Thursday, January 12, 2006

Useless day around Delhi

There are those days when you want to do nothing... still... duty calls. What do you do, If you were me yesterday? Most likely you would have done the same... gone AWOL !!

I called up everyone I knew to check if they would want to have lunch or coffee with me, but it seemed like I was the only bugger with too much time on my hands and too little to do. So what do I do? Well, I did nothing exotic ... just headed to the nearest McDonald's for a burger and after fighting hard to balance a tray of Chicken in a Bun, Medium Fries and Medium Coke amongst a crowd of 6 year olds fighting for the latest Pokemon toy in their Happy meal, I finally got myself a corner next to three Telugu guys.

Being half-telugu myself, I never lose a chance to overhear any scrap of conversation in my 'mother' tongue that comes my way. Well this bright chap named Chandru, was busy explaining to his mates that McDonalds has a centralised supply system for delivery of raw materials across the world so that A chicken in a bun with fries in New York tastes the same as the one in Connaught place. I guess the guy has not been to the McD's outlet near Mathura refinery on the highway to Agra. The buggers there probably use High Speed Diesel to fry their frenchies it seems !!

Heading out, I decided to go for a train ride and just for kicks I chose to take a train from the worst place possible, the Old Delhi station. Leaving my car in the lot, I headed underground to catch a Metro train. Its been more than a year since I have been using a Metro regularly, but each time I enter a Metro station, it is like stepping into another country. I know you would have heard this many times before, but the fact remains that the Metro is like nothing else that this country has and I just wish we had more people like Sreedharan around. I just wish politicians could stay away from developmental projects, but that is a rant I would leave for another post.

A short ride and a long walk through the subway later, I was in the queue to buy a ticket to Ghaziabad. The lady on the counter took ages to issue a ticket and any enquiry by a passenger was met with a remark that esnured that he would take a plane to Hapur, Amroha, Gajraula or wherever else the poor soul headed out next time. My request for an express ticket (everybody else buys local ticket and gets onto an express) was met with wide eyed amazement which left her speechless for a second, before she got the better of me.. "superfast to nahi chadhoge??" was her retort !

Dodging passengers carrying boxes, sacks, trunks & even chemical canisters I made my way towards platform 1 where my chosen train, the New Bhuj - Bareilly Ala Hazrat Express was due to arrive. For a train which carries the name of the revered shrine of Dargah-e-Alahazrat in Bareilly, the rake is a disgrace. Old rickety coaches pockmarked with gaping holes big enough to swallow a blue whale are the chief characteristic of this train and the last time this train was cleaned was somewhere in the last millenium !! The train halted for about 20 minutes which I utilised by helping the assistant driver check the sand level in the sandboxes, fuel level in the fuel tank and the water level in the radiator water tank. All this buttering still didnt get me a ride on the loco so I settled for the next best thing, stand on the door in the first coach.

The next 12 kilometers were a an absolute pleasure... A driver who loved the 8th notch and an Alco that loved to smoke. The turbo was singing as much as I was grinning and the melodious twin tones made Bach, Beethoven and Chopin irrelevant. A glorious sunset and a few pictures later, I was trying to find my way across a swamp and through a slum which had more bufallos than people to reach the GT Road. Flagging down a Vikram, a smoke belching, diesel gulping three wheeler I got dropped me off at the Delhi border from where a I took a CNG auto. Compared to the Vikram, the Bajaj RE CNG was a virtual Bentley. For those who dont know, an extended journey in a Vikram can warrant a visit to the chiropactor so beware before getting into one.

The Bajaj dropped me in front of Metro's Welcome station. Now the only other station name that is probably more enticing is Inderlok. That's becos my karma ensures that I stand no chance in hell for a ticket to the real Inderlok. I was visiting Welcome after nearly a year, and the last time I was here I was greeted by the hottest chicks that sat across a subway ticket counter. Big kohl lined eyes, slick faux leather jackets and... well lets leave it or I'll have to rate this post as 'A'. But no such luck this time... a burly Jat sat at the counter and his drawl made we wonder if he was with the DTC in his last job.

Back inside the Metro, it was predominantly boring ride back to CP. The girl across the aisle could have made things livelier, had it not been for her buck tooth, but that's another useless detail from another useless day around Delhi, so why bother??


Vrij said...

Aah.. now thats what I call a fantastic report!

Sriskandhs said...

Shanx g, all the chicks are now at Netaji Subhash place...