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Showing posts from September, 2006

Last post of the Month!

So this marks the last post of this month. This post is interestingly the 48th post in the blog, and the 27th post of this month! Thanks for all the support you have been giving me!
Today was yet another normal day with the normal share of trains rushing past me! I saw nothing unusual during the course of the day! In the morning, I saw the Mandovi with WDP4 #20021 from Krishnarajapuram (KJM). In the evening, I saw the KR3 Ratnagiri Passenger with WDM3A #18951R from Pune doing the honours!
The day was just normal with no post-worthy incidences! Most EMUs were decorated and looked good. The Carsheds, i guess, were celebrating Dussehra with full vigour! The EMUs were decorated, cleaned and many even freshly painted!
One interesting thing: Thane station was getting a new coat of Paint today! The Signals (especially on Platform 9 & 10) were being painted, the tracks were cleared of outgrowths and weeds. The platforms were cleaned and painted!!! A white "outline" was painted at t…

Another date with the BAAZ!

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Today, I had another chance to have a peep at the Magnificient Blue-Yellow "Monster" named Baaz! This loco (#20012) is one of the early locos manufactured by Diesel Loco Works (Varanasi). The loco has fibre cabs and has a different look as compared to a normal WDP/G 4 loco. This loco has its edges curved in a funky style as compared to the "hard" edges of the normal EMD locos! I love this loco!
Other than spotting the Baaz, I had much more interesting spottings this day - I left Belapur as usual at about 06:30 (by the 06:33 EMU). The Day was normal until I reached Kurla. As my EMU was pulling into Kurla, I saw the Sharavati Express rushing past with WDG3A #13048 from Pune in charge. I boarded the 07:17 Ambernath Fast. On my way, I saw the Chennai-Mumbai Mail rushing past with a WCAM3 (Yes! It was a WCAM3!!!), and the Kanyakumari-Mumbai Express with a WCG2. (Kanyakumari also had a Milk Tanker right behind the loco!). While my EMU was pulling into Thane, I saw the Mum…

Another day at Panvel

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Today was just another day..but filled with misses! First - I wanted to board the 12:02 Panvel local from Belapur. By the time I reached the platform, the EMU had already departed! I took the 12:23 EMU towards Panvel. I was sure that I would miss the loco of Sampark Kranti and that happened! The EMU reached Panvel at about 12:45. I went to the ticket counter and purchased a Platform ticket. The Sampark Kranti had already reached Platform 1 of the station. I rushed towards the loco, and found three RPF officers roaming near the loco. (Photography was certainly out of question!). I rushed to Platform 3. By now, the Ratnagiri Dadar passenger pulled in. The loco was WDG3A #13059 from Pune. I couldn't photograph that loco too! I barely managed to have a glance of the loco working the Sampark Kranti and that was WDM2 #16860 from Ernakulam. All I could see was the loco notching up to depart from the Platform. The train took about 8-10 minutes to clear the outer signal.
Both the Sampark Kr…

Railfanning at Panvel

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I haven't attended college for the past 2 days. I was getting bored by noon. There was nothing "watchable" on TV. There wasn't anything that I could do. By noon, i decided to make a short trip to Panvel. I called up my mom and informed her of my plans. I was ready to go. I packed my bag with camera, spare batteries, water and emergency medicines. I drove fast to the station and took the 12:23 slow towards Panvel. As I entered Panvel, the PA system announced the arrival of KR4 passenger. The queue at the ticket counter was long and I couldn't afford standing there for a Platform Ticket. I had a Panvel "Return" ticket and I was technically permitted to enter the platform. I took a snap of the loco, WDG3A #13150 from Pune, hauling the KR4 Ratnagiri - Dadar Passenger. After the snap, I went to the ticket counter to get my Platform ticket.
By the time I returned after getting the Platform ticket, the Passenger was ready to go. I went about having a quick look…

Frog...RIP

Yesterday was another tiring day. I was down with bronchial constriction since Thursday and out of compulsion, had to attend college on Friday and Monday. On Monday, we had our 15-marks internal assessment examination in a run-up to the University examinations scheduled to begin from November 21, 2006. The subject was Pharmacology Laboratory-II. In this lab, we usually get to murder Frogs and conduct experiments on them. For the examination, our teacher decided to conduct a "new" experiment instead of testing our knowledge in the older ones! We had to determine the concentration of a drug solution by a "suitable" method using the rectus abdominis muscle preparation of Frog. The drug was Pancuronium.
Pancuronium is a potent AcetylCholine Antagonist. AcetylCholine (ACh) is a neurotransmitter. ACh induces contraction of Skeletal muscle (the muscle used to the test is a skeletal muscle). When Pancuronium is administered, the force of contraction is reduced. This can be …

My first Railfanning Photograph!

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This image of a WDG3A from Pune rolling through Panvel station was my first railfanning photograph. Though I had attempted my hand in railfanning photography with a poor Handycam and a time-tested Kodak "film" camera, I got the best photographs on my Digicam. This was the first of them!
I started loving WDG3As since then! The loco in this photograph is WDG3A #13059 from Pune. On most of my days, I spot a WDG3A (mostly from Pune!!!). I have started to develop a crush for these mini-monsters. I love seeing these locos on Express trains now-a-days. This is a scene that used to be an eye-sore for me until a few months back!
Back to the history of this photograph! This image was the 260th image of the Digi-Cam which has now completed 7060 images. Over this period of about a year and 7 months, I have clicked over 1500 railfanning images.
I was too scared to click that image. While recalling my mental position at the time of clicking this image, I tend to laugh uncontrollably! The day…

A tired and surprising day!

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I boarded the 06:33 Slow local from Belapur as usual. I hadn't slept the previous night. I woke up at about 2 AM. I was suffering from breathing congestion and had a very bad day. I spent most of the day on my bed. I settled at one window seat of the train with a very heavy head and a very heavy eye-lid. The train put up a very great show, crossing each station atleast 2 minutes before time! The train slowed down after Mankhurd and kept crawling until Tilak Nagar. Reached Kurla sharp at 07:06. I went to Platform 5, and was literally gasping for breath. I saw the 07:11 Karjat fast rolling past but was in no mood to board the train. Just after the Karjat train pushed out, I saw an Erode Loco smoking up ferociously and running towards Platform 6. The camera couldn't catch the train in focus. I was surprised by the loco! Which train was that?
From the speeding train, all I could read was the KR SWR markings! That was the Konkan Kanya Express!!! Some time later, My train (07:17 Ambe…

The first air trip!

A topic that isn't really related to railfanning: My first trip by Air. The trip was quite un-expected. I had gone to kerala to bring my mom back from a hospital in Trichur. She had been to the hospital for treatment of Osteo-Arthritis. She had to stay back for about 21 days for the treatment. I travelled to Kerala by Netravati Express. (That was my maiden journey on the Konkan Railway route : Click here for the travelogue). Our initial plans for the return journey was by 6334 Hapa (now Veraval) Express. The tickets were waitlisted and showed no signs of confirmation even as the date of journey closed in! Finally on the day of journey, we got the ticket cancelled and opted to fly instead!
My dad called up a relative in Ernakulam, who inturn contacted his travel agent and managed to get a confirmed ticket on board Air Sahara (S2) 203 bound to Delhi via Mumbai. The flight was scheduled as 15:15. We reached the airport (Cochin International Airport Limited, Nedumbassery. India's f…

WDP4.....What else???

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The day was just usual in the morning. The EMU that i took (06:33 ex-Belapur) was running abnormally slow after Mankhurd. She ensure that I missed my connection train (07:17 Ambernath) at Kurla! I saw the EMU picking speed as I hurried down the FOB to Platform 5!
While waiting for the 07:24 Kasara EMU, I saw the Chalukya Express rushing past. The loco was WDG3A #13048 from Pune. Just as the Chalukya cleared the advanced starter, a WDP4 horn was heard. That was the Madgaon bound Mandovi Express!!! The Loco rushed through the platform kicking up a sand-storm instantly! The "monster" was 20016. The Ferozpur-Mumbai Punjab mail went past shortly after this. The loco was WCAM3 #21886. I boarded the 07:24 Kasara ("N") EMU. The ride on teh EMU was filled with moments of Anxiety! Guess what, the EMU covered the distance is just 14 minutes!!! On the way, the Vidarbha Express (WCAM3 #21881) croseed out EMU.
The Mandovi was waiting on Platform 7:

She was in dire need of a Wash a…

Tuesday...a dry day!

I had been to college today after a short day long break. I got up late and my entire schedule had a cascading effect. I missed my 06:33 Belapur-CST local, and had to settle for the 06:42 Panvel-CST local. The journey was dry till Kurla. I missed by 07:17 Ambernath fast also! I had to settle for the 07:24 Kasara Fast!
I severly missed seeing the Chalukya Express. I consoled myself that I could atleast see the mandovi. But even that didn't happen. Sharp at 07:20, my Kasara EMU pulled in. The EMU had a single piece windshield. The Motorman was standing instead of being seated. The coach that I boarded was 362A. The coach was new (a transfer from WR, but it seems that it never made it to the tracks of WR!!!). The interiors of the coach did not have signs of over painting. There was just 3 advertisements inside the coach! The seats were silk soft! I literally sunk into the cushion! The EMU kept its word of reaching me to Thane atleast by 07:40!!! (AC/DC EMUs require just 13-17 minutes …

Railfanning with IRFCAns!

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Sunday had me experiencing railfanning with people having similar thoughts! It was on the 9th of this month that Deepesh Soni from IRFCA Mumbai send a mail to the list that they were planning for a railfanning, and other members were invited for the same. The venue was Parel Railway station, Platform 3/4 CSTM End on 17th September at 16.30. I was over-joyed and quickly replied to count me in!!! Sunday was a working day, and i was to reach there after my college.
My railfanning moments before and after college was described in the previous post. Continuing from where I left yesterday! (Those reading for the first time are requested to read the previous post first).
After the Sewagram pulled out of the station, I went to get an extension ticket. My Season ticket was valid only upto Kurla. The person at the counter gave me an 'extension' ticket worth Rs. 8 (valid for travelling from Kurla to Parel and back!). I rushed back to the FOB. Just around this time, there was an announceme…

Aha! End of the week..Sunday

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Thank god its a sunday!

Sunday was something different other than being a holiday! I met a few other railfans in Mumbai who are members of IRFCA. The day started off with me resting on to the wall of an EMU speeding towards CSTM (06:58 Belapur). I reached Kurla at about 07:30 or thereabouts! The first train that I saw was the Chalukya Express. She rushed past with WDG3A #13150 in-charge. The train was slow (probably she just crossed a double yellow!). The loco notched up as she approached the starter. The scene was marvellous! A few minutes after the Chalukya went through, The Deccan Express bound to Pune rolled through. The loco doing the honours was WCG2 #20155. My EMU (07:41 Asangaon semi-fast) closely follows the Deccan. The EMU was an AC/DC one. She picked up speed very quickly. We crossed the Vidarbha just around Vidyavihar. The loco doing the honours was WCAM3 #21883. My EMU slowed down after Mulund (near the Kopri Flyover). She had a red-signal at Thane outer. I could see the r…

6 hours of verbal bombardment and a diesel surprise!!!

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Too big a title? We had a seminar at college today. The topic was "Global opportunities for Pharmaceutical Industries". The topic was off-beat and the speakers concentrated mostly on Drug Patents, Quality control audits and so on! The speakers had about 6 hours to speak and they made it! The presentation of two of the speakers (there were 4 in all) were just okay.
The day was un-usual. I missed by usual 06:33 local, and finally took the 06:41 local. I reached Kurla at 07:16. I missed my 07:17 Ambernath fast narrowly. While I was at the platform, the Devgiri Express rushed past the station. (The loco awed me!) That was Pune WDM3A #18724 doing the honours! I first mistook it for the Chalukya, but the complex boards gave off! Just behind the Devgiri was the Chalukya Express - The loco was WDG3A #13051. Just minutes after Chalukya, the Madgaon bound Mandovi express rushed past Kurla. The loco doing the honours was WDP4 #20022 from Krishnarajapuram. The loco approached with the …

A day of diesels and a nasty headache!

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Today was a day of diesels! The day was usual until Kurla. At Kurla, I saw a light WDM2 from Kalyan rush towards CST. Around then, My EMU came in and i took a seat. The Sharavati Express to Dadar rushed past around the same time. I couldn't notice the loco number. I decided to be at the door for most of the journey. I spotted the Punjab mail (WCAM3 #21952) at Vikhroli. Crossed the Vidarbha at Mulund. The train pulled into Thane before time. There was no word about the Mandovi and hence I left for college.
Was very busy at college that I developed a nasty headache by evening. I couldn't concentrate on anything. I rushed back to Thane (only for a few surprises!). As I entered the station, I saw the Sewagram (towards Nagpur) leave. Sometime later, a WDM2 from Kalyan rushed past with a "Track Observation car" in tow. Minutes after this, the Konark towards Bhubaneshwar crossed the station. The PA system announced the arrival of KR3. I saw the train enter the station. The l…

A surprise.... "baaz"

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Today was just another day for me except for a few incidences! The day began as usual in the morning. On reaching CLA, I was heavily missing my regular dose of watching the Chalukya and/or Punjab mail flying past. I boarded my by-now regular 07:17 Dadar-Ambernath 12-car Fast local. The journey from CLA to VVH (Vidyavihar) was normal. I saw the Matsyagandha sneaking into LTT. Just as our train took the sharp curve towards Vidyavihar station, I saw the Chalukya Express rushing in with WDG3A #13063 in charge. This particular loco was in a turquoise livery and the loco looked cool! I settled inside the coach for the rest of the journey.
On reaching Thane, the first announcement that I heard was that the Madgaon bound Mandovi was expected in the next few minutes. I decided to hang-on. The Mumbai bound Vidarbha came in. The train had all Sleeper coaches of 2006 make. The coaches looked refreshing. The coaches were manufactured by BEML. By now the "humm" of the WDP4 hauling the Mand…

Something to post....

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Today was a holiday for me! I spent my time completing a few assignments and listening to songs on my computer. I was thinking for a topic to post about since morning! I guess, the following would be a better post:::
The following are my railfan interests:
1. Favorite Loco: WDM3A (all ALCO Locos)
2. Favorite route: Konkan railway (Roha to Thokur)
3. Route most travelled: Panvel - Trichur and Mumbai - Coimbatore

Some other tid-bids from railfanning:

A photography scene that I miss everytime: A loco crossing my train at good speed. I am bad at photographing trains when both are in motion! I mis-calculate the "Shutter lag" of my camera, and I end up in photographing the Front SLR of the train!!!
I love to photograph thick smoke left by ALCOs!
I love the characteristic ALCO throbbing sound. I have never travelled on a train hauled by a GM (WDP4) loco! I guess i wouldn't change my mind after travelling on a WDP4 hauled train!!
I am a diesel fan! I love seeing Diesel locos, especially …

Another day ... Tuesday!

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Today was Tuesday....A lucky day for me! The day begun and ended as usual except for a few interesting observation. I'd like to give the observations in a bulleted list instead of the usual paragraph today!
I spotted the Chalukya Express today! (That's just usual) The loco doing the honours today was WDM3A #18925 from Pune. The loco was very beautiful in her "Blue" uniform!!!
I spotted the Latur-Mumbai express rushing right behind the Chalukya. The loco doing the honours was WCAM3 #21933.
The day remained normal in the morning, except for an un-expected annoucement in the evening "Wednesday would be a compensatory holiday for Final year students!" (Compensatory since Sunday was and is a working day!!!). With a very light heart, i rushed out of the college. Rushed to the station. I was finding it hard to wade through the sea of humans on the Foot-Over-Bridge to make it to Platform #4. The 16:23 local was already entering the platform. I had a mad dash to the re…

Another week....

Monday...is a day when I feel the most tired - Sadly, Monday marks the beginning of a very torturous week. The day began as usual. The journey to Thane was normal. The day took a few un-natural and interesting turns - read on!
At about 9.30AM, we (myself, and two of my friends) got a very exciting and happy news - Our teacher was absent. This meant that we had a fully free day ahead. We decided to hang out for a movie. (Of course, with my Mom's permission). Little did we know that the events of the day was going to take such a marvellous turn. At about 10.00 AM, we decided to get out of the college. We walked down the two floors from the Library to the gate with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. We were shocked on reaching the gate - the gate was closed. A higher-up from the management had instructed the gate-keeper not to let anybody out of the college until 14.30. We desperately wanted to leave the college. We tried every trick (including greasing of palms) to get out of the co…

A long railfanning after many days...

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Today was a very special day for me. The day started off at 6 AM. I boarded the 06:58 CSTM Slow local. The local was deserted for most of the journey from Belapur to Kurla. I reached Kurla at about 07:30. The platform was crowded with many students, probably, going for some camp. The Dadar bound 1018 Chalukya express rushed past Kurla with WDM3A #18951 (from Pune) in charge. Sometime later, the Deccan express rushed towards Pune with a WCG2 in charge. Just as the Deccan express cleared the Advanced Starter, The Punjab mail towards Mumbai CST rushed in. The loco doing the honours was WCAM3 #21962. Some time later, My EMU (AN5, bound to Asangaon) came in. That was an AC/DC EMU. She did the 13.72 km distance between Ghatkopar and Thane in an impressive 10:36 minutes i.e., at an average speed of 77.66 kmph!!! I recorded a speed of 85.71 kmph between Bhandup and Nahur. The run was impressive!!! Our train had a red signal at Thane outer where the train stopped for probably a minute. At Tha…

Dreaming........

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A few weeks back, our teacher of Pharmacology (a subject that deals with Drug interactions in our Body), threw a question at students in the class - Do you dream? Do you have nightmares?
Most of us shook our heads in approval. She continued saying that, "many are still dreaming..Good morning - Welcome to the class!". She was to teach the Sleep Cycle that day. She classified sleep into two parts viz., Rapid Eye-Movement (REM) sleep and Non REM Sleep. She said that a person requires the right amount of Dreams/Nightmares to have a fresh day!
For the past few days, I have been dreaming of a very sweet thing - a rail journey coming up in October. I would be travelling by 1017 Dadar - Yeshwanthpur Chalukya Express (End-to-End). I decided to keep a watch on the incoming 1018 daily. For the past few weeks this train has been consistently getting WDG3As from Pune. I started loving them shortly. The locos that i had seen in the past week were 13139, 13051, 13150, etc. These WDG3A, named…

Another interesting day...

Yesterday, I had the worst shock in my day - A WDP4 with a 13-coach train! (THe WDP4 was dead though!). Today, I had some more interesting sights...
I reached Kurla at 07:06, just as yesterday. I walked down the FOB to reach Platform 5. I heard a very long and continuous horn. The sound was similar to a WCAM3. The loco was 21939. She was rushing away with the Pune bound Intercity. The scene was beautiful. The train cleared the platform in less than a minute! The train had two AC Chair Car Coaches, two SLRs and 9 Second Chair cars. I loved the scene, and simply missed my camera!
The 07:11 Karjat Local was just behind the intercity. As usual, I left the local. Some time later, I heard a horn similar to a WDP4. I was awe-struck for the next few seconds. The horn came closer. The loco pilot, it seems, loved the tone. He kept blowing it repeatedly. I saw the loco, and I almost fainted - The loco was WDG3A #13150 from Pune working the Sharavati Express (Mysore-Dadar). The rake (13-coaches) w…

Chalukya with a WDP4???

I had the worst shock my life today! I slipped into an Absence (Petite Mal) Seizure in just seconds of landing at Kurla!!!!

I took my usual local from Belapur being disgusted about not getting my daily morning newspaper - the paper vendor at the station was just coming in, while my train was ready to leave! I reached Kurla - surprisingly on Time - at 07:06. I saw the Pune intercity rushing out with a WCAM3 at her helm! I reached Platform 5. As usual did not board the 07:11 Karjat fast, and instead kept waiting for the 07:17 Ambernath fast. I saw the Ferozpur-Mumbai Punjab mail rushing past Kurla. She picked up all the dust on the platform. I wished to see the chalukya. Some time later, I heard the ever-familiar horn of a diesel loco - That was WDG3A #13051 from Pune. She was working the Chalukya Express (Surprised about the caption??? Read on!).
She was carrying a Dead WDP4 (#20020) with her! I was totally awe-struck, and initially failed to spot my local! Some how boarded the local. I …

Onam 2006

We celebrated Onam today since yesterday was a very busy day! I had an off at college today (thanks to Anant Chaturdashi, the 10-day of the Ganpati Festival - On this day the idols of Ganpati are immersed in water-bodies marking the end of festivities), and our family decided to celebrate today! My dad had a working day and this sub-dued the festival! My mom made a stumptous sadhya, or traditional feast. Onam Festival is also approaching its end.

Along with Onam, I had another reason to be happy!!! The final approvals for another trip to the south has been granted by my parents! The rough itenery is: Departing Mumbai on 21 October by Chalukya Express reaching Bangalore on the 22nd. We would proceed to Kerala about 2-3 days after reaching Bangalore. We would attend a family function on October 29. Finally, we would return by Udyan Express on November 2.

So thats a rough sketch...hope to give it a very good shape. The tickets are ready and so is my camera!!!

Happy Onam!!!

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Happy Onam to all Keralites all over the world!

Malayalees, natives of the South Indian state of Kerala, celebrate Onam - a harvest festival today! Onam is celebrated over period of 13 days (14 is some places). In the malayalam month of chingam which is the first month of the Malayalam calender, after the harvesting of crops are done this festival is celebrated. There is a common saying : Atham patthinu ponnonam or "Pon-onam is on the 10th day of Atham". Atham is a birth-star commonly used by Astrologists in Kerala.
Onam has another history, which goes like: Kerala was ruled by a very honest and lovable king Mahabali. Jealous of his fame in the country, some Gods decided to throw him off power. Thus, Vamanan was born. Vamanan, dressed as a saint appeared before Mahabali and asked for "3 foot" of land. At his first foot step, the entire ocean-rivers were covered. In his second, he covered the entire land. He did not have place to keep his third step. Understanding tha…

Teacher's Day....

Today, India celebrated its own Teacher's Day. This day marks the birth anniversary of a very great teacher, and a former president of India - Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. We celebrated this event at our college with much enthusiasm. Since we are in our final year, we had to take the lead. Praising our teachers weren't very easy!!!!
Due to the function, My day started off quite early. I woke up at 0445. I boarded the 05:58 Slow local from Belapur. The train was much more crowded than my usual 06:33 local! I just managed to reach Kurla on time. I had a run up and down the FOB. Just as I was balancing and riding my brakes, I saw the 06:38 Badlapur Fast pulling into the platform. I barely managed to enter the train. It was raining dogs-and-cats outside.. I saw my fellow passengers indifferently keeping their umbrellas open! The doors and windows of the train couldn't simply stop the water!
I made it to the college by 07:30. The function was a grand success. While at thane, I s…

Back to blogging!

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During the past two weeks, I did not have an access to internet. And finally when I had it, i was too busy to blog! The journey to kerala was marvellous. The rain gods made their presence felt by sending down a few showers (occasionally heavy!). The locos that hauled my trains, surely kept up my wish by smoking very well!

My first journey on a WAP4 hauled train too was in style! The pickup of the WAP4 surprised me! After all the "bloody" monster was hauling a 17-coach load!

I resumed attending college from Tuesday. Days flew past just like those AC/DC EMUs. Yesterday - Saturday - was another interesting day. For the first time in two months, my train from Belapur reached Kurla on time - at 0706. There were no interesting observations en-route though!

For visitors longing to read my travelogue of the recent trip to kerala...click here.

Bye for now!

A very very late udpate....

This update should have been here a week back....

Finally I am back from Kerala. THe trip was marvellous with about 500 photos in all!!!! The weather was okay!

More coming very soon.