October 27, 2008

Something I Did....?

We all have bad days. What surprises me is that when bad days are planed out in advance! I was asked to do an article on a bunch of cycling freaks. Now these enthusiasts congregate every Saturday at 6:30 in the AM at Nehru Park near Chanakya Cinema. They get together and trot around Lutyens Delhi. It does sound very fancy and believe you me that was exactly the reason why I decided to go ahead.

But I knew something was wrong.

I can count the pleasure that I encountered before the rendezvous with the two-wheeled gang. The traffic less roads weren’t as bad even though the pot-holes were very real. The RJ’s on many radio channels weren’t up so I chose air waves over Miles Davis. The work-in-progress Metro looked sturdy enough.

I didn’t expect things to go so wrong from so right in a matter of minutes. I reached the designated place. Nothing. The parking lot had four-wheeled cars of every conceivable make. The only two-wheeled things were bikes and scooters. In addition there were a bunch of really old fogies indulging in strange activities in the name of exercise. I’m a different breed; if I am up at the crack of dawn that is healthy enough for me. But these people were an unusual thing. All of them dressed almost the same way. Most of them were walking around. Some of them loitering and a few were safely perched on benches. They were laughing, talking and greeting each other. It was heartening to see that most of us were happy to be alive!

Nehru Park

Back to business. I waited. Twenty minutes later I asked a boy in Karate whites if he came here regularly. He waited for me to say something else before he could get all karate kid on me. I moved on. I decided to walk for a while. It was an exercise of a different kind. Look for a guard, sweeper or anyone who was a regular here and who could validate the cyclist gang’s presence. I stuck out like a sore thumb on a roll. I was the only freak ‘walking’ in jeans!

I heard someone say something about two parking lots. A clue!

I went around the second parking lot. Asked the policeman on vigil at the gates of Australian High Commission if he knew anything. Now, off late, in India cycles are the preferred mode of other nefarious activates such as planting bombs as well. He sized me up and reversed the interrogation. A patrol van came and did their job as well. By now I was thinking cycle or no cycle let’s just paddle out!

Next stop the All American Diner at India Habitat Centre for some breakfast. Confession time: one of the biggest reasons to traverse inter-state for a tale was the prospect of made to order eggs at the Diner. If the day wasn’t bad already by 8:30am, it was about to get worse. Post breakfast I went back to the park. I thought maybe I could catch the freaks on their way back in case they started earlier than my arrival. No go.

How did I know this whole thing was a bad idea?

Why do you think I avoided doing this story for three weeks!

To top things off I ended up with an upset stomach the moment I got back. Maybe it was the Austrian jam on my toast.

1 Responses to “Something I Did....?”

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