Whenever I have to go to Delhi, I take the metro. To reach the nearest metro station I have to take an auto. So this is a tale of going to the city, with a little bit of sky thrown in and hence the name ‘Sky and the City!’ I feel so clever today. The story starts with the non-sky bit at the Chhatarpur Metro Station where I was waiting for an arranged pickup to arrive.
At the bus stop was this autorickshaw with the common ‘buri nazar wale’ sign. I liked the colors and clicked a picture. The auto driver came out and asked me about it (politely), so I showed him the picture. He then asked what would I do with it? I told him that I clicked it because I liked the colors. He waited for a while, got a few passengers and was about to move off. But then he came towards me and said with folded hands, “ma’am don’t lodge a complaint against me!”
That really left me almost speechless. I told him I clicked the picture only because I like the colors and there was nothing more to it. He moved on and I moved on, but this is a story that refuses to move on from my mind!
I could not figure out what was he afraid of? He was standing near a bus stand but so where scores of other autos, causing the traffic to slow down, almost creating a jam. But he was not alone. He was taking three people in auto but I noticed that other autos too were plying on shared basis and it seemed like a common practice near this metro station. But it was a little reassuring as well to see him scared just because I took a harmless picture! Maybe all is not lost for this city?
Moving on to the next story, you can see a bright washed out sky in this picture but I clicked it more for the city than the sky. It is a poster that says 14th February should not be celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day in India but as a day when you worship your parents! It really left me speechless for a while, I mean really? We are the land of 3K as well, Khajuraho, Konark and Kamasutra! Do we really need to shy away from the Valentine’s Day as it is against culture? If you wish to replace it I would say replace it with a Khajuraho Day! I could have replaced Khajuraho with another K but then my students read my blog as well, and that is a strong filter for me to decide what I want to say.
Finally, here is a bit of sky too, when you had almost given hope. I love it when I get to see the sun going down at a metro station. The setting has so many leading lines, arches and color, all of which make for a good picture. Only, photography is banned at the metro stations, don’t ask me why. I just took a quick cell phone shot and walked off. It marked the end of an eventful day but not before I got a maniac for an auto driver before I reached home.
This time when I visited the Wheeler Bookstore at Ajmer Railway Station the person at the stall said, “lo aa gayen Agatha Christie ki fan!” (Here comes the Agatha Christie fan). In the last two years this was my fourth trip to Ajmer and as I bought Agatha Christie every time from the shop, so the shopkeeper now recognizes me! Surprisingly I have never stayed at Ajmer, I was always there in transit. Out of the four times, I visited the dargah thrice. There is something about the place that has a pull. Till now I have refrained from making a mannat even though I do visit the shrine. My argument is that Gods have been kind to me so why ask, they already know what I want.
However, it was for the first time I took a video of the narrow lanes of Ajmer leading to the shrine.
And as I have an obscenely early morning flight on Thursday to Amman, the war to leave the station has started and so far I seem to be losing it. There are thousand and one things that are pending, which of course includes packing. I hear that wifi is not free at many hotels in Jordan so I am not sure if I will be able to connect from there. But I do assure you that I will bring back a lot of stories and pictures.
In the recent days I visited the Brahma Temple at Pushkar, the Ajmer Sharif Dargah and now it is time to attend a mass by Pope at Amman. Even though I have not really probed what kind of faith I have, but the vibes such places are so vibrant. Jordan is the third new country for me this year, Finland and Maldives being the other two. Maybe I should get greedy and ask the Gods to give me a few more countries this year as it is only May till now!
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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