Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Enigma : A Journey From School Days


Image courtesy : joaquinuy on Flickr, check usage terms before using the image.

Bus treads rapidly on National Highway 58 enroute Mussorie form Delhi. It is a dark night and guys (and gals) are having nice time in the back rows of the bus - chattering, pranking, giggling, tricking and yup for some it is nothing but looking out in the dark to sight any possible trace of light. Others enjoy toying around with their newly acquired gadgets - mp3s, walkmans, discmans, handheld gaming devices and more means of amusement, which certainly are objects of begrudge from many.

A very fond topic of discussion earlier that night had been Mallika Sherawat of newly released Murder fame. Nishant would brag telling "x times I have seen that movie including y times with parents accompanying me". As the discussion heats up and more guys come with their inputs it becomes ravishingly entertaining to listen to all these stories, most of which can easily be judged innocent fibs, with the added effect of the yellow overhead lights (...this is certain that during journeys most good things happen in yellow light or total dark, and I wonder how beautiful that bus would have looked from one of the fields in the western UP with light errupting from square windows of a moving rectangular box...)

About three hours up Red Fort, Delhi (the place where probably Prime Minister, yes certainly he only gives speech to the whole country on an appointment which is universal in nature yet not so ordinary) across Ghaziabad, Hindon and several adjoining dingy and exceptionally disgraceful townships, which to most do not mean anything but termite-hills harboring swarms of drone labour forces which find substitute in keeping the movement of the industrial work-horse running in one of most urbanized region of world's largest democracy, the bus breaks its movement to let its riders have a break and fill their bellies or gulp down a few bottles of world's favourite soft drinks. Still some are blessed enough to find better and more demanding activities, one or two of which essentially goes against centrally propogated agenda of gender-equity. Going by my reccommendations you must not think at all and have a look around to find a few white-birds falling over each other, while crude folk music (...there is certain something with women echoeing musculine baritones and bold attitudes while flutes and more such aboriginal and native add-ons accompany them in their endeavours...) plays on the cashier's blackbox of probably 1980s.

Back in the bus I sit exactly in the middle of backseat, having a clear view of all the black figures, hands and legs falling out of the seats' defined boundaries, and the road ahead. Yet it is so boring until I barter Sankalp's walkman for the seat that I occupy. It is a win-win situation as I get to stand in the bus, a nice excuse to eye every secret crush of yours. Not long you enjoy the whole thing that you are told that a front seat is unoccupied, and even with that disgrunted thought and look it is a bliss when you press the play button and a distant but extremely pleasing, feminine and very mystic voice asks you to close your eyes and prepare for a meditation trip. You don't think much as you actually don't have anything to care for and the lovely voice and drum's mild beatings are hypnotizing and you are drawn to the instructions being communicated to you (...wonder if it is some sort of brain wash...). This being my first introduction to ENIGMA, one of the most celebrated electronic music enterprise. I can not remeber if it was 'Mea Culpa' or 'Sadness' that made me an ardent follower.

A large part of remaining journey is spent in cabin with Chetan and few others while driver and helper maneovure bus on very busy stretches of this 2 lane highway up the haunted district of Meerut towards Roorkee, Haridwar and then the Doon valley. We continue to devour that diesel smell that certainly acted anaesthetic to me and I just remember waking up next to Sargam or may be Aakash but certainly at the left most window corner of the full last seat. Between Dehradun and Mussorie most of us feel nauseated as the bus zig-zags on the roads engulfing lower Shivaliks, very close to the edge as if considering a homicide to ultimately make it to the headlines, like a concrete Anaconda. Feeling difficult to control I just puke, like many others, just about 2km from the final destination. Bus's engine grunts, pained by the load it carries while I sympathize with it feeling embarassed on my own act of vomitting, but certainly enjoying the toffies that came to me to supress more of it...

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