Gurgaon is practically a suburb of Delhi. Or so I thought.
For love, and money, I took up a job in Gurgaon. The city is excellent, but its only halfway done. Except for the malls. Yeah, the awesome, lovely malls with their multiplexes and midriff-baring girl-jeans hoardings. I havent been to the city since December 2006.
I worked quite hard to ensure it was in/around Delhi, my campus placement. And I managed it too. I was rather proud of myself. I had worked for it, I managed to get it. It was awesome.
It sucked bigtime. It took an hour and a half to reach anywhere close to my sweetheart, which after work was impossible. I couldnt take a place close to her house cos I wasnt paid well enough. Worse, I had suddenly realised my love for alcohol slightly exceeded my love for my sweetheart. I tried to divide my attention between the two, with alcohol winning owing to the simple fact: We had a few drinks together, me and my sweets.
Anyhow, lets get to the point. It was a cold December evening. We met at TGIF @CP , and were sloshed out of our skulls, PDAs and loud laughs. You know how it gets when two people meet and behave like there’s no tomorrow. Both of us knew it could be our last time together, every meeting came with the caveat that it could be the last. She was an hieress of sorts, I was a loser of all sorts. The only thing I had ever been serious about was her, and she was half serious about me herself. And, we almost made it.
I digress again. This isnt the story of how to make a bad situation worse, its the story of the victory of love over lack of public transport. That fateful day in December 2004, when I was in Gurgaon when I should have been in college writing a paper on fuel cells, was of course a Sunday. You get a bus that takes you somewhere close to the friend’s place I was bunking in at. You get the bus, but only till about 11 in the night. From CP to the place where you get that bus, a place called Dhaula Kuan, named so as to avert the coward for fear of falling in a well. I eventually managed to get off an auto, and took out my exceptionally flashy “Rack and Pinion” Samsung N-400 to look at the time.
I opened the flap, but the antenna didnt pop out. It was a dead brick presently, out of power. I had courageously ignored the tu-toos it made to alert me of the catastropy that was about to befall the ximian kind, and my courage paid me stupidly well. I was stranded around 35 km from my shelter, I was wearing a thing grey hooded benneton sale ka maal which kept me about as warm as a vest would do, and there were no bus to Gurgaon.
I sweet talked a bus-wallah into telling me a place where I could get off and reach somewhere close to my shelter. I knew exactly four guys in Delhi, and I just knew them. I didnt know their number, because my stupid cell phone was dead, alcohol could be smelt in a radius of 3 m around me, I could barely speak without a stutter and I was cold as hell. He told me of a bus that would drop me somplace from where I could get a 6-seater (which actually meant 6 in each of the 3 rows).
I, the brave knight in a smelly grey sweatshirt, jumped on the bus, bought the ticket, and made everyone around me uncomfortable with the booze smell. I was suffocated, I felt like puking.
I dozed off for a few microseconds, when I woke up with a start to realise that my bus was empty. I walked out the door, confident that the 50 bucks I had would carry me to my shelter from here somehow.
I got down in the pitch dark, expecting to locate the semblance of a six-seater. There was one, there. I walked towards it with brave excitement, only to realise it was stalled and dysfunctional. As I walked further, I recognised some of my bus mates. I asked them what the hell happened , and they told me that the bus broke down. Where are we? We dont know. How do we get to Gurgaon? We hitch a ride on something.