try out this amazing recipe and thank me later! you would be amazed of the variety of food options that Singapore has! So don’t let anything stop the foodie in you! PreviewPreview (1) <img src=”http://d.adroll.com/ipixel/BPN4U5UIGNB6XFIPC5EYLC/TWORJ3VYMVFU7HU55Y347Q&#8221; /> Visit for More: http://discover.stayfareast.com/

Sticking together!

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New Years was on its way and as an ordinance to the most celebrated time of the year, one question effortlessly raised itself as soon as December dawned on us.

“What are you doing on the new years?”

With most of the friends working it gets difficult catch up with each other’s lives. There ample of party being held in city but going to one them meant being subjected to pushing, shoving and eating badly catered food. Two of our friends are now residing in a different city, with one doing a job and another completing her MBA. They had flown down home to spend the occasion with closed ones and hence it was very important to make it count. After some groundwork we booked ourselves with an organization that holds camping. It was at place next to Pune called Panshet. The next we knew was renting a car and setting of on our way to Panshet to welcome the new years!

10 of us cramped in the car for an odd amount of 10 hours. It took us longer to get there than the time we had thought but on landing at a beautiful picturesque view with battered asses and dried out enthusiasm had it’s own perks. The mighty mountains encircling a restorative river and frosty breeze with hot food had de-materialized all our exhaustion. With two friends totally nipped to photography, we were out exploring the less frequented ways while our camps were being set. And as the sun began to reach the horizon, camp fire was adjusted. We sat around the campfire playing Taboo. Playing board games gives you one those rush, that a glass of alcohol is incapable of doing. We were unaccountable for how soon the night bust in. And there we were dancing and singing and tripping around the campfire.

It was one of the times that brought the couple of friends back together. We lay there, that night, under the stars in the realm of nature and in comfort of each other’s company. The year had brought so much positive energy in our lives even before it was midnight. It brought so much enthusiasm and happiness to our otherwise conventional work life and monotonous routines that we looked like we charged for another year! And a journey of 10 hours back home was exultant.

It’s the days like these that helps you endure through tough days. Because if a year begins with travelling places, camping under stars and spending quality time with the people you can be most of your selves with, then I guess it’s going to be a year full of much awesomeness and optimism.

And it’s the company that matters. And the times when you stick #together that you are the most powerful!

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Her cloak.

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The date, day and place was irrelevant but that moment was the most beautiful in the history of the universe. For a creature was born. As its first cry was perceived, the world reverberated in doubts, misgivings and agnosticism.  And she was cloaked as a ‘woman’.

The cloak shield her, the cloak mocked her. It was a degree for disqualification. It was a constitution to abuse. It was a virtue of a demon, ascendancy of the creator.

The cloak exalted her. She could be an opera singer and harmonise the words of agony. She could be the warrior princess the world will never know. She could breed the world in a way daemon can’t and be consumed by nonchalance to celebrate her coherence.

The cloak was her armour, her sword, her morphine.
It was now her soul, her spirit, her skin.

She was the cloak she had been given. A powerful, independent, indefatigable creature. She was a believer, a doer. She was all that they thought she wasn’t. She was now, A WOMAN.

Uncommon-ed the common – Tribute to R.K. Laxman

I was filled with rage

RIP #RKLaxman it trend
As I opened my twitter page,
Has the world of a ‘common man’ come to an end?
‘You said it’ in subtle ways
That reached the heart and stayed.
Be it the caricatures of Malgudi days
Or the political cartoons you portrayed
Ironies in life of a simple means
You filled them with humor and zest
The staple Roti and beans
Were easy to digest
Twisted ways of Indian lives
Are getting more tangled now
As we lost the comic jibes
And an art to laugh at ourselves being tow.