I just came across this and If you are one of rocky’s friends you would notice that “ALL” the posts are from rakesh’s blog :). He sure is getting famous.
Anyway .. the purpose of this post is to lift my spirits after the long holiday and the bad news ( well .. for me at least ) that I heard from Sreejith this morning.
One of the disadvantages of writing a delayed post is that you lose the exact emotion of the moment when the incident actually happened. I don’t really feel as desperate and lonely now as I felt on 21st, so all the sentences are automatically toned down a little.
I woke up early morning ( that is 3:30 AM .. uhmm .. ok fine .. 4:15 AM .. but I did open my eyes once at 3:30 to show the alarm who is the boss around here ) on 21st October to catch the 6:15 flight. Three thirty in the morning is a bad time to get up, take that from me if you haven’t had the experience. You somehow feel like you have all the time in the world to actually throw off the blankets and get your ass off the bed which is not actually the case. And more importantly the water feels colder than usual early in the morning and hence you don’t feel like taking a bath but you know you have to do it if you want to survive the long day ahead without getting looks from people sitting next to you in the flight.
I got to the airport by about 5:00 and without even looking at the TV screen displaying the arrival-departure information I went ahead and checked in my baggage. At the check in counter the lady tells me that the flight is three fucking ( that is my addition .. the lady was rather polite even when I yelled what the hell ) hours late. She asked me if I still wanted to check in .. Since I didn’t want to carry the heavy bag around with me and I didn’t want to stand in the queue again , I said yes and thereby sanctioned myself to three hours of prison at the airport waiting lobby. I sat at the airport for three whole hours, trying to busy myself with either the newly acquired P.G. Wodehouse or with the cute girl sitting two chairs away. Since none of them afforded much of an entertainment at that time ( reading P.G. early in the morning can be quite a pain specially when all you want to do is spread your legs and sleep ) you can safely assume that it was a rather boring wait. Finally the time came when the flight was ready for boarding and we all ( me and the cute girl ) happily headed towards the flight. Even After boarding, it seemed there was still some problem because the flight didn’t take off for another thirty minutes and when at the end of thirty minutes a Tulsi look alike came rushing in to the flight, all I wanted to do was to put my hands in her mouth and spread them as far apart as possible. But then .. at times , decency precedes what you actually want to do.
The two and half hour flight to Delhi was a rather interesting one and I tried to avoid anything that could/would deviate my attention from the cute girl. Beauty as such is a wonderful gift but when you have beauty with that slight smile which shows that she knows that she is getting undivided attention from someone is something to watch out for. It can kill you .. as it almost did to me. We landed at the Delhi airport and I was waiting for my bag, when I saw a couple of kids running towards her .. at first I thought ki mere saale hain .. but then .. as I said .. it can kill you .. 😦 .. do bachon ki ma .. why don’t cute married ladies carry the “I am married ” banner and who the hell told them not to wear sindoors !!
Anyway .. I was nursing my broken heart outside the Airport when I saw Sreejith, who had come to pick me. It’s so nice to see old friends especially when you see them all thin and driving a bike. Now that we are on the topic .. let me just do the flashback thingy.
Sreejith and me and bike form a awesome threesome. Every time the three of us are together, something has to go wrong.
We were in Chennai and jayaram was on leave for some un-disclosed reasons and hence his bike was at the mercy of Sreejith’s ass. So, we decided to go to office one fine day on Jayaram’s bike. Since Sreejith was not very comfortable with the idea of driving in Chennai traffic, We decided that we will make him face his fear and hence he will get over it. Everything was going fine till the point of time I told him .. “Now look Sreejith, you are driving well .. but you also need to learn to avoid policemen since you don’t have a license … Generally the policemen stand towards the left of the road and so you need to stay either on the right or the center of the road and don’t look at them when you pass them” .. Just as I was completing the sentence .. the bike stopped .. right in front of a policeman and Sreejith was frantically trying to ask him the way to some nearby Hutch Shop. I shall not proceed any further to disclose the amount of money we had to pay that day to the policeman.
anyway, the very next day .. same road same bike .. same place .. same lesson in progress and yes .. the bike stopped again .. 🙂 .. again we paid some money to get out of the situation. Needless to say that we have tried to avoid the dreaded combo as much as possible during our future stay in Chennai.
With this sort of history, you can scarcely expect nothing to happen when the three of us are together. As per our plan, Sreejith was expected to take me to Gurgaon and drop me back at the Railway station before 2:40 PM for the train to Gorakhpur. And apparently it was all easy and possible. All easy and possible till the time Sreejith said on our way to the station ” I think we might be a little short of petrol” .. this was about 2:05:00 PM and at about 2:05:05 PM the bike stopped ( thankfully not in front of a policeman ) because the petrol was over. Since we could not see any petrol bunk, we ( actually Sreejith only ) dragged the bike for about half a kilometer when we finally saw one and we barely made it to the station at about 2:42 PM by which time the train had left.
Under normal circumstances, I would have freaked out but I knew that there was another train due at 5:30 and I could probably board that. I got myself a ticket for the train through some agent who looked like a real don ( I saw a handful of bullets in his drawer and hence the assumption ) who charged me an extra 500 for the ticket. I came back to the station at about 3:45 to be told that the train was three hours late.
So, a little disappointed and really very tired I took a seat on the station next to some guy who was waiting for some train to Agra. His train came and he left at around 4:15 and I was all by myself. It was Diwali eve and I was beginning to feel a little sad being all myself. I could hear some distant crackers and they made me feel sadder about this wretched trip. At least if I was on a train I would have felt better, but now I was all by myself on an evening when the rest of the world was spending time with their family or at least with some acquaintances. There was not a soul in sight on the platform except for the porters and one small boy of about eight years of age desperately trying to sell tea to them. I thought it might be better to go back to the main platform. Just as I was picking up my bag, an old man (looked to be about 70 ) came and sat next to me. This guy looked fairly well educated and well cultured .. He initiated the conversation , asking me what train I was waiting for. Normally, I try to avoid conversing with people I don’t know, specially in a train or at platforms. But somehow I got dragged into a rather lengthy conversation with this guy. He was not a bad talker for his age. I guess all old people like to talk a lot. But this guy just went on and on. And it wasn’t the kind of boring gibberish that I initially thought I would be dragged into .. but this was a real nice conversation. Without even knowing how, I was talking to him about stuff I don’t really discuss with many people. We talked about so many things .. sports , politics ( national and international ) , Gandhi’s role in freedom struggle , serial killers ( people who know me would tell how much I can talk about that 🙂 ) , terrorism , America’s interests in India , India Pakistan conflict , the north India – south India divide .. to name a few. I have rather limited knowledge when it comes to some of these topics .. but this guy kept the conversation flowing. Finally, as if he knew me from my childhood … he asked me .. ” Do you love someone ?? “. Now this was a rather abrupt change of tracks and I didn’t expect him to become so informal all of a sudden. I mean, yes .. he was being nice to me and all .. but still ?? Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to shoot back an angry reply .. I just said “I don’t think the conversation should be going in that direction .. ” .. he shot back .. “Let me guess .. loved and lost ?? ” .. what the hell .. was this guy some sort of a mind reader or something ?? As much as I tried to avoid the question .. he kept coming back to similar themes in his conversation as if his job was to get a confession out of me. But then he said something which I really liked .. “We all get what we deserve” .. I had heard the same line from someone else too sometime back .. but it made sense to me now. He followed it up with an explanation – “If you think you have been wronged, don’t worry .. either it will be taken care of later in your life or it is the result of something that you did earlier in your life .. everything balances out in life in the end.”. Wise words .. 🙂
I had no idea how much time had elapsed since we started chatting .. but I could notice crowd building up on the platform .. and I realized that we had spent a full four hours there. In all this time, I never got up for getting myself a cup of coffee, or getting some water or even for eating since I hadn’t eaten that day. Not because, I did not trust the guy with my luggage, but because I never felt the need for any of it. At about 8:00 the announcement came that the train is further delayed by another forty five minutes and will depart at 8:45 now. Having spent a good portion of the day on the platform in the company of the old gentleman, I did not mind another forty five minutes.
The old man got up and said that he should leave now, when I realized that he wasn’t actually carrying any luggage and I hadn’t asked him what train was he waiting for. I proceeded to fulfill the formalities by asking him about his destination. His answer .. “I am not waiting for a train .. I just happen to live in a old people’s home nearby” – I looked for the touch of humor in his face .. there was none. He proceeded to tell me about himself ..
His only son, a software engineer, has gone off to US and gotten himself married to some firangi babe and will probably never come back to India, because the bastard didn’t even come back for his mother’s funeral. He just wanted to spend some time with someone on Diwali eve because it is rather sad to be alone on Diwali. He said he liked the railway station because it takes you very little to buy a platform ticket and you get to see so many people who are meeting their loved ones after a long time.
He thanked for the company by shaking my hands, while I was still trembling with the sudden rush of facts about this seemingly happy and definitely knowledgeable guy. I uttered a faint thanks myself and saw him leave the platform and head towards the main exit.
I had the conversation of my life .. with a man who was 50 by the time I was born .. Weird .. isn’t it ??
The train finally came at 9:15 and I saw my primary school principal waiting for the same train and talked to him for some time. He knew me pretty well , since he used to come home in connection with some construction work at school which my dad was overseeing. Thankfully there were no crying babies and yelling uncles in the compartment this time .. and I had a blissful sleep.
Finally I got home on 22nd afternoon .. Home never felt better.