Friday, 12 July 2013

THE Autodriver - Hidden truths about Chennai

Let me skip the part where I say this happened when I was doing my internship and I chose to meet up with my almost-always-awfully-late but an awesome project partner in the evenings at Express Avenue - Chennai's best and most celebrated mall in the recent times. Simply put, the atmosphere was condusive there. Well, there was this fashion show that took place with gorgeuos models with glowing skin and rich dresses which I shall....Ahem ahem...conveniently skip (Now now, no groaning) to discuss matters of greater significance.

Note: All conversations are in English, for readers' convenience.

"Express Avenue", I said firmly to an auto I just managed to catch in a road that literally boasted CARS loudly.

"Evalo aavum (How much is the fare)", I asked promptly before setting my right foot inside the vehicle.

"Nooru ruva."

I set my right foot firmly inside the auto, carefully stowed my laptop bag to the side and started the trip, satisfied with his character. Little did I know that my next sentence would be the basis for this very post you are now reading.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Scare - 1

Saying "I was busy" is no excuse. Calling myself a passionate blogger without a single entry for four months is of not something I can be proud of. But after months of hectic last moment-work completion-due-to-initial-laziness routine, I finally fought through my holidays to do an internship when I encountered this particular and a true incident where I finally thought, "Hey, this would make a good story to tell." So folks, welcome back to my blog and Happy reading!

Note to readers:
1.Short stories are not (yet) my forte. Proceed at your own reading risk!
2. Places not revealed for personal reasons.

Headache. Upset stomach. Where is the damn train?

I looked at my watch. 3:55 pm. Krishnan was busy jabbing away on his phone. Was it a girlfriend? None of my business, I chided myself.

Krishnan who? Well, It was my second week into my internship at Z. Krishnan was one of my project mates. We had a swell first week and a not so-swell second week. Reasons for that were my health, our randomness and our realization of "Woah, this a vast subject", all in that order. My stomach took a turn for the worse and here I was whispering prayers to all the gods I knew to take me home safely before my body betrayed me!

The station at Z was where we always stood to take our local train. Krishnan got down at A and a few stops later, it was my station B. Today, we arrived earlier at the station, quite earlier than our usual 5:15 train. I guess that's enough introduction.

"I am going to kill myself if its the same dingy train that came yesterday. Dude, tell those samosa hawkers not to get into this one. Absolutely no place man", I said, keeping a straight face with a contantly twisting stomach, trying to sound cool.

Krishnan looked up and threw his typically distracted I-type-yet-I-hear-you-without-distraction smile. Many people I knew,always asked Krishnan whether he was trying to be a military man with that tight posture, restricted lip movements and a sound physique. He appreciated humor of any kind with open arms, but was generally a silent person. No point distracting him.

Long honking cushioned with Doppler Effect. Phew! The train arrived. Not dingy. Double phew!

Empty with seats!!! Triple phew! Triple Yay in fact. After jumping compartments like two excited school kids, we settled down in a first class compartment which was empty, barring two people.

"Who's bag is this?" , Krishnan asked and plonked himself next to the window seat.

"Bag? What bag?", I asked.

This is where, my dear kind readers, the story finally begins.

It was a harmless looking red shoulder bag with black sling. With the letters TNROA printed on it.

I had this habit of trying to answer people's questions without giving a no. So, I switched to Sherlock Holmes mode. Half guessed the fact that he was a tall man judging by the length of the sling. Quite a careful and an economical fella when it came to matters of money. Well, the fact that it appeared worn but well used was really a giveaway. TNROA? I didnt have Holmes' brain.

"Tamil Nadu Revenue Officials Association", I exclaimed after a minute. I could tell you I was superhuman. Nah. Il be honest. Krishnan saw me googling it.

"So, he's a revenue officer? Hope he wont check our tickets.", I thought.

"What dya reckon? A bomb inside that?", asked Krishnan. Damn you man. You had this knack of hyping petty things up and sizing huge things down.

"Dont be silly man! Bomb? In a local train? Gimme a break.", I said fending off his loudly spoken thought.

"There's no one in this compartment. Somebody left it here, didnt they? Looks like it was on purpose.", persisted my partner.

For the first time in my life, I regretted reading crime novels and action thrillers.

"Dai dai, dont give me the creeps. My stomach i already weak."

By this time, our train crossed 2 stations and was chugging along to a halt on the platform of D. Here was where the nearby college's "hot chicks" and other college boys would get in. Three of those "other" boys got in.

Now, Im going to give them names. They played such a vital part in this one. Let me see...
Im calling them Ipod, Racer and Foodie. Ipod cos this guy was hooked on to it after the bag incident, Racer as he started playing that bike game and Foodie because he was pleasantly round, chubby get it, dont you? Hey, dont blame me. In my defense, he WAS carrying a Food Management course book or something!

"Excuse me, but can you keep your bag on your lap?", asked Racer.

Oh dear! This was going to be one long train journey!

Who owned this bag? Why was it left here? Was that actually a bomb?
Well, it wasnt a bomb, cause I'm alive typing this. I'll conclude this part with one no-brainer of a clue as to what you can expect. 'The Scare' turned out to be ironic.

To be continued.

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