Thursday, July 26, 2007

The New Delhi Diaries (Part 2)

DAY TWO (20th August 2007) : Another Day in Paradise

Had nothing much to do on the second day. Went back to UP Bhawan, near Chanakyapuri to get my bag from there to Vasant Kunj. Carom dominated the day again as all of us (Bholu bhaiya, Bittu bhaiya, Dragon, Nikki and I) sat there hour after hour bickering over unimportant stuff, demarcating areas on the carom board and assigning them to each one of us and playing with Eesha and Aashi. It was just like old times when we were kids and Nazarbagh used to be our adda.

DAY THREE (21st August 2007) : Lemony Snicket's - A Series of Unfortunate Events

I left early morning for Hauz Khas, in particular, for NIFT where I planned to meet Zebi who had my portable hard disk, CD case and many books. Ra turned up there too (He's coming again to Lucknow the next weekend).

I put my stuff at Zebi's and all three of us began planning what to do next and although we didn't know it yet, the series of unfortunate events had begun.

It was decided that we will attend the OSIAN Film Festival which was showcasing some good movies. Being a junta film festival, it was cheaply priced - 20 bucks a movie with complementary movies to boot! Ok, we decided, for the time being at least, this will be it!

My Tryst with the Intellectual Elite of Delhi

Well, so we decided to close in on the movie "Hanoi Winter '46", a Vietnamese movie by a Director whose name we couldn't pronounce. We went to Siri Fort and got ourselves registered. A word now on the crowd there. It is my contention that Delhi has the largest density of ultra cute chicks anywhere in India. I am sure most of you will agree with me when I say this (for those who don't, well, you just missed it!). Moreover, the mela of chicks (apparently all of them "lit" and all) was overwhelming not just because of the numbers but because of the charged "lit" atmosphere too. For a country bumpkin like me fresh from the wonderment at having been allowed in such a place (I still choose to call Lucknow a sleepy B grade township, which, by the way, is not a pejorative characterisation), it was an awesome journey all the way!

The movie started at 13:45 and we reached the auditorium at 14:00. However, it turned out to be a blessing as the movie was bland, uninspired and boring. We took our leave and began plotting our next move. It was suggested that since Parikrama and Bhayanak Maut will be playing at V Lauch Pad in Pragati Maidan later that night and that the ever resourceful Zebi would find us passes for the concert, we decided to go there when it began. Ra wanted to catch the movie "Curiosity kills the Cat", a Chinese movie he had been raving about for some time. However, since it was scheduled to be screened at 18:30, thought about catching on some good Dilli food.

So it was natural that the next stop should be Qureshi. To our dismay though, we found it closed. We turned on to Nizamuddin for the culinary delights of Kareem. That the Mazar-e-Ghalib would be close by was an added advantage. Zebi, Ra and I planned to humbly prostrate ourselves at the feet of his grave.

But as the way things go, Murphy made a cameo appearance yet again! Kareem wouldn't open until 18:30 and we were stranded. Hungry and tired, it was obvious that Zebi and I turned to Ra for counsel. And we were not surprised that Ra came up with the plan that the best way would be to go to the nearest Metro station (Secretariat) and go to Zaveri Bazaar and catch on Kareem there.

Don't ask me why but somehow we planned to walk to the destination (the nearest Metro Station, that is). After about 20 minutes of walking, we knew we were busted. Nowhere near where we planned to go, we decided to take fresh stock of the situation. It was close to 18:15, we were hungry and the plan to catch the movie was decidedly bust. Also we didn't know if we would get passes to Pragati Maidan as the dude with the passes wouldn't pick up Zebi's phone.

Some minutes later, we found ourselves back at Kareem in Nizamuddin. Incidentally, it had opened just five minutes before and the three of us, forgetting about the future and the movie and the rock concert, quietly, professionally and aggressively attacked the food. When the attack was over and Ra was wondering whether or not to eat the utensils next, it was already 20:10.

The Quest for the MacGuffin

Now comes the truly misadventurous part of the tale. Though specific information shall not be published here, let me say that this journey took us to some shady PCO booths in Nizamuddin from where we went back to Hauz Khas. Ra went to Zebi's place while Zebi and I scoured the slums of Hauz Khas Gaon for well nigh an hour in search of the Ring. We were back in the house much later than was expected of us. But, came back we did. And slept off the fatigue.

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