Thursday, 6 March 2008

Learning from experience through low cost travel in chennai

I attended a outdoor indoor learning last week and it was awful lot of fun , it lasted for three days and put a test to the physical endurance (not much of strain for the brains). Training like this can reveal a lot of the things that you don’t know that you don’t know or things that you don’t know that you know. (Thanks to the recent management mumbo jumbo books I have picked up the art of talking in a very confused fashion). The combination of outdoor learning followed by a reflective indoor session makes the concept sticks in your brain cells; refer to if you are interested. I found the Kolb's learning style inventory very interesting out of the training.

The effect of reflective training and the philosophies of Ramana that could be the basis of very famous "Power of Now" made me curious to conduct a practical experiment on my way back home, my aim was to reach my home from Chennai railway station through the public transport and autos rather than otherwise costly taxi option which could easily cost 8-10 times more (Other critical reason being my wife’s warning on my lavish spending on books L ).

Luckily there was another collegue of mine who was interested to pursue the travel like me and we started walking towards a sub-urban railway station from the main station. It was not a great walk but getting past those PAY-ME-ALL-THAT-YOU-HAVE auto and cab driver was quite a challenge, after managing them , we reached the station slowly (thanks to that strenuous trekking) and we were welcomed by its closed gates. Oops first obstacle for our experiment.

We didn’t give up and walked back again to get into a shared auto (that you share with other passengers who are not willing to pay a ransom by going alone), I had a slight hesitation in getting into that as it was a bit crowded and the driver was very abrupt in saying that if I need luxury I can go on a separate auto , it was a WELCOME-TO-THE real world kind of an experience and we started our journey his way. There were lot of interesting passengers on our route to a place called thiruvanmiyur (One of them was a lady servant maid who was going to work very , another guy who agreed to pay 10 Rs and paid only a part of it and still got away).

Our next journey was by a bus from thiruvanmiyur to velachery and more than the bus journey , the wait for the bus was the most interesting part , it was great to see the city getting itself prepared to take up the day and the early risers of the society like newspaper vendors , milk distributors, guys tired of making cold calls from BPO centers , bus drivers and conductors were roaming around sipping their teas and early morning smokes trying to pass the day to the late rising office goers.

The third journey was from velachery to pallikaranai (where I have my home) and the bus was leastly crowded , quite contrary to the popular belief the bus conductor didn’t curse me badly for not having proper change ( I was not able to take up this ill-treatment) and infact helped me in settling down with my baggages. After getting down , I had to take up an auto to my home and alas , I had to pay more than the total of above three journey’s . Anyway it was the compromise that I had to take to escape from those sleepy dogs (you could never underestimate the damage that they could do).

My parents were pleasantly surprised and infact my dad said I have started showing signs of sensibility towards money (Couldn’t understand that really). With a great sense of satisfaction of accomplished something which I have not tried in last ten years and having had a cool experience of seeing the real people who don’t need to pose with a borrowed lifestyle , I bragged my experience to my collegue that morning and there came a stunner, it seems there is a bus that starts from Chennai central that goes towards my house and it could have costed me only 1/10th of what I had spent. But hey, the experience that I got was worth paying it. To those who get a buddish smell out of this blog, I am not concluding to say that it enlightened me but it was revealing the fact that we all have simpler options in life and its worth enjoying those when ever we could.