June 24, 2006

Water boy
SN depot is the stand from where I usually get the 615 to go to R.K.Puram sector III to get the Bahari Mudrika to get to Saket to catch another bus to get closer to my research lab for training. At the depot stand I usually sit on the bars along the stand. Since I started going through this route, a water boy had also started to post his new water-wagon for the heat season. I just used to sit besides his wagon, which he used to wipe all the time he got to spare from work of quenching the thirst of the thirsty. We just used to give stares to each others; my stares were to counter his. I had no business with the boy.
His stares were the stares of disgust as if telling the story of a poor boy that was not enjoying what he was doing and wanted to come out of all this mess but, there was no way out. Stares just continued for a month every time telling the same old story. We still had nothing for each other to say.
One morning as usual when I was at the stand, waiting for the 615, the water boy had again reached the spot on time with his wagon. After struggling to post his wagon at the spot, he again went to cleaning-shleaning. My bus was taking too long to come so I had plenty of time to watch the traffic go by. The boy finished his routines and sat next to me, in btw he was visited by his father who himself used to be a water boy himself few a years ago, now he had given up to search something better. Now his son had taken over from him.
The father checked everything and left after he was satisfied. The boy just sat next to me on the bars and again gave the stares. But this time the stares were not the usual, strange. This time he looked as if expecting something from me. But what?
After some time I was back to watching the traffic go by. But suddenly a boyish voice broke my concentration “Kal to sale he nahin hua.”. I just looked at the direction from where the voice had come, it was the water boy looking at me in anticipation I being startled and not knowing what to say, I could only say “Haan”. But he continued,”rains are about to arrive, the weather seems to be getting cooler; no one seems to be thirsty these days. I said “two days to go for the rains”. “Yes my sale only starts at around noon”. And he continued “Yesterday very few people came. Buses come every five minutes, so people don’t stand at the stands that long to feel thirsty enough to boost my sale. Yesterday the owners youngest came to collect the sale earnings from me, but since he comes very less, I couldn’t recognize him and refused to give the money to him. In the end I got a scolding from my father”. I just sat listening to what he had to speak, all were going over my head and I could do nothing but to just listen. In btw I continued with my yes’s and no’s. He continued “yesterday one of my friends was beaten by a couple of police men, because he refused to give them water for free. He had a broken hand. Few wagon guys passing by took him to a nearby dispensary.” I couldn’t say anything, he sounded as if he had known me since so many years that, he had to tell me all those. I soon had to leave the spot as my bus had arrived. I never could stop myself from wondering, what had happened?
Unfortunately that was my last day to my training so I never had to board the bus from that bus stop. And so it still remains a mystery of how for a day I had become so dear to a water boy.

The end.

Trusting my unholy ness!
Strange world here
My worthiness only a mere
So much good buried inside
I push them deeper down the aisle.

As people were trusting my unholy ness!

It’s been ten years
Since I came to terms with it
That no matter how good you are
There was always someone to
Knock you from where you were.

As people only trusted my unholy ness!

I knew that there was no one
To beat me in my fascination
To defeat the system.

As I started trusting my unholy ness!

As the rebel in me grew
To the heights that was
Unstoppable and could
Not be put to curfew.

As my tryst with unholy ness grew and grew!

One day I realized
Had no friends
Had only people who wanted to be me
And the people whom I wanted to be.

As I trusted my unholy ness!

The cycle continued to run
With ever increasing rpm’s
With fast paced rebelism
It was dizzy out there.

As my trust with unholy ness grew sour….

I started realizing that
I had come too far
With too many enemies and
People that hated me.

As my trust with unholy ness was broken…..

I was lost and alone
Between billions of us
With all the good buried
So much deeper
Had ploughs with hands
So much smaller.

I begged and promised
But no one to hear
That I no longer
“Trust my unholy ness”!

Love you like insane…..
With every day spent
And every seconds that went
I got closer to you
Knew you too.

What all the actions meant
The signals you sent
Were all in the book
You opened to me.

You have been closer to me
Unlike, far that I have been.

As your soul I touched
And heart I fetched
My inner self grew darker
As the prevailing rainy clouds.

So much inside
To let outside
My past, my present
Both so different.

I had left the dark
To come into the light
The past, you had to know
And I had to tell.

To tell you the truth
And break the myth
I have never been
The person you loved.

But, I have changed
And changed for good
The day you came
I left the path of “the insane”.

Since then,
With every day spent
And seconds that went
I loved you
Like insane.
Sanity never reached
And vanity was so fair.

So if you promise to come along
And leave the past behind
We will walk the path of insanity
To love each other more and more.

Hand in hand they go
A trip to remember
Remember every bit
From day one
To day nine

One of them wasn’t too keen
But fate had to intervene
The train was boarded
Before it hooted
And there they go
Merrily they go

Initial few days
Were hectic always
She had no time
He was busy all the time
Were always busy with people who mattered
Were they that mattered?

For she came for him
And he came for her
Days passed
When they were apart

Neither had they talked
Nor they had joked
Fun was ending
With three more days pending

One midnight they were together
In a bus fortunately
Had nothing to talk unfortunately
It was hard to believe
Best of friends they had been

She was busy looking outside
The window
Uncountable stars and a moon
Over the cloudy pillow

He had closed his eyes
Thinking how to hit a conversation

Suddenly a sob was heard
He looked around but
Not a single one had murmured

He looked over his right shoulder
And there she was sobbing
And sobbing
What is the matter?
Why is she so battered?

He asked…..
Are you angry with me? Is it my
She was not angry with “he” and
It was not his fault

She had been lonely for days
Between so many people around always
He was not even in the pictures
In the last few fixtures

He realized, they had not
Been together
That was a thing to bother

Dumb was he
Was he dumb?
Not knowing what to do
He simply asked for her hand

Holding each other’s hands
They were relieved
Neither talking
Nor joking
Now they had each other
Still a long distance
As hand in hand they go…………………!!

4.5 days to hell, heaven and back
7:30 in the morning a missed call from Saurabh, he is waiting outside. I open the door, mom-dad are not at home. Little bugged up with last nights conversation with Dev and Apoorv, I call Kushagra, Saurabh enters through the opened door and seats himself on the sofa while I am still on the phone “ Yaar meri phat rahi hai, I am leaving after a little time, you try to come early, please!”. “Do one thing give me a call as soon you reach Pune, I am a bit worried, take care”, Saurabh said as I finished with Kush.

I locked the place and we, Saurabh and I went towards the bus stop, Rachit was waiting there. He was told about my plans to visit my girl. At first he thought that I was just traveling within Delhi, lying to my people. But when everything was cleared to him, his amazement could be seen on his face. We talked for sometime bout the waiting list thing which was bugging me for quite a sometime, Rachit was a revelation, and he sounded encouraging. They boarded the 56 wishing me luck and I decided to take an auto with butterflies in my stomach.

Reached the New Delhi Station at around 8:45 am. Went straight to the inquiry office to find the status of my ticket, 97 and still wait listed since yester night. Thought of trying out my luck at the Tatkal service, but it was of no use “List has already been prepared, can’t get the Tatkal”, said the inquiry man. Felt lost for some time, checked the platform where the train was supposed to come, platform 4. By 9:00 I was at the platform knowing nothing to do. Looking for the chart display I reached a bench which was seated by a couple of Army people and Manish Dutta. He was a civil engineer from a small village in Pune who was going back to his roots after being associated with the Delhi Metro. He being a veteran of 10s of wait listed journeys was encouraging and assured me to help me reach Pune. We together boarded the S5 bogey hoping to get a couple of seats together. We shared the berths with few more army people and their families. Journey was quite pleasing (unexpected), people seemed too good to be true. We bonded through plays of their kids and the tales of their heroics, from Siachin to Rann of Kuchh you name them and they had it. The family had to drop in btw so only the single guys were left, but not a long distance to go we still had time to talk about cell phones, technologies and the filthy oldies. In btw the whole journey, our conversations were interrupted by the TT, he had no seats to offer no matter how much you offer in green. Reached Pune junction around 4:15 then she called, she bole to, Swati, the reason for me to go to Pune. It was decided to meet at the E-Square. Reached there at 5:00, had to look for the food court, it was asked for. I was told it was on the first floor, I found it on the second. There she was sitting at one of the tables. Her eyes seemed to be chasing me while coming up the stairs. I went to her and gave a pat on the head. She seemed relieved.

“You are such a big jerk”, she said, as she always does. “What was the need to come here, I am fine”. “Don’t ask me the reasons for what I do for you”, I repeated for…. I don’t know how many times, since we started going around.
We sat there for some time looking at each other and speaking in btw. She was a bit worried about her bro turning up at the E-Square. I was least bothered cause that time it felt that I had received Nirvana and was prepared for anything that may come. At the back of my mind I also had the feeling since- (I have come a long, long way to baby, from the hard times to the good, I have to celebrate you baby, I have to praise you like I should) and since nothing had gone wrong, so, It could be my lucky day, I was immortal.

We didn’t eat, had to make a few phones call so came out of the E-Square. Went to a nearby food stall. It was that time of the day when everyone seemed to be sleeping, so, we went ahead. She just wanted to sit and talk but, somewhere else, so it was my day out in Pune coming straight from the station. We walked…………. and walked it never seemed to end. But I loved it, a girl who hated walking was giving me competition, she had changed. We decided to skip CCDs and Barista (possibility of her bro being there). Sipped cola at one of the eateries and moved along in search of a lodge, I had no place to stay at night. It was a disappointment at a couple of them, Trimurti was going to be my last try, as I had decided to sleep under the tree or go back to the station.

Luckily Trimurti had a room for 200 bucks (good enough for me since I wasn’t carrying that much cash for my luxuries, I had to go back too). So after all her tensions cleared she took me to a temple, Shri…..Shri, aw leave it. The temple was on top of a hill, had to go all the way up to reach the Lover’s spot (yeah), was she testing me ??? But still made it, she gushing for air. We sat at one of the pavements.

One could see the whole of Pune from there, believe me Pune is a damn beautiful city. It was very quite there, strange, with so many people around. Cool breeze was taking away all my pains, as if it had already not gone away after meeting Swati. We sat there for some time, me clicking pictures she just sat quietly. We talked for some time. A kiss just replenished me. While going down Dev called at her cell, mine was switched off. He asked bout my well being, he said he won’t be able to make it to Pune in any grounds, had some lectures to attend.

While coming down the hill we stopped at a stall to have some gunne ka juice. They were good and I needed them. So, after we left the temple, she seemed empty of things to do next. We stooped at one of the eateries, though both of us were not hungry, still we ordered something. We paid our bills leaving the food uneaten.

It was 9:00 in the evening. After dropping her to the hostel, I returned to my lodge, at around 9:45. Having nothing to do, I quickly freshened up and went out discovering the city. I say again, Pune is a damn beautiful city. It seemed like a smaller version of Delhi, having everything but, not over flowing with it. I took a walk down the footpath, eat outs, food joints, CCD, Barista, ice cream parlors, you name it they had it! Couldn’t walk more, more over my room was calling me. So, took some ciggis was in my room by 11:30.

Trimurti was on the FC road. FC- Fergusson college, known for prostitution and drug marketing. So I was staying in the hub. The lodge was on top of a bar and a panwaala. The room was ok but needed some tiding up. While unpacking and cleaning the room, used condoms were found in every corner of the room. I wasn’t staying at the right place but, it wasn’t the only chance that I had taken. Spent the night puffing and thinking bout what to do next tomorrow. I finished around 1:30 and went to bed.

Woke up late the next morning. Did my job and went out to get a shave. Last night I had already checked where the saloon was so it wasn’t difficult to look for one when you were in need of one (these are the tricks of survival; one learns when he/she is in dire straits).

Aseem at the barber’s mercy.

Barber: Sir, you don’t belong to Pune?
Aseem: No sir, I am from Delhi.
Barber: Really! Which part of Delhi?
Aseem: Have you been to Delhi?
Barber: Sir, I came form Govindpuri.
Aseem: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(Small world?).

Whew! So, I was back to my lodge by 9:30.Took a bath, finally! Needed a breakfast, was damn hungry. Good thing bout FC road was that it had lots of good eating joints; one was just below my lodge. Had some breakfast (ciggi too, I was free and my own man). Back at my room, I had nothing to do. Been there at the FC road since half a day and still haven’t seen the Fergusson College???

I entered the college without an I-card (India, my man). The college was huge spanning huge acres of land. When I entered, it seemed empty but, they were having exams so………. Never the less, I entered the library, which was closed for the exams. They let me hover around its huge halls thinking I was one of the members of the college’s faculty. Soon they realized their mistake and kicked me out of they library. It was fun, believe me. I wandered around a bit discovering the college; it was beautiful, unlike our DU colleges. The grounds were huge and naked. A tennis ball cricket match was going on between two colleges; it looked tempting to play, because they all looked as bunch of jerks running after the ball all together in one direction. It was very hot there so took some pics and returned to my room at the lodge.

Back at my room, she messaged that she’ll be a bit late. Since had nothing to do taking a nap seemed a better option. So I slept from 12:30 till around 2:00. Did some packing, had to leave that evening only.

She reached around 2:45, my packing was done so we had plenty of time to sit back relax and chat.

We had plenty to talk and ponder on, more or less we needed some time together and how three and half hours passed is still unanswered. We left my lodge at around 6:30 pm., our destination being E- square again. The square wasn’t that amusing so we took a walk from there to an eating joint; again we had plenty to talk on our way to the joint. After stuffing ourselves it was decided we take another walk till I drop her to her hostel.

Earlier our talks used to be endless, but now it seemed to be getting quieter. It was a sign that her hostel was fast approaching and I had to leave her again. The trip seemed so much shorter (I wanted to stay but had to leave). Around 9:30 I dropped her to her hostel and again took a walk to the auto stand. 35 bucks it cost me to reach the railway station. But Pune railway station wasn’t where I had to catch the train to Delhi. It was, from where I had to catch a bus to Mumbai Central, from where I would be getting the train. I got a cab for 200 bucks till Dadar. Three more people were with me. Two of them were young businessmen from Mumbai. As we moved swiftly over the smooth Mumbai-Pune highway our conversations revolved btw Marutis, purani dilli, unchained melody and cab drivers in Mumbai.

They were right bout the cab drivers people (weird people), he dropped us not in Dadar but some where else and he refused to budge from there nobody had that much time to stand and argue with him so, me and another passenger left decided to go on our way on our own. It took me 125 bucks more from god knows where to Mumbai Central.

I reached the Central around 1:30 am. The first train to leave it was around 4:30am, the platforms weren’t open and the people were sleeping outside. My train was to hit the platform up at 7:30 am so; I had nothing to do for the next 6 hours. I tried to sleep on the floor but it was too uneasy and hot. I got up and hovered around a bit but couldn’t find anything interesting there. I once wandered towards the platforms before time but, to be chased away by the cop. So finally dejected, I sat besides a man who seemed to be the only person awake besides me. He had a story to tell, of why he had come to Mumbai. I soon realized, the person was drunk and kept on repeating the same story over and over again. Disappointed with him I again went to sleep on the floor only to wake up around 5:00 am in the morning. It was a hard night (ahem…morning?), woke up and took some coffee. Brushing my teeth could wait, but first some breakfast. I had the most delicious and well made omelet ever. Being refreshed I took to some site viewing, the Central had McDs, cafes et al under one huge roof, but they hadn’t open until I was there at the platform.

My train was on time. I went to check my ticket status, again wait listed, this time 56. My train hit the platform. I had to bid ‘good bye’ to Maharashtra, it was a nice feeling. The train left the platform on schedule. As advised by Kushagra I captured the TT’s seat. It was a nice advice as now I did not have to worry about where to sit, if again I don’t get a berth to sleep. But, now who needed a berth to sleep?

The journey seemed pretty ok once it had started, but after a couple of stations there was a gush of local mumbaites on to the train. Some were going work while some returning from it. I gave away my place to some oldies also traveling; now I could brush and wash up. For next couple of stations there was more influx of people. But later on it got quite a bit empty. I got my seat back.

With time I discovered that the journey wasn’t that ok, it was the worst train that I had ever traveled on. It had no pantry car attached with it, so for most of the journey I had to remain hungry and thirsty; yeah they even had no one selling mineral water bottles. Even worst was still to come, the train was to travel through Gujrat, so sick Gujratis were to accompany me till Delhi. Holy shit! Once there was a scary moment too when for some part of the journey I was troubled by an insane girl, who wanted to come to Delhi with me.

A Muslim family entered, they had boarded the wrong bogey and had lots of luggage to carry so they decided to remain here giving away their seats. They seemed fully loaded for the trip. They had lambs chops since morning till night, it was adding to my agony. I spent more money on eunuchs then on Swati during the trip. Every station a new one would turn up, I would rather give them something then refuse. I was a bit scared of them. So, one whole day had passed, I was to reach Delhi next day at around 1:30 pm. The wait was too long. Whole morning I did nothing, just spent most of the time thinking about how to go about the things in Delhi. Soon I reached the Faridabad area; I had to land up at New Delhi railway station, so still it was along way to go. Then I reached the Okhala station it was much closer to my home so, I grabbed my bag and landed.

The end.