Country Tale

I was dieing of hunger, at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The roads, the transport and the time-sense demands you leave home atleast 3 hours before departure time. I was, once again, travelling in India.

But The Almighty wanted otherwise. immediately I discovered couple of Idly/Vada/Dosa outlets at the terminal. And you know what! They offered 3 full Vadas at a meager $1.6 while the exchange rate was 1USD=46.9INR. This was not an offer to let go of. So I decided to buy this life-saver. And while eating, I was thinking of terms to describe India; westernized and advanced and economically developed and … 

Unexpectedly, the vadas … well whoever do not know what a vada is, imagine something huge. Anyways, rest of this story is not of any sense for you.

So, where I left… ya, the vadas. Unexpectedly, they came with a bowl of Samber, absolutely FREE! And I could not believe my eyes when I saw a piece of drumstick embedded in it. What a bonus deal!

At check-in, the security guys noticed I was carrying a UPS box and asked, “Battery!?!?” (What if I had wrapped it with paper last night.) And I said “Yes”.

Someone asked, “Liquid battery?”

I said, “Umm, I donno.”

He sounded confident now, “Yes, UPS’es do contain liquid battery.”

I looked confused, “Oh is it?”

I had already made up my mind to leave the UPS there rather than couriering it somewhere from the airport. It would cost me more than the thing’s worth.

Looking at a confused me, the guy took my number on a plain paper and said they may call me if the item could not make it through the sec check. But they never gave me a call.

(So it was kind of amazing to see a nice sticker saying “FRAGILE” on my box when I found it moving on the conveyer belt upon arrival. I thought check-in baggages are only meant for throwing, sitting on, throwing up, throwing down, finally throwing onto conveyer belt; and in the process, opening and stealing valuables.)

FRAGILE

FRAGILE

Few hours later, I was in the place I was born and brought up in. I am posting some advanced-looking pics here; the most advanced-looking ones I could manage to get. It was festival time; a three-day long festival was starting. A fair was also held for this period in a nearby village. And we made a plan to visit there tomorrow 3PM; with 2 of my friends who used to study with me till high school.

Next day,  one of the three suggested we must eat something here before we leave for the village fair. We must not touch any food items sold there. You know; HYGIENE. (Don’t tell Mom; I ate something there… years back …when I was a kid) So we entered a cottage-shop for some vadas.

The shop owner asked me how many  days I would stay there and enquired if I could attend his bro’s marriage a 10 days later. And we had 15 vadas and three sweets, that did cost 18 (eighteen)INR in total. So this part of India is still a developing country, huh?

There was proper (w.r.t a village) road to reach the fair. But we (I mean I) decided to take the no-road amidst dried crop-fields. Others could not guess my money-saving intention in it. In fact, in cities, resorts take money in thousands to give you an artificial feel of the same. Some clay, some stone, some water, some dried and dieing palm trees. (Some resort named itself Golden Palms, in Bangalore, India. Their palm trees were dying-yellow due to negligence and scarcity of water …and so the name)

Green Palms

Green Palms

The no-roads were risky with atleast 1 snake every 50 meters. But it was not something unexpected. We reached the fair place at around 5. People were swarming. Most of them to buy their house-hold items as they would never get a chance to buy them in next one year. Yes, most of these villages do not have a shop. Forget ordering something online; they do not have a power-line. And taking photographs in such place would make people think I was from alien-land. So I refrained.

Most civilized connection to the fair place

Most civilized connection to the fair place

In the fair, we saw another old school mate managing their sweet-stall. He had such a strong concentration in business that we were unable to make him hear our ‘hello’. The noise was deafening and the place was all dust. Metalware, sickles, rain-caps, seeds, ripe jack-fruits (a speciality of the fair), and loads of chapest-possible plasticware, the ones made by recycling your broken plastic sandals, torn polythene, crushed water bottles etc. In fact, the blue straws you see with roadside tender-coconut vendors are made from someone’s broken blue sandals somewhere.

My friend pointed us towards his prospective match, a girl who was busy buying some imitation jewellery at a stall. There were local versions of casinos too on the ground. Drunkards try their luck there. I once-upon-a-time, had put a 5INR note in such a game and won 10INR (the double). However, the news leaked and I got nicely at home; sufficient enough to prevent me from this for rest of the life.

The No-Roads

The No-Roads

It was getting dark as we decided to return, again on the same route. But this time, it was bit more risky. I preferred walking behind the other two. So they got the responsibility to make sure the no-road was snake-free.


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