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Mumbai traffic and a jolt from Vodafone

Was at Mumbai yesterday to meet up with some clients. Got up at 4 am, boarded the Tavera by 5 am and we were out of Pune around 45 minutes later.

We had planned meetings in South Mumbai, and it took a while for us to get there, but everything from there on went as per schedule, and we were ready to move out from Nariman Point by 6.30 pm, all of us anticipating we’d be home by around 10.30 pm, or 11 pm at worst. In hindsight, sheer wishful thinking!

Well, we actually reached at 1 am, and the credit for this delay went to the chaotic traffic in Mumbai. In the time we would have reached Pune, we were just about struggling to get out of Mumbai. Just too many signals, maaaan !!!

It did feel a bit strange to pass by CST Railway Station and the Trident Hotel,  my first visit to Mumbai since the terror attacks in November. Life is pretty much back to normal, but one did get goose bumps thinking about the events of 26/11. Security of course, is tightened all over, like at the Taj President, Cuffe Parade, where we had also organised a conference. All visitors to the hotel had to pass through a metal detector and baggage was also screened. It is not an easy task to have watertight security at places like CST, which have several hundred thousand commuters thronging the entrance points, but then I guess that is a problem with any public location anywhere in the world.

As we moved out of Mumbai, my Vodafone cell phone signal conked off, which was pretty surprising as they have a network in Mumbai as well, and decent network coverage even on the highway. However, what took the cake was the fact that when my family tried to contact me (basically to know my location, if I’d be home for dinner etc), Vodafone played out a message saying,

Your call is being routed through a satellite network. Call charges will be levied at Rs.500 per call.

Well, you can visualize the jaw dropping scenario as my Mom disconnected the call that very instant! 🙂

Other than that, it was good fun and banter on the way, as there were seven of us. The aloo parathas in one of the food malls were also pretty decent, and helped satiate the hunger pangs till we reached Pune around 1 am, 21 hours after setting out.

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