The Art of Procrastination – Bangalore Edition

This is a sequel to my procrastinating escapades – the first edition is here.

And it’s not just with Mumbai.Even in Bangalore – years later,by when I should have matured – I kept up my game plan.

I decided to save time and take my motor-bike to station to beat the heavy traffic that impedes the buses in the heart of the city.Unluckily some sport event was happening at the indoor stadium and the vehicles were parked all over the place – and I couldn’t do much but to wait.

While my train didn’t. Atleast if I did not have my own vehicle, I could have hopped off to cross the blockade by foot and hailed a richkshaw – but that was not to be. And then once in Bangalore City railway station, after composing from shock of the missed train, I find that there was no separate queue to cancel unused tickets and the general queues were Ridiculously Long. I once again tried to outsmart the system by chatting up some girls standing in the women’s queue (which because of our country’s skewed sex ratio) was considerably shorter and persuading them to cancel my tickers. After a patient wait for half an hour – the counter clerk flung my ticket out immediately, having been tricked like this countless time before in a day.I returned to square one of a Ridiculously Long Queue – not having thought of waiting there for the half an hour now gone – which could have served as a plan B – delusions of invincibility ? Maybe.

And for people who expect me to pick them up from the railway station – they can plan to have an elaborate morning tea and snacks on the platform before I finally arrive.

And for people who expect me to drop them at the station – well nobody actually expects – so I’m saved there.

And trains are not the only means of transport I’m an expert at missing. Inter-city buses too.

Especially when I was to board at a pass-through bus-stop rather than at the bus station (I’d thought this would save me an hour-long commute in the evening peak hour). Anyway I reached the boarding point – confident that the bus had not left – the traffic was so bad – and anyways I’d come on the same route the bus would have followed to exit the city – and I hadn’t seen the bus go.That I was not on time but 10 min or so late – didn’t ring me a bell – 10 min late is not late in India – I told myself, not reassuringly but confidently. I debunked Murphy’s law which stated that whenever I would be even 5 mins late the bus/train would always leave on time (the converse is also true). So I waited confidently for an hour or so before growing skeptical – there WAS a KSRTC booking counter nearby – which had a record of what bus had passed – I en-quired and was told that they did wait for me for a couple of minutes (phew, at other times I’ve seen this same bus company wait for passengers endlessly). I lost the full ticket money (due to a stupid rule) and had to purchase a new ticket for another bus.

This happened no more than some months ago – when I had already donned the hat of a responsible husband and a responsible father

I guess my son would never reach school in time – even if there was an exam.

Advertisements

The Art of Procrastination – Mumbai Edition

I was born at 5 minutes past 3. Apparently, that was when it was decided that I would never be able to do anything on time at all in this life.

It’s true that almost everyone suffers from some minor form of this disorder but for me it has reached hilariously lofty proportions. I can procrastinate for hours and months and years together. I have some home fixtures I’ve bought more than a year and a half back which I’ve not been able to fix yet – I have everything in place – everything tangible atleast – drilling machine , nails, screws etc. and I plan to get it done every weekend – for the past 32 months or so.

Everyday I plan to get to office on time – and everyday I’m late – late not by minutes but hours. My boss has given up expecting me before lunch. I play safe and start working only after checking mail – just to play safe by ensuring that I’m still employed.

If getting up early morning is difficult then catching a train or bus (plane ? no – I hardly ever fly) is worse.

I’ve missed trains atleast half a dozen times and countless times have been saved only by a whisker – providing some good business to station cabbies.

One of those cases was absolutely ludicrous – once while trying to catch a train to Varanasi (the holiest place for Hindus) for an important interview – I saw the train slide out of the platform the moment I arrived at the Kurla Terminus station (now Lokmanya Tilak terminus), Mumbai.When I confirmed with the cabbies there that was indeed my train – one enterprising chap promised me into the train at Kalyan station – which was its next stop – some 40 km or so away. It would cost me 500 rs. My naiveté triumphed.

So we sped along the sparsely trafficked Eastern Express Highway – did not stop for being flagged down by the traffic cop and reached Kalyan only to be told that the train had just departed. Losing 500 rs added to the double whammy – that was more than the ticket price of my round trip to Varanasi – atleast the cabbie had the human heart to drop me back at the Kurla Terminus.

Kurla Terminus has been especially unlucky for me – I had debuted there some years before, assuming that the terminus must be an extension of the Kurla sub-urban station (like Bandra or Dadar terminus). Like usual I was in Kurla right at the departure time of the train – except that I could find no extension – and so no terminus – inquiries revealed that it was a separate station in its own right and had to be reached in a rickshaw – I frantically hired one. My conspicuous hysteria worked its magic on the (yet another enterprising) auto-richshaw driver called John.

He charged me a flat 50 rs – which I was more than willing to pay.Though his languid manner highly contrasted my sense of urgency, he promised me that I won’t miss my train. As soon as we reached Kurla Terminus he told me to cool off as my train was starting 4 hrs or so late (and he knew about it all the time). My anxiety had ballooned his fare from rs 8 to rs 40 (which is what I finally agreed to pay) for plying a distance of no more than half a km.

Nothing won’t be more tragic than to see the sub-urban train you’re travelling in held at a signal to let a long-distance train pass – when that was the train you were intending to catch. You could try jumping from this train to the moving train – and say (at heaven-hell gates maybe) that you sacrificed your life trying to catch your train.

I was born at 5 minutes past 3. Apparently, that was when it was deicided that I would never be able to do anything on time at all in this life.
Its true that almost everyone suffers from some minor form of this disorder but with me it has reached hilariously lofty proportions. I can procastinate for hours and months and years together. I have some home fixtures I’ve bought more than a year and a half back which I’ve not been able to fix yet – I have everything in place – everything tangible atleast – drilling machine , nails, screws etc. and I plan to get it done every weekend – for the past 32 months or so.
Everyday I plan to get to office in time – and everyday I’m late – late not by minutes but hours. My boss has given up expecting me before lunch. I play safe and start working only after checking mail – just to play safe by ensuring that I’m still employed.
If getting up early morning is difficult then catching a train or bus (plane ? no – I hardly ever fly) is worse.
I’ve missed trains atleast half a dozen times and countless times have been saved only by a whisker – providing some good business to station cabbies.
One of which was absoultely ludicurous – once while trying to catch a train to Varanasi (the holiest place for Hindus) for an important interview – I saw the train slide out of the platform the moment I arrived at the Kurla Terminus station (now Lokmanya Tilak terminus), Mumbai.When I confirmed with the cabbies there that was indeed my train – one enterprising chap promised me into the train at Kalyan station – which was its next stop – some 40 km or so away. It would cost me 500 rs. My naivete triumphed.
Anyways, we sped along the almost empty Eastern Express Highway – didnot stop for being flagged down by the traffic cop and reached Kalyan only to be told that the train had just departed. Losing 500 rs added to the double whammy – that was more than the ticket price of my round trip to Varanasi – atleast the cabbie had the human heart to drop me back at the Kurla Terminus.
Kurla Terminus has been especially unlucky for me – I had debuted there some years before, assuming that the terminus must be an extenstion of the Kurla sub-urban station (like Bandra or Dadar terminus). Like unsual I was in Kurla right at the departure time of the train – except that I could find no extension – and so no terminus – enquires revealed that it was a separate station in its own right and had to be reached in a rickshaw – I frantically hired one. My conspicous hysteria worked its magic on the (another enterprising) autorichshaw driver called John.
He charged me a flat 50 rs – which I was more than willing to pay.Though his languid manner never seemed to match my sense of urgency, he promised me that I won’t miss my train. As soon as we reached Kurla Terminus he told me to cool off as my train was starting 4 hrs or so late (he knew about it all the time). My demeanor had transformed his fare from rs 8 to rs 40 (which is what I finally agreed to pay) for plying a distance of no more than half a km.
Nothing won’t be more tragic than to see your sub-urban train stopped at a signal to let a long-distance train pass – when that was the train you were intending to catch. You could try jumping from this train to the moving train – and say (at heaven-hell gates maybe) that you sacrificed your life trying to catch your train.