Friday, December 16, 2005

Glimpses from going back

Ah winters! Short days and long nights - right out of my 7th class Geography book. First thought which comes to my mind as I walk out of office at 6:30 pm. After a short call home, to tell them I'll be home in about two hours, I begin my daily trek to the bus depot. It is dark, and I am feeling hungry. I take out my muffler and wrap it around my neck. Though the winter has been a benign cohort from my childhood days, I've learnt not to trifle with the ice cold air currents which romance the velvety evening as I walk down the street.

Now, something has to be said about my muffler. It has a bright green border, and is covered with a pattern of black, red and white diamonds. I have had it since ages, and my friend G says that I look like a doodhwalah with it wrapped around my head. So I am quite used to the curious surreptitious glances it attracts from all around.

I walk down a long well lit street to the gate of the campus which opens onto the main road. And the world erupts in a flurry of headlights, taillights, street lights and red lights. As if being blinded is not enough, I am simultaneously deafened by blaring vehicle horns from all around. Between all this commotion, I accompany two college students, a portly aunty all tucked up in a shawl and a nervous old man holding a perky kid's hand, in their attempts to cross the road. We alight from the pavement, dodging first the bicycle rider, then the Maruti 800 and then stop dead in our tracks to let the DTC bus pass. The wine red Tavera screeches to a halt inches before aunty, just as she puts up her palm as the divine gesture asking him to stop. Everybody scrambles onto the safety of the road divider, and then a repeat performance ensues for the other half of the road.

I walk into a dark bus depot, with a solitary street light marking the spot where the peanut seller has setup his stall. Five rupees for hundred grams seems to be the going rate for roasted peanuts. I stuff my pockets with peanuts and rewri (small tablets of jaggery and sesame seeds). While I make the purchase, the bus strolls into the depot, like a drunken elephant. Everybody scrams to get a good seat, as do I. The conductor bellows at everybody to pay him the exact change for the ticket, while a dilapidated radio blares:

Zindagi to bewafa hai, ek din thukraayegee,
Maut mehbooba hai apni, saath lekar jaayegee,
Mar ke jeene ki ada jo duniya ko sikhlaayega,
Woh mukaddar kaa sikandar, jaaneman, kehlayega.

Another hour, and I'll be home.


  1. oh wow-honored 2 b de first 2 the way u describe things-lajawaab!,can quite well relate 2 the situation though i aint working or nething...n the rote hue song somhow brings tears 2 ma eyes evrytime i hear it-havnt heard that for long though-dyu by any chance have de song on ur comp or somthing?plz mail me if u do...ciao

  2. bright green border and covered with red, white and black diamond shapes??!! oh boy! i'm not gonna visit in winter! ;o)

  3. Very nice post. You know it reminded me of my college days when I would walk from DU to mall road to catch a bus on cold wintery evenings in Delhi. Seems like not much has changed.

  4. Ah i love winters! Esp coz u get gorge on goodies like rewari and peanuts! Winters always make me think of bonfires...arnt they gr8?!

  5. after a long time u've written something i loved reading every bit of, esp. the song :) (u know i'm biased when it comes to those songs..)

  6. :) now THIS, THIS SOUNDS more like u!!!glad to know u've bobbed back aquie!

  7. A winter evening in Delhi, so beautiful, makes me want to be there....


  8. @chipmunk: Haven't been able to find the song. Will send it across when I do.

    @sonia: Lollz! I usually spare unsuspecting ladies the burden of coming to terms with my dressing sense... so you'll find me quite presentable in civil society whenever you visit! :D

    @sinusoidally: Pleasure to have you here. Nothing much has changed except that it just keeps getting colder! Surprisingly, though there has been no fog this year (upto now).

    @mirage: :o) Yep, bonfires are great, especially with a huge and loud gang of friends around to sing all night (at the top of their besura voices of course)!

    @swathi: Why I thought you had given up on me. Nice to have you back!

    @rapz: It does? Well its nice to be back. From wherever. :o)

    @evenstar: *Hugs* You are most welcome to visit anytime!

  9. oh no,i dun give up on those writings tat i like...