Let me first declare that I live and work in an almost deserted setting. A place that makes me crave for McDonald’s burgers more than once every week. Irony is, I don’t really hate this place.
I ended up in this place few months back. First few weeks were spent in observation. Deep observation. I observed that occasionally we can find Thums Up or Sprite in one of the shops here. But far more widespread were some bright green or orange coloured liquids sold in glass bottles. Some cola they called it. I was amazed to see that people actually buy them.
Observation couldn’t continue long. It gave way to inaction, including a loss of thought or opinion. And one fine day as I was in one of those shops, I found myself eager to try one of those colas!
Life has sustained through the ages by one magic word – adaptation. That’s also perhaps the biggest irony.
Last time I was in Delhi I returned with a worn out leg. I had finished a half marathon and the aftermath included slight limping. That was November and in spite of the pains I would rate the trip as good. So when a friend asked if I would be joining his cousin’s wedding in Delhi I immediately agreed. It meant watching the World Cup finals in Gurgaon with beer in hand and friends on either side of me on the sofa.
My travel included few buses to Ahmedabad and then a flight to Delhi. By the time I reached Ahmedabad I was in a sorry state. A severe ache had gripped my stomach and I felt I would throw up any moment. I got down from the bus. It was 3:30 am and I could barely stand. I called a few friends who I thought may be in Ahmedabad. Turned out none were there that night.
I began weighing my options, and once again was brought to the fact I knew – I was not good at it. And then help came. Consty, whom I had called earlier, had talked to a friend to allow me in his house. The friend and his wife offered me all help that they could at that hour, including some pills. I felt a little better, but still couldn’t get rid of that pain.
I left them after an hour and headed for the airport. After the security check I rushed to the washroom and threw up. I thought I would be better after that but the flight was terrible. The 90 minute journey was like a roller coaster ride, turning and tossing wildly, to the agony of people like me. I had insisted for an aisle seat closest to the toilet, still I had to wait to use it. There was a group of about 40 people (uncles and aunties) who seemed to be trying their best to get noticed. For the first time I saw a queue for the toilet in the plane. All the aunties were eager to try it and the queue covered a quarter of the aisle! People with stomach aches should wait to use the toilet. No, they should not undertake the journey itself. Why travel when you are indisposed? After what seemed like ages, I got my turn. I asked the hostess if they had any medicines. They didn’t.
The ordeal continued in Delhi. Bhondu had come to receive me (he was late as usual). I went to his place and after few hours there I began to feel better. Eno and some sleep helped. It was time for the final match then. There was no beer, I could not take it after what I had been through in the past few hours. But there was no dearth of friends. Bhondu, Tattu, Ghalib, S9 and Shiwani were there. Later, Dilli was there too. We saw Delhi going crazy after we won the match.
Next day I had my share of beers before it was time to depart. As before, in spite of the pains, I would rate the trip as good.