Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My VisualDNA

Do check this amazing tool. It's called VisualDNA! The thing roxx!

Friday, February 09, 2007

From Thiruvananthapuram to Pune!

Long since i posted something in the blog. I was contemplating whether to post about something very significant that happened to me in the last few days, or whether i should wait for some more days and then let you all know what the result of the whole ordeal was!

Well i couldn't stop myself till the results are out so here i am with my travelogue of my trip from Thiruvananthapuram (Tvpm) to Pune. First of all for those few who don't know i went to Pune on the 27th of Jan for attending a GD/PI(Grp Discussion/Personal Interview) for admission to the class of 2009 at
SIBM,Pune. I was pretty excited when i got selected by SIBM, coz that's my first and only call for any MBA course. It was a long awaited result and it was a relief after many dismal performances.

SNAP result was declared on 8th Jan i think, not sure! Anyways it was after CAT which came on 2nd Jan. I still remember how bad it felt when i didn't qualify for JMET, a paper in which i had done pretty well! But i can't even view my scores now! I wasn't expecting a great score from CAT and same was the case from IIFT. So when the SNAP result came on 8th Jan, i had to run to get a SIBM form, coz it was the only symbi institute that was still open for applications, even after the snap results came. I got hold of the last available form in the city and posted it on 9th and it reached their before the 11th Jan deadline, Lucky me!

So on 17th Jan the short-list was put up in the SIBM website and i was happy to see my name with a Congratulations and not a "We regret to inform you.." crap! The date for the GD/PI was 30th of Jan and i didn't have many days left. I went and booked tickets for my journey after i checked their availability on the internet. The regular Mumbai train via pune was the Kanyakumari Express which was unfortunately booked to capacity till 5th Feb. So i looked at my alternatives and found two options through train and one option of flying to Mumbai. The flying option was dropped straight away, simply coz my dad wouldn't be able to afford so much money for just a GD/PI. So the other two options were:

1) Either to reach panvel in Netravati express on 30th morning 10 am and travel to Pune
2) Reach Pune in the Mumbai Express on 28th at 430 in the evening, stay their for 2 days!

I chose the 2nd option since Netra was also not having many free seats and it proved to be a good choice! The only problem was that the train left Tvpm at 3:45 AM, that proved to be a minor problem since i am used to be awake till 2-3 AM everyday. So i brushed aside those problems and booked my tickets.

For the return journey i selected the Netra which was through the
Konkan route, which was supposed to be a route with great scenic beauty and so i got home on 18th with two tickets for my to and fro journey.

Till 27th i was preparing eagerly at TIME and had a good time their with my friends, old one's and some new one's. It was great to meet so many people from different backgrounds and it was really fun to fight it out in the GD's and case studies that were held almost every other day! Due to the very helpful TIME Tvm director, i got myself accommodation @ Pune for the two days i was staying their with a student of SIBM itself. It was a favour whose value i realised when i stepped out from the train at Pune station.

I didn't sleep on 26th night and was online till 2 AM, posting about my plans in
PagalGuy and telling to all my friends in orkut and others through messenger that i will be out of town for a few days. At 2 AM, dad came and knocked on the door and told me to get up. I went and opened the door and told that i will be downstairs in 30 mins. I got down at 2:45AM and mom had prepared food for the whole day for me. It was in a polythene cover and i had my clothes and stuff in a suitcase. Carrying all this i went with my dad in the dark night and reached the Central Station at 3:15AM. The train was in the 3rd platform and i slowly walked to the coach along with my dad rolling my case behind me. It was a different world at the station. Till the station the world was still asleep. But at the station the lamps were lit like it was ready for welcoming a bridegroom's party and their were many people running around carrying luggage and coolie's screaming and so on!

I found my seat in the S1 coach and it was almost at the middle of the train. The seat was 6th in the coach and was adjacent to the door. The train looked filthy from the start and was reeking with the smell of urine from the toilet that was also adjacent.

The coach was literally empty except for me and another guy in the middle of the coach. It seemed not many knew that such a train even existed. Me and dad put my case on the upper berth and then had a coffee each until it was 3:40 when slowly the brakes were released and we felt a slight jerk. Then dad got off the train and for the first time in my life i was going outside Kerala on such a long train journey and it was almost 10 years since i had a train journey outside Kerala. It brought back old memories of my childhood when we used to come to Kerala during the vacations in Kerala Express from New Delhi till Tvm. It was fun in those times to have the train ride. I had completely forgotten how it felt to have a train ride for so long!

The train started off from Tvm and i was all alone and tried to catch on some lost sleep. But i had to be awake for two reasons:

1) Parents had told that i should be careful with my luggage and shouldn't leave it unattended coz ther's a huge risk of it being taken away by some nice men.
2) I had to get a extra-curric certificated from a friend of mine who did me a favour by agreeing to be at Varkala station at 4:20 AM.
So due to these two reasons i was awake and tried to read some magazines that i had brought along. The train chugged along slowly at first and when it crossed Pettah, it started picking up speed and i felt a bit of relief from the nauseating smell of the reeking toilet, due to the fresh morning breeze that was coming in through the windows!

The train reached Varkala at the scheduled time and i went and stood on the door waiting for my friend. He was there as he had promised and wasn't feeling that good to be awake at that time of the day, but was very polite due to the presence of his brother and some other passengers. At that station a young guy entered the train and kept all his bags and stuff on the berth and i was looking at him with a bit of suspicion at first coz he was keeping all his stuff on MY BERTH!

After this he asked me if the TTR had come along, i told NOPE. He then told me that his ticket was on RAC and he had to find the TTR to check if he has a seat. So he went looking and finally got the info from someone that the TTR would enter at Kollam or Ernakulam only. We started a conversation and he basically sounded like a good guy to have along on a lonely journey. He was also going to Pune and asked why i was going there. When i told i had a GD/PI, he asked me "Where, Symbi??". I replied in affirmative and then he said that he was also doing his MBA at Pune, but in a different insti. We talked until we reached Kollam and then both were feeling quite sleepy and so i slept while he was looking for the TTR.

Next thing i remember is getting up at Ernakulam South station at 7:30 AM. Got up and washed my face and had my 3rd coffee of the day! I don't prefer the coffee given in the train, but still just for the sake of it had it! At the station i got out and bought the day's paper and then occupied myself with it, when my friend was looking for the TTR to know his seat. I had my breakfast which i had brought after the train left the station and then settled to the window seat and was watching the slow transition of city life on the sides to the relaxed farmlands of Trishur and Palakkad. At 12 noon the train reached Palakkad station the whole coach was filled! People were scrambling to get inside the train and since my seat was next to the door i saw the struggles to get in and suddenly the seat in which i was sitting had occupants too. It was a father-daughter-uncle trio who were also off to Pune coz the girl had got a job there! I settled opposite and we had intro's. Then as the train left Palakkad i had my lunch. My mom had thought that i will be with friends so she packed along food for 2-3 people and i had a tough time eating so much!

After leaving the station the train went through the bridge across Bharatapuzha, i was sad to see not much of water in the RIVER, just barren sandy riverbed and a sorrowing river flowing with what's left of it! At about 1 PM i left the boundary of the State of Kerala! Entered the land of temples-Tamilnadu! It was a good experience to see brick lined houses, all small box shaped one's, unlike the gigantic structures that we see in Kerala. Then came the scenic wester ghats on the way. It was beautiful to see the misty mountain caps even in midday! Such a heart-warming experience!

Then i tried to catch some sleep after the heavy lunch and was sleeping until the train slowly pulled into Erode Station at 3PM. The station was big and i bought some water and had another coffee. The train remained at the station till 4:30PM and it was boring after some time. Just as we left Erode station we crossed the Kaveri river that's in much news now! I was now looking out into the picturesque landscape of Tamilnadu with fertile fields and small rivers making their way through rocks and cliffs. I even saw some small boats, the kind that we see in the film Roja and some other tamil films! It was a nice scene and i wished i could be in one such boat and float down the river slowly. At 5:30 PM we reached Salem, the next big station. Here i saw a slight shift from the fields to mines and mineral factories and i saw a big cement factory of ACC Cements. Thereafter it wasn't that good, i mean it might have been good to watch, but i got bored with the view outside and so i started to read something from my previous year's papers in mechanical engineering. In the evening i had another coffee and had a small snack of 2 vada's and chutney. Tried to sleep, but then how long can one sleep?? The rocking motion of the fast moving train did give the effect of a rocking cradle and at times it did help in getting asleep. I was chatting a lot with the family sitting opposite and also with the other guy who got the RAC converted to a seat in the next row to mine!

At 9 PM in the night i got a message in my phone, welcoming me to Karnataka. So i think that's when we got in and by 10-1030 all around me were starting to pack stuff and sleep. So i had no other go than to sleep at 1030. It's been AGES since i slept at 1030. It was not that comfy sleeping in the upper birth, but then i had no other go! I slept with some difficulty and got up at 5:30 AM. That's when i got a message in my cell saying that i have entered Andhra Pradesh. That's a fast ride, isn't it!

After brushing i had my 1st coffee of the day and then went and stood at the door to witness the sunrise. It came very late and i was fedup by 6:20. Finally sun had risen at 6:45 AM. It was a beautiful sight. The clouds were all having a splendid effect to the glory of the sun rising from it's slumber!

At 8:20 AM the train stopped at a station called WADI. There i saw the best marketing campaign ever. It was by a vendor selling Bread and Omelette. He was making the omelette right in front of our eyes and so there's no doubt about how good it is. He was standing on the platform with his small cart and was shouting Bread/Omelette at the top of his voice. It was a good business and am sure he made a decent amount at Rs 10 for 4 slices of bread and one egg omelette. I had one too! It was hot and was a good way to start the day! I was still very far from Pune and was having a doubt in my mind if the train was running at the right time or not! We confirmed this info also from the vendor. It seems he knew a lot about the timing than us. He said that the train will be in that station for 30-40 mins and will go at 9 only as it was EARLY! Now that's a first for me, Indian Trains running ahead of schedule!

By 12 or so we entered Maharashtra and i started to get eager. I called my contact in Pune and told that i will be in Pune by 430-5 and he told me to call him once i reach the station. The train raced along and i reached Pune at exactly 4:30PM-the scheduled time! From the station the guy whom i had met on the train from Varkala helped me to get a auto and i went to the place where my contact Nikhil was supposed to meet me! The auto's fare meter had startled me when we started coz the fare began at Rs 1. When i reached the point of getting off, the fare was Rs5.40 and he asked me to pay Rs 40. Since we had travelled for about 9-10 Kms, i calculated the fare from the rate that i pay at tvm and found that Rs 40 for a 9-10 km ride is pretty ok ( i don't know if i was foolish to pay that much, but then i don't use auto that much!)

And that's how i reached Pune on 28th of Jan at 4:30 PM.

Life @ Pune!

And so i reached Pune. When i reached the designated spot i called Nikhil once more and he said he will be there in a minute. I stood on the footpath with my suitcase looking out of place in a serene neighbourhood. After 2-3 mins i saw a guy wearing a sweatshirt with the letters SIBM on the front and back. I recognised him as Nikhil and smiled. He reciprocated with a smile and we exchanged pleasantries and he said his home is very near and we started walking with me dragging the bag behind on the wheels. The noise of the wheels did attract the attention of a few people and a stray dog too. We walked and he asked me about my slot for the GD/PI and i was telling him about it and how i managed to have only SIBM as my lone call and so on!

We reached the place, it was a small one bedroom, hall and kitchen apartment which is the norm in 1 BHK as it's called. I was surprised when he told me that it cost them Rs 8000 per month for this shack. He talked to me for 30 mins and then explained that he's free now coz of we ppl having the GD/PI and so he was at another friend's place watching Australian Open's Men's Final when i called and he wanted to get back to it. So he handed me the keys and said that there's no food at home and told me where i can get some food.

I badly needed a bath, since i had been wearing the same clothes for the past 40 hours and so the 1st thing i did was to take a bath. After the bath i got myself a fresh pair of clothes and set out to explore the place after locking the door. I walked around a bit and found that the place had a Domino's Pizza nearby and also some hifi mall named Piramyd! I was checking out these places when my stomach rumbled and i looked around a lot for a restaurant, but all i could find were roadside shops, no not shops, they were just too small to be called shops. The kind that we see people selling tea and banana fry! Only difference was that here they sold most things which came in the menu of a pretty decent food joint. Starting from cold coffee to American Chopsuey. I ordered a cold coffee and got myself a chicken fried rice parcelled. The cold coffee was among the best i had and i expected the fried rice to be even better when i ate it at home!

It was 7:30 PM and it was 3 hours since i got off at Pune station. I got inside, latched the door and got down to savour my dinner. The fried rice wasn't that good as compared to the coffee, but still it was cheap for 40 buks! I finished my dinner and was just going through the study material that i had brought along with me for some tips on GD's and interview's. The time was around 8-8:30 and i heard someone knocking on the door. I answered the door and found a tall brawny guy and an equally sized gal. The conversation that followed was like this:

Guy: Wher's Nikhil??
Me: He's gone out, who are u??
Gal: U sure he's not here??
Me: Yea, he went out at 5:30; will be back by 9:30-10.
Gal: I just talked to him 5 mins back and he told he's at home. He owes us money from a quiz he did at SIBM two months back. He told he has the money at home today and he will give it.
Me(stunned): I don't have any money here and Nikhil didn't tell me anything of the sort too.
Guy:( Calls Nikhil a few nice names, even rem's to get his parent's involved too) Nikhil will get nicely this time, its been 2 months since we won the program and he's running since then.
Gal: Who are u??
Me: I came from Trivandrum today, i have an interview at SIBM on tuesday.
Gal: How do u know Nikhil?
Me: He's the son of my dad's colleague. His dad work's in the same office as my dad.
Guy: So he gave the house to you and went off?? Are you that good friends??
Me: Well today was the 1st time i ever saw Nikhil, he was in a hurry to reach somewhere and he went giving me the key.
Gal: Do u think we are stupid enough to believe the crap you just told?? Do we even look like that??
Me: Well i know it sounds weird, but this is the truth!( starts to sweat very badly)
Guy: Did Nikhil go to Mumbai?? Has he taken any stuff??
Gal: Where's his laptop??
Me: He didn't say of going to Mumbai or anywhere. He said he will be back by 930-10 and the laptop's not here.
Gal: He must have left for Mumbai. We need our money. How much do you have??
Me(GULP!): I don't have any money, i just came today for an interview!
Guy(calls Nikhil on the phone, doesn't get any reply. Again swears!): Nikhil will get nicely from me, is there anything valuable in here??
Me:There are just some clothes!
Gal: Who needs that!
Guy's still trying to get Nikhil on the phone and finally gets him
Guy: You ****ER Nikhil, where the hell are u? We are waiting outside your home, where's our money you M********ER??
I thought it was a joke at first but then the way the guy and gal were swearing made me think that MAYBE its a serious issue and then when i was almost mad the guy handed me the phone and i heard Nikhil on the other end asking me: Didn't you understand its a joke?
Me(Trying to be smart):I did feel so, but then they were too good in their act!
Nikhil: I will be down there in 5 mins, let them in.

After this we had FORMAL intro's. The guy and the gal had a hearty laugh looking at my face when i was talkin to Nikhil. Nikhil came after 2-3 mins and he too joined the party!

After sometime Nikhil's roommate turned up and about 4-5 people were having fun in the room when Nikhil got a call from another guy whom he had met online and he was also having the GD/PI on 30th, but not in my slot. His name was Ashish. He was also loooking for acoomodation and Nikhil the Daanveer, allowed him also into the 1BHK appartment. When he did turn up, it seemed i knew him better than Nikhil. We had met through Pagalguy and recognised each other from the id's we use there.

So that was my 1st day @ Pune! In short it was a very EVENTFUL day

The 2nd day wasn't SOOOOO eventful. Had our breakfast from outside, stayed home till 2, and then went out to have out lunch. The lunch was North Indian food and its been long since i had such good food. As the saying goes in Hindi "Ungli chaate rah gaya" after i had the food! Then we walked back to home and me and Ashish went to have a look at the insti to which we had applied for and have the GD's on the next day.

My first impression about the place was " Is that it??" Well what else will you say when you see a 5 or 6 storied building as the place where you might possible study for 2 years! The place was really small. Its smaller than my present college. Well all will say what's the big deal in that! IF you have seen my college, you will understand! So we walked in and the security allowed us to go in when we told that we had an interview tmrw. We went and snooped around for some INSIDE info on the process the next day. We even met a few seniors who were involved in the admission process and they were quite helpful and asked us to have a good look around!

After this we returned and then i went to buy a dress for my sister and walked on till i found one MEGA MALL, the so called all in one places. I went in and roamed around at first before i found the clothes section. There i had a tough time selecting the right stuff for my sister. After around 30-40 mins watching the dresses and the beauties around me i finally settled on a dress. I paid for it and then on the way back i took some money for my further expenses at Pune from the ATM. In the evening we got some time to get online courtesy of Nikhil and his roommate. We also met some other seniors who shared some GYAAN about how to face the interview and how to give THE perfect answer and stuff. We slept early by around 11-12.

The D-Day or rather the G-Day( sorry if it was a PJ). Got up LATE, by around 10 and then had the usual breakfast of puff's and sandwiches. Loafed around till 1, had lunch then got ready and was looking my best in the Charagh Din shirt and the tie that i had borrowed from a friend. It was good as per Nikhil. So we both marched to SIBM with the files in our hands and it was the first time i was walking on a public road wearing a tie. Well it wasn't such a big thing in Pune for sure, but if it was in my hometown, people WILL look and think "Oi, who's this guy trying to be someone he's not!"

We got there by 3:50 and our slot was at 4. So we got in and for the actual GD/PI process i shall put the Post i made in
Pagalguy, coz that's the one which i wrote as soon as i got home after the interview and i am sure, if i try to remember stuff now, i will not be as good as that post. So here it goes:

Link to the
Actual post

Re: SIBM 2007 GD/PI experiences..

I was in the 4 pm batch and my GD PI was just over. It was a good experience and first things first:


The 4 pm batch had a PPT at 1st and the ppt was over at 430 pm, which was over in 3 mins. After this we had an essay and the topic was:
Films are more of an industry, less of an art!

After this, the A and B batches were taken for their GD's and we had a short time break. After this we were taken to our 1st Group task. It was never mentioned that it was a TASK when we got in. We were asked to stand in a queue and then we had 2 tasks:

1st was a task in which we were all blind folded and then asked to form a SQUARE and the only thing that aided us in this was a long rope. It was a havoc at 1st and then we fuigured it out after some time and it looked pretty much like a square. We had 7 mins to do the task. People who are going tmrw beware that the people who asses your performance also join in and then try to screw up your SQUARE!

After this we had the 2nd task, it was a 2 person team and then we had a role in which we were asked to take turns being a RESTRAINER and a CAPTIVE, it was fun. The thing is that the restrainer tries to restrict the movement of the captive and the captive's objective is to reach to the other end of the room and touch a person's hand. It was real fun adn at the end of the task we were asked which role we liked. I told i liked the captive's role for the sheer joy of breaking free of the restriction.

After this we had a short break before our Case Study; the case was like this. Don't rem much, i shall type what all i rem:

We are suppliers of limestone to a cement company. The company requires a limestone with 45% strength and they pay you Rs 2500/ tonne of limestone. We have a mine which has a limestone of strenght of 30% and the cost of mining is Rs 2000/tonne. We have another mine nearby which is closed for ages and has a strength of 75% and the cost of ming will be Rs 2500/Tonne. It has a problem though, the people living near are tribals and they are not in favour of opening the mine and then they are having not so good jobs and then are not so good with their minds and are volatile.

Their's a village panchayath which is asking a royalty of Rs1000/tonne and if we don't pay them they will complain to the Mining and Geology dept. The cement company is strict on the %'s and will not give in to low standards.

What will you do??

The case was long and they gave very less time for discussion, just 6-7 mins. We did start off well and i spoke 4-5 times. They asked people who hadn't spoken to give some point at the end.

After this my group had a few mins break before the PI and since the group was numbered alphabetically i was the 1st to go for PI. It was very short and i was expecting a Extempore, unfortunatly their was nothing like that. The panel had 3 people in it. Two were faculty members and the other was a HR Exec from Pepsi. The interview was short just 3-4 mins.

The questions were something like this:

P1-Pepsi guy
P2-Prof 1
P3-Prof 2

P2- Tell us something about yourself that's not their in the annexure?
M-blah blah
P3-Why MBA??
M-Again usual blah blah
P1-Why be an entrepreneur when you get upto a crore as paycheck in the MBA's??(i had told so)
M-Again something which i was expecting for it! So had a good answer
P2-Tell me something about the industry in which you wanna start up?
M-Auto components and something about it!
P3-Why not work before MBA?
M-Again 1 which i was expecting(Lucky me)
P2-There are so many people who come up with such dreams but give up, how do we know if you won't do same
M-I assure you sir! blah blah
P1-Thank you
M-Have a good day sir's
Some more q's were there i think, don't rem it.

After this they gave us feedback forms about the process and then a CD about SIBM, that's it!
So that's it about my GD/PI @ SIBM. Hope all
puys have a great time. The Group coord's were amazing guys and gals and pepped us with great words and kept us on our toes and kept the enthu high!

Met a lotta
puys and i had MBA Struggler as my Group Coord!

All the best guys!

Loads of LUCK Buddies, go crack it open!


After the process we both got home together and i got the laptop from Nikhil and posted about my experience at SIBM on pagalguy, being the ever so helpful-mexxian. After this i had a delicious dinner of Chicken Biriyaani. Slept late around 1 or 2 am and that was how the G-day went!

Then next day i got up early, by 5:30 AM and got ready by 7. Since i had to leave Pune as my return train was from Panvel.

My Trip back to Thiruvananthapuram!

The return journey from Pune started when i took an Auto to the bus-stand at Pune known as Parihar Chowk. I got there in an auto along with my suitcase. After getting there i had to find a travel agent who had a vacant seat in a bus to Mumbai. But as soon as i got down one guy came and asked if i was going to Mumbai. I said no only till Panvel and he said the bus leaves in 15 mins and do i need a seat. I told ok and then we sat and haggled for a good price for the ticket. The price he wanted was 200 and i started at 125 and finally settled at 150. I think if i had some more time i would have been able to get it a bit cheaper. But then i had to go fast since i thought the journey was long and winding. Someone did tell me about the Pune - Mumbai expressway, but then i thought no matter what the road be it will take 2-3 hours. So i got in to the Volvo at 9:15-9:30 and then had a comfy seat, though i would have preffered a window seat, i had to settle for a aisle seat! The journeywas very kool once we got onto the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. The speed limit really shocked me; it was 80 kmph MINIMUM. No maximum limits and the only caution given was DO NOT STOP ON THE EXPRESSWAY. That seemed like heaven for someone like me, who loves driving fast! The bus really picked up speed and i just saw the changing scenary from city to that of a wild terrain, with the Western Ghats looking over me when i was going in the bus. The mountains and the valleys that we crossed truly made me want to stop and enjoy the scene. The driver didn't seem to share the emotion and the bus was flying to say the least. After about 40 mins into the ride they pulled into a stop for refreshments and there i had the COSTLIEST coffee of my life from a roadside shop. The coffee wasn't that great but i ended up payin Rs 12 for it. I bought a newspaper and settled in my seat to read the paper. The ride took about 1 hour 20 mins and by 10:50-11 i was in Panvel. Before reaching Panvel the bus was going through Lonavala and Khandala. Both places are truly magnificent, really made me feel i should go with my girlfriend through this route(when i find one!). The winding roads, the sheer cliffs and the superb road were a deadly combo that i will go again for sure once i am RICH ENOUGH to afford such spoils. The roads were really too good and the 6 lanes that held the traffic were just too good to be driven slow. Even though the scenery was too good, the sheer rush of cool mountain air brushing against the hair is always a cool feel. I felt it when i went to Ponmudi with a few friends some years back!

The bus reached the Panvel Highway exit at about 10:50-11 AM. From their i took an auto to reach the city centre and was looking for an ATM. Got one after 5-10 mins of looking out and then took the money i was in dire need of. Next stop was a veggie restaurant where I had my breakfast. It felt really nice to have some good breakfast after days. I had a Masala Dosa and also ordered a Veg Fried rice for my dinner. After all this I reached the station by 12 and the train was to reach the station by 12:50 only. I loafed around for some time and when they announced the platform on which the train was supposed to stop I took my baggage and moved their and was waiting for the train.

This was the first time that I was going to go through the Konkan route. I had heard a lot about the scenic beauty of the route and was waiting to experience the route by myself. The train came at exact time and I boarded the train and got to my seat in S1 at seat No. 31. The seat was a side berth and I HATED such seats since they didn’t allow much interaction with the co-passengers and I am someone who finds it very very difficult to keep my mouth closed for more than 15 mins(that will be an understatement).

The fellow passenger who was sitting opposite me looked like a northy and I didn’t take much effort to initiate a conversation until the train ventured through the Konkan route. It was exciting to pass through the mountainous land and treacherous valleys and gorges which were connected by the vast network of tunnels and bridges. It was truly a magnificent feat achieved by engineers and for that moment I felt proud of the fact that I am an engineer. Even though I may NEVER get to build anything in my life related to engineering, still it was a feeling that I couldn’t let go off.



Gad 440 M
Shastri 330 M
Mandovi (Channel - I) 559 M
Mandovi (Channel - II) 235 M
Zuari 987 M
Kalinadi 1386 M
Sharavati 2023 M


Natuwadi 4.425 Kms.
Chiplun 2.215 Kms.
Savarde 3.400 Kms.
Parchuri 2.650 Kms.
Karbude 6.500 Kms.
Tike 4.115 Kms.

Berdewadi 3.933 Kms.
Pernem 3.390 Kms.
Karwar 2.960 Kms.
Bhatkal 1.980 Kms.


No. Of Stations 60
No.of Tunnels 91
Number Of Minor Bridges 1679
(with total linear waterway of 5.113 km.)
Longest Tunnel 6.5 km. (Karbude tunnel)
Longest Bridge 2.065 km. (on Sharavati River)

Tallest Viaduct 64 meters in height (on Panval River)
Number Of Major Bridges 179 (with a total linear waterway of 22.1km.)
Gauge Broad Gauge ( 1676 mm. )
Length of alignment(Route Km) 741 Km.
Ruling Gradient 1 : 150 (Compensated)
Curvature Generally 1250 Mtrs. Radius1.4 Degree
Road Over Bridge,Road Under Bridge & Foot Over Bridge 300

When the train passed through the 1st tunnel I thought that I shall keep a track of the number of tunnels and so I started to jot the numbers down in my small notebook. By the time the sun went down I had counted about 65-70 tunnels and still more were coming. The route didn’t feel that good and after some time it was just tunnels bridges and nothing else. The big station on the way was at Ratnagiri, one of the division’s of Konkan railway. It was where our bogie got fixed of it’s light problem. We were having a low voltage situation and from then on we had good light and air. Till then we had no lights when the train went through the tunnels and some of the tunnels were many kms long and it was indeed a harrowing experience to wait for the light at the other end of the tunnel in the darkness of the coach.

The co-passengers were also pretty interesting. The guy sitting opposite me was along with his mom. He was visiting Kerala after a gap of 11 years and was looking forward to it. Possibly for his marriage I guess, but then I didn’t dare ask that. They were till Trishur. Then we had a newly married couple who were all the while in their own world at the upper berth. The guy would sit and the lady will lie on his lap. How lucky they were that they didn’t have any prying neighbours as their co-passengers and they had such nice people as me in the same coach. They were till Talasherry. The set was completed with a trio of people who were going till Haripad, a husband wife and the wife’s sister.

I had a boring time in the coach and often I ventured to the door of the coach and stood their, minutes at times just to pass time. Also sitting next to the door was a party of young guys and gals coming to Kerala for a excursion or study tour. Even the teacher in the group was a good TIME-PASS. They were the only ENTERTAINMENT in the train. The train entered Kerala next day morning at 5 Am or so and I called some of my friends and messaged to some others of my arrival by evening. The landscape had changed overnight and now I saw the familiar faces of our leaders adorning the walls and by 9AM we had reached Kozhikode. I had my breakfast from the station and got on to the train. The train was rather too slow once it entered Kerala and we reached Ernakulam only by 2:00 PM. Their I saw the opposite direction Netravathi express. At Ernakulam I had my lunch and by the time the train reached Allapuzha the coach was virtually empty and then at Kayamkulam many office-goers got into the coach and they were my company till Thirivananthapuram.

The train reached Trivandrum Central at 6:45 PM and my dad was waiting for me at the station. That’s all about my trip to Pune and that’s how I got home. Hope you all had a good time.