Saturday, August 2, 2014

Basanti Ka E-Rickshaw


The perspiration accumulated right below my nose, started to feel soothing with the onset of cool breeze on that summer afternoon...almost evening. And then the wind gained pace…became ferocious...roaring…and eventually filled my hair and face with the finest quality of Delhi sand mixed with five percent silt. I was going to community center to have a cup of lemon tea and have some party time…alone.

The e-rickshaw driver asked for extra ten bucks as I was el-solo-lobo at that time. And trust me, riding on an e-rickshaw ‘alone’ for just ten extra bucks is a good bargain considering the mehengai-wale-achche-din. And this vehicle was particularly decorated with little neon lights and jhalars around its ceiling. Put a ‘Just Married’ banner and it was perfect for a romantic ride with your special one. The journey started only after he switched on music in his high decibel mobile phone imported from China I guess. The Bollywood movie song about estranged lovers played out loud…saajan mera us paar hai…milne ko dil bekaraar haifeel like humming na? Me too and I was transformed into a different dimension.

Before we reached Okhla head, it started to rain and within no time it was like downpour. As if the shower that God was using broke down and it was direct flow from the tap. And understandably Okhla head was quite deserted, except for that damsel in distress. There she was…in her salwar suit having 16 million colors…drenched…just enough to let my imaginations run wild…eco-friendly...with those light green frame spectacles...and some gigabytes of attitude. Her eyes were like large sized peas. Man…they were green. Figure-wise she looked like a pumpkin…regular kind of pumpkin…not very big…not small either. An eco-friendly fellow rider for an eco-friendly ride…perfect camouflage.

She approached the e-rickshaw and the driver stopped instantly…paying no regard at all to our el-solo-lobo contract. I didn't mind either. She sat right in front of me…glared at me through her anti-glare glasses…took out her Sony Xperia Z and started browsing her call log. The song changed to…saat samundar paar main tere peechhe peechhe aa gayistop humming that gave me a chance to examine her...a little closely. And for some strange reason she seemed vaguely familiar. The combination of those eyes and those fragile specs seemed familiar, while she kept on browsing through her endless call log.

Now I had two guesses. She must be the girlfriend of any of my acquaintance...or she is a witch. The curiosity about a person who seems familiar increases many folds if she is a pretty girl. The potholed road from Okhla head to Tikona Park gifted our clothes with mud. While the rain continued.

"Do you believe that ghosts actually have a gender?"

Now that was obviously not the best conversation starter from my side, especially in those weather conditions. But I guess being different and abstract sometimes work.

"Yes they do. Or else how come some of the ghosts are helpful? Those are the lady ghosts."

"I don't think they are ever helpful. It's just a movie thing. And even if you go by movies, most of the benevolent ghosts are the male ones."

"Yeah it’s a movie thing. They have actually stereotyped the lady ghosts."

"Aww their population must be rising then?"

Now that wasn't meant to be anything naughty, but she did have a chuckle in her face.

"Yeah it is."

"But how is that even possible? I mean ghosts do not have any physical presence."

"A ghost offspring do not have physical presence too."

"Okay point. You seem to know a lot about ghosts. Am I safe in this situation?"

"Ha ha ha. Don't worry. You are safe."

"What about this scaring thing? Do they target random people or they have special liking for certain people?"

"Well...It depends on the mood."

"Hmm hmm."

"I mean if they have nothing to do and are terribly bored then anyone could be the prey. Or else they have specific targets. In general kids are fun to play with."

“Hmm reasonable. And how about ghosts being in romantic affair with human beings?”

“Only if he is six feet two and owns a Ferrari.”

That wasn't funny but I got the message, while she again got herself busy with her call log. The rain slowed a bit, the breeze was amazingly soothing with the drizzle coming to my face. I closed my eyes. The e-rickshaw kept on moving stealthily devouring whatever nature and peace could offer to mankind. And I was about to transform to yet another dimension when I was woken up.

The damsel was gone or perhaps vanished.

“Brother 20 bucks.” He seemed content with a hint of achievement in his face.

I got down, paid him the money and took out my phone. The news Live Tile updated.

Delhi High Court Bans E-Rickshaw

I cried to the same driver.

“Brother take me back. I am done here.”

He smiled, flipped his vehicle, wiped water from his face and put the music back on…kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaarkisi ke vaaste ho tere dil mein pyaar…jeena isi ka naam hai…