I somehow cannot write about trips. I cannot talk of how beautiful, irritating; mind numbingly stupid, awesome and jarringly annoying things can get in one short capsule of colors. Though, I am going to try. Staying in Nagpur, thanks to Aparna was extremely awesome. I bow down to her family’s hospitality and Prassana Aunty’s impeccable adrak chai when I was sick and Uncle’s last minute help. This trip would have been very pathetic if not for Aparna.
This was my first trip with the new people. And I was very sure, that there were things that might be awesome, things that might want to throw my arm around at people. But ‘sexy hair’ made things fun and Keralite accents made our way through the project. It was interesting, this, how the project became a field trip, a picnic somewhere. But then, we woke up early and did things right after hours of sleeping aimlessly. We searched on foot for the whereabouts of Non-vegetarian Hotels (traveling in Nagpur is a bitch), ironically ending up eating good chicken in Yavatmal in a hotel called “Hot n Spicy”. With four hour bus rides and Rs 150 in rickshaws for 8 kms, I think me and sexy hair have traveled Nagpur in all sorts of rickshaws. I even made a rickshaw driver friend, who drove us around in cheap rates to promising malls.
We traveled with cameras, with aimlessness, with important meetings that turned into much of fun, hunger and the presence of too many female scooty drivers. Believe you me; it’s like a marathon line during signal stops. Women with scarves waiting for it to turn green and they would speed away leaving us in awe.
The reason why we visited Nagpur was Vidharbah. Distress, suicides, politics, activists, journalists. It was somewhere enlightening to meet people with extreme feelings. Vivek Deshpande (Indian Express) turned out to be the last petal amongst others plucked out of a flower. The decision maker of the issue, who gave us insight and a sense of pure journalism, was the last petal. Strawberry milk wasn’t bad, no, but we needed a little more than that. Yavatmal gave me a sense of falsehood, ignorance, dying society and thoughts of staining white collars. Though the fields are still beautiful, the children still innocent and the wives still widowed.
But, what absorbed immense attention was blooming love, indiscreet dependency, terrible cold and diarrhea for a few, joy of laughing at Indian toilets, Mafia!, mosquitoes, sensuously sung Hindi songs, rickshaws, train woes, homesickness and annoying dog questions. It was indeed something that can be in retrospect, laughed about. Igatpuri Vada pav is awesome, by the way, and skinny legs help while sharing a sleeper birth with me. Randomness and thoughts go hand in hand, the mentioning of such things is in a way important because it's a reminder for all the times that would happen ever, next.
I clink my waterglass for a joy ride of trouble and awesomeness.