Alas!I’m in love.
Since I’m a terrible creature of habit, driving a new vehicle is disturbing for me. I bitch about how it’s no match on the previous one, irrespective of how good or bad the former has been. It takes me an average of six months to get used to new cars and new people. A trip during this period is highly advisable. So I head to Pushkar, just me and my white horse ( I am now my own Prince Charming!).
It’s the day after Diwali and National Highway 8 is fairly deserted even at half eight in the morning. Off we go zooming towards familiar terrain. ” Have you left? Where have you reached?”, the boy is at it from half seven. “They’re always nicest when they don’t have you”, I think to myself. ” Do you know my car starts to beep when it hits a particular speed?”, I yell excitedly into the handsfree. I’ve tried all my experiments on an isolated road. The lecture begins…
The desolate road- the dearth of cars and humans, makes me hungry. I reach over for my supply of snacks and beverages. Dig into the bag of banana chips and suddenly Mr Akhtar’s voice resounds through the vehicle. ” Woh Shakl pigli to har shai mein dhal gai aise. Ajeeb baat hui he usko bhulane mein.” As each chip makes it’s way into my mouth each moment of what shouldn’t be recalled plays through my mind. “Should I call the wahmbulance?”, I imagine Lily( from the Modern Family) asking me instead of her queer Dad. “One more tear and I will whack your face!”, screams my parent ego state.
A sip of Mango Frooti, fresh and juicy later… Tom Petty and Queen manage to uplift my mood. My companion and I are now in for the ride of our lives. Many wonderful tunes and a few toll booths later, I arrive at my destination already in love with my companion- the white horse.
Diwali was almost as fabulous as I’d wished for it to be. Father came around eventually and on chotti diwali for the first time in nine years, the workers in the factory were given mithai. Though he did sit in his office and left the distribution to Mom and I, it was a huge deal for everyone ( which obviously meant some tear shedding). I guess it will take Dad the longest time, to get over his son’s loss.
Got a surprise call from my Go To friend, Ocean, who I’m always pleased to hear from. Now let me introduce you to him. Ocean is like a character from a Bollywood film something akin a Sanju Bhai or a Sallu Bhai. He’s a proud, loud Rajput man who can scare the living daylights out of most people but who has a heart of gold. Though these days we hardly ever catch up, if I’m ever in any serious shit he’s the one who bails me out. He would do that for you too, even though you’re strangers.
Anyhow, the evening was spent with The Anonymous Aunty and The Night Rider. AA, picked us up and took us to Chandi Chowk .
At CC, I first stuffed myself with paranthas at Parathewale gali while the boys picked on their food. Then The Night Rider fed me jalebi with rabri while laughing about how I was going to eat the whole of Chandni Chowk, in a day. We said a very quick hello to God at Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara and then went to Kareem’s to eat some Burra, Chicken and our favourite phirni. My stomach had an orgy and was bursting at the seams by the end of it. Alot of arguing, laughing, dancing and teasing later, we said our goodbyes at a decent hour as I had to pack for my trip to Pushkar. But what a night it was!
A friend of mine sent me a message calling me ‘The Oberoi Flyover Girl’. This series which was included in the participants exhibition last year at the Goethe Institut, titled-‘ The Whirling Dervish’, is a good follow up to that post and since it is the festival of lights, here’s my vision of what that means to me.
Practically every alternate house I glance at is shimmering like a bejeweled woman. Our house does seem a bit conspicuous during Diwali but my Dad has decided that since his son’s demise and his daughter’s inability to give him any grandchildren ( so I’m told), we are not supposed to celebrate the festival of lights. A couple of years ago I did call a few friends over but it’s a losing battle that needs to be fought, consistently. And consistent, I am not!
There’s a myth in the Western World that the number of suicides increase during the holidays-X’mas, Thanksgiving etc. Though it’s a myth, I can see how special occasions can be terribly depressing for a number of individuals. Memories, loss, estrangement… everything seems a bit more drastic when everyone else seems be in celebratory mood. But this is not the year for the dark, raging monster and I to take our annual roller coaster ride. ” I ain’t going nowhere with you Mister!”, I’ve forewarned him. Though, I will always miss the ones who’ve left, Diwali is going to be great this year, I promise myself.
The boy who patiently waits on the sidelines, sends a parcel this year. “Diwali’s not until next week and are you trying to bribe me, so that I say yeah?”, I ask before I thank him. ”No”, he replies in his customary tone. But I’m unconvinced, so I go on and on as usual and he just replies in monosyllables. ”The gifts are beautiful” I tell him after the nagging is over and I think I’ve made my point.
A Few Days Ago-” I want to go for the Sundar Nagar Diwali Mela plus I don’t want to be alone on Diwali, so keep yourselves free!”, I tell the Anonymous Aunty and My Night Rider Buddy. Considering my strange temperament, it takes a lot for me to say this but they are quick to comply with my wish and I’m so glad they do!
Today- ”How do we get there?” ask The Anonymous Aunty. ”It’s right after my flyover”, I reply, giving him, what I think are the best directions. ” When I die please write my name here.”, I say to my two buddies, pointing to the summit as we cross it. ” We’ll rename the flyover after you… like Aurangzeb Road has been renamed after Abdul Kalam”, laughs the Night Rider.
We spend a few hours at the fete playing like children and eating like hogs. I get dropped home and a while later, I receive this Whattsapp from The Anonymous Aunty. He is generous, like I mentioned earlier… totally nuts but really sweet.
“The Oberoi Flyover Girl- Faraz
She can be spotted every night driving on the Oberoi flyover. She is the Oberoi flyover girl.
Simple yet amazing. Admirable yet daring. Intellectual and a yearner still amicable. She is the Oberoi flyover girl.
She brings smiles on the faces of people but for her driving on the Oberoi flyover is bliss. She is the Oberoi flyover girl.
Framing, shooting and then hanging is her passion. Got afraid. Oops!!! it’s just photography.
Frightening at first just like her passion reflects. But with time you discover the tender coconut inside its shell.
If you ever meet her just remember…She is the Oberoi flyover girl.”
I read the message, come to the frightening part and burst into peels of laughter. This I got to keep forever, Faraz.
Got a Whattsapp from the Anonymous Aunty( he’s not one but has all the characteristics of a middle aged gossip monger with a rather generous heart, though). “Ek pic bhej raha huun. Hope aap gussa nahin hongee.”
And then I receive this
with the sentence Then And now typed below it. I don’t recognize either the 18 year old or the 36 year old from the pics, that have been cropped to suggest the age/weight or whatever. The boy who took the first one was crazy about me and the second one was shot and sent by the Aunty. I send a polite thank you and smile.
Day before yesterday when I was stuck in yet another traffic jam, I picked up Mrs Funny bones. Thanks to the Delhi traffic and the confinement of my car, I managed to catch up on my reading. There was one thing that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, wrote that made realize- there’s a skinny girl inside me.
P.S- Work calls- finish up later.