sold !

Freedom to me is 'walking'. Being able to stop where i want to, when i want to. Its about bonding with the space around me, that maketh me.

The road sides makes it vibrant, although i do not like the way things are changing around me. Its fast and closing in on me. Its how i feel when a someone comes home and moves around the furniture - Cant take it !

What keeps the sanity on roads are the road side vendors. I am so at ease with them. They are like some long lost friends that you just start talking to - no niceties, all drink no froth ! As a matter of principle i never bargain with them (if i think they are trying to cheat, i only politely refuse and walk away). But they are mostly giving (well they dont really have anything to lose and big targets to meet. They have all the time to lose and people to meet !).

I am a regular with quite a few of them and always tip them like i would in any restaurant (which i dont care for much these days). Most fancy restaurants serve lousy food out of cans and tetra packs and bottles that probably come with no expiry dates. Anyways simple fresh food (and a decent place like jayanagar, basavanagudi etc) are great for road side foodies like me. So, i am regular with many road side push/fold carts and i do get pampered with extra goodies.

But even places where i am not a regular, i find these guys all heart. Just today i bought some guavas from a guy near corporation circle. I stood there next to his butti-shop-on-a-cycle (butti'que' - if you like it). I was tired and dint really talk to him, but stood there thoroughly relishing the crunchy fresh guavas (there is a way you  select the crunchiest sweetest ones - yea, brag !). Just as i was going to leave, he stopped me and gave me another one. I gave him 3 rupees for it and he refused to take it. After much coaxing, he won and i thanked him and left. This has happened to me so many times. (No, i dont always stand and eat like its my first meal of the week ! :)).

Its like some untold unknown story with a happy surprise  end - always. I am sold for 3 rupees today !

On my way back i decided to drop by at Jaivik (lalbagh - doube road gate) for some organic grapes (if i were lucky). Well no grapes and i settled for a small water melon that could carry in my bag. I (dont like paying the fee to enter lalbagh - they use up money to only destroy lalbagh. The horrifying renovation of the lake. All that awesome ecosystem that mustve existed wiped out overnight !) skipped the gate, cycled inside lalbagh and got to the west gate. I hit my fastest on the wide abandoned roads of lalbagh.

The gate was chained and locked. the security guard refuses to open the gate and i'd get stuck with my cycle if i try to get through the rotating gate. The guy (yellow tee shirt or 'yellow guy') at the counter and me are continually shaking our heads at each other - both of us saying 'we wont' ! this went on until the yellow guy sends a full sentence through the security guard to me "we dont open the gate for anybody" (wow ! i feel great at being told 'you are not special' - by some yellow guy. yea ! right !).

So i tell them i have a big melon in my bag and i am not going to ride all the way back. The message goes to the yellow guy, he doesnt care. Sends back the same old message (we couldve stuck to the nodding...same thing), but i still am trying to make it an interesting conversation and tell him that he call the Jaivik guy, but he refuses and returns the security guard who is also showing no emotion absolutely. How can i trust him to take my messages to the yellow guy and deliver it with some impact ?

I look around desperately for a break away. Only one of the fences is a little low and i decide to throw my cycle over. I call the security guard (and like we now share a little secret leaving the yellow guy out) i tell him my plans. He agrees ! voila. I lift my cycle and pass it on to him on the other side. Cycle is out, i am out and the security guard gives me my cycle and i see that he has a few scratches., i really wished i could touch the bruise or something...but i dint know how to thank him and left feeling a little sorry.

But the incident as a whole came back to me and made me laugh ! i wouldnt have cycled on the road after knowing what it feels like to cycle through lalbagh from one gate to the other....the final (too late) thought was that we (the security guard and me) shoudve shared the water melon without giving it to the yellow guy after i got out :)


Anonymous said…
I'm sure the Lalbagh incident went like this scene in Up (observe the nodding andweird conversation between the bird and the old man -

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