Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are we there yet?

I have this annoying habit, I like to get to every airport/ railway station/ bus depot ... (you get the drift) well ahead of time! In the same habit.. I dragged everyone to the station a full hour and a half ahead of time! The train did not seem to care to arrive till it was almost time to leave, and then it left in its own leisurely pace about 30 minutes late!! While the train took its time.. we stood at the railway station under a precious spot we had grabbed.. so while others jostled us to look up the waiting list for the train.. we stood our ground.. surrounded by our baggage's and looked longingly at the fan above us that ran in full speed! Yet the rivulets of sweat flowed down our faces and backs.. and we downed bottles of ice cold water... that seemed to just evaporate from inside our body!!

We spotted a peddler adorned in chains and padlocks.. Suddenly struck by paranoia and visions of men in masks taking away my bags of clothes.. I insisted we buy a padlock and chain from the guy! While a German couple haggled with the guy... without speaking a word of Hindi .. they got the chain and padlock for Rs. 25. While we the big Hindi speaking peasants.. paid Rs. 40 for the exact same thing!!!

After a night of restless sleep, we were up bright and early in eager anticipation. However, there was more ground to cover! The journey now seemed endless... after stopping at every inert village on the way, where throngs of villagers dressed in white clothes and colorful turbans, while the women dressed in rich colors, covered their head and face with the colorful dupattas; and stood around without a care in the world! The sole purpose of their rendezvous seemed to be to watch the trains go by.. considering that there seemed to be only fields nearby.. it must have been quite a hike! We on the other hand sat in drab railway boxes, wore dirty stinky boring clothes and wondered why the throngs existed.. looking around for a reason.. maybe a festival? a fete? a carnival? a temple.. anything? No? All this hike and finery just to see us? Really?

After acres and acres of arid desert that seemed to go on forever! At least half a dozen people in our railway car trying to keep us entertained with loud music from their mobiles! Did any of us tell them that they were all causing our heads to split and ears to cry.. playing 6 different songs on their mobiles? No!! We just put up with it and lamented about it to each other! While at it.. we tried the subtle glances, the pointed piercing looks, the threatening glares.. anything but open our mouth and say something!! The noise continued! Not to mention, there was a 4 yr old spider man jumping around on our feet, backs, laps, hands and heads! As long as it belongs to one of the Cheeky family, it was fair game I suppose! Given all this, we were just about ready to jump out the train!! Really!! However we stay put in our a/c chariots and worried about stepping into the heat of the arid desert outside while the train still rode on stopping every few minutes.. and one imp whined " I don't want to be a passenger anymore!!" At least it was a relief from "Are we there yet?"

Remember the story about the padlock peddler? When we finally after having fought every instinct to unlock the chains early.. remember the masked bandits? .. well we finally decided, might as well unlock, for we would have to take the baggage with us after all eh? {ding!} We found that the lock and key having dispensed their duty were now headed to the after world..
However we had more adventures in store for us.. We had arrived at the Golden City!
Disclaimer: I am not whining about India.. I absolutely love India even with its little idiosyncrasies.. but I also was born with a sarcastic tongue!! :P

6 comments:

Pavi!!!! said...

First things first..I u'stand if ur offended with my comment on ur last post. i did not intend for it to sound that way. I realize my verbage was incorrect n i should have chosen a better way to say what i wanted to.I am sorry.
i got carried away with my feelings about the airline system in the us. i used to travel on mons n thurs EVERY week for 2 years...n i could write a whole book with rants about the way flights operate here!

Hope the misunderstanding is cleared.

Pavi!!!! said...

n now onto more imp things....

woow! that was a quick update!good job! now shall wait for part 3 n more abt rajasthan!

n really a german got a better deal than u ? thanks to being in the us..we seem to have lost our bargaining skills!

lostonthestreet said...

First time I think that Indians are getting fleeced by the touts and white firangs getting a better deal :-) heheh how did that happen.
hope u have/had a great time in rajasthan..

Rambler said...

did you try to haggle in tamil? just curios ..south indians do get a little into trouble up north

Preethi said...

Pavi - Hey no issues.. about the disclaimer.. was just clarifying for people who would tend to think that I am just cribbing about India.. that was not the idea!! :)
And yeah the German did get a better deal :( and the bargaining skills were my sister.. she is worse than me!! :P
Lost - We had a fantastic time in Rajasthan.. more on that soon :)
Rambler - Actually my hindi is pretty good (even if I say so myself). It is just that we did not haggle with the guy.. and in retrospect found out about the german couple! My dad had been a silent observer and now tells the tale to everyone he can get!

Mama - Mia said...

i dont wanna be a passenger anymore! thats what i am gonna say next time i am tired on a journey!! :p