Aug 6, 2010

The Upright Rikshawalah

I love to travel on rikshaws, especially the ones driven by paddles; the hand-driven ones give the impression that you endorse slavery.  However, the fun in sitting on a rikshaw, the one with a high seating, is that you have the whole panoramic view of the society around you.  You actually feel like you are sitting on the Aladin's kaleen, flying over the streets, treating your eyes to the spectacle around.  Whenever I can't start for my daily coaching classes early enough, I take a rikshaw to the mainroad.  And if, on the way, I sight a bus zooming in from behind, I wave at the driver, alight from the rikshaw, hurriedly pay the fare to rikshawallah and mount the bus (Kolkata bus drivers come directly from heaven - always very kind to stop and wait for you - however irritating it may be for the other passengers).  More often than not, I end up paying a few coins more to the rikshawalah, than the fare he blurts out; I am in too much of a hurry to keep the bus waiting for that long; what if the driver is not so divine after all!?  But I never regret the loss of a few coins.  Paying more is always better than paying less in a hurry; and if I can spend hundreds, at one go, in a mall, why cringe for a coin or two in an urgent moment like this! (I am addicted to being punctual, however late I start from home).  This happened twice with the same rikshawallah.  I didn't think much of it.  He may have thought of me as an extravagant girl, weak in maths, careless, whatever.  But the strangest thing was that he found a way to balance the scale.  I happened to find him near my home more often.  I  amusingly thought, that he just wanted to make a quick buck.  So I never went up to him unless one day when I was sure of being late if I didn't take the rikshaw.  And so, there I was, mounted on the top of the world, flying on my kaleen, looking around for any bus. None was in sight yet, and thus we went all the way to the crossroads.  When I alighted, and asked him the fare, he deliberately said 'nau rupay' instead of the usual 'barah'.  I was dumbfounded.  I gave him a ten rupee note, with my forehead wrinkled, and waited as he returned a one-rupee coin. 

Aug 4, 2010

Count my blessings

1. I was born a girl.
2. I was not born a girl in Afghanistan.
3. I am above poverty line.
4. I don't have to pay income tax.
5. I have crossed twenty.
6. Old age is still a long way down the line.
7. I have girlfriends.
8. I am straight, and so are they.
9. I can blog.
10. Nobody reads.

Late to bed

Until just a month ago, I was a staunch believer in the 'early to bed-early to rise' principle.  But the nocturnal creature inside me was destined to leap out one day, and I must tell you that there are very thin chances of it going back inside; unless of course the hypochondriac in me arrives with rumours of absolutely abnormal and malicious changes in my body rythm.  What a stupid thing to say. But then who is going to read this anyway. Ahh. Such freedom in writing inanities on your blog; sitting in your bed, late at night, enjoying the cool peaceful breeze from the window and filling the web with yet another spam, which will do little but sprout here and there as a misdirected link to somebody searching for something really important.  I am loving it, the night.   I have heard that godly spirits are active in the day time and devil spirits in the nights! Such a cruel thing to say!  I am by no means a devil, even quite godly by nature. Nights have been dealt a very raw deal. Anybody who has experienced it will agree that it is so calm, serene and peaceful. For me the period post 21:00 hrs has turned out to be such a bliss.  The time hangs still, it is just me and my pastimes - the net, some interesting book and a refrigerator just within reach, which thanks to my grandparents always offers something nice to eat.  Everyday I look forward to the night, my daily period of absolute joy and freedom.  There's no urgency of any sort, least of all of sleeping.  You don't have a meal time hanging over you, or a guest knocking on the door at this time of day.  You can just sit back and enjoy yourself.  You can dream, reflect and plan.  You can step outside yourself and watch as you go about life. You can walk to the verandah or sit by the window and look into the dark. What a luxury! Thank God, there are no war planes overhead and you don't have to fear being bombed. India has certainly afforded us this one great freedom. And I wish to experience this luxury each night of my life in this country.