Thursday, 11 September 2008

Idiot Magnet

Ever get the feeling that you have stepped out of the wrong side of the bed? An aunt had told me that as long as I got down on the east (or was it west?) side, the day would go fine. For a two week period after that I religiously slid my feet down in the narrow space between my bed & window. I don't think anything went majorly bad (or good) in that time so slowly I reached the state I am in now viz.. not believing in goblins, gnomes, superstitions, and the like, but really desperately wanting to...

Without much ado. I was traveling. Yeah. Aviation fuels. Petrol. Diesel. Flights. Cars. Taxis. Airports in remote locations. Early mornings. Honking. Irony of it was that one was to a meeting to discuss mitigation of bad things and the other was to consider burning things better than petrol and diesel and JP10.

We might like to call this guy Don Quixote. He arrived about half an hour after I landed and went su-su in swank new loo in the airport and drank a coffee and proudly chatted in Kannada to half the waiting people. "I was right here in the parking lot madam." Right. "I have not been told where to take you madam." Sure. "But here is the address that might be what was given to me madam." Kayo then. He went chasing after one word of one part of the address given. Let me clarify. I had to go to a place on Whitefield Road. He kept asking people directions to Whitefield. Which might have been fine. But. After honking through nearly two hours of nasty traffic, I realised that he had achieved the impossible. Think of it as driving past the Washington Memorial, and missing it. Not knowing that that was what it was. Brilliant as I am, I had my nose down and was working and only realised we were chasing windmills when I found us in Varthur or some such.

This person was so smart and posh and spoke in English and was short. I liked him instantly. Little realising that I was being driven home by the ace magician PCSorcar himself! He magically navigated through another bout of insane honking traffic and brought me to my destination. But. We opened out the trunk and discovered that he had managed to disappear my bag. Thankfully, not my laptop thingammy. But the other one in which I had piled in gifts for my nephews and niece. Sorcar went away with the promise that he would bring me the bag back, come hell or high water. The high water nearly did, raining rather heavily at the very moment the guy called me asking me for the flat number and so on. Loathe to reveal such things I decided to go down and find him. Thus getting soaked. Oh hell.

The next one in the list is mosquito. A male mosquito. A bit annoying but generally harmless. I asked for a pick-up from one of these call taxis that have come up like mushrooms in our metros. I was impressed with the promptness of everything and them having our information on file and what not. 4:45 am was when he was supposed to come for me. I was planning of course to wake up at 4:30, despite my father-in-law having assured me that he intended to make tea for me. Mosquito called me at 3:15 am to tell me that he was all over the situation. He was just outside on the main road and would, at the stroke of 4:45, be downstairs near the building. And I could sashay out of lift and into car and bells would ring. So like a mosquito that used to drunkenly hop around in and out or my ear at such times of the morning in my idyllic home town long years ago.

I reached apna capital city on time at 9:30 in the morning. I lugged in the interminable pre-paid taxi line cursing myself for not figuring out a better plan for pick-up. The guy glanced cursorily at the address I thrust at him and made me pay Rs.175 and threw a receipt back at me. Saala always takes less money my alotted driver swore. Maa ka behen ka stuff also was hurled. I was totally intending to give him some fifty bucks but then the guy turned out to be an absolute mule. At one point he parked the car in the middle of a busy intersection, gave a finger or two to passing honking cars and insisted that I figure out the direction then and there and tell him where to turn. I frantically looked around and yelled RIGHT. He turned right. Cursed some more as it was the wrong one. Insisted he had to take a long detour and two U-turns and what not. I was like Uh-huh Uh-huh you son-of-a-bi-atch I feel like whopping you. Under my breath of course. Finally found myself inside a ministry building which looked for all the world like it would have paan stains in the stairwell (but did not; was quite posh and all inside).

The final straw that nearly broke the camel's back was this. I returned home triumphantly in one piece and not butt-freezing cold or sweating buckets or anything. Only had my period, which was par for the course. Two back to back days of waking up at 4 am (or thereabouts). Two long sessions of meetings which yielded a billion points of action. Three flights and innumerably immeasureably painful rides to airports and so on. One piece was not assured, believe me.

Of course rain in Mumbai. Visarjan also all over the place. Oh heck. I chose an auto and found one and got in. As I unfurled my back-pack and purse and settled in, my glasses flew off my nose. How? Why? Who? I don't even know. Pa-chak they fell on the road. Wet road. I made my friend the driver stop. What shall we call him? Columbus perhaps. Although, at least that guy found something after all, in his quest. But, like old Chris, this one was all over it, enthusiastically offerring to go find the country, err, my glasses from the road for me. I agreed in a moment of weakness. He came back with "Its not there madam" What the heck? I left Sorcar behind in Bengaluru, who else could have disappeared my glasses? So I got down, all indignant, all five foot of me in my shoes and all. And IT WAS RIGHT THERE. I said arrey its here. I almost got to it. But things became slow motion suddenly, like in the movies. I took one step. Then another. Then as my foot was in the air, slowly descending for my third step, so very close to my dear glasses, a cab made a sharp right turn and CRRRUNCH that was the end of that. Oh well. Chris was all considerate. Can you see and what not. I can, I have very little power, its fine.

I think like attracts like. It takes an idiot to not pay attention to directions, to not realise when her bag gets handed in the hotel with the American guy's bags, to take a pre-paid Delhi cab with no idea of how to get to a place, or, for that matter to allow glasses to fly off the nose and land on the wet road. But seriously, despite the fact that I am so not-brilliant and all, I wish I did not have to find myself thrown with so many of my brethren all together on one trip.

7 comments:

choxbox said...

sounds like you had a fun trip.

choxbox said...

btw a magnetism imply attraction of opposite types?

dipali said...

Oh, sounds most dire my dear(:

Babbi said...

oh my, that sounds like one of my trips... u should be glad ur taxi walah was not playing songs from "Raja Hindustani" n "Tere Naam"

PS- i took ur name back to kbpm on my blogroll - now say thank you! hehe

kbpm said...

chox-
fun? yeah sure. would you like me to go with gravity instead of magnetism. you know because it is unabashedly, unreservedly attractive a force?

babbi-
thank you thank you, was getting jitters. :-)

dipali-
yeah, what to do. happens routinely to me. am convinced its me, not them.

Sraikh said...

At least nothing's ever boring when you are there.

Airspy said...

this delhi is anyway a funny place. similar sounding area names but directinnally on opposite poles...vasant vihar/vasant kunj, paschim vihar/paschim puri, moti nagar/moti bagh

And since you didnt meet me when you were in whitefield, i have escaped an honorary mention on this post. :-)