Uncle and his radio

Mr. Abbas runs a ittar (attar) shop and must be over the age of 70. His little shop is on this slope that takes you to a temple. Very close to public parking, the shop would have sunlight during noon. A small entry in to the shop will reveal a bench where at max 3 people can sit.

Mr. Abbas is passionate about perfumes we call Ittar or Attar. He says his salaam and ask what would you like to see or buy. I replied some ittar and if you would have Oodh. Now, oodh is a famous ittar amongst those who use or have been using ittar for sometime. On asking for it, his eyes lit up and says I’ll keep that for the last.

He quickly went and gathered a few bottles and started telling us which was what smell. He slowly progressed towards stronger smells and finally to oodh. He said, “I don’t show oodh to a lot of people, because a lot of them don’t understand /appreciate the smell”.

There was a radio (see the photo) and I asked about it. He tells me it was very old and that he went for Haj this time. He went on and told me it was a great trip and he didn’t feel like coming back.

We soon purchased our bottles of perfumes and said our goodbyes. Mr. Abbas sounded genuine and very happy with his shop. A man who likes his fragrances and those who buy them.

I’d very much like to meet him someday again. Oh! Did I tell you that I bought a bottle of Oodh for my abba too? I think he’ll like it.

Until next time.

-J

Banana Guy

There is a guy who has a suitcase and a bunch of bananas in a plastic poly bag. I reckon he is traveling. My best guess would be he is going home for Raksha Bandhan, a Indian festival where sisters tie Rakhi (a thread) on their brother’s wrists. The brother in return promises to protect her.

This whole thing is a big reason for people to travel home and families to come together. Anyway, the reason I started by telling you about him was bananas and the very fact that they were still raw. It bothered me a bit.

There are others in the metro, some are engrossed in their phones like me while others are sleeping. Life can indeed be tiring in a city like Delhi. The metro keeps going through the tunnel, doors open and people come in and go out but what remains constant is the fight for the seats.

I am quite comfortable because I was able to get a seat, so I’ll try and enjoy it because my station is hardly 10 minutes away. Small pleasures of life.

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I’m sorry for not replying to a few emails that were sent to me.I’ll reply to them once I’m home.

-J

Millenium City

I found myself in the rapid metro of the Millenium City aka Gurgaon now known as Gurugram. It was 8:30 pm and the metro went through Golf Course Road. It is famous for hosting offices of some of the largest companies like Zomato, KIA, Amex and so on.

Now the beauty about it at night is that you see people working in the offices, sitting with their backs straight in the meeting rooms and acting to be attentive. (while someone is scribbling at the whiteboard). Some are on their desks staring at the bright white light and scrolling endlessly. Some floors are empty yet the lights are on while some are dark and the only source of light is the white light.

I look at my reflection and realize I was one of those individuals working on a similar piece of machine a while ago. The metro continued and we passed the Golf Course Road finally arriving at our destination station Sikanderpur. Now, if you have been to Sikanderpur, you’ll know how people like me fight for a seat or for a spot so we can either chat, talk or catch up on movies/TV series.
Sikanderpur metro either takes you to Delhi or to Gurgaon but life continues. People endlessly board the metro and get to work every day to earn what they can and live what they dream.

I will do the same this coming Monday.

Cat Among The Pigeons

You randomly decide to catch up with a friend at a bookstore which has a cafe that is known for chai. Well, no suspense there it is called Cha Bar and the bookstore goes by the name ‘Oxford Bookstore’. This is in Connaught Place of New Delhi, India.

So, I was in the metro today with a book that I bought from the above-talked bookstore. Yes, you go to a bookstore and you have to have to buy a book. The reason I bought this was because I remember reading ‘Cat Among The Pigeons by Agatha Christie’ back in 2007 when I was in a school.

The weather was perfect, the temperature showing 16 °C, the metro coming out of the tunnel and sun shining on your back and an empty metro which means you get to sit and read in silence.  That is when I clicked this photograph.

Tell me what you guys are reading these days? And how’s the weather at your end?

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Metro Ride #521

I got into the metro and the guy ahead of me looks at his reflection and dances. Maybe that’s what late nights do to you, they allow you to be more expressive. Anyway, I get myself a seat and the gate of the metro stays open so that more people can board it, it reminds of those even-odd days in Delhi when bus number 507 that I usually took would stop until they got a good number of passengers on board.

I sit on the seat with an empty mind and stare at my phone. After a few stations, a gentleman comes and sits on the empty seat on my right. He has his headphones on and is listening to Ae Kaash Ke Hum. I used to love that song once but then I listened to it so much that I started disliking it, does it ever happen to you?

So, the metro continues to find its way on those zig-zag tracks until it enters the dark underground tunnel only to move like a snake through its burrow. After two stations, I’ll have to get down and find my way home.

Doors will open, people will board and deboard the metro until this moving box gets to its destination.

Continue reading

A day 

I took the metro after some time again today. A ride that I’ve been taking almost on all weekdays for the past two years now.
Everything felt different and I found myself out of place. On getting out of the metro, people started moving fast leaving me behind. There was a rush at the metro gate and I looked around to find some familiar faces but all I got to see were the tensed faces of people. People who were running late, people who weren’t happy and people who were happy. I don’t know for sure, I just saw and tried reading.

Now I’m writing this in the metro and it’s not as full as it usually is because I left a bit early. I have plenty of space to stand and I had planned to read a book but choose to listen to a few songs.

It’s a normal day in the lives of people in Delhi NCR. Welcome to it.

Thanks for reading one of the random and absurdly ending post. Do tell me how you’ve been.

Garmi ka ek din

Hello again. I recently invested in a diary and now my aim is to put it to a good use. Today, I wrote a short story and a sher. Now you will have to wait for the sher because this post will have the story. Read it and let me know your views. 🙂

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From Mumbai

A few photographs I took recently

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Bandra-Worli Sea Link
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Bandra-Worli Sea Link

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I am also going to upload a series of Timelapse very soon. Sit tight!

A visit to Jaipur

There are two terms –
1. Tourist
2. Traveller

I like to think of myself as a traveller and not a tourist but there is nothing right and nothing wrong, it is just that I happen to relate to it more. Let me tell you about my recent travel to Jaipur from the capital of India. This is going to be a candid one so I believe you will enjoy it.

Returning late from work on a Friday evening, I and my friend (colleague)  started talking about going somewhere on the extended weekend as Monday was an off. Nothing materialized but I suggested we can go to Jaipur since it is just under 300 km from the city, we left for our places only to talk about it later at night.

I went home, checked my emails and then logged into facebook and then talked to that same friend and he said let’s go, I said yes and we decided to meet at Sarai Kale Khan Inter-State Bus Terminus in New Delhi from where we would catch our ride to Jaipur – The Pink City.

Fast-forward to the next morning. We reached Sarai Kale Khan and sat in the first bus that was leaving for Jaipur and then we shook hands because we started on this unplanned trip, still not sure where we would stay, how many days, how much money we needed and what we would do there. Let me talk about the bus a bit more and also tell you the price (also, I can visit this later and recall how much I paid).

The bus was of Haryana Roadways and to our surprise, it was fairly clean and in nice condition. The conductor of the bus wasn’t grumpy and he gave us a single ticket for Rs. 270. Yes, that was cheap, so we bought the tickets and sat back in our seats with some stranger sharing the third seat in our row. He did not speak to us until we reached very close to Jaipur and that happened when I asked him to shift from the window seat, see I just wanted to take some photographs. On the way, the bus stopped at something which won’t even qualify for a Dhaba, on realizing that we had no options and Jaipur was still 180 km away, we ordered Paranthas with Rajma curry. There were actually very nice.

Now let me quickly jump to the bus stop in Jaipur, it took us a while to reach there (even after entering Jaipur). As soon as we got outside of the bus, one auto driver came to us and offered us to show hotels. After much discussion, we said okay let’s try and he took us to some hotels and we ended up taking one in Bani Park area, very close to the bus stop and also to the main road.

After bargaining and checking in, I opened up Jugnoo app and called for an auto, since it seemed like a cheap option but really wasn’t. What arrived was a tempo kind of thing and not really an auto. We went to Badi Chopad and explored the market and then walked to Raj Mandir Cinema for the Lassi shop called Shreenath Lassiwala only to find it closed. Nevermind, we had this Rajasthani thali at Natraj. Very nice thali, great service. Day 1 ended with us exploring places around that area. We took an Uber which there is for Rs5/km, cheaper than Delhi, had a nice chat with the driver.

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Back at hotel, I was taking backup of the photographs I had clicked. I knew I would soon run out of space because I only carried two memory cards -8GB each, yeah I know what is going through your mind right now.

Next day, we got up real early, had a shitty breakfast and then took an e-Rickshaw to Badi Chopad from there we would catch a bus to Amer Fort. Fast-forward (spare me please, I know I am using this term too much) to the part where we take a bus, then another bus and then an e-Rickshaw again and finally arrive at the Zoo. I really wanted to visit zoo because-because I had recently purchased my first telephoto lens which is Tamron 70-300mm and I wanted to make sure that I use it. Uploading photographs that I took with it.

Then we roamed a bit more, had kachori one of the shops, ate lunch and then struggled to book a cab back to our hotel. At six in the evening, we  boarded a bus, clean and nice and I took the window seat this time. I honestly dozed off for like 15 minutes in the starting but then I stared outside for the remaining journey. I was home at around 12:30, had dinner and slept!

Now, I need to buy a memory card. Say, a 32 GB or 16 GB would do! I also need to take more photographs, I uploaded these on facebook and got great response, people loved them.

That’s all folks! You are awesome for making it till the end.

Sliced Apples

Warning: This is not a fiction. 

I was standing and reading my book in the metro while a fellow traveler who happened to have a seat was eating his apples. Now the apples were sliced and were  nicely placed in the little round container. He was munching on them and occasionally offered them to his friends as well. The box came into my sight a few times, as the train moved and so did my book and the apples would come into sight. 

I all of a sudden had this thought, a funny one I should mention. The thought was what if I pick one of the slice from the box very discreetly, would that guy even notice? I mean he was busy talking. And then I laughed to myself and wrote the incident down. 

If that guy or someone from the group is reading, then next time please offer it. Just kidding.