5 Jan 2008

a Friday ride with Ishwari Lal

.... with apologies to Mitch Albom

caught a ride from South Delhi back home
decided to catch up with friends on my mobile

was uninterrupted by a polite voice

"Aap bura na mane to ek baat kahun?" (If you don't mind may I say something?)

I was like - is this the auto guy talking? Wow! And then they say this city has no culture...

Ishwari Lal was his name and he wanted to take an alternative route to my home since CP was out of bounds due to a procession. I agreed.

He turned and continued : Har bar koyi julloos nikalta hai to shahar thoda mar jaata hai...
(Every time someone takes out a procession the city dies a little...)

By this time I quickly ended my conversation on the mobile and was all ears. This guy was a poet.

He then held forth on how the city was in a state of decay.

Ped kat rahen hain. (Trees are being cut)
Kahan? (Where?)
Jahan Metro ban raha hai.(Where ever the Metro is coming)

Then he turned to the weather.

Ab ki baar to thand khoob hai. Hawa hi nahi aa rahi. Chaar bajte hi thand shuru ho jaati hai. Aur is baar to baarish bhi nahi giri. Socho tab kitni thand hoti.
(This winter it is very cold. There is no wind at all. As soon as it becomes four in the evening the cold comes in. And this is when it has not rained. Imagine if it had rained it would have become colder)

By now we had reached the Ridge. The trees were grey and looked like they were getting the worst of winter - no rain and all the pollution.

Yeh ped dekho. Garmi mein to mar jayenge. Is bar to garmi jyadaa hogi na -
(Look at these trees. They will die this summer because it is going to be very hot -)
Kyon? (Why?)
Arre, jab thand jyadaa padti hai to garmi bhi jyadaa hoti hai
(When the winter is very severe, the summer is hotter)

As we neared the house he set out his prognosis for the city in the future. Cars were increasing and the Metro was coming. Auto rickshaws will go out of fashion. Sitting in the rackety thing, I for one would not mind that.

But where will we get to hear such conversations in the future ?

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