Apologies for not having posted in a while. The usual excuse is of course writer’s block, but sadly, the block has not yet deemed me as worth its attention. (In fact I have a lot to write about, and a block of some sort might come in handy to save humanity) So, the problem here is actually the fact that BSNL has disconnected my internet at home, for not paying the previous month’s bill.
I of course tried explaining to them the sad story involving a bad investment, but they were firm that I had to pay the bill anyway. But because all the cash you invested in Gopal Iron Co doesnt suddenly reappear just because you have to pay bills, I’m now using the net at work to bring you this blog post.
The incident mentioned here took place about a month back in security obsessed Delhi. Our protagonist, S, was in Delhi for the first time, and in his hurry to checkout the Metro, found himself at the station without a clue about his destination. Unfazed, he bought a travel card, cleared the security check, and called a friend with an internet connection and asked him to look for the name of a specific place on wikitravel.
Assuming the friend would call back in a minute, S just hung around the area where you had to turn off onto one platform or the other (S was an engineer, and believed in efficiency- he didnt want to climb a flight of stairs he might have to climb back down in case it led to the wrong platform.)
It was while he was loitering here that he felt the gaze of the policemen at the security check on him. He chuckled, thinking the police probably viewed his loitering at a random area with suspicion. However, in order to stick around without causing any further stir among the cops, S moved over to a mobile charging kiosk nearby, standing in a manner he thought would not be considered particularly terrorist-like.
Just as he reached it however, an attendant stepped out of nowhere to inform him the kiosk didnt work. Hmph! The cops were now definitely studying him with (professional) interest. S began to feel nervous, and tried ringing up the friend, but he didnt pick up.
Certain by now that he was a terrorist suspect, S quickly hurried up the nearest flight of stairs and paused only on the platform to catch his breath. Another call from here to the friend went unanswered. A train came and left and S was the only person on the platform who didnt get on it. One of two people actually, the other man was a Metro official, who now began eying S- suspiciously.
Man of action that he was, S threw all his plans to the wind, went up to the metro official and asked how he could get to Chandni Chowk (the first place that popped to mind). The official told him he had to get onto the other platform. So S climbed back down the stairs, crossed the lobby below (hoping the cops at the end of the lobby were not concerned with or about him anymore) and climbed the stairs onto the other platform.
Here, he checked with a man standing about if this was indeed the side you could catch a train towards Chandni Chowk. To his surprise, the man said no, that was the other side! Cursing the metro official, S climbed back down the stairs, crossed the lobby with some trepidation, climbed onto the other side and waited for the next train. After a couple of minutes, S asked another man standing about if this was the correct platform. To his incredulity, the man shook his head and informed him it was the other one! Fuming, S stepped off the platform, onto the lobby. No longer bothered about the looks the policemen were giving him, he marched right upto one of them and demanded to know the correct platform. The policeman asked him to take the second set of stairs.
Second set of stairs? SECOND? S had only noticed one set of stairs, and had assumed the stairs on either side of the lobby would take him to different platforms. Turned out, they only took him to different ends of the same platform! You had to walk further down the lobby, where you found another set of stairs, which then took you onto the second platform.
As he finally got into the train on the correct platform, he got a call from the friend he’d rung up earlier. When the harassed sounding friend told him there was no entry for Delhi on the website, S gritted his teeth, and barked that was impossible. After a pause, the friend asked ‘Wait, you were talking about Vicky Travels right?’
It was that kind of a day.