I got up at around 8:30 AM to a warm, breezy, sunny day. They are rare in Delhi, the wind that is; sun is a little too benevolent on Delhiites. This was not to be, this was not to be… this was NOT to be! I had to go with my college friends and get my bus pass – it allows me to go roam the city buses for free[EE!!] the rest of the year, but for it I have to stand in a long queue that starts building up 8:30 onwards. So I called up Tomgirl and asked her, “Where are you right now?” “Attending classes.” Oh yes, the college I am too lazy to get up for. “And the bus pass?” “We have classes till 2 PM. There is NA right now, plus 2-hour Microprocessor theory followed up by 2-hour Microprocessor labs.” Okay, that just killed my buzz. This 4-hour ordeal was not what I was signing up for. So I stayed in for the day when my father snooped on my phone and told me that Smiley had sent me a message: “We’ll go to get our bus passes, come if you want to.”
That is super bad for 2 reasons. One, I just wasted 3 hours doing nothing and now I don’t even get my bus pass? And the tone of Smiley almost ticked me off; I had already delayed my bus pass because of them. Two, my father was snooping on my phone. Hey! The latter was solved by a quick password to lock my phone. And I called up Tomgirl to know the deal. She told me they would all go at 2 PM. Phew, I had enough time on my hand. So, it was 12:00 sharp when I started pressing my clothes. But a doorbell interrupted the urgent workflow; a policeman came into our house.
I wasn’t terribly surprised; he didn’t look menacing or strict, rather he casually climbed the stairs almost like a family friend, and chided me gently for not regining in my Fevicol who was barking at him without a care given to his khaki uniform and Delhi Ploice badges adorning him. Was he fake? I lapped up Fevicol in my arms and strode into my sister’s room. “Maddy! Maddy! There is police in our house!” She must have thought he was at least outside the door and came out scratching her head and foolishly repeating ‘police?’ thrice until she actually got face to face with him on our sofa. He laughed, so did I inside the room and so did the postman who climbed up the three storeys, out of character, to hand-deliver the mail; probably he wanted to see what had made a policeman visit our home.
The police merely came for investigation for the fraud by insurance agents against my father; the details of which are vague for me and unimportant for you. My father wasn’t there so his visit was mostly useless. But he got important details of my apartment’s layout, number of rooms, parking facilities and the like. Then he asked me what did I do and my parents for that matter. He was making small talk! He was properly scrubbed and clean, well-dressed, speaking our kind of Hindi, relaxed and friendly. But he seemed terribly lazy; our case is doomed if he is entrusted with its duty. Either way, it was 12:20 when I finally waved him off and got back to the terribly-hot-by-now press.
Fast forward to 14:40. I was outside bus pass office with my friends. I had bus pass in my hand and the rest of the world just a bus away. The sky was dotted with clouds of types and colours, flowing away in the wind against the blue sky. There was no sign of rain and sun was shining happily. Wind was strong thus the temperature didn’t go beyond lukewarm. But people around me hated on the sun. “How can you like this weather?”, “I didn’t even want to step out in this sun”, “It is blinding!” Yeah girls! That is the point. It was a nice summer day with everything more vivid and colourful than usual, that is the beauty of the sun. And coupled with the fact that you wouldn’t feel hot today was a win in my book. Maybe they just wanted to stay in for the day. Guess who did I call? My sister Maddy of course!
I even met an old school friend when I was waiting for Maddy at NSP. We ate the yummy pasta there and then went inside Dilli Haat. We got to know that they had some folf festival going on with today’s theme as Qawwali. But it started at 6:30 giving us ample oppurtunity to explore the place more. Now I have already seen the ins and outs of this Dilli Haat but it is a shopping complex at its core, promoting handicrafts of the rural India and giving the tribals and villagers a platform to showcase their work. So, there are always so many clothes, accessories and other items to explore here. This Dilli Haat is mostly barren compared to the original one in INA, a pity since this is so much better built than the latter. Maybe we people here in north are just cheaper than South Delhi.
But I was pleasantly surprised on many counts. There were not many footfalls and it was mostly empty but more stalls were crowded today. They had better items even than my last visit here. Plus, they got swings! Maddy and I did tons of impulse purchases. Whereas she was disappointed for not bringing a camera with her, I was okay and a little indiffernet even. I don’t have a camera on my phone for so long that I have stopped caring to click pictures here and there. She mostly carries the digicam with her, so it was more of adeal with her. But now I miss it! It would have been great to show you the things that we bought, and couldn’t buy, and the sky in the background, the beautiful architecture of the place itself, and the swings. The swings!
So now you can only see the items that survived the intersection of my taste, Maddy’s taste and our budgets:
The Qawwali was awesome. I really like Indian classical music, in the sense that we don’t meet much but I want to know more about it. The tabla itself can get me going; but there are the whole array of sounds that emerge almost independently but in a strange sync. My emotions get heightened in such a surrounded. Qawwali is really fun and Sufi, what with all the rhythmic claps going on. It was really heavenly just sitting there and getting to listen to it… This is what my sister got to hear from me. But in reality it was mixed bag. I actually like Indian music, much more than the blaring filmy songs. But the Qawwaly managed to lull me in sleep, twice. Each time my sister poked me, I waved her off saying I am listening to music with eyes closed. Ha! I thought it was a handful of seconds each time, but a cameraman had passed me during my second ‘nap’ and didn’t click us because I was sleeping. Maybe he didn’t want to break the singers’ hearts. I was actually leaning onto my sister in deep sleep. I don’t have a way to verify it, because I really don’t believe I slept that much. Yet, I am capable of overshooting my bus stop because I sleep a little too deep in the bus. But the group was quite good. After sleeping through their last two pieces, I decided to actually listen to their third. It was a romantic Qawwali of a man in love of a woman. He repeatedly asks her to hide her eyes from him. And then goes on to gush about her hair, black as night, and her gaze that kills the innocent men on the wayside. The ‘Khusro’ chants towards the end indicate it might be a Qawwali by Amir Khusro himself, the originator of Qawwali, but I can’t verify it really. The lyrics were so fun and carefree, I wanted to dance with the vibes. Hats off! Though it was also the time for us to go.
I would have to miss my Saturday’s class for Coco’s birthday. She is a true friend and I have it in me to miss my class for her just this once. i hope it doesn’t snowballs into a pattern though. All in all, today’s day was one of the best I have ever had. Not because it was particularly good, but because it was never bad. Everything went my way from weather to the barren bus pass office. And then the wonderfully consistent evening with my sister. Even at home, my parents were mostly on their own. I loved to live till the end of this day, even though I would have been equally content to die in the peace that i felt today and that to in the pleasant summer of chirping birds and surfing clouds.