Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ezhuth/dec , 2009

Rashmi scanned the entire lobby for somebody to receive her but in vain. How rude of them. She thought .And that too on this great day.!. she dragged her big suit case out of the air port and dug her purse for her mobile. Before she could reach her phone it rang. It was Salim.

Oh where are you Rasmi?. We are very sorry that we could not reach on time. But who knew that the flight was on schedule. Its history you know.!

Don’t yap. Now tell me what shall I do. I think it is wise to hire a taxi by myself. Thank God the air port was not shifted to Devanahalli which is not so familiar. Kalpana grabbed the phone.

How is the bride doing?. Now you don’t tell me that you forgot the wedding sari

Oh shut up dude. Now tell me whether every thing else is cool.

Do not worry. Rohit and his mother are already here. Rest of them are not counted you know. Your best buddy Sarma and family are on the way from Mangalore. Cookoo and a bunch of her friends have already reached Ramanagaram .But Rohit’s mother is really upset over our arrangements.

Yeah what to do. I could not come yesterday. There were series of meetings to cover. Other wise also she never wanted a journalist daughter-in –law you know. Forget.

Ok ..ok .now you pick up a taxi and rush,.. By the way ‘muhurath’is between ten and eleven. Roopa arranged one beautician also. Rohit’s mother wants you as a typical kannada bride.

When she gestured for a cab it was Rohit on the line. Rashmi convinced him and apologized for not reaching the previous day and hung up. As she settled in the back seat of the cab a strange feeling was creeping in. She knew Rohit for quiet a long time and listen to his voice almost everyday. But today , it was so different and she cannot deny the little shiver in her voice also. For a few hours from now they will be husband and wife. Frankly speaking it is a huge responsibility which is going to over turn one’s life.

Rashmi felt a rush towards her ears and missed a hear beat. She tried to relax.

The cab joined the flow of traffic from air port, inching through the mad rush of morning hours .At last the driver brought the car to a complete halt.

Rashmi looked ahead. The road was like someone dumped vehicles helter skelter . The tops of the vehicle shone in the morning sun. Rashmi felt miserable .Driver gave a helpless glance and told.

Amma this is going to be very tough.

Why? .this is a common sight every day. Rashmi brushed it aside.

May be yeah. but today the citizens planned a ‘rastha roko’ through out MG road because of the snail pace of Metro rail work.

Oh my God. Why did’nt they announce it earlier. If they inconvenience the unaware commuters what are they going to gain. Even I am a citizen. I have the right to travel also. You know, 10.30 is the muharat of my wedding. Its already quarter to nine. Driver’s jaw dropped in awe.

What to do amma .You cannot get away through any other diversion. We are in the middle .hope it will clear soon. Rasmi took her phone.

Rohit I am trapped.

Rohit was almost chocked when he shouted back ‘I told you’..! Ok now I am going to come there

How ? .Are you going to airlift me. ? Rohit was visibly annoyed. Kalpana grabbed the phone.

You have to change madam to sit in the mantap.

Who told you to arrange it so far from the city.?

Yeah , we could have arranged it in the air port itself.

Ok .ok now it is moving I will call you later. Rashmi leaned back and closed her eyes. There was nothing to do other than patiently tame herself to gulp her anger and frustration. Grand mother always use to make fun of one proverb, ‘do not wait for the eleventh hour. You may die at 10.30.’!

A sudden head ache ripped her head off. She opened the window and found everybody in other vehicles are blaming and cursing . Rashmi suddenly wondered ,being a journalist what was she doing till now .she took her phone.

After reporting that she also joined in the conversation with the furious driver of the adjacent car. He was talking about the apathy of the government.

In spite of the poor infrastructure ten thousand more buses including one thousand Volvos are going to be put into this ocean of vehicles. He blamed the top ‘babus’ receiving commission from these bus owners to sanction this chaotic traffic where the tax payers have to struggle.

The population is also ten folds more than yester years.

Yeah. That is because of the floating population who come for a living.

Rashmi raised her window as the phone rang. It was an annoyed Rohit.

Try to understand Rohit. She raised her voice but immediately caught up with her cool.

Remember Rohit ,we met in a traffic jam and this may be a coincidence .I think it is going to clear .ok. See you soon. But the car stopped again.

Rashmi left all hope and closed her eyes. Head ache was taking its toll.

* * * * *

A happy Rohit picked up Rashmi from air port in his car. They just zoomed off.

Oh wow this is the express way. They crossed the elevated metro rail through MG road. Monorail train wroomed by leaving a murmur in the wind around. Their car flew through the four lane stretch on Kasthurbha road encircling the beautiful Kubbon park Clean and tidy vehicles moved at ease. Neatly dressed children and people walked happily on the pavements and the whole city was looking relaxed. Rashmi and Rohit proceeded to the “Tamarind tree” resort in Kanakapura where all were waiting for the bride and the bridegroom.

Suddenly the loud siren of an ambulance shook her awake. For a moment Rashmi could not place herself. Slowly the wailing of the ambulance brought her conscience to reality. The beautiful infrastructure was a far fetched dream. Her heart reached out to the unfortunate soul who is at the mercy of the Bangalore traffic. The patient may be dying.

Her phone rang in an inconsolable note. It was Rohit again. It is already past 10,30.

But you know I am worried about an ambulance behind, Rohit. Marriage can wait. Any way the traffic is moving now.

How far it will take. Where are you now?

So close ,..yet so far. !