Dreaming in Yercaud

I can never get over this visit for this one spectacular view that absolutely swept me off my feet.

I often imagine myself sitting on the steps of that house or on the front porch, with a nice hot ginger tea in one hand and one of my favorite books in the other till the day still has light. A nice tune of some track of world music playing at the back like enigma, pahadi music or African beats.

And as the sun sets and the day becomes cooler, sitting in front a bon fire with roast potato and barbecued fish and my better half – Nakul to chat and snuggle with. Catching the glimpses of small lights that flicker on neighboring mountains as the moon shines on.

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Given an option, what would you do in a place like this?

 

 

 

 

Women Of The General Class

Have you ever seen 50 odd women of all ages, shapes and sizes, classy – shabby and all those adjuncts fight?? And when I mean fight I mean verbal abuse that will make any man go shy and give the listener the ear time of his or her life, bitch, slap, steal, punch, pull hair and everything else that will humanly cause pain. Well I have – – on all my epic journeys from Pune to Mumbai and back. And let me remind you – these are no ordinary women . . . these are the WOMEN OF THE GENERAL CLASS on the trains.

If I had planned well, I would have been able to get a better seat where I could stretch my legs, look at the stunning passing by scenery and take sips of good chai – -now lemme se – – I did that once or twice but why give up on all the entertainment the ladies have to offer. So then, I would make it a point to hurl myself into that labyrinth of tired, hungry and oddly energetic WOMEN OF THE GENERAL CLASS and squeeze on the upper berth for a nice view.

At times, due to some unfortunate events, I too was thrown in that ring. The funniest incident that I can remember was when I mistakenly stepped on a lady’s foot – hey in my defence, there was no room and the train halted with a jerk. Post that, I had to go through all the yelling and the screaming and the threats – and just when I thought she would stop, there she would rattle on again. After apologizing for the like the tenth time, I had had enough along with the others and decided to get back. I told her that if she didn’t stop, I’d put her hair on fire. Obviously she didn’t believe me until I took out a lighter from my bag (don’t ask me how it got there) and gave her the dirtiest and evilest Ursula look that I could manage. In a split second she slithered to some other coach and disappeared. Right when I was beaming with my victory, I looked around just to find that everyone else thought – -> I was a freak. Sigh!

These prodigious women could fight on anything. Name it and kaboom the war begins. I’ve heard brawls that start from ‘Why is your hair tied up like that?’ to ‘Tie your damn hair up woman!’ or ‘Did you just step on me?’ to ‘Get off my spot dammit’. These are the typical warm-ups where they are just trying to get comfortable in that little spot that they have concurred and will dwell in for the next 3 hours or so. It’s the mid-time that gets interesting when they all start to chat and gossip because there is nothing better to do. I mean if you put 50 different people together, there are bound to be 50 different opinions and stories. But NNOOOOOOO…..’you HAVE to listen to me’ and ‘ I am the only one who is right’ while ‘you all are idiots’ and ‘don’t understand anything’ (-_-)… These fights start right from how Shahrukh Khan should or should not have done what he did or did not do, why onions should be used in that recipe but how they will ruin the taste and texture, how every other woman is growing old the wrong way to which button should go where and where not. They can talk about absolutely ANYTHING and start a fight on EVERYTHING. In that fighting ring, once the verbal battle is over, the somatic one begins – – then in a short while they all get tired and move back to the verbal abuse. It’s easier.

Then again, through it all they manage to help each other out with the name callings, listen to each other’s fatigued stories – share the burden, become an unconscious shoulder to cry on, eat and laugh together in-between the unnecessary talks, slander men and basically learn about everybody’s interesting and yet pointless lives that may – may not ever cross paths again – Just these women travelling in the General Class…

 

 

 

One large of Nostalgia on the Rocks please…

I have always (quite recently) started to believe that getting stirred up in nostalgia is a lot like getting drunk. On getting a little tipsy on both, you either start to laugh like a hyena, cry like there is no tomorrow, get depressed like you have hit rock bottom, get a blank page in your head or go completely tangent that you lose yourself to that time and day – teehee hee.

I mean we all just grew up doing so many things that it became hard to keep a track of it all. I remember us sitting up late through nights discussing how we were going to live our lives – oh how we were going to travel the world, become someone special, join weird circles, never going to get married, stand on the highest peaks and crawl into the bottom of hell and most of all – drag each other everywhere. Well as of now, we are all married (some even have kids!!) and no one even lives in the same city or even the country for that matter.

All those match – ups and break – ups, yelling and getting yelled at, pushing and pulling each other, being on the wrong side of the road let alone the bed – – we have been through it all and celebrated them all to our favourite songs and pegs & pints. I remember this one break up I had and as I was literally wailing in the bathroom, I called my best friend to announce the whole thing to her. Her first response to the commotion was ‘Wanna go for a movie?’ Believe me when I say that at that point, I didn’t know whether I should have pounded her or continued staying dumbfounded. If I remember correctly, we met, I yelled and screamed while she just stood there and then we went for that movie. And when another one us went through a crisis, we just ate tons of crappy food, smoked like chimneys and yelled at complete strangers. (-_-) Such friends and those memories at 42 – a place we all called home!!

The stupid fights we all had, all the sneak outs, of how we used to find the shittiest corner on the lonely road everybody knew and call it ‘our spot’, the 2am smoke breaks on the terrace and the 2pm hunger pangs during class, the biting and scraping, the ever changing hair styles and stories. Even after being in different streams of courses, we used to meet up under the pretext of studies and end up playing cards the whole day long – – we all passed out of sheer luck.

Sigh! What were we doing in those days? How did our brains work exactly? We all knew and then we all didn’t.

Suddenly I remember how we were thrown in the career caged circus that was called ‘PAY YOUR OWN BILLS’. Eventually we run past those whips of adult life and meet for that one drink – probably once or twice a year and even when someone is always missing – we still dance, yak, burp, fart, cry, complain and bitch, laugh, sing, pull each other’s hair and cheers like as if nothing ever changed. I guess that is what makes those memories feel even more special than what they started out to be. Siigghhhhh….

Where was I?? So much to tell and so much to ruminate about… but… well…that’s all that I can take in that one glass.

Oh well. . my eyes are still open and I can still see everything in static. I guess I’ll have another large one of nostalgia please. . .