Decided to goto Shekhar’s place in the evening yesterday. Called him up and confirmed that I was coming. Got on the road…and as soon as I turned into Airport Road from ITPL Road, I realised the quantum of traffic. There were vehicles lined up till the top of the Marathahalli bridge, which was as far as I can see. Slowly made my way through gaps in the jam, dug up sidewalks and oncoming traffic. Took me over 20 minutes to cover a little less than 1km of road, even with the daredevilry on the bike. Still some traffic due to the usual shopper’s rush in the Marathahalli market, but it was atleast moving…and not stationary like that on the bridge.
Things eased out a bit once I went past the market area…with smooth driving till HAL, the next bottleneck on the Airport Road. Again…rode through sidewalks, and managed to reach HAL signal after manouvering through abt half a km of traffic. Then began the wait. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. I got pissed off real bad. The signal had been switched off, and instead there were a couple of traffic cops regulating the traffic. It was smooth moving on the other side…but it seemed that the cop forgot that it wasn’t just a single lane road…and there was a huge pile up of traffic on the other side. I saw there were vehicles piled up just after this junction, on a stretch of road which goes till the airport departure junction. I figured there must’ve been some VVIP politician, who’d chosen the peak evening traffic time for his flight (Later found it to be the actor turned MP Ambarish). Cars around me started to honk like mad. But I knew it wasn’t the traffic cop’s fault, who was just serving the people who’re actually supposed to serve us. But that of course never happens.
Kept waiting. Twenty minutes. Thirty minutes. You can imagine my height of desperation when I’m stuck right at the front, while traffic on the other lane is flowing very smoothly. Finally…I guess the cop had some mercy on us, and allowed us to take the right turn leading to HAL. It would be a circuitous route, but I’d prefer going an extra couple of kms over the seemingly endless wait. When you’re stationary for so long, just the thought of moving again excites you:p
It felt great to be able to move again. Even though it was slow as there was still traffic…but it felt much better than not moving at all. Finally made it to Shekhar’s place. A distance less than 9kms, which took me 75 minutes to cover. Choco…I’m sure you’re not too excited to read this:p Dont worry…its usually not that bad:) Unless you’re in a car ofcourse…Bangalore traffic is much better for two wheelers.
Met didi there…hadn’t seen her in a long time too. Had a short chat with her…and then Shekhar got home. Talked and talked…discussed new developments in life. Kou called up…asked to check up if there were some nice movies running. We went through the lists…but sadly no new releases this friday. So told him to just come over, and go for dinner somewhere. He came…and we chatted again. It was a nice reunion. The four of us hadn’t got together in one place since Shekhar’s bday…which was as long back asDec 2005! So just talked and talked. Finally everybody started getting a lil hungry after all the talking…so decided to go for dinner somewhere. The debate on the right destination lasted a long time…when we finally reached a conclusion to goto “Roomali with a View”, a rooftop place on 100 ft road Indiranagar. Got into the car…and drove off. Luckily no more harrowing traffic on the way!
Kou found an empty slot infront of the church opposite the restaurant…and parked there. I had just gotten out of the car, when I heard Kou utter the shit word softly. I knew something was wrong instantly…the way it was uttered. Walked up to him, and found him peeping down a cavity in the road. He apparently dropped his car keys in it. Before locking the car. He tried to see inside using his cellphone backlight…but it wasn’t enough.
The pavement, where the car had been parked, had a small section going along the road about 3-4 feet wide for the storm water drain which is used to drain off excess rainwater. This was covered with rectangular stone boulders. They ofcourse didn’t fit properly at the edges, forming cavities between them. The key had gone down one such cavity.
This cavity was quite narrow, so we weren’t quite able to make out how deep it was. On inspecting the other cavities close by, we found that the drain was about 3 feet deep, and thankfully…dry! Luckily it hadn’t rained yesterday. So we called the guard from the church, and explained the situation. He went back, and got two of his friends…along with a long metal rod, which he was going to use as a lever to lift off the boulder. So…with efforts of three men…we were able to raise the boulder about six inches off the ground. One of the guys bent down, and tried to reach for the key. But it was too deep for him. So we decided to lift the boulder completely…which took as many as four men several tries. Finally it moved, and one of the guys jumped in…and got the key out and returned it safely to the hands of its master. We rewarded the guys handsomely for their help, and finally got on to our way to where we were actually supposed to go.
Took an empty table near the edge of the roof, and debated on whether to order or try the buffet. The decision was left to me and Kou, and we went to check out the buffet items. Looked nice. The two of us decided for it, choosing variety and quantity, and what we perceived quality too…but only to be turned wrong in a short while, when we started eating. The food was a little less than lukewarm. Still…I was too hungry to complain…I just got on to eating!
Had a lot of interesting conversations over dinner, with people discussing their latest travels and other events in life. I got myself a large serving of dessert, which was ice cream…so I didn’t have to worry about it being cold:D Finished off dinner, deciding to do it again soon, and got on to our respective ways.