Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nibbles of Nostalgia

I'm twenty one now. I should stop using these blasted alliterated titles, REALLY. People generally write a post, and then spend hours together finding a suitable title. I, however, decide to write a post based on a good title.

Moving on, don't you think rain somewhat clears the sinuses in your memory and makes you remember so many gorgeous moments you've had? This post is one of those sorts.....some fun times I've had in the rains, which needed to be recorded I can clear that slate and start over the next time it rains. (and Ms.Nature forgets to turn off the taps when it rains in Delhi.)

The sun has finally decided to play peek-a-boo and has warmed up the soggy city.....and these past rainy days transported me to so many recent memories of rain...all of which included the same three of us and ice cream, incidentally! So you guys, if this post wont make you want to bunk your college and hang out with me when I get there, NOTHING will!

Hmm....the first time was Reenu's birthday. (Yes, I got your message last night...about the 'anniversary' of discovering a certain food item and it got me thinking!) After making her open those twenty wacky presents, we whisked her off to Cream and Fudge Factory in the rain! The ice cream is sort of vaguely present in my mind (it involved a lot of sprinkles) but the impromptu decision of eating that roadside Gobi Manchurian in the rain is etched ever so clearly! And then riding back with the cold biting wind and frozen drops of drizzle on Hosur Road!

Then came Sneha's college fest! Aaah..that was such a memory! After spending the entire day judging events (sigh, it was such hard work! ), the rock concert was generously given a washing down! I know, Sneha went around running from pillar to post (quite literally you know) trying to prevent the stage from collapsing on Avial, but Reenu and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience! (okay, before you include it in your comments, I'll concede that I needed some convincing to get my new shirt wet in the rain..but I did in the end you know!) Including all that slush and mush on the sneakers that weighed down on us so heavily! After getting so completely drenched, we trekked back onto Hosur Road to catch that bus back home. We waited under that bridge with some shady characters...wondering if we should just camp in the college for the night! When we got onto some bus and reached the Silk Board Junction, we had to swim our way through to the next bus stop! And I mean swim! We managed to get up on some broken wall and walked on it precariously as if we were practicing for Miss India (they would've been proud of us tiny slip and we'd be Miss Kichad instead!). After actually touching real, solid ground, wet with only the rainwater, we ran towards another bus that would finally take us home. When we reached home, it began raining again...I don't know why, but I never felt the need to run for shelter....even that late at night, we walked as if it was a bright sunny day and reached home so merrily, my family wondered if I had caught a severe form of head cold that had affected my sensibility!

The last memory is recent...when we went to see that movie at Inox near home. Yeah yeah, so it rained inside the theatre for different reasons...but once we got out, it was actually raining. This time again, we just walked so lazily in the drizzle and ate that scrumptious ice cream in the Fake Corner House. (I'm the biggest fan of Corner house but the ambiance of the Fake one takes the Cake..and the whipped cream on it!) I remember as we walked back, people kept giving us weird looks about how three carefree girls can just waddle in the rain when people run towards cover.....somehow it never affected us....we roamed all around Jayanagar that day, not even realizing that rain is supposed to be a hindrance! If that wasn't enough, we actually rode triples on a bike in the rain!

These three things have happened at different times of the year...not really in the monsoon, and still somehow every time we meet, it rains! I dunno...there is something about our meeting and the rain playing host! And there's something intoxicating about Bangalore rains...sort of makes you want to go out right away and eat ice-cream! Do you think the monsoons will be generous enough to extend themselves for three more weeks?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A journey called JAM!

Two months ago, if you were to throw the word 'Jam' at me, I'd think "Umm...mixed fruit? Maybe with buttered toast?" I have been that naive about traffic jams despite having lived in what people often call the most 'jammed' city of India. (Tell me, where do they see jams in Bangalore? I mean, every time I tell people I'm from Bangalore, they go 'Oh, the traffic is so bad there' Honestly people, have you not SEEN Delhi traffic?)
A typical day starts with me wondering whether I'll be stuck in 3 jams today or 4. At my age people wonder about so many more productive things - Their future, for instance (Something that would be jeopardized if there are 5 jams and they don't make it to class on time), Their family (Who might also be stuck in jams scattered around the city), Their Love, maybe (Yeah, because 'Soul' mates are often found on the road, holding up the collar of a fellow driver and singing profanity to him hence successfully causing another one of those jamthings.)
But no, I choose to wonder about the Jams, the flavours they come in, their tastes and my cavities for having indulged in so many of them.

Let's start with a typical day jammed with jams. I set off primly, clothes all ironed and resembling the 'after' part of a detergent ad (only to resemble the 'before' part as soon as I step out, thanks to the Weather Lord who makes us sweat and Lady Humidity who wont let it dry)

The first jam starts right at the end of the road. The perpetrator? A majestic Bull. So majestic, that he chooses to ignore the Monday-Morning-Blued irate drivers of swanky cars. (Secretly, I bet these guys wish they had the power of that bull) I wait patiently until the Bull finishes his morning job, avoid the spot delicately, and move on.
Then comes the next jam, (I've become accustomed to so many of them, I have favorites!) This one is near the Metro Construction site. Mini Jam, I tell myself as I look up in silent prayer to Ms.Sheila Dikshit and ask her to finish the Gurgaon-Delhi belt of metro SOON! It passes, and so do we.
Then comes the TollJam. This is caused by people who either have grandiose personality disorder (and think they own Delhi, Gurgaon, the expressway...basically the entire world) or those who have dyslexia (and CANNOT differentiate between a 'Tag' lane and a 'Cash' lane). There are those rare specimens who have Anterograde Amnesia and 'forget' they are in the wrong lane. Everyday.
Finally comes the 15 minutes of bliss. The vast expanse of the expressway coupled with an occasional flight that swoops down to land in the airport on the left takes my mind off the wretched you-know-whats.
We then exit the expressway and enter the Royal Gaspberry Jam. Gasp, you ask? Well, when there is no traffic, I gasp (Oh wow, it must be my lucky day!) When there is little traffic, I gasp (Oh no, the peak hour is gone and that means I'm definitely late) and when there is heavy traffic, I gasp (This one exceeds my last record in length of jams!)
The Gaspberry jam can last anywhere between 5 minutes to 45 minutes. It all depends on karma, my friend. Do good, and you'll drive good. I have, however, found ways to pass my time in what I call 'The significant moments of my day'.

a) I contemplate life. Without cars, that is. I wonder if Rama and Sita were ever stuck in a Chariot Jam..oh wait, they spent most of their public lives in the my focus shifts to Mahabharata and the wars that might have caused traffic hold-ups...especially since these elephants get a little antsy when there are too many crown-clad people (Read: The new Mani Ratnam movie and the elephant rampage) And so it goes on....
b) I look out. Remember my staring hobby in that other blog post? Well, it comes to full use here. I look at the people around me. Flustered office people who keep looking at the watch with the frequency of blinks, angry auntiejis who have to rush and deliver forgotten books to children at schools, serene drivers who listen to the music enter a robotic trance, Army men (who are mostly expressionless but their good looks more than makes up for that) Once I saw a car full of hippies as well...matted hair and everything..kind of an oxymoron innit? Hippies in Air conditioned cars?

Aaah...I see that the traffic has finally cleared and the jam has now been eaten up by the cars. I turn into the blessed, empty road that curves towards college and finish my day's ramblings.

So the next time you ask me where I'm from and I say 'Bangalore', don't even make the mistake of bleating out 'Oh, the traffic is so bad there!' I might just transform into those collar-holding-gaali-maarofying rowdies and gag you, throw you inside the car and take you to college everyday with me!