Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Requisite India Sojourn post.

My school friend Pradyumna Sharma is a chef in Australia. And since he is in the culinary business , he finds it most amusing to greet everyone with an eyes to the roof inducing " Whats cooking , mate? ". Well if I were to be asked that question now, the answer would be Delhi, that's whats cooking. Its sweltering, volcanic and brain frying-ly hot here. Its so hot that in the afternoon, its not just the heat from the sun above but the heat emanating from the tarred roads below that ensures a crispy well done human roast. The heat waves are so thick you can almost see them,rising up from the ground. you have to squint everytime you step out side the door because the glare is so harsh. Well other than that little detail its all fine and dandy in the home country.

I voted for the first time in my life (discounting a college election) and I am so glad that not only did Mr.Ajay Maken, the congress candidate from central Delhi win, but congress had a clean sweep all over the country. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the police constables and the election officials at the booth were very courteous and helpful.

Public transportation in Delhi is mots convenient , at least to the places i want to go to. Over crowded , unplanned regions of Delhi like trilokpuri, lakshmi nagar all make me glad I dont live there but also bring me closer to the realization taht we are not out of the woods yet.Travelling in buses is most delightful and memorable. My first trip on a bus was marred by a child puking (It smelled and looked like a banana) and when the conductor and driver ganged up on the father with arguments like " Aapko pata hona chaahiye ne ki yeh ulti karne waala hai?" and " Isko aapne khaana hi kyun khilayan ?" the public came to their rescue. The next day a guy got on with a daffli, one blind eye and started singing a most mellifluous song dedicated to Bholenath. Its amazing how much music is a part of traveling in Delhi. Apart from the traveling beggar-singers, I have found that traveling in a blue line is never bereft of the radio or the casette player blaring away in the background. Its always the early 90s- Tseries- nadeem -Shravan type of music that plays. Now here's the strange part. they never play the original audio cassettes. Whoever the singers are they are definitely not Anuradha Paudwal or Kumar sanu. This has led me to believe that there is an underground music industry in India, that has its own stable of singers who re-sing the popular songs of the time and release them under their own labels, probably at lower rates. Wouldn't it just be easier to copy the original tapes, the logical mind would ask? But then again these people are clearly devoid of the logical bent of mind.*

My group of friends mostly get together at out school smack in the centre of the city. Close to the school is Mandi House which is the HQ of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan. They have several posters outside their building showing off the hit TV serials on their rosters, titles like Kaanch key Sapnay , Fauji - the Iron Man and Wild Adventures - Balloooning with the Bedi brothers or in hindi - Bedi Bandhuon ke sang yaatrayein.Does anybody still watch DD? Apparently they do in the villages, where Fauji - the iron man is a much awaited every Tuesday night.But the weirdest thing has to be DD+, that is the direct to home service that DD offers. Really? Would anyone actually pay money to set this up at their home ? Isnt DD for those ppl who cannot afford Cable??

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