The itch to get up and go has been the main governing mechanism of society. This impulse has been the cause of everything – disease, death and wars; ironically, though, man has tried for ages to confine himself in fortress. He gets up and goes when the instinct wells up within, and when he comes back he feels the need to tell his stories.
– Binoo. K. John (Under a Cloud)
Saturday – 19 September 2009 – 8:30 PM – inside aircraft bound to Delhi
When the four of us got up finally in the morning, we were joined by the boy and two women from Sayaji – the skinny one with grey eyes and the one who was more a girl than a woman. I don’t know what happened to the third woman – the one who was dressed in green the last night and had worn black frames and had looked adorable.
A software dude who had traveled all the way from Hyd in a train showed up as well and thus our count was eight when we were finally having a yucky breakfast in the otherwise empty restaurant of Hotel Park – me, Grey hair, Car-washer, Navy, the boy, grey-eyes, the girl and the latest addition – Mr. software. Indore was too hot and shiny and glimmering and biting for us to roam around on the road. I suggested that we should hire two AC taxis that could show us around the town. The idea was well appreciated and soon the the eight of us were on our Indore darshan stuffed inside two Indicas.
When the first place that the drivers took us to happened to be a temple – and not one of those grand royal charismatic temples that leave you mesmerized but simply one of those chota-mota temples that eat up prime-property in each town, city and metro – we realized that Indore was pretty much an empty place. The next place was Rajbada – an improvement in the architectural appeal, but too small a place nevertheless to engross our senses for long. By the time a photo-session of those who couldn’t sky-dive in a cute, attractive side-temple of Rajbada and the street-side feeding of a road-roaming painted elephant that walked on skewed legs was over, we were pretty much done with our Indore darshan. We hit a sports-pub in treasure island, had beer and some food and felt as happy as we would have felt had we been lost classmates meeting in a school-reunion after 100 years. It was hard to look at us and tell that we didn’t even know each other till the previous night – and that some of us had met each other only in the morning.
The girl happened to be working in Chennai – she was in to German and all that in TCS. When she came to know that my base office was Chennai as well, she asked me when was I coming back to Chennai from Bhubaneswar. I told her that officially it would be on the 1st of Feb 2010 but then the date could always change. The grey-eyes (who by the way happened to be a mother of two and a professional sky-diver and the ‘wife’ of the superior for whom the Navy was in Indore) asked me what was the girl inquiring about. I told grey-eyes – ‘oh nothing, she is telling me how Chennai misses me all the time’. LOL – I don’t believe I was flirting.
Phew, it’s hard to believe it was all just few hours back and now they are all gone. I have no idea when I am going to see these folks again – the grey hair who would get back to his work in Bollywood, the Car-washer who would get back to executing his business model, the boy who would get back to his engineering college in Mumbai, Navy who would keep sky-diving for a living, grey-eyes who would soon leave for US where she has sky-diving plans, the girl who would go back to Chennai and work on the German language and Mr. software who would soon be in Hyd, writing codes to optimize websites. Heh, funny life.
At the airport, one random guy asked me what my plans with the bike were. I explained to him how I would be flying to Delhi and then how from there I would be carrying my bike to Manali in a bus and then would be riding the beast all the way to Leh. He was pretty excited. He told me he had sensed my plan the moment he had seen me walking around with my bike inside the airport. He said he had done Delhi-Leh-Khardungla on motorbike and all that. He felt happy for me. He asked me wouldn’t it be risky to ride a bicycle all alone at this month of the year. I told him I didn’t care if I died so it didn’t really matter. He noted down my email id and wished me all the best. I think I asked him his name but I don’t remember now.
Anyway, the plane is about to land and I have Neelabh waiting for me at his house.
Diye jalte hain, phool khilte hain, badi mushkil se magar duniya me dost milte hain, diye jalte hain, ho ho ho