I would not have mentioned this to save me of some embarrassment in life, had someone not told me that I could win a gift coupon just by ridiculing myself. So, here I am sharing this, sorry I farted incident, for the event "Tadka Maar Ke"
Well, this takes me a few years back, when these wispy tufts of hair on my head were free flowing silk threads, the dull in my eyes, sparkled like venus, in short I was young, and still fresh in college.
By then, the English men had devised a way to embarrass us and rob us of our self-respect by making us write exams like TOEFL. Yeah, it was the same demeaning day in my life and I was feeling as bad about it as the rest of them who take it.I was sulking, and wondering what all I could have done with those 7K rupees had it not gone down the funnel in my foren education fund.
A day before the exam, I happened to travel to Delhi alone, and no, this isn't one of those raunchy travel unravel stories told by Chetan Bhagat, where the hero ends up getting laid even before the journey ends. This one is a sad UPSRTC bus, which would rattle so hard that the horn was inaudible in all the din. So naturally, the journey was peaceful and spice-less, except for a couple of incidents. One involving my co-passenger spitting paan masala out of the window and my rubbing what fell on my arm, on his white shirt. The other, of a salesman being snubbed away as he tried to sell a 'Gupt Rog doshi' tablet to a bus carrying men smarting in their manliness.
It was once I reached Delhi that the real show began.
The examination center being in Hauz Khas, I decided to stay somewhere close by and hence went to a shoddy place which for some strange reason was called, 'Mandir wali gali'.
It was almost 8 p.m. on a moderately hot October day, when I reached. Battered by pollution in Delhi, the raucous on road by the autos, and frustration of call balance plummeting on roaming,(like a snapped kite), I finally arrived.
Just 2 meters away from the destination and it took 20 min to cross the road. When I finally did manage to cross it, I was taken aback by the narrowness of the place and the grimness in the air. The narrow alley could surely not have hosted a mandir. Anyhow, alking past those small shops searching for a decent place to stay, I bumped into an old old old friend. I write old thrice only to emphasize on the oddity of our meeting. A college guy from a small town, Roorkee, coming to a huge monster city, Delhi, bumping into a friend whom he met in another smallish city, Lucknow. Whatacoincidence!!! I was so surprised I jumped up in air and so did she. It so happened that she was living in a NIFT hostel nearby, and daily crossed this mandir wali gali at around the same time. Gradually, we got over the surprise and awe of the tricks that he played on us lesser mortals.
We decided that after throwing my stuff in a decent hotel room, we would move to Green Park for dinner.
Knowing the place better, she suggested a hotel and right away walked in "Bhaiyya, he wants a room for tonight, a single bed will do. We want a real cheap one." The concierge looked right, left, to and fro and everywhere except the register, because without peeping in it to look at the details he knew what he had to say. He, looked out of the hotel and saw a few police men standing, other than the general crowd that thronged the halwai shop nearby. Looking back at us, he came up with a lame excuse, "Madamji, Pulse(AIIMS fest) is going on, all the rooms are booked."
We got out disappointed, but not dejected as there were many more such places in that single gali. After assuring me, she went in the next one. and repeated the same, adding "bhaiyya kaisa bhi chalega". And this time there was an instant no. Reason the same, Pulse. With this, my pulse began to rise. No place to spend a night in Delhi where am I going to go. What was wrong with Delhi, how could everyone come for Pulse, and put up at the same place I had in mind.
Anyhow, after about 4-5 rejections and only one last place left to inquire, I got why everyone's pulse raced on seeing us together. Well, looking back I would say, I should have guessed earlier. But somehow, I didn't think, that an innocuous looking female would raise an alarm in the minds of those house keepers, though I understand their concern now, specially with a few policemen at stone's throw distance from their hotel. Now I know, Delhi dharamshalas don't house college students, who appeared like couples even for one night, but I didn't know this then.
So I asked her to let me go in first this time, and wait at some distance from the hotel. She didn't get my logic begind this arrangement, but yeah decided to stay back nonetheless, and talk to her friend over the phone, while I went in. Finally, I was shown a room in the last dharamshala of Mandir Wali Gali, which shared roof with another room, and only a temporary single brick wall to separate the two rooms.
I found after dinner, that a couple had taken shelter in the other room. Incidentally, they had come from Chandigarh to attend Pulse.