September 17, 2009

The new look of our very own Indian Railways

The hectic morning schedule on a weekday just got pleasant with the new Indian Railways experience. This is about my refreshing experience on my recent trip to Chennai on a Shatabdi Train, travelling Executive Class.
First of all, I cannot imagine the thought of an Executive class on a train and that too in India. The closest we would find something like this would be on a plane, which is common these days with even specially designed Embraer aircrafts designed to suit the business traveller.

Well, it felt like Singapore Airlines pushback - on time, coupled with the unpolished but warm voice over the PA system, announcing that we were on our way to Chennai with the normal welcome and details of the journey sans the altitude part!! The PA system was crisp and clearly audible to all. The next thing we knew was that we were cruising at over 100kmph with most of my fellow passengers immersed in their work, using their laptops, not to mention that it was constantly being charged through the charging facility on board. The leg room made me feel regretful of not being a Michael Jordan or a Bruce Reid - for once! and the snacks through out the 5 hour journey was tasty, filling and definitely appetising. The Train Superintendent's announcement as we neared our desination was surprising, but encouraging - "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are ahead of schedule by 15 minutes. I repeat, we are ahead of schedule by 15 minutes".

The icing on the cake was the signage at the entrance of the saloon that read "Dressing room outside this door". I ensured I used it to make sure I was ready for my meeting, the moment I landed - truly a new look to our very own Indian Railways! Long live our innovative railwaymen!!


The views and thoughts from each post expressed in this blog solely represent that of Willis Langford

Wine, Song and a bumpy drive

Come September and the festive season in India rolls on. In the festive holiday mood, I drove towards Honnsetthalli, along with my family on NH4 amidst the infrastructural chaos on the highway. While we in India do believe that from Stocks to Mutual Funds and from our growth to our children’s prosperity, everything seems to be in the infrastructure basket. But the irony of the same is that one needs to be to be tolerable. Each bridge being dismantled and road diversions facilitated, not only requires one’s patience, but a lot of understanding of the bigger picture – India shining!
The good news is that the convenience that these multi-laned roads would bring would be enormous and definitely worth-while. The question though is how long will it be before we use these roads and most importantly, how long would they last!
We ventured out on this drive to witness the inauguration of the SULOCO winery. A winery with a ‘one-of-its-kind’ tag because of its specialty wine, from Tomatoes. Tomato wine and more was served to all guests who graced this memorable occassion, where the priest lauded the Partners of the winery with compliments for giving the villagers an opportunity to sell their produce, which in recessionary periods would rot without any takers. Thanks to the matured and enterprising entrepreneur – Mrs. Sujatha deMagry for giving us yet another moment at Honsetthalli,to remember.


The views and thoughts from each post expressed in this blog solely represent that of Willis Langford