Category Archives: Delhi

Wreck-less

The days, they might be hot and dreary but tonight is a lovely night to be out. I am driving at a fast clip, with the windows down, the cool Delhi breeze, hastened by my rapid onslaught ruffling my hair, Carrying with it the wonderful smells of the more earthy aspects of the city, the green lungs, the trees that the british so wisely planted.

I love this city

This beautiful city, lit with streetlights that adorn it like jewels on a necklace. This city my home, these undulating roads, so familiar, a blur as I hurtle along at roughly 36 meters for every passing second.

I find gaps in the traffic and floor the pedal, passing through tiny spaces. I am being a little reckless, my heartbeat stays level as I move further along. Leaving perhaps some surprised drivers behind.

Once you have decided to make a move, you have no option but to stick to it. Hesitate or brake and you will end up a wreck.

The reason I drive fast is not because I need to be somewhere fast, the reason I push myself to the limit is not because I need to show off, the reason why I am doing 130 kms per hour at 10:30 is because I can. The reason I am driving with the wind is because with the world reduced to a blur, the music playing in the background and my feet on the gas in my lovely car, I am free.

So here I am, a blur, taking my chances, rolling headfirst into the future, nary a worry on my mind. For I know, there will be bumps on the road, an occasional traffic check and the odd roadblock but I am in the driver’s seat and I am going to see all of this through with the mindless determination of an oaf, the resolute desire of a man on the run, the focus of a man who knows no other way….

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The Ambush

The beginnings of the day were ordinary, forgettable, the median between pleasant and unpleasant that the brain does not register because of its sheer frequency.
The visitors charged their cameras and dressed up in their pseudo ethnic clothes, The kinds that locals have never worn, the kinds that only the easily excitable and impressioned firang would wear. Moleskines were stuffed into hip messenger bags, librarian glasses perched on sculpted noses and much moaning done about the lack of a Starbucks in the city of New Delhi.

Seelampur, one of the vast tracts of land that the city of Delhi swallowed as it grew and then forgot about. Its only seeming purpose was to house the poor working classes of Delhi. The rest of Delhi would rarely, if ever, hear the name leave alone being able to place it on a map.

7 excited New Yorkers, In the city of New Delhi. Barring the New in the name there was little common in the place where they came from and the place where they now stood. No one had ever used the words Williamsburg and seelampur in the same breath, ever before. They were interviewing people, for a state sponsored project. Apparently the easiest way of making the american populace feel better about their own pathetic conditions post the financial apocalypse was to highlight how badly people lived on the other side of the world, in particular. They were the ones who stole all the jobs from america, didn’t they?

The case in point today was a small locality on the outer extremities of Seelampur, a group of people who had never heard of america, or seen a white man, the gaggle of visitors was almost like a traveling circus, with their colorful clothing, far removed from the traditional indian attire.

Little did they know

The poor milkman talked, as they huddled around him. Some taking notes, recording audio, snapping up pieces of his life and trying to reason with fate. They could have been in his place, it was only a matter of some thousand miles, they wondered, sitting in the warm winter sun on his rooftop. Separated from the cows below by 2 stories.

It was an unfamiliar sound, the movies have nothing like it. No amount of Jurassic park will prepare one for the pissing the pants feeling brought upon when one hears it. The fear, some say, is built in. Its logical, it is warranted, it is very, very, real.

their hearts weighed down by this unfamiliar sound they all turned to find its source, they did not know what it was but what it brought out was sheer, primeval fear! The cows bellowed and the birds beat a quick escape.

Those stripes

The tiger lunged at one of the cows, bringing it down with a mixture of strength and fear. It uttered deep,frequent sounds as it held the neck of the cow in its jaws. Almost re-assuring the cow. The everlasting stillness of death was here.

Time stood at a standstill for the feral beast,the locals hid inside their houses and the visitors watched from their perch, in fear, in awe, as the tiger feasted on his prey.

He turned his head around, the last of his kinds, the king of the kings, and made eye contact with the visitors. A deep voiced roar announced that they were in his territory. As the rest of his body followed suit to re-orient itself with the head, he made his presence known. And then he disappeared from the scene, with the grace and urgency of royalty, disappearing like a shadow on a moon less night.

They had just met, the tiger of Seelampur

(To be continued)

Fetch Shera, Fetch!

 In the midst of the huge clusterfuck that the Delhi commonwealth games are promising to be, it seems all of us have forgotten a very important participant. The Mascot. The mascot of each games is the figurehead, the symbol of each games. Its responsibilities include motivating the hoards to actually do something to telling kids to stay in school and lay off the drugs. Mascots have been used to ferry athletes ( With disastrous consequences) and try to keep the blood thirsty mob entertained when the action gets too slow for their liking. Its ripe time, I suppose, to introduce you to the mascot for the 2010 Delhi games, Shera!
The makers of this cartoon had never heard of He-man
No not her but did they not know about He-Man?
Hes saying You gotta be kidding! He’s saying You gotta be kidding!

 The organising comittee guys dont think a lot, so they chose the obvious, A tiger and clad him in slumdog millionaire chaddi baniyan.  For the want of a proper budget they got a 5th grader to draw him and they gave him the most common name, for a dog. Whats more, he looks like he is flipping everyone off.

Here’s what the official release has to say ( Words in italic are mine):

As the true representative of India, Shera embodies values that the nation is proud of: majesty, courage, power and grace (while wearing rupa ki banian and lux ka underwear). He is also a reminder of the fragile environment he lives in(But yet acts cocky, flipping everyone off). He is the most visible face of the Delhi 2010, its key icon( Did you see that pedosmile? and those leering eyes?), and exhorts all citizens of India – young and old – to ‘Come Out and Play(A semi naked tiger is calling you out to play, dont you wanna join?),’ to participate proactively in making the Games a huge success( He is going to build the stadium by himself, while the IOC is busy mud wrestling).

Does anyone notice this tiger is baniyan is shrinking? Plus he looks famished, when was the last time he ate?

I’ll sign out leaving you with this video of our mascot.

 

 

 

Broken traffic lights

This traffic light flashes red and yellow, but never turns to go
Like life’s many mysteries whose answers you are expected, to know
learnt to swim in a pool, the water sits still and doesn’t flow.
Facing the river of life and strong currents, fighting, trying to stay afloat.
As The ticker tape road unwinds,
You realise your struggles are a little dot,
Amid the collective worries of a billion minds.
no point letting it go, keep your chin up even as the water is rising,
You’re a fighter,
Keep punching, keep fighting

Written 3rd June 2009 at a broken down traffic light on my way to work

The other guy to throw a shoe

Little rag picker girls, clothed in green shrouds of poverty

Violate territorial rights of street dogs , in offensive formation

bark threatens to turn to bite, unheralded he rushes

to their rescue and flings at the dogs

a box containing his brand new shoes.

Our hero disappears into the crowd,

unknown, unannounced, unforgettable.

The other thrower of the shoe

This was witnessed  behind my office the day after the infamous first pair of shoes were flung at bush junior

Road rage!

I am convinced, all ppl on Delhi roads are animals! To give you some background i have just come back home after trudging 30 kms in an astounding 2 hours, and no it was not a crawl all the way there were sections where i hit 120 and i was doing 80 wherever possible. However the only thing managed to do was to get from one jam to another faster….
So many idiots holding a drivers license behave like cows on the road, like an unstoppable herd of wilderbeest plowing its way across the Savannah! I wish i had a sniper rifle or better a shoulder fired missile or even better a tank! an M1 Abrams would do just fine with its jet turbine propulsion, thank you !
I have however been on a zen trip…. Like all Indian who suck at what they do but still excel at handing advice, I shall dispense Tips to Control Road Rage!

Lets begin!!
  1. The best way to control your rage is to channel it! why bottle up inside? open your window and scream hysterically! not only will it make everyone else crap their pants, it will also clear your throat! Nothing boosts your reputation in the neighbourhood as the knowledge that you have trouble written all over your face. In case they cant read it, try a darker pen to write.
  2. Take a power nap, turn off your engines and turn the music up loud so the honking wont disturb you and go to sleep…wear this mask so that when the cars and tucks behind you want you to move and somebody really really angry walks up to you to check whats up, you can put the love of god back into them.
  3. More music, and remember to honk in tune….this helps transfer your rage to the other simians behind the wheels.
  4. Expert studies have proven that driving while waving the middle finger out of the window reduces stress by 34% however in certain unfortunate cases it is also known to reduce number of hands by 50% we want you safe, get your buddy to do it for you.
  5. Buy a truck, traffic jams will seem lengthier from your vantage point, but you will be able to squeeze in every possible/impossible opening without a care, your truck already looks crap and no one will leave the paint and metal that you scrape off from the other cars! In fact it might make you the man you wanna become, This morning i read something on the back of a truck which can only roughly translated as ” your Maruti is a soap case, the bus you drive is a woman, Ta Ta trucks are driven by men”
  6. Try this

And before you pick up your keys and free your mind, be good to your family…buy some insurance!

whatever you do, next time i turn up on the road, make way…or this is what I am going to do to you…..


peace!
Pradster out
!