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Magic exists only if we can’t understand it.
The more we know, the less amazed we are.
The more we understand, the more logical we become…

Robots that cannot fully comprehend their own workings will think of each other as human.


Well, school’s out, holidays now.

That should be cause for celebration, right?? Yes, till you hear of our special-class timetable:

8:00 to 9:00 – Chemistry (Shoba Raman)

9:00 to 10:00 – Physics (G.P.)

10:15 to 11:15 – Computer Science (Harifa the great!)

11:15 to 12:15 – Maths (B. Chitra)

And this is every single day of the holidays except Sundays.

Cool, right?

So today is the second of October, Gandhiji’s birthday. A national holiday. So we should have no classes today, right? Hah. Fat lot.

G.P was kind enough not to take class today, and unsuprisingly, Harifa took it.

So I’d have to attend TWO HOURS of CS. Oh no.

So Prateek walks up to me and gives me an all-too-familiar look that says “Rishabh, I DON’T want to attend class.”

MRTS, here we come.

So we attended chemistry, after which we made a great escape to Mailai railway station, bought tickets to Velachery. After an eventful journey during which a number of interesting photos and videos were taken, we faced this small problem:

Once in Velachery, what do we do?

After a bit of snooping and debating, we decided to visit the Loco-repair shed nearby. Fortunately, there didn’t seem to be anyone about.

After observing the area for a minute we walked in, and saw this LONG BIG hall, with two parallel elevated rails, for repairing locos, and snapped some photos and stuff. We walked the length of the shed, and saw all kinds of EMU AC cirtcuit diagrams on the walls. A tramp was hovering around the other end, collecting bits and pieces in a sack. We took some more photos, and wandered round the shed.

Now, this building consists of TWO parts. One was what we just saw, and the other was full of all kinds of cool machinery; generators, overhead rail-cranes, and some stuff we couldn’t recognise.

Unfortunately, only HALF the shed was open. The other half, with the cool machinery, was closed. With a huge shutter which was not locked, but which was ten times our height.

After wandering about a bit, we went outside to the other half of the shed, and tried (in vain) to pull up the shutter (which was some 10 times our height, remember).

Now we wanted to get in there. So we went to the other side, and found that all the windows were open!! We also noticed, unfortunately, that there was some uniformed guy standing at a distance, ticking off the tramp. What if he had seen us? So we decided to go and innocently ask him if we could look around.

We walked up to him and very politely said “Excuse me.” He barked at the tramp to wait for a moment, and asked us what we wanted. In very good, fluent and erudite-sounding english, we told him “See, sir. We’re from Vidya Mandir school, and we’re attending a conference in Atlanta next month. We have to make a presentation, and we chose to make one on the Indian Railways.” (at this point, I showed him my school ID card) “we were, therefore wondering if we could take a look at the shed.” In very broken english, he told us that railway property was out of bounds, and that we needed the permission of the Station Master to be there, and that we shouldn’t have been snooping around there. At this point, the tramp, who didn’t want to get into more trouble with the cop later, scampered off. I mean, he just FLEW. He ran like I’ve never seen anyone run before. The cop shouted after him in Tamil “At least take your sack and go!!”. So he grumbled to us about how we made him lose the tramp, and “what am I going to do with this sack now??”. Suddenly, he said “You’re not allowed to take pictures, either. Do you have a camera with you?”. I was about to say ‘no’, when Prateek proudly said “Yes, we do”. So the guy demanded to see it. I pulled it out of my pocket, and swiftly removed the card and pocketed it.

He saw me do that.

“What’s that?” he asked, frowning. “Mobile phone SIM card!” said Prateek, to which the cop responded “Oh, card, card. yes. of course…”. I switched on the camera and it proudly said “No picture”. Very happy that we hadn’t violated any rules by taking photos, he showed us the way out.

We, of course asked the SM, who looked at us funnily and told us that we needed permission from the offices near Central Station. Very bugged, we decided to visit Velachery’s dirty lake.

So we walked along the tracks to the lake, watched a train being shunted, hung around awhile, and got back to the station.

While we were waiting for the train to start, we struck up a conversation with the engineer, and asked him if we could get into the engine with him, stating that we had a project to submit in Thailand. He said he was very happy with us for choosing this as a project, but that he would get caught for allowing us into the loco.

So we left him alone, and got into the train, where we met a really cool photographer called Akbar, from Kerala. He showed us all his (really amazing) photos, and chatted in Hindi with Prateek. Apparently he’s given his daughter a Hindu name because he believes in the unity of religions, and says “what does it matter what religion someone is?”. He was offered a job in Chennai, but gave it up after a while because he loves his homeland and can pursue his hobby better there. He’s also saving up to buy a new camera (which he really deserves).

After an uneventful train journey home, we sneak into school at the back, since maths class is nearly over. We then take our cycles and go to P. Saami’s for a juice, and then head home.

Quite an interesting time we had.

Oh, and Harifa found out that we bunked her class 😀

UPDATE: Photos on facebook:

Last evening, my uncle held a reunion for his batch of IITans at the Taj Coromandel.

There were only three really good things there:

1. Aloo tikki

2. Marshmellow in liquid chocolate

3. YAMAHA grand piano

I thought the food was quite bad, but that could be because they didn’t serve continental, my favourite 😛

A night at that place costs about 8000INR. Ridiculous. The food that I ate would normally have cost roughly 600INR (but I got it free :P). Outside, the whole car park was filled with Mercs and a BMW. I mean, really… bloody extravagant place.
You can look at the all the photos here. (Only 7 photos, that too terrible quality – cellphone camera)