When i was a kid (haha gotcha!am still one) our school used to organise these annual school picnics on November 14. It was nothing spectacular or spellbinding. Usually it was to Buddha Garden, Lodhi Gardens or Children’s Park. Once I think we went to the zoo. And railway museum.
So anyways, I was majorly excited to be part of these trips. scintillating social life that I had then (and now, sob sob) these were the only times I could go out. We would all be bundled into school buses after thorough counting by class teachers. Between friends we would decide what all to bring to eat. I always got to bring south Indian food (surprise) and Uncle Chips or Pepsi. On reaching the destination everyone would run for spreading their sheets/paper under a tree. If you happen to be unlucky enough to arrive on one of the last buses you would be stuck bearing the noon sun burning down your face. Soon enough the “stories” would start. Someone standing on some Lodhi relatives tomb went missing. Someone saw a skeletal hand creep out. Someone heard a warning. Someone saw a ghost. I was never this someone, I was invariably the one bearing the brunt of the Sun and in the process on my way to acquire a Nigerian passport. As we grew older “bhoot” stories were replaced by you know what she saw that couple doing behind the bush. These stories did run the possibility of being true. Anyways that’s fodder for another post.
What was remarkable for me was I would be so excited at the prospect of a picnic I would find it difficult to sleep the night before the D-Day. Now I am the person who would sleep 8 hours before an exam even if half of the portion hadnt seen daylight. I was one of the two people who kept snoring while the remaining hostel ran helter-shelter screaming at the top of their voice when a burgler had burst in. So for me to loose sleep is like BIG. Yes I was that excited at the prospect of rolling in the grass in mid afternoon.
The last time I was so excited was my last trip to Mumbai. I must have thrown in a couple of clothes. Forgot my toothbrush and paste. If possible ran to the airport ( was forced to take a rick). Allowed the rickwallah to fleece me. Was the first through security checkin and on board. It was one of those Boeings where you can watch TV. But my eyes were stuck out permanently. when the pilot announced descent, my nose was stuck on the window plane. As the city came into view, little blobs of light, growing till we were above small diamonds carelessly thrown across a velvety cloth, small streams of gold where the NH ran, I almost felt satiated. When we touched down, the familiarity of Chatrapati Shivaji, the trolleys which you can push down to make them move faster(not seen that any where else, all other trolleys are a fight), to the autos which run by meter, SEEPZ to the front of our insti, most of all my room. The smell of familiarity, my system gathering dust ( switching it on, my old playlist intact), my bathroom (and mine alone, not be shared with people with impolite bathroom manners) and warm water. heaven. Sigh.
Unlike most people I know I have really taken to Mumbai, and find Bangalore well boring.
The prospect of another week in Mumbai has sent me into sleepless tangle again. How , how will I ever adjust to Bangalore? What do people here do on weekends apart from descending at Forum in hordes?