LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM (5)
It was a light day, how he didn’t know yet. He wanted to take a day off but wasn’t sure of. He was some part wild, some part normal and a major part wanderlust that day.
He thought what could be a possible day out – out in the sun, lingering on the beauty of its arrival and departure integrity – soaked in the rain of an evening, romancing with his well kept thoughts – nomadic in the night with pure wild thoughtlessness.
By the noon, he was more of in the mind he was going to take the day off. What prompted him was the sky was turning its colour giving the passageway to the drops of bliss what he calls it in the maddening heat of Delhi’s April. Yes, the city has been unexpectedly warming to its residents this year by giving sustained sentiments of romancing with the rains.
What cemented his plans was a sudden discovery that he was in possession of passes of an IPL match at Feroz Shah Kotla ground. A corporate and a lower stand pass. He had kept them and forgotten, for the match timing was not meeting his schedule.
But then he had begun the day in a wanderlust mood. The discovery made him give it a go. And so the day was given the off from the schedule. Now the next thing was – nothing to plan about it. In the first hour of the afternoon, he started from his home. He decided to walk for a while and didn’t take the car. It served two purposes.
First, in Delhi, finding a parking place is like India getting to the club of the developed nations, a tedious job in simple words, and as he had planned to be a randomly roaming soul with no plans for the day except the IPL game in the evening, he could not afford to let the elements of planning kick-in in finding the parking rectangles.
Second, he thought it would be better not to carry the car to the stadium as thousands of the crowd would certainly make it for the choked roads to get the vehicles stuck for pretty countable minutes. An auto ride looked perfect to him then. Also, the darkening clouds played the perfect harmony to let the rains in. And Delhi is nightmare for road traffic during rains. So the idea of public transport echoed even more.
His first stop was an ice-cream parlour. He loves ice-creams but doesn’t frequent parlours. To work out the confusion in deciding on and planning what to order, he went straight to the counter and ordered a medium-sized chocolate-brownie. It took him half-an-hour to relish it. It looked more fun that day. After all, it made him revisit some of the thoughts he cherishes the most.
It was 3 when he stepped out. Once out, he found him on the approach road to the old-age home he had visited once. He had planned for the next time but that next remained the next. He planned but couldn’t go. Now the wanderlust in him said to march straight to the place. He started walking. In another 30 minutes, he was inside the old-age home, a paid facility. He thought to try something different. He talked and talked, something he is not regular with, except some exceptions.
The joy on the faces of the people there lifted his spirit and he talked even more. He tried to be as free as he could be in keeping his words as sensitive as he could. He needed to be spontaneous in flow there, random, but in accordance with the sentiments. He found himself finding the right chord every time he cracked a joke, though he has been very poor in remembering songs and jokes. It was indeed an unplanned quality time.
Moment stayed while the time slipped by. No sooner had he started getting calls for singing something than he saw it was 6, time to leave for Feroz Shah Kotla, for the Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Superkings IPL game scheduled to begin at 8.
So in a way that IPL game saved him from the embarrassment of showing his inane talent in singing as his elderly friends could understand that he needed to leave well in advance if he had to have a seat in the stadium.
Yes, the wanderlust in him asked him to go with the lower stand pass where seats were not reserved and it was plain ‘first come first get’ game. The corporate stand pass sounded him too sophisticated for the day he sought to have.
So he began again. It was raining – pouring like a Monsoon beloved. He was looking for an auto to the stadium some 6 kilometers away. Soon he got one. By 7, he was in the stadium. It was almost empty.
He felt bad about it. He wanted to be part of the crowd that day. It seemed the clouds were in the same mood as he was – wild and unrestricted – but he found the love spilling over now.
Suddenly, he found himself saying why not to soak some of this love. And there he was, in the empty stand, securing his seat, under the downpour, for the next 30 minutes, till the rains stopped. Was the love there or gone? At 7.45, came the announcement that the match would begin at 8.30.
Slowly, the crowd started building up and by 8.30, he was well in the comfort zone as he found him a part of a crowd tens of thousands strong. The stadium was full to the capacity, clad in vibrant colours, with placards, banners, posters. He also got hold of his share of bounty. He didn’t know if tt was not in his nature to make waves as others would make during big shots or wicket-falls. But the wanderlust asked him to cheer up for the beauty of the moments and he did it spontaneously.
So no more thinking! Pure joy of watching the game with crowd, assimilating its character! But what a dull game that was, almost one-sided, with Delhi team crushing the Chennai opposition. Yes but plenty of Big shots.
So the crowd kept on roaring and the moments of the 3-hour long match soon fled away. It was indeed a well spent time.
Now it was back to home. By the time, he could come out of the stadium, it was 11.45. All around him was a sea of faces. As expected, roads were choked. Honking was sounding like howling sound of a Concorde plane.
He kept walking, looking for an auto, a next-to-impossible task in that multitude, at that hour, in the sleepy Delhi. His thoughts were back with him and there were some elements of planning creeping-in on how to get back to home soon. A beautiful day was finally getting all the elements in place and he could not allow distractions in the last moments.
So when he found, after a walk of 2 kilometers, that he was still not going to get an auto, the wanderlust in him said to walk down the whole stretch, to kill the creeping elements of planning.
And so there he was, walking, singing within him, taking steps back to the home. The remaining 4 kilometers were not many thoughts though, but the exuberance of living another day the way he thought of – with the nomadic vibes.
It was 12.30 in the night when he reached home. He didn’t feel exhausted. It was peace of living yet another day with the wanderlust in him.