Warning: It's a long story.
Sometimes, or make it every time for me, the only feeling of excitement about going out somewhere comes when it's with friends with similar interests and who're similar to me in their way of thinking. Or even if they aren't, they know me well enough to respect my choices, which seem weird to some others, and get excited at the prospect of going out together, wherever it is. Well, not really wherever, because thankfully, our choices match. Or the ideas I suggest don't make them horrified and they don't go on creating a racket later over the idea, like some people do. Even if it doesn't really work out. And that's the reason I love these friends so much, even if we're not talking everyday or going out often. But when we do, it's really awesome! (Hey, that rhymes! And I've tried writing poems just a day before! :P)
Anyway, cutting the sentiments short, I, Aneesha and Richa (henceforth called I, A and R respectively) had another crazy day! If you remember, I'd once talked about one crazy day with them (click here). It's just so much fun, I think we should get together more often! :) (this rhymes too!)
It started with the growing itch inside me that was reaching dangerously high levels, about visiting the Daryaganj Sunday book bazaar, which I had just visited once before in my life! I mean, when you get so many books at so less prices, it's an ah-may-zing treat, so that you wouldn't want to spend a lot of gaps between your visits. I knew A and R would be willing to go, since A is as much an avid reader as I am (though I feel she reads more 'intelligent' books than I do) and R is such a sweet girl, she'd go with our crazy ideas anytime! (Note for you both: Love you!). Not disappointing me, they both agreed immediately and we decided to be there just after opening time. We thought it'd be a good idea because it wouldn't be crowded and we'd get those 'first bargain' discount thing we encounter in other normal shops. Turns out both our expectations weren't quite well placed.
Getting up early in the morning (and 7.30am is early for me) is something I'd almost forgotten, courtesy vacations and family people who prefer me while I'm sleeping and not doing idiotic stuff to make them crazy. While getting ready (and surprisingly, feeling very much awake and refreshed), I thought it totally fits that I'd make a sleep sacrifice for books. God, I was so excited over a thing most people would find trivial! I met up with A on my way and we made it to the metro station ten minutes later than scheduled and even managed to find seats! Yay achievement! R boarded a few stations on, looking all studious with specs and all. We really were in the mood! :P
A said it'd be better if we get down at Chawri Bazaar station since she'd Googled a bit and found out that one was closest. The last time I went, I got there from Chandni Chowk, but when you're with friends, who cares? We can get down anywhere and reach our destination somehow. I'd never seen the streets outside Chawri bazaar station and as we tried not to hit our heads on the rickshaw's side bars, the rickshaw rolling down uneven streets, sitting cramped and holding on to our chappals, I thought I was in a book setting, a story about old Delhi (which is funny, because I don't think I've read any story set in Old Delhi). It was just so different from what we see everyday and if you're casual about it, you might say it's cramped, dusty and unclean. But I'd say I found it fascinating and mysteriously beautiful. Maybe it's just that 'ancient-stuff-loving' thing, or the desperation to get out of the daily monotony, I don't know, I enjoyed it and A and R did too! :)
While on our way we saw shops with signs in Urdu, which sadly, we couldn't read and which was when A remarked about Urdu being a beautiful language and a wish to learn it someday. We were at the back side of Jama Masjid, the famous historical monument when we decided we'd visit it too, once we're done with our book shopping (and somewhere nearby, we saw a huge goat, which R thought initially was a small cow. I'm not the only weirdo in this group, I'm telling you ;)). Anyway, after rolling down endless small lanes and narrowly escaping a speeding bus on the main road, we reached our destination!
It was hot! And I mean, really very hot. I'm not usually the one to get the Sun the better of me, I'm otherwise tolerant, especially when it comes to books, but this time was different. The Sun was in all its glory, having just risen to its peak, beaming down at us in the form of over-heated rays! Control your emotions, Mr Sun! You're ruining this for us! Anyway, we began our hunt and the first stall we stopped at was 30 ka 1, 50 ka 2! If it doesn't make sense, it had heaps of books, and if you bought one book, any one book, it would cost you Rs. 30 and Rs. 50 if you got two. There were some really great looking ones and we picked up a few. I was careful (smacking myself for it), because I wanted to first see more and then finalize on something. We made a few stoppages here and there, looking through, picking books just because they had interesting covers, but not enough to satisfy us, sometimes picking up things on impulse (that was I, mostly). It took me two days to discover that the executive diary I got all has pages from August 2011! :P
It was pretty quick. We had exhausted our water supply and the heat was getting too much to bear. I mean even I was feeling dizzy, which isn't something that happens with me. So we got into an auto and got out at Haldirams at Chandni Chowk, somewhat disappointed that we hadn't bought many books (I got just 5! And my aim was 25! That's a big time failure! I'm not going to forgive you Mr. Sun!) and very disappointed that we didn't have any energy left to visit the famous mosque. Famished as we were, I decided to break my 'no-junk-or-outside-food' rule because I was so drained, I could have eaten an elephant! It was empty save for one table and so we hopped from table to table, sat and experimented, to know which one gives the best cooling. And I'm not kidding. Finally satisfied with our choice, we ordered so much thanks to our rumbling stomach, we had no idea how to finish it all when we finally got down to it. Deciding we had all the time in the world, we slowly did manage to wipe it all down, except a small amount, with that sweet lime soda (which by the way, wasn't good). My Lord! Having non-homemade food after months was refreshing! Though that's a different story I went on a guilt trip pretty soon after that and now I'm not going to be eating out anytime soon. We were pretty fast in writing down on the feedback form how the cashier needs to be courteous, even when the form didn't really have a special place for suggestions. :P Though we made sure to make a quick exit before any of the employees noticed the suggestion. *Genius* I know. ;)
After stopping by Gurudwara Sees Ganj Sahib to pay our respects, we were on our way home. With our stomachs threatening to burst any moment, we decided to take the Metro only when we could find seats. We were certainly ready to spend the day at the station itself! Now, Rajiv Chowk station is the killer, if you know what I mean, there is no freaking way that you could win over those aunties who rush in to grab seats! So what do we do? The genius idea comes to mind and we decide to take the opposite metro, get down at the next station, come back towards Rajiv Chowk and when people would be getting up to get down, we would get a few seconds chance to get seats! I told you, we had all the time in the world! Just before getting down at the next, A suggested we get down at the station next to next, since the one we were planning on getting down was confusing. I asked her if she knew if the one she was suggesting was less confusing, to which she shrugged and said she had no clue.
It was deserted! That's the word. In fact, where we got down had a sort of tunnel going towards the platform. A and I exchanged looks and we went through that short tunnel. R looked around, confused. "Isn't it the same distance from where we were? We could have got to the other side from there as well." Well, we told her, the point wasn't in getting there in the shortest distance, the point was to experience going through that tunnel! It's not everyday that you get to go through tunnels underground. I swear I felt a bit like Katniss, the one in the movie, not the book. That's got a similar scene, except that she had huge bodyguard-type guys behind her, while I had two skinny and giggling girls. :P
Anyway, it was a long wait for the Metro. It just didn't seem to come too soon! Enjoying the gust of wind that comes from an incoming train (at the other side, our side didn't have one for ages!) and having fun pretending the train's a ghost or something, I said, "Metro train, Y U No Coming?" and just-like-that we got hysterical fits of laughter. Now that's where my weirdness comes in, they got over it pretty quickly but I found my own dialogue so awesome that I just couldn't stop laughing! Even though I knew it wasn't very smart and I must be looking like a headcase, what with that distorted-by-hysterical-laughing face and all, I didn't stop. It was only when a train finally entered that we got up and I controlled myself. But jeez, that train had all filled out seats and a few people were standing. A declared we're leaving this one for one with less crowd, and we got those laughter bouts again! Imagine! Three girls laughing like crazy in front of a train with doors open, not getting in! If by any chance you were there (Mandi House station) and you think you saw almost mental girls, that was us! Sorry to have scared you :P
|This was our sentiment, exactly.|
Finally, the next one seemed to have less crowd (if just seats-filled crowd qualifies as a 'crowd') and we got three seats side by side when people got down at Rajiv Chowk! I had a 2 second fight with R over the corner seat (I won, of course) and immediately took out a book from my bag and propped it open! A seemed to get it, but R asked, "What are you doing? You're going to read the book now?" She was baffled and partly amused with my actions. I explained to her that that was my trick to look engrossed, so that aunties wouldn't ask us to get up (which is something I've seen them do). It seems that wasn't a smart thing to do, for when I looked up, there was an old lady with a small child and with a big bag at her feet standing a foot away from me. Somehow I didn't feel so tired anymore and I offered her the seat. Let's just say I cannot see old women in discomfort. Anyway, God seemed to take pity on me and I got the seat adjacent to R within the next few stations.
The best thing about A and R is, they're awesome friends. I mean, when I'm with others (except a couple more friends), there's an uncomfortable feeling when it's silence between us. There's always that nagging thing that we need to say something to each other, or it gets awkward. I don't know why, but that's not an issue with us. We'll either have loads to say and when we don't, the silence is peaceful and just great. No nagging feeling. Zero. Nada. Zilch. And that's all the synonyms I know. :P
PS- It might seem to be an ordinary description of an ordinary day, but it was much more to me. :)
Also, we didn't click any pictures. Yes, we're weirdos and we love it!
PPS- Check out Aneesha's description of our day, in the form of a wonderful poem! Click here.