Month: June 2009

The One about The Bus Ride

Living in India is fun, you can always expect something out of the blue. After suffering two accidents in the same day, i decided not to use a two wheeler for some time. So almost for the last two months i take the bus(MTC) to my office.

i have to travel about 6 miles. The journey ideally should take about 20 minutes, but in the bustling traffic it takes a little less than an hour. This one hour has been an eye opener. I have learnt the art of dangling precariously on a footboard holding on to a fellow commuters shirt, joust with other travelers trying to get out. If i do manage to get a seat, then the sights and sounds of this city can keep one so occupied.

The MTC manages to find its way through the traffic with minimal effort. I am pretty amazed at the skill of the drivers, they treat the big green monster like a bicycle and zoom around. The MTC edges out all the vehicles to the side and marches on. I have heard our driver call out to the vehicles in traffic “Clear my way for your own good”. Ah, what confidence. Traffic signals would be respected only if there are about ten vehicles in front of the bus, otherwise the creaky bus will keep moving until no vehicle can move either way.

The worst part in the journey is of you are stuck somewhere in the middle, you would be crushed and crumpled. The other day i was stuck inside and that day there were about 100 more than the expected 50 inside. I was standing uncomfortably close to a girl. She gave me the go hang yourself look. Later i found out that she works in my office. I still run away if i see her somewhere inside the office building.

The next thing that one would notice is the advertisement posters plastered all across the city. Some of them have made me laugh my guts out. Try this “Wanted Paying gust inparmaation – never knew information could be spelled like that”, “Brand new used cars for sale ?”, “School of Japanese offers Japanese classes ”, “Mahavir Frut Jush – He meant Fruit Juice”, and so on.

People try to showcase their artistic skills on the seats, the interiors. The most common ones that i have seen are Lovers names inside a Heart. Poor lovers, nowhere else to declare their eternal love for each other. The funniest ones are from the gangs, or the college groups which use the bus. “Laser guys”, “EEE Error Gents”, “Pallikaranai Tigers” are the ones that topped my list. Yesterday i saw a superb one “It was a winking Ganesha(* Ganpati bapa), underneath was scrawled “Not everybody, gets a replacement, Use Helmets.

I have had enough learning, and (mis)adventures as well, so i am back on my two wheeler. Now i have something more to lookout for in addition to other crazy vehicles, crazier MTC drivers and the craziest Graffiti.

The one about the Morning Drink

Mornings, i love them, the sunrise, the fervor which we do things, for me at least it sets the tone of the day. And nothing beats it when you start the day off with a steaming mug of tea.My room mates and I, have been bitten by the laziness bug of late.

Each one if us would loveto have tea in the morning, but who makes it is the million dollar question. Making tea, sounds an easy thing right? No, not in Plot 162. We do not have a stove, do not buy milk. Here, Making tea involves the tedious processes of boiling water in a electric heater, using tea bags, and mixing the right amount of milk powder. More often than not i found myself making tea for all, because i was the first one to get up in the house. Though not an expert i can make something that i can gulp down with minimal difficulty.

For the past two months, work at office has been so hectic that i dont wake up early in the morning, Now the tea making responsibility is being shared by my roommates as well. Last month one of them got tea dust instead of the tea bags we used to buy. Apparently, he thought both were the same. If making tea with bags was tough, this was a disaster, we had to wait for the dust to settle even before we could even take a sip. Also we had to use two more glasses and do more dishwashing. Either the tea turned out to be too strong, or too watery, but we were too lazy to notice and put with the brown soggy liquid.

A week later, i decided to get home early and got a filter for the tea dust. that meant our wait time for tea had come down, but still it left the problem of cleaning up the mess we made. “Three” comes up with a brilliant alternative, “add the dust directly in the filter and pour water in the filter slowly” Doing so meant, we got rid of the problem of the extra dishwashing.

Second Week, we ran out of milk powder, and we started to take our tea black. Third week, we ran out of sugar, Then it became black tea without sugar. Sure “Men’s Health” was looking for us as Models. The taste still lingers in my mouth yuckkkkkk….
Yesterday, we had an emergency meeting as we could see the tea box almost empty. So two of us hopped of to the store and came back loaded with Milk powder, flavored tea bags and some snacks to go off with the morning tea as well. I slept soundly hoping that now that everything was in place i could at least get some decent tea.
Today morning: “The one who doesn’t care” is up early. We get up and go to the kitchen hoping to get some nice tea. There is no tea, we look at him expecting some answer at least. I mean we had taken pains to get all the stuff and i was like what the heck..he shrugged his shoulders and said “No Water”. So much for our Morning Drink.