Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
It’s a really nice experience travelling on your own. But staying at a place for a while is something different, especially if you had something important coming up soon. As such times, the pressure gets to you. It’s just you, the butterflies in your stomach and the beat of your heart nearly cracking your ribs open. Of course, writing can help. Staying alone has been something that I wanted to do for a long time. Now that I’m here, it’s not as rosy as it sounds.
Sure it’s all good when you are roaming the streets, with all the time in the world. Time can turn against you if you are alone in a room chewing your fingernails. Time just seemed to stand still the night before. It then began to go on fast forward on the day of the quiz. I took my mind off things by watching a chick-flick marathon on TV (27 Dresses was ok-ok, while Brittany Murphy was damn cute in Uptown Girls) The hands of the clock finally aligned themselves at that angle which said that it was finally time for what I had originally come here for. We were cabbed off (as opposed to carted off) to the venue. I found myself in a room with nine others who were to be my opponents for the evening. The shoot was scheduled for 530pm on the 19th , it started promptly at 0000hrs on the 20th. (Another night quiz…YEAH!! I thank the NITs and IIT-M for all the all nighters that they so proudly pull off year after year) The only thing lacking was some good ‘ol fuel (I know where the apostrophe is, yes).
Once the quiz got over, I got shutter happy and got myself a few snaps with the God of quizzing, Siddhartha Basu himself. I cannot express that feeling in words. Let’s just say elation is a gross understatement. Those moments were the ones that I dreamt of when I was a 12 year old watching colleges battle it out in University Challenge and watching perspiring aspirants take the daunting black chair in Mastermind India.
I had a flight to catch quite early the next day, and true to my tradition I was again 2 hours early for my flight back home. The Delhi airport waiting area is magnificent. I spent all my time gazing out at planes taxiing down to a halt. The late nighter coupled with the early flight meant that sleep was a luxury more than anything else. I did however manage to catch 20 or so winks on the plane back home. At those times when I couldn’t sleep, well I wrote this post.
I seem to ink paper these days only when I step out of the cozy confines of the 4 towers that figuratively make up the boundaries of this city. This time, I headed all the way up north to the Capital City. Participation in a Sport Quiz to be telecasted on DD loomed large. Let me honest, I could feel my heart beating against my ribs for quite some time then. The mother city seemed to give me a slightly tongue in cheek farewell as the mercury plummeted quite significantly right after I left. I couldn’t help but muse “From the oven into the furnace?”
The drive to Bengaluru (Yech!!! Call her Bangalore anyday!!) International Airport is a treat to the eyes. Gazing out to the open road sitting in comfort of those red beauties listening to classic rock was in a word. Brilliant! I should point out that getting to the airport a solid 2 hours prior to the departure of your flight is an awesome indicator of joblessness. The thought that I was travelling by myself kept my excitement levels high amidst the doldrums of waiting for a delayed flight.
There was a considerable difference in the flying experience this time around. There were no screens on the seats, no Yana Gupta in a hot red uniform giving safety instructions. The co-passenger jinx seemed to continue as a member of the fairer sex was nowhere to be found in the vicinity of my seat. A typical Tam family took the seats next to mine. To put a further dampner on proceedings, pretty girls in skirts made way for “Stewards”. Moral of the Story – Do NOT fly JetLite.
A quick lunch at the hotel was followed by making acquaintances with whom I could tour the city.
We made our way to the commercial hub of Delhi by the famed Delhi Metro. I was dumbstruck at the sight of the sleek steel chassis and the Oh so awesome interiors. I pointed this out again and again to R ( who replied “BITTCCHHH!!! NICE!” ), P (“Thoo zoda, die creep) and S ( “ hmmm…nice kano!!” at well timed intervals)
If you haven’t really liked what you have seen of Delhi in the first few hours that you are there, Connaught Place is sure to change that. An awesome mix of roadside stores and established businesses shared the corridors of buildings that still retained the original European architecture. Me being who I am, was on the lookout for food. Food is something that we Bangaloreans take for granted. I found this out the hard way when I asked a dude in my best Hindi, “Bhai Saab, idhar koi chaatwale hain kya?” He merely laughed at me. We then made our way to Haldiram’s. This outlet had nearly every sweet under the sun. We then made our way to a bookstore, where I was left gaping after being unceremoniously thrown out because it was 8pm. Closing time you see. 8pm, honestly???!!!
As we made our way back ( I officially LOVE DELHI METRO!!!) that each city has its own characteristics. Mumbai is a city that never sleeps. Namma Ooru has the “Swalpa adjusht Maadi” culture. In that vein, Delhi seems to be a city that’s always in a hurry. It was a strange sight to see commuters run after alighting the train.
Now that’s a sight that puzzles you and makes you stand still.
Ironic isn’t it?