Category: India

Soak more and more!

This post is an entry for The Surf Excel Matic #SoakNoMore Contest on Indiblogger! Enjoy 🙂

It was just a month ago, July of 2012. My friends and I graduated from school this year. No one’s college had started. We were in that wonderful stress free stage where no one had anything to do or anything to worry about.
All we had to worry about was how to fill up our long summer days. One of our adventurous ideas was to go ice skating in one of the biggest mall of the country-Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi. The monsoons still hadn’t arrived and we hoped with all our heart that an ice skating ring would give us some relief from the heat.

The minute we arrived at the skating ring, it started raining. Ofcourse we only found out much later when we got frantic calls from our parents. Our parents worried that the rain was so heavy that we wouldn’t be able to make it home. We ignored it, thinking of it as just another exaggerated concern.
When we came out of the skating ring and into the mall, we suddenly saw why our parents were worrying. The ice skating ring had been on the 6th floor of the mall. The roof was right above us. And it was leaking. The sweeper’s of the mall were running all over the place with buckets and mops to somehow keep people from slipping on the wet floors. (Now if any of you reading this are from another country, I would like to clarify, that although some houses in India may leak, malls normally do not. I am merely trying to emphasize on the harshness of the rain).

Neither of us had the luxury of a car to drop everyone home. And since most of us lived in Delhi , we had to take the metro. There was no other way to get home. Calling a radio cab was not an option. It was 8 pm, which meant people were returning home from work.
Peak time+rains=Chaos on the Delhi roads.

Our two options were to either wait till the rain reduced or to take a chance and run out and look for an auto that would take us to the metro station. That is when we thought, “what the hell! We have nothing to lose. If we can’t take small risks like this at the age of 18, will we ever be able to?” We had been taught all our lives to be cautious. Don’t bunk school. You may get caught. Don’t go out now. It’s too dark and unsafe. Don’t date boys. You’re too young.

Although this really wasn’t that big a deal, it meant a lot to us. Going out there in the rain wasn’t simply a matter of getting wet. To us, it meant denying everything we’d been taught. I don’t blame our parents for teaching us to be cautious. They only did it for our safety. It’s more like living in a city such as Delhi that made us so cautious and scared of little things.

So that is exactly what we did! We ran out of the mall while the entire crowd who was waiting for the rain to die down a bit stared at us, wondering which devil from hell had gotten into us. The rain was amazing. It was the first monsoon shower that Delhi had been anticipating for the past month. To some people it meant better weather, to some others it meant that their crops wouldn’t die and there family would have enough food for the winter. And to us? To us it meant a free spirit. This was the first time since graduating school, that we actually tasted our freedom. We realized that we were new adults in the world, in a free world, where we had the liberty to do whatever we wanted! So the city is a little unsafe! And maybe some people can harm us. But we didn’t see why that should affect what we do.

It was the rain and the soaked clothes and the splashing in the puddles that made us realize that. One monsoon shower was all we needed. And I cannot be more thankful for that.

If that is what one monsoon shower did to us, I say “SOAK MORE AND MORE AND MORE”

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Rain Rain Go Away!

They say rains bring joy. Of course they do. The smell of rain, the sudden change of weather and (for Indians) the bollywood feel it brings with it is known to be unbeatable.

But what I wonder is, do they bring more joy than sorrow? The traffic jams, the clogged streets and the flooded colonies manage to make up for all the joy the first few drops gave. And not to forget the wonderful after affects- the malaria and jaundice and dengue.

Rain rain go away!

No joy without sorrow huh?

Delhi vs India

A couple of days ago, a friend and I went looking for wholesalers. We wanted to get some t-shirts made. The trend of lose t shirts seemed to be in and we wanted some personalized shirts for ourselves ad our friends.
A friend’s friend gave me the reference of a reliable wholesaler in shastri nagar. For those of you who don’t know, shastri nagar is a very under developed part of Delhi. It’s biggest achievement seems to be the presence of the metro station and a police chowki. Unfortunately for me and my best friend Shivani, we did not know this until we got there.

2 worlds in 1 country

After a very tedious journey, we reached a somewhat village like place. Trust me, Im not exagerating. This was a place with half built houses and dark and shady lanes and everything. To be here once was a horror, coming to this place again and again seemed to be an absolute nightmare. The t shirts didn’t seem to be a good enough reason anymore.
That was our first reaction on reaching a place about 30 kms away from our south delhi homes. And here’s why–we live in new delhi, a place with malls and hospitals and schools at each corner. Shastri nagar, although geographically a part of delhi, is practically speaking a part of india. And delhi and india are a complete universe apart.

If one visits delhi, and claims to have visited india, he couldn’t be more wrong.
You see delhi is the place where people go to private schools and hold private sector jobs, go to doctors who charge about 500 RS for a sitting even if its the common cold which is bothering them and go to the malls to eat in multi cuisine restauraunts. India on the other hand is the place where children as well as adults are lucky to get a job at a construction site. People cant even visit a doctor if they’re on the verge of death, either because there is no doctor in the vicinity or because seeking treatment from a doctor would mean going to bed empty stomach for the rest of the year. The best meal that people could dream of having here is one which makes the grumbling noise from their tummy inaudible.

While Delhiites argue about whether westernization is good or bad and politicians play their amusing blame games, a billion people spend days without food and water. While we groan about the hot weather as we switch on our air conditioners, these people hunt for paper fans which are the best they can hope for in their electricity deprived village.

They say that we have potential–but to exploit potential you need to have people potent enough to exploit it. And sadly, we seem to have very little of that. Historians wonder if the invasion of the british was a good or a bad thing. Trust me, had it not been for them, we would still be living in a day of kingdoms and wars.
The british managed to develop delhi, but i wonder who will have to invade the country for india to join the delhi world?