Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garib Rath Chennai to Delhi

19 7 10

When I decided to book my ticket to Delhi, I had a lot of choices. To fly, to travel by the popular Tamilnadu or GT Express, or to choose the prestigious Rajdhani Exp ( R in short) or the Duronto Exp( D in short ) the new train introduced by Mamta or the Garib rath( G in short )

As the airfare was over Rs 4000 one way, I decided to travel by train. Since I have already travelled by all other trains ( in same sector or in some other sector ), this time I decided to check out the G .

G is a service introduced by Laloo Prasad in 2005 , mainly for the middle class to enable them travel in AC comfort on long journeys. It was a very good idea and became a very popular train in no time.

R and D are also basically AC trains and these three trains are the fastest between Chennai and Delhi, covering the distance of 2176 KM's in 28 hrs and 10 mins. ( TN Exp takes about 33 hrs and GT about 36 hrs.). But the difference lies in the Fare. For R and D, you will have to pay Rs 2000 for Chennai- Delhi for 3 tier AC sleeper whereas it is only Rs 892 in Garib Rath. Same distance, Same comfort ,but less than half the fare. Isn't it a good deal ?

What are the differences ?

In R & D , the breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee/tea , snacks and water are served free. The bedding is free. You get a newspaper free . In G the bedding is provided at Rs 25 extra. ( I found many people carried their own bedding and did not avail of this facility). You will have to pay extra for the meals, water, paper etc. But you get all the items sitting in your seat.

For a person like me who prefers home food always, it did not matter whether the food is served free or on cost. So, all I had to spend extra was Rs 25 for the bedding ( I did not want to carry too many luggages ), Rs 6 for the newspaper and Rs 15 for three cups of coffee.

The journey ( left Chennai on 17th mor at 6 10 am reaching Delhi yesterday mor at 10 30 am. ) was quite comfortable.The temp was maintained well and it was pleasantly cool all thro. The train was running to time from Chennai to Delhi and arrived at Delhi just 10 mins behind sch ( waited in the outer for the platform to become ready ). There were no unwanted visitiors in the compartment, water for the toilet was availble from the beginning to the end of the journey.

The minus points were - the maintenance of the toilets were very poor and in many toilets, the latches were not working properly. The compartment was not cleaned anywhere enroute. ( Usually in TN or GT, small boys will wipe the floor clean and get a few rupees given voluntarily by the passengers).

But overall, it was a comfortable journey at a much reduced fare.

P.S The senoir citizens do not get the 30% concession in G ( since the fare itself is low )

Next time you have an opportunity, travel by G . It is time saving and money saving.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sports in school.

I go to Hindu Sr Sec school Adyar everyday in the evening to bring Dhanush home.

The school has over 2000 students studying from LKG to Plus 2. This school is one of the very few schools in Chennai with a big playing ground. It has two big Cricket nets, one basket ball court , one throw ball court and one volleyball court, apart from a huge open ground for athletes sports and which can be doubled up for a football or Cricket ground.

I generally stay there for about 45 mins till Dhanush says Ok to leave after playing with his friends and I observe that not many students are keen in utilising the excellent facility of playing. Within 10 mins of school closing, more than 1600 students will leave for their home. About 200/250 students will be whiling away sometime eating snacks and chitchatting with their friends before they also return home. There will be about 25/30 students practising Basketball, about 10/15 girls practising throw ball and about 100 students of smaller classes ( including Dhanush ) running around the ground and playing merrily with their friends.

I do not know why the majority of students skip the opportunity of some physical exercise. Is it because of the study load or general lack of interest or lack of encouragement from school / parents?

This again throws some light on why India is not shining in most of the sports inspite of more than 120 cr population.