I am back from my breezy trip to the national capital!!! And I had a rocking time! I wish I had more time in hand, but whatever- something’s better than nothing! 😀 Having visited the city after a long gap of five years, there was so much to do and to see, and so many people to meet.
I hadn’t realised how used to I had gotten to Bombay till I made this trip. I unintentionally ended up doing a comparative study between the two cities. I have spent so much mental power and time on noting how the two cities are different that I think we should get over with the comparison bit first and then move on to other aspects of the visit.
How do you know you’ve reached Delhi?
- When you leave the airport and the first sight that greets you on the road is that of two persons yelling and accusing each other for the damage caused by the minor car accident.
- When you ask the man in the corner shop on the street where the auto stand is and he looks at you as if you have come from a different planet.
- When you spend over 30 minutes finding an auto and when you finally find one, the autowala shakes his head and drives off because he doesn’t like the sound of your destination.
- When you find Ganpati has been replaced by Shivji/Hanumanji in the autos.
- When all security guards speak to you in a heavy Haryanavi accent
- When you ask one person for directions, and two others join in and try to help.
- When you find practically all roads are being dug-either for the metro or a fly-over, making the traffic excruciatingly slow. No, wait! That’s how you know you are in Mumbai! 😛
- When you can identify a number of places where you used to hang out as a student.
- When you can spot your old school and college! 😀
- When you have more friends living in the city than you do back home!!
How do you know you’ve turned Bambaiya….ok, 80% Bambaiya?
- When you ask the locals stupid questions like “Yahan auto stand kahan hai bhia?”
- When you make the mistake of sitting in the auto without asking the autowala if he would like to go to your chosen destination. And are then unceremoniously thrown out of his auto because he flatly refuses to go where you want him to.
- When you can’t find a means of public transportations i.e. auto/bus (since the metro isn’t functional in the areas visited) and you keep thinking “May be I should take the local, it’ll be faster” only to realise there isn’t any!!
- When you have been outdoors for long, are struck with hunger and look around for a place that sells economical and quick pav-bhaji or steaming sambar dunked idlis.
- When you expect everyone to stand in a line and when they don’t you raise a hue and cry about it, much to the consternation of others.
- When you expect to find a PCO/Xerox (yes, Xerox. Not photocopy) machine at intervals of a few feet and get frustrated when you don’t.
- When you buy some things for the grocery store, pay for your purchases and ask the man at the counter “Barabar hai na?” before walking out with your stuff. Much after you have left, the man is still wondering what exactly is supposed to be equal to what!
- When you constantly think people are not walking fast enough, not talking fast enough -basically not doing anything fast enough! It’s a different matter that doing everything at neck-breaking speed is exhausting but you have now got used to it.
- You see gardens with flowers, broad roads and large rooms with attached balconies and get unnaturally excited about them.
- When you are utterly lost in Delhi-direction wise, because so many landmarks have changed. Your sense of directions or rather the lack of it, isn’t of any help either.
How do you know you are still 20% Delhi-ite?
- When you still call all unfamiliar men like shop keepers, security guards, cabbies “bhaiyya”
- When you panic a little if it’s past 7.30 pm and you haven’t reached home.
Random though- Ever since I moved cities, people have been asking me the eternal questions “which of the two cities is better?” Next time someone asks me this, I’ll just direct him to this post! 😛 Honestly, I don’t have a concrete answer on that yet. All I can say is I have gotten too used to b’bay -its space, energy and efficiency now so I like it better.
The one-day conference was generally good. The speakers were well- prepared, the participants involved and food (:P) good. They even kept to their time limit which I though was rather impressive. In my experience most conferences don’t wind up on time and that’s extremely annoying if you have other plans post-conference. I think I was underage for the forum. Everyone else was over 45 and I looked like a kid there!! Inspite of being underage, I think I participated sufficiently in the discussions and even managed to touch base with the one or two odd familiar faces and network with a few new ones. This whole thing about networking with new people is still a little new to me but I wasn’t bad at it. Or so I’d like to believe.:P The venue –India Habitat Centre used to be one of those buildings I was very fond of when I used to live in Delhi. I am partial to brick buildings. And this one is exceptionally very aesthetically done up,well laid-out and has lots of open spaces. It found the cutest pond I have seen in a while there – with a bunch of pretty pink lotus flowers surrounded by large deep green leaves and numerous orange fish swimming around. Pretty, pretty.
While at the venue, I indulged in a teeeeenie-weeeeenie bit of what can probably be called nasty. It wasnt really mean, you know.May be I should mention it here…….May be I shouldn’t…….may be I should….may be not….
In the eleventh hour the meeting with my friend over a quick cup of coffee got converted into a quick slice of pizza! Equally nice, I should tell you. Not that food was a priority for us- we were talking nineteen to a dozen and it was somewhat difficult to eat and talk simultaneously! When you meet old friends who have been calling you “mandy” for so many years that they have forgotten what your real name is, who you have lived in with as roomies, whose mothers have cooked you precious food, who you have conspired with on several failed pranks – there is just too much to talk!! Our rambling conversation touched upon all possible topics related to our lives-jobs, families, old friends and men…sorry..umm..the lack of men! It’s a joy to know that there are some friends who you can meet after ages and still bond so well, so effortlessly with. I think that’s the kind of friendship that should be cherished and nurtured. Sometimes physical distance and passage of time doesn’t matter.
Had we not had a deadline to get back to our respective houses, we would have rambled on for another couple of hours. Actually, I wish we could have.
Random info-While hanging around waiting for my friend, I picked up a slim book. Its called The Ice Cream Maker by Subir Chowdhury. I havent read much yet, but whatever little I have read, I have liked.
The missed opportunity
I passed-by a girl who looked exceptionally familiar on the flight back home. I took too long to recognise her. She was a junior in school whose sister was in my class. Unfortunately by the time I realised who she was and remembered her name, she had walked on ahead and I couldn’t shout to catch her attention. I though I’d met her when we’d land, but I lost her in the crowd. A lost opportunity really. I would have loved to know about the whereabouts of her sis- we were pretty goods friends. Oddly I haven’t found her on any of the social networking sites till now.
Oh and by the way, my fears of surviving the sweltering heat of Delhi was totally unfounded. It rained in Delhi in the month of May !! Imagine that!! I had been telling everybody that I brought the rains but when I came to know of the damage caused by unseasonal rains and storm, I quickly shook off all responsibility for the weather! I am not sounding uncaring about the people who were affected by the sudden change in weather, but I truly was very relieved with the drop in weather. I thought the weather there was much,much better than B’bay’s!