August 24, 2007

Back Home

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi went on a promenade from Ahmedabad to Dandi for making salt. Thousands of people followed him. Couple of thousands more, both in India and abroad, supported him. It became a history.

In 2005, 75 years later, another Dandi march happened for commemoration of that event. Compared to the do-or-die momentum of the original one, this march was rather joyous, relaxed and more a tourist attraction than some serious event. I heard even cycles were allowed in that march. That also created news.

Yesterday, there was another march which went largely unnoticed, unsung. No followers, no news coverage, no revolution. No photographer took my photo. It did not create history when I walked couple of kilometers in the rain, from office to home. But still it was a journey to cherish.

At the end of a tiring day when I came out of the office, it was pouring heavily. I had to walk home as I didn't have my bike. I was waiting along with ten others on the corridor. It was then when my random thoughts went to Gandhi and, for a moment, I became unnecessarily brave. "Do or Die", I murmured and plunged myself into the rain. The moment I stepped outside the building, ten million rain drops hit me like bullets. It was as if thousands of bees biting me together. Moments later I realized that the right slogan to remember there should have been not "Do or Die", but "Get wet.. or Wait!". With the later option being convincingly better. Unfortunately, by the time I realized the mistake, even my inner most cloths were drenched. I had nothing to lose. Rather, nothing more to get wet. Also, to make my stupidity look like an act of bravery, I started walking towards my home. Nature replied with even harder rain.

I could hardly make out anything ten to fifteen feet away. Vision was badly blurred by running rain drops. When I reached the Airport Road, to my surprise, I found the traffic to be less. It never happens on this road, even if there is fire, forget rain. I suspected something unusual. The tea shop in the corner was still open. The small shed in front of the shop was packed with half drenched bikers, whose bikes were taking bath on the road. I imagined taking a cup of tea in the rain and could not resist the temptation. After all, tea is my favorite drink and my only addiction. The hot liquid passed through my throat. The beautiful flavor and the sweetness energized all my senses, which was enough for rest of the path.

When I was crossing the Koschi's Place, an accident happened. One man was coming on a scooter. He was singing some Kanada song very loudly, probably because of the cold. There was a car going slowly, whose one side back light was broken. The man thought it was a two wheeler and wanted to overtake it. Suddenly a thundering sound and he found himself flying over the car. No injuries happened but the man was so shocked that not only he could not continue rest of the song but next ten minutes he just sat on the pavement trying to realize why the lightening has hit only him.

Near the Kemp Fort, I saw the man, dressed like Micky Mouse, standing on one corner of its huge gate. In a dry day, he hugs every customer and their kids who come in. But at this time, he was standing silently in a corner, avoiding any touch from the totally wet customers and any eye contact with their wicked kids.

As I reached the Wind Tunnel Road junction, I found all the vehicles who were missing on the surprisingly empty Airport Road. There was a non-ending queue of all kinds of vehicles in the junction. Two wheeler drivers were shivering on their vehicles like the crows I have seen doing on the electric cables. I imagined myself on my bike being drenched like this and felt better. At least I am moving and not stuck. Although, the four wheeler drivers were having gala time with loud music inside their cars.

A traffic police was standing in the junction wearing a rain-coat. This is the man who caught me unlicensed on my bike last month. Since then whenever I crossed the road I prevented myself from doing two things. Looking at his eyes and applying break. But today it was different, no bike no worry. I looked at him directly and smiled. The intimidating policeman gave back a gentleman's smile. I continued walking faster.

On the JB Nagar Road I entered a shed for few minutes to attend a phone call. By that time the rain got milder. Fading Sun was showing its face through the retreating clouds. Bangalore was back in its characteristic charm of shadowy evening.

I crossed the JB Nagar traffic police station unafraid and head up. This is a rare situation to cherish for two wheeler drivers. All bikers pass through this place like trace passers, watching every movement of the uniformed people very carefully. Any white dress taking a step towards the bike results in high acceleration. But today, that was not the case with me. I enjoyed every bit of it as I felt like the king of the road.

When the journey ended, sun was already bellow the horizon. It was quite dark and I was tired. A beautiful feeling of inexplainable achievement was surrounding my mind. I dragged a chair to the balcony to relax. Breathing the smell of the moist soil, I indulged myself into another cup of hot tea. It was a time to say - "Wow!".

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August 20, 2007

Weekend Blues

Let me give you one interesting conclusion I arrived at recently. Don't keep any work for the weekend. They are made for enjoyment and god(let me believe) will make sure, some way or not, that enjoyment is the only thing you do in the weekends. Any other efforts will be eventually proved futile or unnecessary.

Why? On Monday morning, it took me less than two hours to do the things I wanted to do in two days of the weekend. Which also effectively spoiled my weekend.

On Monday morning, my bike got repaired in less than an hour which included changing rear and front tires and also replacing the bike battery. I could not do this in two days of the weekend. On Saturday, I went to UTI bank, IT office and couple of times to the police station to get a proof of my PAN number. All because the website was perennially disappointing me. Monday morning the website flashed my PAN number on the screen in a single try giving me the proof I needed. How funny!!

So, ladies and ladas, weekends are for fun. Don't keep any work, even personal, for the weekend.

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