A man is kicking the fan to make it work… He might as well rip the damn thing off!
A kid is nodding off with her wobbling in the air. I was calculating her oscillation frequency when her heavily bearded father looks at me suspiciously and ruffles his mane!
A learned-looking Muslim is scanning the newspapers hungrily while the officer next to him is filling out his insurance papers.
Two ladies are chatting their hearts away about a niece’s wedding and sharing the dirt. A chic is sitting by the window, apparently texting her boyfriend(s) until she catches my eye and flashes a smile.
This is the scene of my latest ride aboard the Indian Railways.
Had a hell of a busy holiday with international and intra-national trip.
Upon my return, I had a full two and a half months ahead of me with superfluous plans of a trip with friends to some hill-station and/or shrine. Half-hazard as they were, nothing ever got materialized. Anyhow, I swam, cycled(on Mercedes), slept on time almost daily and ate my way through the delicious home cuisines while trying desperately to attend CAT classes and revise the same.
The most pleasant of surprises came in the form of Romy and Max, my two little pugs, who can chew up just about anything from a slipper to a cellphone. Romy is a darling of a dog who can be utmost cute whenever you shout at her and Max can be the dumbest of dogs most of the time. And yet, their mannerisms are unnaturally identical. Both tilt their heads in the same direction whenever am eating or watching TV. And both bark at the exact same time whenever am napping on the couch.
Then it was time to head to Delhi… And while Delhi weather is an absolute bitch, this city is much better than Mumbai, where the traffic is always ready to bite your ass off. God save Mumbai-cars!
The only area where Mumbai scores is the ample amount of rain it receives, if you are ruling out drainage problems. All the while I was in Delhi in the last week of June, there was not even a drop of rain and the water shortage didn’t help either.
The next trip was to my relatives in Thailand, an amazingly happy country… People here are so well-mannered and so not self-centered. For instance, they will always have a hint of a smile on their faces. And they are always eager to help you out, despite language barriers. And though their English is most pathetic, they can be wonderful with sign language. Even after almost 10 years, the county is just as cheerful, if not more.
The best thing about Thais is they never flout authority. Rules and discipline shape their culture and a deep belief in God gives them peace. And they respect women immensely, something visible from the fact that stores and offices over here have more number of female staff than male ones. As long as you respect their feelings and beliefs, they welcome you with open arms into their country. And I was among the upper half of the average height in this country. Am taller in Thailand :DAnd here’s the best part… Bangkok has all the best cars of this world and then some more. I used to stand on the walkways and look down on the road for hours just to feast my eyes on those mean machines. And Thais respect their cars just as much as their gods. No wonder this place is so damn heavenly and blessed. Why, they have Ferrari and Lamborghini dealerships scattered all over the place!!
Pattaya gave me a glimpse of the heaviest bikes like Harley Davidson, Triumph, Ducati, even American Chopper! I could easily settle down and fall in love with this country.
Now here comes the question… How could a country with little people and smaller area be light years ahead of India?? Is it that they never question their King or is it that they have much better mindsets than the average Indian? Be it rural or urban, every place has similar facilities and resources. And technology comes naturally to Thais. Why, even the trolleys in their malls and supermarkets are most mechanically ingenious, so much so that I could ride atop them like a skateboard and not topple!
Spirit houses is another interesting concept here. Thais believe that every piece of land is a home to spirits. And when they wish to build upon that land, they first build beautiful spirit houses so as not to uproot the spirits from their dwellings and then carry out with the construction. Gives a whole new meaning to thinking beyond oneself!
Back home, it took us almost 4 hours to reach CST from Mumbai airport. And then our train was cancelled due to some mishap with the Vidarbha express en route. 2 extra days in Mumbai made me realize just how much safer and economical it is to live in smaller cities.
A lot has changed about this city, just like the rest…