Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Here's the thing..

I don’t say it is wrong to be arrogant. You can be arrogant. Arrogance is just a human flaw, among others such as immaturity, narcissism, patriotism, tooth decay et al.

I see a lot of people being offended on their encounters with such brats. Don’t!

In fact, feel sorry for them. They nurse insecurities and fears far deep rooted than any of your shallow counterparts.

Well, take it from me..

Saturday, August 27, 2005

We dont need no ejyucation!

I am not sure whether I am up for it.
Up for what?

For the last few days, I have been trying, and I say trying, so hard to sit a place and study. But the candid fact is that I have not sat and studied since I left school/college, which was not so long ago actually. But any way, this is not happening.


Not happening!

Bah! I hate math. WTFF!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


That was fun.

P.S. I am back!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Episode 5

"What is there to see around here?" I ask.
"See madam? Well, nothing really madam. Its just a sober town" the guy behind the counter replies. I was beginning to hate guys behind counters.
"Nothingggg?" I persist.
"Well, there are a few temples around but you would not be too interested, I presume" he concluded.
I walked upto a mirror and took a good look at myself, I felt his eyes trail me. I returned to the counter, "well, you presume wrong!"
He did actually presume right. But I was not keen to be received as predictable. I thought Indian cricket matches are the proud owners of that honour. I would hate to discredit them.

At this point, meet Mr. Ramanna. For the reminder of the tour, a key figure. Ramanna was a middle aged driver who had trouble figuring out why I was there. Sure, he could make out that I was there to see the place, but he had trouble understanding why. The staff told him something in the native language, to which he nodded honestly. I presumed he told him that I was a young lady, seeking the blessings of the Almighty for a hastened and prosperous hand in matrimony. Well, I presumed. He was wrong, anyway.

I am not a fervent theist to be honest. I dislike visiting temples. You will never get me to go to one even if Eddie Vadder was the priest in there. Okay, that was a lie. Anything for Eddie. But the point, the point is that I was doing something against tradition. Ironical, but true. I was going on a temple tour. For some strange reason, I did not resist much. May be because there was no one to force. Hmm.

Theology apart, the temples were interesting structures. They were these entire round pagoda like architectures, with the idol at its center. A couple of interesting notes follow.

There was one at this place called Madhur, which greets with this sign right up front, "Admission restricted only for Hindus". I had a laugh, but I could see no point in the moral high ground I was assuming. I was in a temple, for gossake! What could be more foolish- a sign as such or an action of accepting a spiritual entity as an owner?

There is an interesting tale for this one temple in Udupi. Apparently, long ago a few devotees were stalled from seeing the idol for some bureaucratic reason. So they start singing at one of the walls of the temple. Lo and behold! The statue makes a sweet ninety degree turn to face the singer. Now, there’s a real Indian Idol.

There were few more I visited but soon I got bored. Well, I believe in omnipotence of God, afterall. In other local visitations, Ramanna showed me something called the Baikal Fort. A very important incident occurred here apart from Arvind Swamy singing Tu hi re.. in Bombay. That being a certain jump off a seven foot wall by moi. The applause may die now, please.. because the result of this death defying dare devilry was a sprained foot. What can I say, two falls in three days!

So for the next two days, I had my foot up, watching waves crash on a beach somewhere on the shores of Arabian Sea. Atleast that’s what that sign said.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Episode 3

He was not there!!

My eyes scurried round the bus, but soon enough stopped at the red sweatshirt by the door. There he was, talking to the driver. He was not your regular boring hunk with the bulging biceps and a smug face, but seemed more like the guy next door with a Tuesday stubble. Stubble's are good. Umm. As he made his way back to his seat, did I notice a fleeting curve across his lips? I was totally checking this guy out. What more, my subtlety was letting me down. "Behave yourself Dee!" I reprimand myself.

For the next few hours, I kept my eyes out of harms way and on the road, watching the lights run along the bus. Highways are like little children When you are around them, you seem t become a different person. They suck the worldly self out of you. Things seem so simple and clear.

I think it was Stephen Hawking or was it Donnie Darko, who said that if you have a time portal, a metal vessel travelling the speed of sound and water, you could reach the gateway of time travel. Well, I say we can do without the portal, because I certainly did go back in time on a bus on a rainy day. Nostalgia! I get reminiscent on long journeys most of the times. Thinking about the by gones, smiling to myself quietly, an odd tear maybe. I know a lot of us do. May be, it has to do with the fact that man finds his true place in the world when he is by himself.

It was one of those cold uncomfortable nights where the blanket does not seem long enough. Somewhere, sometime in the middle of which, I feel asleep. But around five in the morning, my eyes opened to some rustle bustle along the aisle. People were getting off. I sleepily look out of the window to find us parked at a rather sized station. I got down to inspect the turf. The vendors were calling out in a different tone of language than what I was accustomed to. I guessed we changed states. Well, the board was a giveaway too. It read, "Bangalore".

I had never been to Bangalore before. But it had not even dawned yet for any flamboyant changes in the itinerary now. Moreover, I was still yawning and sometimes really loudly so that I would stay awake while I walked around.

The driver informs us that Mangalore was six hours from there and that he would be starting shortly. So I hurry to the door, hands still tucked in my pockets. In my attempt to board the bus like a limbless moron, I slip my step and bundle at the door. Right in front of.. yes, Mr. Cute Guy. If it were a movie, he would have been behind me, breaking my fall and taking me by his arms. But it was NOT a movie, so I ended up a little red at the cheeks and a sore bum.

Some really green pastures mark the route from Bangalore to Mangalore. The bus travels through a ghaat road as they call it. To get a better view, I take a seat in front. As the bus serpents through the narrow roadlines, the driver becomes chatty. His show and tell stories of the accidents along the way were actually gripping. As morbid as it may sound, but I kept imagining our bus tumbling off a curve. I thought the green valleys make for great graves.

To top it off, it began to rain. I have this strange habit, I try to read patterns on the rain water running down the windows along ridges. Well, it's been more than two decades but am still largely unsuccessful at it.

It was around noon that we reached Mangalore. It was a little too big to be called a hamlet and a little too small to be called a town. But it was just right to be called beautiful.

The slopes up and down the hills, the small houses embedded between carpets of trees, the narrow lanes, the sand walls, reminded me a bit of Goa. But through all the rustic appeal, it did show signs of civilization of course.
As I boarded off, of what is my longest bus journey ever, I saw the cute guy walk off. As he got into his car, he turned and waved. I waved back. Sometimes, great love stories don't need the condition of transpiration.
With my tongue still in my cheek after that statement I made up, I ventured into my net challenge, to find a Hindi speaking taxi wallah to get me to a hotel.

"Madam, yengeli ki podu?" Pardon my Tulu.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Episode 2

"No buses at all?" I almost screamed.
"But I have to go.." Well, I had my bags packed, would seem quite a waste, all that effort.
"You can take the Mangalore bus madam and shuffle there. Its just 60 kms or so" the man sold.
Mangalore now? Now where is that? All logic says somewhere near Bangalore. If nothing else, I can always take a flight to Mumbai from Bangalore.
"When is the bus due?"
"In about 5 minutes.." he said.

True to the clerk's word, a volvo pulled up in exactly five minutes. As I watched the monster of a vehicle approach, I saw all the pieces falling right in, like some scripted movie. This had to be a movie!

Still skeptical about the wisdom of a unplanned trip, I watched the door open. "Mangalore?" the driver shouted. "Yes, Mangalore" I replied. I faintly remember the Alto ad flashing across my mind. Let's go.

"That will be Rs.830" he handed out a receipt. Buses, who said they were inexpensive. The bus was fairly empty. Most of the seats were vacant and very clean. Nominally, I scanned the entourage and settled in an aisle seat, though the next one was empty. Well, I am an aisle person, what can I say.

Cozying in, I watched the roads pull away. Let me tell you something at this point, in my six month residence in this city, I have not really picked up much of its language. So the couple in the seat behind me had nothing really to worry about as they made hushed noises at my choice of wardrobe for the journey.


Buses are fun places. I remember being taken to many a picnic and us singing songs which were not quite waranted under adult supervision. Well, it was a picnic afterall, so not many really minded. I did not travel much in buses after leaving school. But I always maintained, buses are fun places. This one had a TV too.

The telly was switched on soon and everyone was engrossed. Everyone, but a certain miss. Well, me.. silly! I did not understand half of the words being spoken, so I just mustered out a meek smile everytime someone laughed. Soon enough I got bored, and anyone who knows me knows that it is a disease with me. So, I start staring at people through the window panes.

Suddenly, I notice a real cute guy sitting on the other side of the aisle. He was looking out of the window, not much interested in the movie either. May be, he had already seen it. May be, like me, he too does not understand the language. May be, he is sad. May be, he is bored. May be.

I wanted to go over and ask if he was. Well, he was cute afterall and I had nothing much really to do. But my Lonely Indian girl Traveller Handbook said otherwise. Oh, I hate handbooks, they take too much space. In the head.

Oohh.. he is turning, quick.. grab the laptop and pretend you are working. Better, get typing on your blog.

Ten minutes of acting later, worthy of atleast a Golden Globe, may I add, I look off the laptop and casually browse the scene. Wait.. He's not there!!!!

(of course.. to be continued..)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This is how it started..

Date: July 26th, 2005
Place: Hyderabad
Mood: BAD

"Mumbai. One ticket please." I asked. The clerk behind the counter smiled. Clerks never smile. It is against the Holy Clerkship Regulation Act, 1979. But it seemed this one was blasphemous. A bastard child of a wholesome afternoon meal and the male testosterone, which invariably surges on the sight of a pretty face. "No tickets available ma'am. Atleast not on such short notice." he smirked. He smirked. I hate people who smirk. You cant see their teeth when they do and it sort of defeats the purpose of expression.

I did not want to waste anymore time on the silly clerk anyway, so I step off the line and into a slight drizzle. A taxi waltz right up. "Chalna hai kya madam?" a voice beckons. Its a strange word - madam. A sort of dive in savior for the egos of hundreds of women across the country. The sentence in its absence would have sounded so improper, save its obligatory address. I got into the cab as it pulled away. "Kaha ku?" he inquired. I did not exactly know the answer. There is a thing about answers and me. I never seem to have a stock of them. Kahan ku, kahan ku.. my mind repeated. I do that sometimes when I hear a queer dialect.

I never fancied the railways. I always excused myself admitting I was fastidious. Well, it was raining anyway and the smell of rusted iron can be a bit repulsive at times.

"Kahan ku.. madam?" the driver growled. "Bus station" I quipped, more as a reaction than an assertion. "Kaa? Imliban?" he deliberated further. I had no clue. "Bus Station!" I asserted this time. "Hau wahi.." he tuned away, pushing a tape in for the deck. I had no idea what it was playing but by the look of his head bobbing, I guessed it was popular. He smiled at the rearview mirror. Nice gutka stained teeth. Thumbs up.

As he waived through the traffic, I had a few simple questions lined up in my mind. Why am I going to the bus station? More importantly, Where am I going? Answers!! I did not want to go to Mumbai anymore. Atleast not in a bus, atleast not in the rain. The journey would kill me. What are you, a chicken??!

"Kaa jaari hai madam?" my friend behind the wheel opened his trap again. "Aaa..umm.. Manipal" another reaction! Manipal??!

"Lekin ab koi bus nahi reta madam. Mera bhai.." he motored on.

Who is this guy, the ride-an-inquiry? Shut up already. But I queried anyway, "Kab rehti hai, bhayya?"

"Pata nai, kounter mein poochlo" Well, he was not the inquiry after all.

He then assumed that I flatter myself by indulging in conversations where I nod and smile meekly, because he began to recite his opinions about the great vehicular congestion and the downtrodden state of the taxi community. On any other day, he would have had my sympathy or may be even a word in jest, but this was not one of those days. It was a day I was going to a bus station and allegedly to Manipal, which I thought was close to Maharashtra all this while. But apparently, as my map told me, it was not.

Well, I could go to Manipal, afterall. Nice beaches. I understand it is in Karnataka and is quite a way off Mumbai, but I could give it a try. Hmm.. but why would anyone indulge in such a frivolous activity? Just like that. Finally an answer! Atleast an answer I like.

Meanwhile, Mr. Taxidude is waving at the traffic cops. I ask him how long more before I reach the station. At this point, I would like to tell you that a taxi wallah's definition of an answer is quite different from the universal one. An answer is any random statement, which follows an interrogatory statement. So, he replies that I could get a ticket at any bus stand or the bus even. I thank him profusely for his benevolent answer and get down at the next bus stand.

I walk up to the little counter there and ask for a ticket to Manipal. The clerk behind the counter grins and says, " Saari, no buses for Manipal from here now."

(to be continued..)

Monday, August 01, 2005

She's hit the road..

The blog admin has been on a road tour for the last week or so, hence the absence of posts. She is expected to be back shortly.