Caught in the traffic jam on the highway past Hapur, I twiddled my mind and thumb….
Perhaps it would have been better if we had done this trip the previous Sunday. In fact, I had originally planned it that way. Ravi, a friend of mine, had been quite keen that we do the Garhmukteshwar trip together and we had fixed on 22nd Sunday as the date for doing that.
But Ravi is a remarkably evolved Indian, and his resolve to exert any effort is as firm as the shape of a cloud. Although we had fixed up on the date almost a month earlier, and indeed he had sounded quite enthusiastic about it at that time, he started speaking less about it as the date approached. When I spoke to him on 20th, the song that he sang was not different, but he changed the tune a bit.
“Yes. Sure. We ‘can’ go on Sunday. But let’s not go by car. Lets take a bus or a train”, said he.
I suppressed a splutter. Imagine going to Bus Adda (Inter State Bus Terminus) or figuring out the train schedule, and lugging it to Nayee Dilli Railway station…Might as well walk it all the way to Ganga, like the Kawadias do. And so I told him off on that one. ‘Car, it will have to be’, I said, with steel in my voice. But he made no promises. His limbs had been withdrawn beneath his shell. His face alone remained outside, and was non-committal.
On 21st, he changed the song. His MD (Managing Director) had suddenly dropped in from the skies and had taken complete control over Ravi and his car. Nothing Ravi could do about it. Some crisis in the company, and he just had to be with his MD for the next forty eight hours, carrying his briefcase and water-jug. Can’t make it this time, he said, in a ‘matter of fact’ tone.
I suggested, in turn, that he invite his MD too, to accompany us, for who would say ‘No’ for a trip to the Ganges? That made Ravi pause in mid-flight. He said he would try that, and having voiced that bluff, he withdrew his face beneath the shell.
And so there was no catch on 22.
Thus it was that I thought that I would try again for next week – the 29th. Without Ravi, this time.
I had called Ramay, and he had sounded tentative. But not unwilling. And a few more phone calls, and Marwadi and Venkat had signed up, and before long we had fixed the trip for 29th. And later when I realized that it was Guru Poornima day, I felt that it was the call of Karma…To Ganga on Guru Poornima! That’s great!
I would keep this a secret from Ravi. Tell him after the trip! That would teach him a lesson!
And so, there we were, on the 29th of July, caught in a traffic jam on the Hapur highway.
An old Indian saying goes – “In the house of God, there is delay, but not darkness”… And so, I wasn’t bothered about this huge traffic pile up.
Why carry any weight of concern when one is choicelessly being carried by the caravan of Karma?
To be contd…