Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
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Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Metro Diaries # 9: The newest stories, Part 2

The Book Suggestion Seeker

If you have an hour to kill in the Metro, and if you're me, you would prefer to spend a good part of it doing something useful—reading, planning your to-do list, getting work done. Recently, my target job for Metro time included reading and reviewing a book called Emotional Rescue by Dgozchen Ponlop (you can find the review here. If you'd care to know, I managed to write 90% of the review using my phone. I'm getting awesomer at this).

I was done with reading, and had nothing else to read, so when I sat down for the evening journey back home, I thought I'd go through the book again and jot down points to write in the review. While I was doing so, I thought the girl sitting next to me was reading whatever I was writing down, so I did that shuffling thing—moving from the writing page to a random reading page, to and fro in quick succession, so that her attention would be diverted. It's not that I don't want anyone else to read what I'm doing, but it just freezes my brain and I can't get another word out if I know someone's looking. Anyway, whatever I did had no effect on her, so I began to skim read the book instead, making points in my mind.

A few minutes later, the girl began to speak to me. She asked what was in the book. Damn! That obviously got me talking fast and quick. She was such an amazing listener--totally interested in whatever I told her, listening with rapt attention, never breaking eye contact. Just the sort of listener you need when you have to talk about books. Soon enough she started asking questions and sharing her problems—how she feels somewhat depressed sometimes and gets swayed by emotions, etc. I was supposed to offer solutions based on what I'd read in Emotional Rescue.

I did whatever I could, but that only got her more interested. Finally, in a voice full of lament, she said, "Oh, where are you getting down?" When I answered, she replied, "Oh, no... I'm getting down at the next station! It was nice to listen to you. Where do you get these books from? Can we get them from the metro station kiosks?"
"Um... you'll only get the popular ones there..."
"What about this one?"
"This has not yet been released. You can give me your email id. I'll write to you about it."
"Okay... and give me your number too!"
"Err... hey! That's your station!" I said, shoving her off the seat. The doors were opening, for heaven's sake!
"Yes! Take my number please!" she said. Her sense of urgency was contagious. I didn't even pause to consider, and whipped out my phone. Then I realized how it was so slow that she might as well reach my station before the phone would get unlocked. Thankfully I had a pencil in my hand.
"Here, write your number," I said, flipping to the last page of the book.
She scrawled her number, said thanks, and dashed out. Just in time.

It took me a week to write to her, and even then I was somewhat at a loss. I rarely read self-help and philosophy, and I honestly don't yet believe in the heavily marketed books in those genres. But they must have something that helps people, or else why would they be so popular? I ended up giving some recommendations based on a mix of what I'd read and liked, and what I thought would be good based on their reviews. A couple of short email conversations, and quite a good number of 'hi's in the metro later (because we recognized each other now), the emotional book saga is at a pause. 

But I'm always there ;)

Scoot gets a new parking place!
 This is not exactly a metro story, but it is related to metro parking space, so I'm including it.

When I first saw the big Pantaloons and Croma opening and functioning under the newly-constructed multi-level parking for which I had been waiting for years and which hadn't been opened to us yet, I had a hard time suppressing the urge to shout foul and rain kicks and fists on someone I could blame the problem. Here I was, hassled every day because they stole the good parking space and spent years constructing that new parking, only to have it made into a mall? Are people mad or what? (Yes, they are)

A few days later, I had to quickly find a dress. Working six days a week meant I did not have time to search a lot of places. Then my awesome (and ever so practical and sound-minded) friend P suggested a solution. "Look for a dress in the new Shopper's Stop at that mall. It's the closest to your place, and it's bound to have something you're looking for."
"Shopper's Stop? That place has a Shopper's Stop? Since when?"
"Uh... it's been around for a while." (and this girl lives miles and miles away!)
So we made our first journey to this place—I, G and mom—and made some useful discoveries.
The parking was huge, albeit a bit scary. But I was pretty much annoyed. Why was I having to look for parking spaces for my beloved Scoot when this mountain had taken our old space and was filling up with shoppers' cars!? A parking attendant came our way.

"Why isn't this a metro parking?" I asked.
"Wasn't this supposed to be built as DMRC parking space for metro travellers?"
"But you can park your car here just as well," he said.
It was my turn to feel stumped. "You can? Two-wheelers too?"
"Of course. Many people do."

Was it my fault, though? No one ever talks about parking spaces. There was no information that the parking was available once more. However, it is owned by the mall, not DMRC. Not that it makes any difference to the commuters (because the rates are the same).

The next day, full of enthusiasm, I left home a few minutes early to make time for acclimatizing myself with the new parking space. As soon as I rode up the short slope, I was stopped by two guards. They wanted to check Scoot's boot, probably for the dead body of a cat (which is the most it could carry). I hopped off Scoot and showed them that I had no blood on my hands yet. They let me go. After a long path with bumpy speed-breakers at short intervals, there was an automatic ticket-wielding machine (which later became my time-watching-and-guessing-whether-or-not-I'll-be-late-that-day machine). After that, I was directed to a cut separate from the one we had taken the last time.

Riding a two-wheeler, the curved slopes were harder to manoeuvre. Scoot took me down, down, down, slowly. I passed one level but it was closed, and Scoot didn't slow down and it seemed to take forever to circle all the way two floors down. It was with relief that I saw a parking attendant waving at me. Finally, there were more scooters and bikes. Signs of life! In my newfound happiness, I parked wherever the attendant said. Finally, Scoot had a place to feel safe in while I was gone. No longer did it have to stay in the hot sun or endure passersby on its comfortable seat. It could be with its own clan for most of day. Yay!

I was so excited that I forgot to pick the parking slip from Scoot. Thankfully I realized it halfway to the elevators, and went back and got it. Now, and this is weird and 'only-in-India'ish, there were no stairs. Only elevators. I am scared of elevators. I would always take the stairs whenever possible. It took five minutes more than usual to reach my platform with the new parking space. Not bad. Except that I don't even have the capability (or the motivation) to reach soon every day, so sometimes I use the new place (I feel good on those days), sometimes I get late for work, and sometimes when I've been late enough, Scoot has to stay in the sun again.

I'm bored. Hopelessly bored. My head aches, my arm aches, my leg aches and so does my heart. Sometimes I feel so lost and oh so hopeless. What am I ever going to do in life? I need a good job. No, an "easier" job. The one I have is good, but not easy to manage. I need time for personal work, because I'm never satisfied with spending my days only working for someone. I want to work for myself, too. And it gets so difficult sometimes. I need a break. And I'm going to get one s soon. More about it later. I only hope it works well.

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