Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hitch-hiking @ Hinjewadi

It goes like this most of the times..

Step 1: Keep your hands in Aadhi Mudhra, or in lesser mortal terms, pose as if you are the next Akshay Kumar in the road, practising for the next big Thums-Up Commercial

Step 2:If the bike approaching on the road is driven by Adam,


Step 2A: If the bike approaching on the road is driven by Eve

Step 2B: Get over the Akshay Kumar image or else you might be frowned upon as a “dude” trying to get naughty

Disclaimer: This conservative approach is recommended, considering the uncertainty of the forthcoming situation. A classic example of Indian risk-averse approach

Step 3: Strike eye contact with the driver, and do the Akshay Kumar Hand Jig, (Ofcourse, only the hand), with the sincerity and likeability of a student

Step4: If the bike stops within the next 300 metres


Step 5: Run towards the bike to respect his time and also demonstrate how excited you are to join him for a ride, and above all

Step 6: Look for visual cues to distinguish the IT junta from the rest. These cues decide the language of conversation. It could also be used for conversation starters. For Eg: An infosys bag in the back of the driver should, under ideal circumstances, lead to discussion on something on Finance or Technology.

It is preferable to start with Hindi

Step 7: “Toda Aage jaana hai…”

Let the driver get back to the charm of driving. Wait for the driver to start the conversation.The driver realizes that a stranger is sitting in his pillion seat. Wih a sense of uneasyness, he asks

Hitch-hikeee or Liftee: “Where do you want to go?”

Step 8: “I want to go to Aundh…However, I ll travel as far as you go”


“Muje Aundh tak jaana hai. Aap jitna aage jaayenge main vahaan tak chalta hoon” (depending on the visual and mental judgement of the driver who has been kind enough to offer me lift)

These are the opening steps of my hitch-hikes with hordes of people travelling every day across the Hinjewadi Highway. What started as a necessity, thanks to my adamant ignorance to learn to drive a geared bike stating age-old reasons of true ownership,( in my ego’s words, “I wont drive a bike unless it belongs to me”), has now become a fascinating spiritual phenomenon in itself. Yes, you heard it right. It’s a spiritual phenomenon, as I witness something fascinating in the way every journey unfolds itself into a unique experience while taking me comfortably to my journey. There is a strong sense of uncertainty in this whole experience. I have no clue how and with whom I would make my journey to reach my destination. I have no clue how far the driver is going to be a part of my journey. Often I get dropped in the midst of nowhere. Although I get anxious over this uncertainty, thanks to my obsession with punctuality, often, this uncertainty leads me to a pristine experience where I realize, much to my ego’s dismay, however, to my soul’s gaiety, I have no control over the unfurling of my journey. However, I am cocksure I would be able to reach my place comfortably. This uncertain feeling ,blended with a sense of faith has often left me overwhelmed in happiness! It leads me to a beautiful feeling where I realize, after all, people in this road are travelling only for me!

It makes me wonder, how beautiful my life would be, if it were like this hitch-hike journey! All I have to do is simply sing to my heart’s content to the rhythm of my destiny. How wonderful it would be, if all my relationships with people in this world, turn out the way it happens with these hitch-hikees. You never know who is going to come how far. You simply enjoy the journey as long as he is willing to take you. And yes, you part him good-bye with a big smile from the cockles of a heart swollen with gratitude

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