Haha! One blog post after a year and I am thinking of becoming a habitual blogger who posts about how there was too much salt in his rassgulla. But, I'll still post coz I am stuck in this cab on the expressway to Mumbai. I don't know what it is about the road but it makes you want to immerse yourself in deep contemplation of the reason of your existence. Ok. Exaggeration. Taken back. It makes you sit on one side of the backseat, rest your head on the window while frantically trying to divert the flow of cold air from the vent above you and look at cars speed past against a backdrop of some illuminated trees and absolutely nothing beyond that. Somehow, after a super busy week in office, I get this 3 hour journey to think of everything I have had in the back of my head. It gives me time to procrastinate in my head, to reflect back on what I could've done, should'nt have done and the likes.
How did I get into this cab? I don't generally travel to Mumbai by a cab. Infact, this is the first time I am. Lets wind back a few hours, to 4.45PM. I finished forgettable pastries and went back to my cubicle to pack up things when I realized it was a friend's last day at work. I tried searching for him but couldn't find him. Looking around, I found a tissue paper (wait, now that I think of it, why was there a tissue paper in my cubical?). I grabbed the red marker, scribbled a goodbye message, stapled his visiting card that had "Real Man" written in place of his position under his name and gave it to someone to deliver it. Why? I don't know!
I then got a cab from the transport desk and got in it and left at 5PM. Its fairly easy to get a cab for the railway station on Friday evening. There are always a group of 4-6 guys with a heavier bag than usual ready to leave for Mumbai at 5, when on Thursday, they had left at 1AM. Enter Bobby/Bob (Name changed for some reason). He got in the cab last, sat next to me in the backseat, turned towards me and said "Tu bhi Mumbai jaa raha hai?" in a tone that sounded like he knew me. I certainly did not know him! I could only give an awkward one eyebrow raised reaction.
2 minutes later, we find out BobJackassKumar has left his laptop charger behind. Now, I have lost my charger behind too. But, this guy was irritating. He turns to me, and asks another weird question. "Does your roommate have a charger?". Like, what?! Seriously? You know my roommate now?
I shake my head and he goes back to saying "Shit, shit shit" like a new age Gayatri Mantra. He again turns to me and says "Can we go back? I am going to Delhi for a week. Or, can you give me your charger?"
Ok, wearing a jacket in 35 degrees is stupid enough. Forgetting your charger when we have 45 minutes to go is just plain sad. BUT! BUT!! The kind and understanding soul inside me woke up and said to him, "You go Bob! Go! Get your charger!... Jee le apni Zindagi Simran!".
So, after the 10 minute delay, we're back on the road again and before I know it, we're stuck at a railway crossing.
Here is where I notice the 1st thing I wanted to tell you:
How does driving in the lane incoming traffic going to get anyone through a jam? How have we not understood that clogging up the other lane will just make matters worse?
While I am crying my heart out over the pathetic state of our country, our dude Bob is listening away to some hip hop on his 2 kg Sony headphones, remorseless.
20 minutes later, we get out of the jam and good guy driver is beating each signal to get us to the station. Train departure time: 17:55PM. Current time: 17:50PM. Distance left: 2 KM
But, Bob is hopeful. Moron.
Now, time is 17:54PM. Scene: Bob, another guy and myself are running towards the station, dodge a few autos, dodge another trolley, some cab dudes, up the bridge, past an old women with an even older husband, mouth starting to dry up, stomach ache coming in now, the bag is getting heavier and swinging wildly, now down the bridge, two steps at a time, now three, last 4 steps we jump and what do we find?
Intercity Express making its way out, so gracefully, without a song, the engineer in the last coach waving his green flag.
There you go Bob. Happy?
So, this is why I am in a cab and now at a Toll Booth. Event number 2 - A Swift Dezire cuts us from left and the guy in the backseat pokes his head out of the window, turns back towards us and probably mouths his entire mother tongue.
At the next toll booth, the same guy comes and stands in front of our cab and screams his heart out in Marathi. I honestly didn't understand anything except the last part. And this is the 2nd thing I wanted to tell you:
A state/central government employee on the expressway feels the road, the vehicles, the paint, hell even the air above the highway is his. Somehow, flashing his ID Card will make us cower into agreeing with him and kissing his feet for his own mistake.
I do reach home in the end, but not as angry as I thought I'd be, thanks to a Veggie Delight sub at a rest stop on the express way. Yeshvant Roa Chavan Sir, thank you for letting a Subway open on our road. After all, you own it.