17 June, 2007

oriya oracle

I had made up my mind about autorickshaw drivers. They rode where they wanted to, when they wanted, if at all they wanted to and ofcourse at their own sweet pace. They fleeced you, honed your haggling skills till you felt as used as a dish cloth, promised you an aggravatingly exhausting conversation about how the auto fares had not been updated since the Crustacean era and how hapless their pure souls actually were.

Then I came to Bhubhaneswar, the templed capital of Orissa. Five girls. Uknown city. Means of transport? Autorickshaws of course (one well meaning well-wisher called them the "unreliable mass transport system" which was not suitable for "simple girls" like ourselves). Ha. Simplicity is CERTAINLY not my middle name. Whoever heard of a Chandni Simplicity Singh? Ha.

Cut to the actual situation. Five girls. Various limbs and keratinous portions flailing out of one rickety three wheeler. Ya ya hair (biology students like using big words to prove they know too much, e.g. did you know that the sound you hear while cracking your metacarpophalangeal joints is because of the air bubbles popping in your synovial fluid?) . The auto driver is positively appalled at this un-ladylike behaviour of incessant chatter at an incomprehensibly high decibel, the literal falling out of one girl from someone's poor lap to the externalities of his previously unvoilated steed and ofcourse the way these weirdos try to communicate in their hindi-english-bengali (thanks to one bong babe) language. The sign language, inspired by oft played dumb charades resembled over the top histronics that would put any actor to shame. Hell we were good. And we managed to get our point across.

But the brilliant part of the whole auto experience this system of "shared auto". You could travel from one place to another in fares ranging in miniscule denominations (Rs. 3, Rs. 5, Rs. 8). Wow right? But no no no. Not so fast punk. There was a catch. You'd have to be willing to share your exclusive chauffeur driven auto with any Mohanty, Pattnaik or Misra that walked along and was travelling in the general direcion of your destination. Not bad right? Cheap travel and the delightful opportunity to meet the knight of your dreams in a rickety auto..aaahhhh the fertile soil of my imagination always manages to spring up some muddy, heavily romanticised illusions.

So whether the weather played spoil-sport or the food tasted the same everywhere, or the men were no eye-candy, Bhubhneswar won where it mattered the most. Its "mass travel system" rocked.


PS: I am in a sweaty little cyber cafe, minus laptop, with a keyboard that has a congenital enemity towards typing "" ..... "h" so any mentally debilitating tortures due to the post above are all your fault. (I ave ad to read troug te wole post inserting "h") bahhhhhhh...ughhhhhhhh hee ha ha

03 June, 2007

Orissa oggling

Pangolins or scaly anteaters
I'm off for two months going to help these guys breed. Happy summers.

: )


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