March 5, 2014

David Vs Goliath

This was a lesson we learnt when we were kids, getting all excited and worked up about how a small guy takes on a big dude and slams him!! Isn't it the kind of thing every body dreams off? Getting on to a big stage... taking on a big challenge/ guy ... beating the odds... emerging the champ... taking the center stage n hogging the limelight... ohh yeah play a "hero" too if situation permits!! Everyone out there would have had a fantasy of say -- batting out an over to hit the winning run, saving a damsel in distress, waltzing across a dance floor with your 'crush' in your arms, flooring a lady you admire from a distance, being the center of attraction, and racing away on a bike/ car amongst few others.

It was a decently cold winter day and, yours sincerely here was riding on his bike on the way to office when an irritating honking noise caught his ears. A black Santro i20 was trying to cut its way through the decently heavy traffic and its driver was oblivious of the fact that even if he did HONKED the hardest anyone could on the planet, the traffic ahead of him wouldn't just jump sideways to let him through, kept up his game to the frustration of his fellow on-roaders. In no time the Santro was right behind me honking its guts out. I had nowhere to run what with a bus ahead of me, the divider to my right, traffic to my left and with the @$$#0!3 right behind me. With great difficulty I squeezed myself out of the position ahead of him and let him through. He zoomed away magically with the bus still ahead of him, I was left a bit perplexed.

With the traffic being a bit heavy, I spotted him & overtook him within 5mins, only to find the bugger "honking" madly within no time. This process got repeated 2 more times before it reached the crescendo. At Raidurgam junction, as the lights went green I was driving close to the divider trying to overtake a car ahead when this ass was right behind me yet again, darn that duffer. I try to give way to him and allow him to overtake from my right when he purposefully slams into my bike handle and cuts across almost tripping my bike. I got riled like hell and raced to catch him. I pull my bike ahead of his car making him to screech to a halt.

My dear friends the fun starts NOW!! I hope you remember the first para that talks about fantasising, that's what yours sincerely was trying to do. I wanted to grill that bugger and attain the (if the word exists) Hero feeling! I stop in front of the car, lift the visor and start throwing abuses at him. And, that’s when the driver steps out. And OFF goes my speech, my throat dried up and a gentle shiver travels through my spine. The respectful driver turns out to be a giant, may be 6'2" around 120Kilos and to drive me nuts was pitch black!! By the time I could take a deep breath, the David in me scampered all the way to Israel I guess!! The towering personality starts moving threateningly towards me and I am rooted at the same spot, out of stubborn guts?? Naaah, rather because of the fright and I lose the sense of mobility. Crazily I start admiring his act of throwing abuses as it seemed to be much effective than my nimble efforts.

He’s within one arm distance and his dhai kilo ka haath could have slayed me like a fly with a swipe, but I don’t bulge at this moment due the courage I was able to find in the farthest & deepest corner of my heart I had never ever visited (David starts his visa process in Israel). I gather my guts and start abusing him…meekly instead. You see having to scream with your helmet on and talk to someone who seems to be talking to you from second floor is quite difficult. This confrontation causes a small jam right next to a traffic cop’s stand, who seemed to think the time is ripe to step in after 5mins. Seeing the cop come the David in me catches the imaginary Concord and arrives in time. We both blurt out our version of the story. In between, just before the cop came this guys just pushed me back and I thought I would fly over my bike landing on the other side with a thud. Thankfully there were no such special effects and I am safe.

As we pour our complaints the traffic constable steps back a bit, notices the car number and becomes a bit wide eyed. I feared that this car might belong to some VIP and here I am about to get screwed. But the cop turns towards the driver and says- “You were the one who has been honking madly, driving rashly, bumping into cars and coming via City Center, Banjara Hills, FilmNagar route, right?” The driver dials down a lot from his aggressive stance and says yes. The cop turns towards me and says “వీడిని నాకు వదిలేయ్, అన్నగారు నాలుగు సిగ్నల్స్ బ్రేక్ చేసేడు, రెండు కార్లని గుద్దేడు అందులో ఒకటి మా CIకార్ అన్త... నేను చుసుకుంట వీడిని, నువ్వు లాగించు

Feeling a bit victorious, off having escaped without getting hit I clambered onto my bike and was about to whizz off, when the cop said – “Nee size chusukuni godava padara abbayi”. I wanted to tell him about the David Vs Goliath story, but felt it would be unwise to teach anything to someone who just saved my neck. Bhaad mein gaya David mein toh chala office!!

March 3, 2014

The awesome experience!!

It has been what... say close to 25yrs since I last visited Tirupati !! Trust me guys somehow I never managed to go to meet Mr.Venky since I went there when my tammi was a year old or little more. On the other hand my little bro did manage to pay him regular visits if I am not wrong around 4 in the last 4 years or less. So, when I finally got the chance to visit my childhood god's location, I was a bit excited, thrilled and few other superlatives that describe the Goosebumps raising scenarios. Little did I realise that Mr.Venky might be "teensy weensy bit" mad at me.

Owing to the amazing planning which happened at the last moment had to travel by bus, and b'coz it was late night called a known auto driver for dropping us there (10:15AM). The misfortune (if I could call it so, starts RIGHT here!) struck us, the auto came late (10:35PM) and as we thought we might miss the bus we were dropped at the designated place (10:45PM). Venky's on my side, phew!!  The bus started 'ON TIME' (yayyy!!) but just 2.5hrs into the journey (1:30AM) the bus broke down due to some oil leakage, didn't even reach Kurnool. The alternate bus arrived but not before, would you believe it 5AM in the morning!! grrrrrrrr.... They assure a 10AM Tirupati drop which turns to 11AM!! Luckily, our Darshan time was 1PM. Venky’s still (?) on my side, phew!! (I am just a little bit circumspect)... 
P.S. - We had nothing since our dinner last night at 8PM--- 15hrs onnnnn

We hire a cab to Tirumala, a 30min drive becomes 1hr 15mins journey (12:15PM) owing to the heavy security measures. We wait for our designated help to show us our cottage but he miraculously turns up an hour late (1:15PM)...but turns up he does. Successfully get our lodging formalities completed (2:30PM) and start our search for the location of the building and I get reminded of Hyderabad, where everyone says "seedhe jaao" when sought for directions. Eventually land up at our cottage at 3PM ... and yeah in between our buswala calls up to kindly inform that our return trip ticks have been cancelled with full refund (as if it was gud news).. Now I'm worried about my stay for night n travel too... I call up my friend and ask him to make booking for the next day.... Venkyyyy?? Venkyyy?? On my side, aren't you? ... 
P.S. - 19hrs and counting, since we had anything at all :(

By 3:30PM we freshen up and rush to the temple, don't remember how we both landed there as neither of us had been to the temple off late. We find our way to the Vaikuntham Complex (Supatham) and stand in the 'Q' by 4:15PM. Little did we realise that all the Q's were being merged (300/-, 100/-, 20/- etc etc) and the pace is set on auto mode to 'Snail pace'. Close to 5:30PM we were about to enter the main temple, when an a$$#0!e in the form of one Mr.Jagan makes his grand entry with his complete entourage and stops all the devotee lines and yeah makes a spectacular show of turning up right at the main entrance with his bloody footwear ON!!! Few devotees throw in choicest of abuses in spite of being in the temple and still Jagan doesn't bother. So, we get stopped for 2hrs I guess and then finally complete our 10sec bhagwan darshan by 7:50PM. We fight our way out along with the prasad and miraculously land out by 8:15PM wowww..... Venkyy??? Venkyyy??? You there???... 
P.S. - 24hrs and counting without having had anything in our tummies :(

Now this gets interesting here, I can't find my chappal!! Ididgo vinnaraa... I lose my footwear and now have to walk bare feet on an empty stomach... Venkyy why soo kopam!! Vunnavaa, assalu vunnavaa!!

We quickly cross the temple street and gulp down on food available finally at 8:45PM and then get dropped at our cottage. Can't remember when we crashed on the bed and when we dozed off, I woke up the next day at 10AM!! As, we check out the next day the sun beating hard and the asphalt being hard Mr.Venky makes me walk bear feet hopping all over finding for shade. We take the bus to Tirupati, hop around searching for an auto and make my way over the steaming hot asphalt to buy a pair of chappal to ensure another bubblegum doesn't get stuck to my feet! .... Bhagwaan Mr.Venky kaiko itna ghussa jii :( :(

We spend rest of the noon until the time to catch our return bus at a nearest hotel and finally return to Hyderabad!! Never realised the warmth of home until I opened the doors to my place in the morning!! ... but couldn't అర్ధం కాలేదు దేవుడికి అంట కోపం ఎందుకు వుందో నా పైన!! క్షమించు వెంకన్న క్షమించి, ఎమన్నా తప్పులు వుంటే మన్నించు !! 

 ఏడుకొండల వాడా వెంకటరమణ గోవిందా గోవింద !!