One night, I was just thinking of something to post in my blog. After so many days of silence, my blog needed something to speak. Then my mind dawned into one recent incident that happened to me on my trip to Mumbai. So I decided to narrate, not only the incident but the whole day. If Chetan Bhagat can narrate a whole night into one book then at least I’ve got the capability to narrate one day into some verses.
So readers, this piece of text hasn’t been extracted from any dark novel. It isn’t a story of any other inspirational person that I wanted the world to know. This is just a series of events that happened in one day, and I decided to wrap it up in a short story. So people, who are not into reading books, BEWARE coz this story can make you sleep, and can work wonders to the insomniacs (…so funny, kicking a$ of my own blog). No, but I suggest each and every person to read this coz these things generally don’t happen in your life in one day.
Before I start off with my part of story, let me give you a brief idea about Mood I. Considered to be the most enthralling and rocking college fest in India, MI not only gives you a feel of some downtown place in glistening Hollywood but also gives a complete joyride of a lifetime, with all ecstasy packed in 4 days. Smashing crowd, bustling babes and sparkling glitterati, what else a person who’s young at heart would want. There’s complete freedom to smoke and booze…nobody will bother inside the IIT campus.
There’s something for everyone. Those who are good dancers or singers would get complete kick ass competition in their respective events. Well there are various different innovative competitions also but it won’t be useful to discuss them here. For the guys like me, there is war of DJs, rock competition and the concerts, in which various celebrities come each night and perform in front of packed audience.
But I’m not here to go blah blah about MI, coz its something a person must feel all by himself.
STRAIGHT FROM VERSE # 8 (30TH DEC – 4.50 AM)
The rickshaw was speeding at 40 kmph on the empty roads of Mumbai. I was feeling a bit sleepy as well as a bit sad. Whenever the thought of leaving MI came in my mind, the feelings grew stronger. The empty roads were glistening with the aura of the lamp posts. The city, famous for its sweaty winters, was breathing chilly winds that pierced my denim jacket and made my whole body shiver. As the rickshaw was about to reach Kanjurmarg railway station, suddenly I saw some debris covering the road, stealing all of its shine. It seemed like a road accident. Our auto-rickshaw stopped and we were amazed to hear some familiar voices coming out from that debris……
FLASHBACK - FINAL DAY – 29th DEC
Time: 9.30 AM. I washed my face again and again to check whether I am dreaming or not. But it was real. For the first time, I was completely dressed up so early. As I slept at 4 AM, it was quite impossible to even wake up at that time. The reason was that Anusha wanted me to be present at the Tango workshop by 10.30 AM. As I checked my mobile there were 3 missed calls of Anusha and a message that read “Ankit be on time”. But either I’m very lazy or the exhaustion of last night was taking its toll; I was on the bed again. Slowly, with my hazy vision I saw each and everyone of my group (except me…off course) moving their own ways. Suddenly the angry face of Anusha crossed my mind and a gush of energy filled my nerves. I was standing tall. I straightaway left the hostel and soon I reached my destination. Anusha and her friend (I forgot her name) were already present there and, with us, also there were, around 50 odd couples. Man I thought these dance workshops are all crap but this world is full of idiots like me. But the real stunner came with the info that the room that was assigned for the workshop was already full. “Crap”, I thought, sleeping late…getting up early and that’s the reward you get. Soon we were asked to leave the area and come back at 12.30. Anusha and some couple of juniors had their breakfasts but I decided to stick to liquid diet and had a glass of juice.
Time: 12.30 PM. Now, comparatively there were more people on the roads. Music of various club and hip hop tracks filled the atmosphere (yeah in MI you can find DJs playing their fav numbers all over the place). We sped towards the workshop and registered ourselves there. As we entered inside, and took our seats, Mr. Anand Majumdar (great ball dancer – he conducted the workshop) screamed, “Those who’ve attended the rock n roll workshop, stand up”. As I was one of them, I proudly stood up and so did Anusha. But soon came stunner #2. He asked us to leave coz there wasn’t enough space in the workshop, and no person could attend 2 workshops. Now that was crap. We were completely forlorn as we left the room and I was screaming abuses in my mind. As we came out we repeated “Are yaar!” 5 -6 times. Anusha was hungry so we said goodbye to each other and left for lunch.
Time: 1.30 PM (Hostel Room). Everyone was present there except Gaurav. They were planning something and I was sulking about the shit that happened a bit earlier. They were planning to go to the famous grey market of Mumbai. But as usual, I wasn’t interested (the reason was that, I’ve visited these places quite a many times before). So I went away searching for Gaurav. But lucky me, I found him near the SAC and henceforth we decided to take the LIVEWIRE passes from the SAC counter. We took the passes and then decided to go somewhere. We opted to go to Hiranandani complex as I wanted to buy a mini MP3 player. Soon we were in the complex. After searching many shops, soon I found the right thing at Planet M. I had to borrow some money from Gaurav as I was really short of it (that’s like a ritual for me coz whenever I go out somewhere for vacations, I spend each and every penny and return home with empty-pockets). Now as this was the final day in MI we decided to celebrate and bought some 5-6 cans of beer from HN. But the next thing on the agenda was LIVEWIRE, the most awaited event in the whole MI. In this event, popular rock bands of India perform amidst a crowd of head banging and yelling people.
Time: 4.30 PM. The rickshaw entered the IIT campus and we were continuously screened by the security personnel at every checkpoint. The number of people also seemed more, in comparison to the previous days. Suddenly, a thulla (policeman) stopped the rickshaw. Our breath literally stopped, coz in HN we drank a can of beer each. I thought, “what if the thulla doesn’t let us go inside”. But the thulla was far too generous. He just checked our baggage and asked the rickshaw to drop us there only. So we started to walk and as we reached near SAC we encountered stunner #3. Guys, just visualize this – a tortuous queue of around 500-600 odd junta in front of SAC. Yeah, you guessed it right. It was the queue for Livewire only. So after refreshing myself in the hostel room, I decided to wear my ‘Linkin Park’ tee and we were on our way to Livewire. May be this was my 2nd visit to MI, but this was the 1st time I was going to attend Livewire. Last year one bloody politician died on that day and Livewire was cancelled bcoz of that.
Time: 8.15 PM. The queue wasn’t moving anymore. And that wasn’t new coz the line was stagnant for over 1 hr. Both of us were having a tough time bearing all the pushes and the forces from both front and back. But we decided not to leave the queue whatever might be the conditions. The suffering junta was frequently crying derogatory slang and abusive chants mostly MC BC. But it seemed that the OAT was overcrowded and they aren’t letting anybody in anymore. Suddenly, something unimaginable happened. There was a hard push from behind, and the force was so strong that the queue actually started to move. The queue was moving like a wounded snake and the people were stumbling all over the place. It looked less like a moving queue and more like a stampede. From nowhere, 2 thullas appeared and started lathi-charging the crowd. Seeking the ultimate opportunity, I and Gaurav crept through the barricade and soon we were in front of the main entrance of OAT. A feeling of triumph filled our hearts as we proudly entered in the OAT.
Time 9.00 PM. The most awaited event started off with magnificent fireworks. The 1st band that was performing there was Helga’s Funk Castle. Truly speaking, I hate that band and their songs really piss me off. But the special effects were so good that I easily bore HFC’s crappy numbers. But yeah, the most appreciable number they played was Pink Floyd’s ‘Brick in the wall’. But I decided to sit calmly and watch till those crazy asses performed. Soon they were followed by the trash metal band, Sceptre. This time I decided to go in front of the stage. In the front there were around 100-150 odd people head-banging there asses out. Yeah, I also joined them soon. But the main centre of attraction for me was the Moshpit (it’s a kind of pit made by the junta itself, in which people run around and hit each other). While moshpitting, I was hit on the shoulder and felt as I’ve dislocated it. Soon Dohare also joined me and started doing his trade-mark head-banging but refused to go to the moshpit. Soon Sceptre played a medley of the best Metallica numbers and that was the best part for me. Soon, as Sceptre left, came the final band named Vayu. It was playing quite good songs.
Time: 10.15 PM. The lead guitarist, who was a Steven Tyler look-alike, was lost in jangling his electric guitar and screaming (…not singing) his songs when suddenly, ‘beep, beep…’ It was a call from Anusha. She was saying something, but the cacophonous and the loud sound from the speakers weren’t allowing me to listen anything. But I tried to concentrate and the only phrase I could hear was, “right now I’m leaving for Goa”. Suddenly, these words were echoing through my ear drums. Suddenly, the best times I’ve spent with Anusha in MI, swept through my mind. “That’s it, I’ve to bid her goodbye before she leaves”, these words were stuck in my heart and were boosting my adrenaline levels. I just ran out of the OAT towards her hostel. As I reached there I was all huffing and puffing. My heart was beating faster than the drums that were being played in the concert. I was able to hear distant sounds of Vayu performing in the OAT.
Time: 10.30 PM. Anusha was nowhere to be seen in front of her hostel. So I decided to wait outside only coz boys were not allowed inside, as it was a girls’ hostel. But my eyes were impatiently searching her only. I was lost thinking, “Has she left? I should have come here a bit early”. When these crazy thought were bouncing up and down in my brain, a friendly figure appeared in front of me. It was Anusha, standing there and giggling like she always does. “I thought you’ve left”, she replied “yes, I was about to leave but I knew you’d come”. Then both of us expressed rest of our words just by smiling at each other. We sat on the pavement just for some final talk. “I am going to miss all the fun as we’ll leave MI” I said. She said, “yes I’ll too miss it, but we’ve gotta move on yaar”, I replied with a nod. The perfume she wore was just working wonders and it was kind of magnetizing me. We kept on discussing about the fun filled 4 days we spent together, about all the gossips of our college, my previous love life, etc. I wished, if time could have stopped, I’d have stayed there forever. But life works in mysterious ways. Whenever you ask for favors from life, it gets back to kick you in the a$.
Time: 11.25 PM. I was lost in talking and was indulged in the aroma of Anusha’s perfume when a voice interrupted my thought process, “Hey Anusha, it’s time. We’ve to leave”. I saw a petite gentleman standing in front of us. Anusha introduced him as her cousin and his name was also Ankit. Lucky chap, he’s sharing name with such a great person (that’s me yaar). He was standing with some baggage and standing beside him was Anusha’s friend (I again forgot her name). They were leaving for Goa. I offered help for carrying some of their bags to the main gate of IIT campus. Initially Anusha refused, but I guess she also wanted me to come, so I insisted more. Actually, I also didn’t want to lose the opportunity of enjoying my favourite aroma. Soon we were on our way to the main gate. As we reached the main gate, they boarded a cool cab. We looked at each other for the final time and the cab sped through the congested roads of Mumbai. I turned back and started to walk towards the campus.
Time: 11.45 PM. The campus looked so beautiful at night with all the lights and banners (of the sponsors of MI). The stalls, which generally blared with music in broad daylight, seemed lifeless at that time. But still the roads weren’t empty, as I saw hundreds of rock maniacs returning home after the concert. Suddenly there was a call from Gajju. He repeated the plan of leaving the campus at 12.30 AM (we had a train from Kalyan to Bhilai in the morning). But I insisted that we must leave for Kalyan in the morning. So we decided to discuss about that when Gajju comes back from Bandstand. So I headed towards H – 13, that’s Dohare’s hostel. As usual, his hostel was teeming with life. I waited for Dohare in his room as he wasn’t present there. After some time, Dohare came and we went to the terrace. I swear, the exotic view of Powai Lake and RENAISSANCE hotel from the terrace always sends electricity through my nerves. Some other wing-mates of Dohare joined us soon and we indulged in some friendly chit-chat. After sometime there was again a call from Gajju. He told me to come back soon. So Dohare took his Pulsar and dropped me back to H-3.
Time: 1.15 AM. I was back in my room. Every group member was present there and they were discussing something. They were discussing about when to leave for Kalyan in the morning. I could see that the plan of leaving the campus at night has changed. Soon I also joined them in the discussion and they told me that I’ve to return all the blankets as I was the contingent leader. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was Buksh and visibly he was high coz of alcohol. He said that he would also return back with us, but he didn’t have any ticket. We nodded in affirmation. After all the worthy discussions, we decided that we would move out of campus at 4 AM. After that, all of the group members went to sleep and again I had to suffer coz I was the contingent leader, so I went to SAC to ask when they will send someone to collect the blankets.
Time: 1.45 AM. I was returning back from SAC when I saw Ashish Agrwal and one of our CSIT friends, Sourabh coming from somewhere. They were coming from the IMAX theatre after watching KING KONG. I again repeated the whole agenda to Sourabh and asked him to pack his bags and we both returned back to the hostel. Till then, everyone was fast asleep. I also decided to snooze a bit, but sleep was miles away from my eyes. My mind was fixed on the things that happened earlier. I was thinking about the enormous pain of leaving MI that happened last year. Last year, when we left MI and our taxi sped off, we kept on looking Dohare until he was out of sight; and this thought made me really sad. All these thoughts did a great help and soon I was fast asleep.
Time: 3.30 AM. Suddenly there was some commotion in our room. I looked with one-opened eye. Everyone was busy packing bags and checking if everything has been packed or not. Now I felt really frustrated coz nobody’s was bothered to wake me up. I got up, shouted 2-3 abuses and started to pack my bag also. Actually it was a bit late so we were acting as swiftly as we could. Soon an IIT guy appeared and said that he was there to take the blankets. Soon we went with that guy and kept all the blankets in the store room. Now everyone was ready with their bags to leave. Gaurav went to search Buksh and returned with him. Quite visibly he was still on a high and he lifted his suitcase over his head just as a coolie would do. But we’d the responsibility to control him so we were just scolding him so that he doesn’t act weird. Soon we counted all the baggage, locked the room and left the hostel.
Time: 4.15 AM. We were on the IIT campus roads soon. I was singing, “I walk a lonely road…” by Green Day while balancing my luggage. MI was finally over but still we could see many groups singing and dancing around the bonfires. But we weren’t so lucky coz we were off to home town far from all the fun and frolic. We were looking for auto rickshaws but there wasn’t a single one on the roads. So we didn’t have a choice except carrying our luggage to the main gate which was 4 kms from the hostel. So we started off the journey carrying all the baggage and singing songs. After a 25 mins walk we reached the main gate. A guard on the main gate stared at us as we went out of the campus. It was quite cold outside and unlike Mumbai, the roads seemed empty. May be bcoz Powai is in the exteriors of central Mumbai. Soon 3 autos came zooming and were standing in front of us. We decided the fare and all of us left in the autos. Utkarsh’s auto went first and we were 3rd and the last one to follow them.
Time: 4.50 AM. The rickshaw was speeding at 40 kmph on the empty roads of Mumbai. I was feeling a bit sleepy as well as a bit sad. Whenever the thought of leaving MI came in my mind, the feelings grew stronger. The empty roads were glistening with the aura of the lamp posts. The city, famous for its sweaty winters, was breathing chilly winds that pierced my denim jacket and made my whole body shiver. As the rickshaw was about to reach Kanjurmarg railway station, suddenly I saw some debris covering the road, stealing all of its shine. It seemed like a road accident. Our auto-rickshaw stopped and we were amazed to hear some familiar voices coming out from that debris. We got off the auto and saw Utkarsh collecting some scattered items on the road. It just took a fraction of a second for us to understand what has happened. Soon I ran to the auto and with the help of Patel, lifted out Baba from the auto. The auto was lying there upturned and it seemed as if a train has collided with it (the dent was so enormous). We came to know that the auto driver was drunk and he didn’t saw a taxi coming and turned the auto. Both of them collided and the auto did some 2-3 somersaults before landing on the hard road. But still Utkarsh just had a jerk on the neck. Budha aka Abhinav aka Mutharri was bleeding profusely from 2-3 places. Baba’s condition was even worse. He was unable to walk and a large blood clot was visible on his leg. He had his teeth clenched very hard and severe pain was visible on his face. We thought that he has fractured his leg so he was allowed to rest on the roadside.
Suddenly rage and anger was injected in all of us. So Utkarsh turned back and rewarded the rickshaw driver with a smashing slap. Soon Gajju joined him and hit the driver with a big punch. I was also all pumped up and wanted to get a piece of the action but as I lifted my arm to hit him, I saw blood oozing from a wound on his forehead. I stopped at that moment only. But whenever, these action shows happen you’ll find some audience there. Some of the shopkeepers and taxi drivers soon gathered around us. When the rickshaw driver saw the mob he fled away from the scene. As we saw this, we had an innovative idea. We broke the windshield of the auto and turned it upside down. We abused all the rickshaw drivers standing there and decided to take Baba to a nearby clinic. Baba was in so much pain that we felt that anytime he might collapse. So Utkarsh, Gajju and Gaurav decided to take him to the clinic. They lifted Baba and put him in one of autos and left to find a clinic. I, Sourabh, Budha and Buksh decided to take the local train to Kalyan with all the luggage and rest of the guys said that they’ll join us soon. So we all went our ways and met at Kalyan station at 6.50 AM and our train arrived at 7.00 AM. When the train departed from the station we all thanked God that nothing went much wrong or else we couldn’t have caught the train at time.
When all these happened, at one moment all of us thought that we won’t b able to catch the train and it will be difficult to return back coz we were already empty-pocketed. And just imagine of travelling by a Mumbai local train when one of your friends is drunk and the other is severely injured. Just think of a time when your shoulder is severely aching coz you were hurt in a Moshpit and then you’ve to lift one of your friends, who’s injured.
Till the present day we thank God coz He saved our friends, as the collision was so strong we could have lost one of our friends. Thank You God…without you life is a dead-end.
Current song: Luka chupi (Rang De Basanti)
Current mood: Tired and Hungry