14

"Dilli Bandh"... life comes to a standstill

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 3:02 PM in , ,

VIGNETTE: Description of an awfully tragic morning: Being late for college and taking an auto in an attempt to make it on time. Riding in what proves out to be a ‘death-auto’ for 13 long minutes. Frantically running all the way to the class only to enter a half-empty space and finding out that all the classes have been called off. Thinking of still utilizing the time by getting some pending work done at the other end of Delhi. Going to the metro station in hope of speeding things up and finding out that the damned metro services from the university station have been curtailed for the day due to some dharnas. Realizing that there is no other way to get to ‘the other end’. Returning home dejected. Thinking of digging your teeth into your favorite cookie, awesome stress-buster, but finding your neighborhood grocer's shop closed.

* Curtains drawn *

Yeah, that was a brief prelude to the kind of morning I had today. Though I woke up at 6 a.m., I still managed to get late for college (a feat only I can achieve!) and decided to squander a few bucks on an auto (which spells ‘luxury’ in student’s circles here) in a desperate attempt to reach the class on time. I had an economics class and the teacher was pretty strict when it came to giving out attendance to ‘late-comers’. So I asked the auto-wallah to speed up… and big surprise: he turned out to be a maverick brave-heart! Maybe he saw this as an opportunity to display ALL his stocked up driving skills (and stunts!) and rode REAL fast…so fast that I had to hold on to my seat to stay in place! Thankfully a few narrow escapes and missed accidents later… I finally reached the college in time (with white knuckles, ofcourse!). I rushed to the class only to find out that all the classes had been called off (yes, including the eco class) cause most of the teachers hadn’t been able to make it to college due to traffic-jams that had become commonplace today. Frustrated and dejected, I decided to utilize the day anyway and thought of getting some work done at ICSI, prasad nagar. So I strolled to the university metro station, patting myself on the back, but what I saw there was no less than adding insult to injury. I saw reporters from NDTV, and other blah blah blah channels, interviewing people; asking them how the ‘closed’ metro line had “affected/hit their schedule”. Taken aback, I eventually gathered that the Delhi University-Kashmere Gate, 4 kms underground metro stretch, had been closed as a precautionary measure (because the traders had decided to gherao the delhi assembly which fell midway on the route) till further notice. For a brief moment I actually contemplated going and whacking the NDTV reporter on the head (I don’t know why though, it wasn’t her fault!) who was interviewing a univ mate as to how he felt about the whole ‘metro line abruptly closing down’ thing. Instead, I walked away from the scene and cribbed in quite murmurs to myself and cursed lady luck for having abandoned me on the very first day of the week-Monday (which is quite unpopular anyway… cause of its ‘inherent quality/ability/trait’ of yanking people out of weekends and throwing them into the tiring hustle-bustle of daily life).

So seeing all my hopes of making some good of the day falling flat on their face, I started back home. Saw truckloads of people being ferried to the assembly… they shouted slogans against the MCD sealing drive… resolute anger and determination marked their faces. All this; while me, dejected beyond measure, tried thinking about the good things in life… but all that plagued my mind were sad thoughts and gloomy tales.

Blink! Hang on… it can’t be all that bad! I just needed to think like an optimist and try to find out the silver lining to this cloud. Hmmm… now what good can this bring? Oh, ofcourse! This was an awesome opportunity for me to snuggle up in my sheets at home, with a nice book in my hand (bought ‘memoirs of a geisha’ yesterday) and dig my teeth into my favorite cookie! Wow! Why hadn’t I thought of this before?!? So with a newfound spring in my steps, I hop along the way to my neighborhood grocer to get a packet of the heavenly cookies, with gleamy stars in my eyes leading the way. Could hardly wait to execute my brilliant plan for the afternoon! But then it happened… lady ‘bad luck’ couldn’t have been crueler… I see (and suddenly remember it was a ‘traders’ strike… and the grocer was no exception) that the shop’s shutter was down with two heavy locks securely holding it in place. And then one more realization, which can safely be called the ‘cherry on the cake’, dawned on me- the strike was going to go on for three days… till the 1st of November…

* Curtains fall *

EPILOGUE: Ok, now I officially put an end to all the cribbing and tell you what I finally did:
I went back home, switched on my computer, and typed the whole ordeal down as a blog entry ;)

P.S. 1: Blogosphere is an awesome place to vent out your anger.
P.S. 2: The above pics was taken first hand while returning back home.
P.S. 3: NO, I haven’t exaggerated anywhere in the post.
P.S. 4: Desperately hope that the coming two days of the bandh prove better.
P.S. 5: Delhi seems paralysed!

10

Dusshera Innovation...

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 2:29 AM in ,


The pink city, Jaipur, is famous for many things- food, people, splendor, valour… but the one thing that is often overlooked is the innovative bent of mind that the people here are blessed with. One recent ‘innovation’ that caught my eye was the ‘finish-it-yourself mini dusshera ravanas’. Allow me to elucidate--- I returned from Delhi to Jaipur a day before the much celebrated dusshera festival and was greeted by hoards of mini ravans sitting pretty on every major (and every not-so-major) goods shelf of store-keepers. Ravans ranging from 3-6 feet, costing anywhere from Rs.300-Rs 1000, gleamed at me from every nook and corner of the city. All one was expected to do was to finish them by adding the ‘cracker’ zing… and bang! Your very own mini ravana was ready to be later burnt up in smoke- in celebration of India’s rich historic culture, tradition, values… that still live on in the hearts and minds of united Indians. Philosophy aside… I bought a 3-feet ravana myself (cost me somewhere around Rs.350), finished it with crackers and watched it go up in flames on dusshera night. Cost notwithstanding, the fun it afforded was priceless. Truly an idea which, it seems, could be emulated by retailers of other cities soon. The beginning of a new trend in festival-specific, money-making ideas?? Only time will tell…

17

I've been tagged!

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 4:55 AM in , ,
Ah people, I’ve been tagged by Priyanka (I’m working on the basic assumption that people in blogging circles know what ‘tagging’ means). Its an open tag so all those who wish to do it can go right ahead! There's an X before all the things I've done… and the other brackets are empty… so all you have to do is copy and paste the thing and edit the X's ...

So hold on tight, the roller-coaster ride begins now!

( ) smoked a cigarette (Detest tobacco)
( ) crashed a friend's car (Crashed?? A car?? No no no! I rock behind the wheel!)
( ) stolen a car (Who dareth say that?)
(X) been in love (Many times over ;))
( ) been dumped (You kidding?)
( ) shoplifted (Never!)
( ) been fired (You first need a job in order to get fired :( )
( ) been in a fist fight (Ahem!)
( ) snuck out of your parent's house (Never felt the need, actually.)
(X) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back (Sigh!)
( ) gone on a blind date (Ahem again!)
(X) lied to a friend (Sorry!)
(X) skipped school (Only when I was down with fever.)
( ) seen someone die (Never! The ‘D’ word gives me the jitters. Brrr!)
(X) had a crush on one of your Internet friends (Tee hee hee… keep guessing!)
( ) been to Canada (Nay. But US… yeah.)
( ) been to Mexico (Nay nay.)
(X) been on a plane (Now how can one go the the US if not on a plane?)
(X) eaten sushi (Yum. Compulsive foodie!)
( ) been skiing-snow or water (No :( )
(X) met someone from the Internet (Er… kinda. But had met before, so big deal.)
(X) been at a concert (But whoever said I enjoyed it?)
(X) taken painkillers (Who hasn’t?)
( ) love someone or miss someone right now (Duh.)
(X) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by (Once. Lovely!)
( ) made a snow angel (Are you kidding? I hail from Rajasthan!)
( ) had a tea party (Don’t remember, actually.)
(X) flown a kite (Make that 'kites'. Grew up with two brothers!)
( ) built a sand castle (And it hurts the most to leave this one blank. T, when are we going to goa ya??)
(X) gone puddle jumping (Fun!)
( ) played dress up (Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but NO.)
( ) jumped into a pile of leaves (No again.)
( ) gone sledding (Rajasthan people. Stop mocking… and smirking!)
(X) cheated while playing a game (Er… this is rare… but yeah! Uno!)
(X) been lonely (Sigh again.)
( ) fallen asleep at work/school (Never. Strange, no!)
( ) used a fake ID (But used a fake licence, ya!)
(X) watched the sun set (Therapeutic.)
(X) felt an earthquake (Uncommon phenomena at my side of the world, but yeah.)
( ) slept beneath the stars (I wish.)
(X) been tickled (And begged to be let free… hahaha!)
( ) been robbed (No! And thank god for that!)
(X) been misunderstood (At times! Blame the dunderheads, not me!)
( ) pet a reindeer/goat/kangaroo (Yuck yuck.)
(X) won a contest (What sorta contest? Does BQC count??)
(X) run a red light/stop sign (Occasionally! But usually when a traffic policeman is not around. Common-sense!)
( ) been suspended from school (Never never never.)
( ) been in a car crash (Noooo!)
(X) had braces (Priyanka, run for your life! How dare you tag me and ask questions as absurd as this one?!?)
(X) felt like an outcast/third person (If it isnt about me, it ought to be BORING!)
( ) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night (And mounted on 300 gazillion calories? No thank you.)
(X) had déjà vu (Spooky, but yeah. Many a times.)
( ) danced in the moonlight (The moment’s yet to come. Atleast have ‘something’ to look forward to!)
(X) liked the way you looked (Most of the time. And why not?)
( ) witnessed a crime (Does ‘witnessing’ others bunk/sneak out of classes count?)
(X) questioned your heart (Introspection. Yeah.)
(X) been obsessed with post-it notes (Sounds very familiar.)
( ) squished mud through your bare feet (Ewww! Sheesh! You are saying people actually do that??)
(X) been lost (When I was 2. Got lost in Karol Bagh! But mom found me soon enough. Phew!)
(X) been on the opposite side of the country (Travelomaniac! Travelfanatic!)
( ) swam in the ocean (But swam in a pool, alright.)
( ) felt like dying (Nah. But yeah, felt like disappearing!)
(X) cried yourself to sleep (Have mercy.)
(X) played cops and robbers (My nutty bros made sure I did that.)
( ) recently colored with crayons (I’m OLD!)
( ) sang karaoke (Don’t you love your glasses?? Spare them the trouble... and the damage! Hmph!)
(X) paid for a meal with only coins (School friends and coins… old association!)
(X) done something you told yourself you wouldn't (Talk of daredevilry!)
(X) made prank phone calls (But only as a kid.)
( ) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (Gawk! NO! How unsophisticated! Yeah… I’m too uptight!)
( ) caught a snowflake on your tongue (Boo hoo hoo! Enough with the Rajathan jokes!)
( ) danced in the rain (Er… no. Yeah yeah… I know it’s weird. You don’t need to tell me that over and over again!)
(X) a letter to Santa Claus (nailed to the wall in a white, sparkling stocking!)
( ) been kissed under the mistletoe (No misteltoes :x)
( ) watched the sun rise with someone you care about (Are some people ACTUALLY that fortunate?? Im green with envy!)
(X) blown bubbles (Responsible for half the bubbles blown in this planet.)
( ) made a bonfire on the beach (Hmmm… maybe on our planned trip to Goa this year.)
( ) crashed a party (Nay.)
(X) gone roller skating (Tried, fell… bloop!)
(X) had a wish come true (More often than not! Touch wood.)
( ) jumped off a bridge (Do I look crazy? Or suicidal?)
( ) ate dog/cat food (Again, do I look crazy?? Or suicidal? LOLZ!)
( ) told a complete stranger you loved them (Why would I do that?)
(X) kissed a mirror (Ok now forget I just said that!)
(X) sang in the shower (Hardly ever, but yes. Wont even qualify as a bathroom-singer!)
( ) had a dream that you married someone (Never.)
( ) glued your hand to something (You think we cant just yank it off? Or to glues come with "You cant get rid of me" warnings these days? Lol! I crack myself up!)
( ) kissed a fish (Er… just eating would suffice for now.)
( ) climbed a water tower (Im no tarzan… incarnated or otherwise.)
(X) screamed at the top of your lungs (But only when fighting with dad… to drive my point home, obviously!)
( ) done a one-handed cartwheel (Nah.)
( ) talked on the phone for more than 5 hours (Nonstop? What do you talk about for so long???)
(X) stayed up all night (Insomniac by profession. It IS night right now!)
( ) picked and ate an apple right off the tree (No apple trees here. Pooh!)
( ) climbed a tree (Tried… fell hard on my arse.)
( ) had a tree house (What is this?? The US of A??)
( ) been too scared to watch a scary movie alone (Braveheart!)
(X) believe in ghosts (As a kid, ofcourse.)
( ) have more than 30 pairs of shoes (But close estimate nevertheless!)
( ) worn a really ugly outfit to school (Why would I do that?)
( ) gone streaking (Na.)
(X) gone doorbell ditching (If it means what I think it does, then yeah!)
( ) been pushed into a pool/hot tub with all your clothes on (People who know me wont dare!)
(X) told you're hot by a complete stranger (But in less express terms ofcourse.)
( ) broken a bone (Nah. Im no case of fragile bones.)
(X) been easily amused (The habit persists!)
( ) caught a fish then ate it (Never even gone ‘phishing’!)
( ) caught a butterfly (Tried though!)
(X) laughed so hard you cried (Yeah! Actually... I usually laugh that hard!)
( ) cried so hard you laughed (So that’s not just confined to maniacal soap stars?? Revelation!)
(X) cheated on a test (Sorry teachers!)
(X) forgotten someone's name (And found yourself feeling awkward and embarassed! Hey, cant blame me! I know a lotta people! You don’t expect me to remember EVERYONES name!)
( ) French braided someone's hair (Nay. People don’t trust me with their hair!)( ) gone skinny dipping in a pool/hot tub/river (And where would I do that? In my ‘indoor heated pool’? Bah! Bill Gates daddy, I want a new pool.)
( ) been threatened to be kicked out of your house or been kicked out of your house (Never once!)
(X) loved someone so much you would gladly die for THEM (But see… that’s a thing of the past! Next!)
( ) cheated on someone (Even loathe the idea.)
(X) talk to yourself when no-ones around (Brief self-rationalizing talks and all. Nothing major!)
(X) hate someone you once loved (A fairy-tale gone sour.)
(X) love someone you once hated (Yeah, that has also happened.)

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Priyanka, that was a long long tag (fun, nonetheless)! Hope the ‘thirst’ is adequately quenched ;)

P.S. Thanks all for bearing with my smart-ass jokes and comments.

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