I couldn’t get up early enough. I couldn’t run, neither outside nor inside IIT Delhi.
Delhi. India Habitat Centre. Very cheerful place. I was the first one to turn up for the Seminar. When reminded of my early arrival (of course, in a complimenting tone), I replied, ‘When you are before time, you are on time. When on time, you are late. This is what our company believes in’. 🙂
I took notes. I took a break in a tea break after the intro-session. The tea-break got over. I was back. My notes had been flicked!
I took notes again in another notebook for the remaining sessions, but very watchful this time. The seminar ended without getting boring except at few times. The best part of the seminar was no doubt, listening to couple of MP State Tourism Radio Ads. They were kickass. Totally kickass.
I ate the free grub that was arranged. I made friends with someone in some other firm. I waited for Neelabh.
Neelabh picked me up in a cab. We went to his place. He got me half a bottle of 750 ml Bacardi. He left for work. I started drinking. I kept drinking. Couple of Neelabh’s friends joined. We continued drinking.
I was hungry. I cut onions. Others cut chicken. The dish was prepared. We ate. I crashed off. It was 00:00 AM.
I got up. It was 03:00 AM. Neelabh’s flatmate droped me near Domestic airport. It was 04:00 AM. Another of Neelabh’s friends invited me into his Swift at the airport. We went to Neelabh’s office in Gudgaon. It was 5:00 AM. More of his friends joined. 9 of us. Two cars. We left for Nainital. It was almost 06:00 AM by the time we reached city borders.
We drove. Awesome road. We drove some more. And suddenly the road was no more awesome. The condition deteriorated. One car almost flew as a stretch going up suddenly offered a dead end. Luckily the car didn’t topple and everyone remained safe. We got cautious. We stopped. We took a sutta break. We continued the journey full of more sutta and tea and just like that breaks.
We rode. Ride got rough again. We drove some more. Road got worse. Finally bad roads ended. We approached the hills. We approached Nainital. 3:30 PM.
Nice weather. Got nicer. Started raining. Rains became heavy. Downpour. Rains subsided. 4:00 PM. We settled in hotel rooms. I got my ticket booked for return journey to Delhi. The return journey would take place at 9:00 PM. The very same day. I had five hours to spend in Nainital.
I fagged. I talked. We shared stories. We shared videos. I stared at the lake from the balcony. I felt the aura of the hill station. We drank. I left. I got the last seat in the bus. Bus left. 9:20 PM.
I was woken up by some disturbance. I had a look at my watch. 2:00 AM. There was News. The bus had been seized. Cops took away the bus. A mini-bus wasarranged for all passengers. The mini-bus didn’t have enough seats. The passengers crowded in. I was the last one who could get off the bus that was evacuated, because, well I was sitting in the last seat! I didn’t get any seat in the mini-bus. 2:30 AM.
I stood in the aisle. I kept standing. And then I said to myself, “What the fuck!”. I decided to sit on the aisle floor. I sat down. There was hardly much space for my ass. Or even for the feet. Or for anything. Journey continued.
Morning. 6:00 AM. All the joints were aching and I was smelling pretty much like a bus. I decided to spread further. I crash off totally on the narrow aisle. I heard someone whisper: who is this guy crashing off like this?”. I repled without opening my eyes: ‘Amrit, naam hai mera’.
7:00 AM. Someone woke me up. ‘Amrit bhaai, ye seat khaali ho gayi hai, baith jaao ispe‘, pointed towards a seat which was just getting empty. I took the seat. I crashed off again. 8:30 AM. A sleepy Delhi welcomed me. I took metro from bus stand. My first in Delhi Metro.
Smooth ride. I reached CP. This place was sleepier. A Barista had just woken up. I ate, I drank(coffee of course) and I tried to make some plan for the day. My flight back to Bhuv would depart only at 5:15 in the evening. I had about six hours to kill. I had hardly had a proper sleep since last two days and I had been traveling almost continuously. I was too tired to do anything. That’s when I decided to do road roaming.
It was fun doing rounds and rounds of CP, carrying not one but two bags on my shoulder. Cold water. Neembu Paani. Orange candy. There were so many things to keep me cool in the otherwise hot Delhi. I drifted away without any direction sense. Passed by a Gurudwara. Passed by few theaters. Passed by millions of Delhi-wallas and when I couldn’t take the sun any more, roamed around in the Rajib Chowk station of Delhi Metro instead.
3:45 PM. I was back at Neelabh’s place. Neelabh was still in Nainital. So were all his friends. But I had left a pair of my shoes at his place. They were collected.
5:15 PM. The plane departed. As usual, the two seats next to me were vacant. As usual, I crashed off for sometime, spread on three seats. It was in the return flight that I realized how fucked up I was. I so needed to crash as soon as I reached Bhuv.
7:30 PM. The driver who had come to pick me up told me that two of my colleagues were waiting for me in Pantaloons. I called one of them. They wanted me to have dinner outside. With them. I obliged.
9:00 PM. The three of us. Four star hotel. I, in the same dress in which I was rolling in the bus aisle the other night. Chinese food. Beer. Thoughts on marriage.
10:00 PM. I was back in my room. The weekend was over. August 2008 had ended.