Here we were taking a noon train to Bombay and we had a whole lotta time. We would reach only around 7.30 am the next day and that was the only train that could get us at that time. We had only two days in the city and I didn’t want to waste it away.
When you are travelling in Indian trains you realise how flexible all are. A family of 3 will request a passenger to exchange seats so they can be together and people gladly oblige without any fuss.
We wanted seats on the side lower and upper berth so we decided to sit there until the chosen one came and we could offer our confirmed seats in exchange. So much juggling happened that by night time everyone got the seats they wanted. This is a phenomenon that can never be understood by outsiders.😊
Over a decent packed lunch from the Railways Bhim and I were talking away, laughing at the ‘Jugaad’( please use your online dictionary!) we all were doing. It was so in our genes.
Later in the evening Bhim and I had an intense conversation about certain events in his life. No one can really know what shit that person has gone through but it’s important that they move forward. And I was amazed by his life. What he did was just move forward, scarred but not letting that take over his life.
We knew certain people whose past was their identity and they preferred to be in that sadomasochist way, constantly beating themselves up not moving forward an inch.
When one gets caught up in their own turmoil and uses that as a security blanket it’s catastrophic but in the end no one could help them except themselves. And we both had our share of friends who were just that.
I had to say this because when I looked at my past record of friends many of them were like that and I myself was following a pattern where I would end up being a comfort and security to them. Bhim had the same pattern of attracting such people. We were like it’s good we cut the bullshit isn’t it?
We called it a night and were now waiting to get to Bombay. But first we had all kinds of strangers climbing onto Empty berths and sleeping! Mind you this was second AC so the kind of people that came in had no ticket and they would take a berth and claim it their own. This was a different route alright!
Early morning with our bladders full(literally) and no way of using the loos in the train( you know why!) we waited eagerly to reach CST while Pankaj was patiently waiting for us outside the station in his car.
After lots of confusion between reaching Dadar, Matunga we were finally out with a beaming Pankaj greeting and hugging us. We were so happy to be here with him.
Pankaj took us for a nice breakfast at Radio Club overlooking the sea. It was 8 am, not that hot or humid and a gently breeze whiffing through. It was beautiful as we chatted over breakfast and the agenda for today.
Bhim had his big DATE tonight. He was meeting a pretty gal who worked in the same company years ago and they were in touch on and off and finally they were meeting up tonight. I was going to meet up with my trek mate Darshan. Pankaj in his naughty way told Bhim that he would also join in and it could be a double date, Bhim was like I don’t know if you understand what double date means! 😁
Pankaj dropped us at YMCA where we were put up for a night. A beautiful tree filled Lane in Colaba, it was away from the din of Colaba causeway yet nearby to the main market.
South Bombay had its undeniable charm. Old Colonial buildings, small lanes, old residential buildings, a glorious past and a non existent present while the future had moved to suburbs like Bandra, Juhu and Khar.
We checked in and relaxed a bit while Bhim was working on his laptop. It was also a momentous day for India. Electoral results were happening, votes counting and we knew which way the tide was in favour of so we were already in a celebratory mood. But we had to wait as it was a dry day( meaning no booze in the city)
Just then Bhim forgot something. He specially picked out a linen shirt and pant for his date that evening and he completely forgot to take it out of the closet at my home!
I was like anyways am planning to shop so buy another one dude, no sweat!
Now here is something you need to know about my pal Bhim, never and I mean never ever has he made an effort like this before.
A t shirt guy, this was the first time he went out of his character and bought a new linen shirt and pant again just for the occasion! Now this should have been a sign right? Well..
What happened after that, and after that..
To be continued 😁