Fiasco at Comic Con – Day 2


For Part 1, click here: Here

……My plans for tomorrow were being formed while I clicked the straw that now graced the empty glass of fruit beer. Click…again…I wasn’t pleased with the first one. Have you ever had the feeling that the person in front of you would drop dead? I had that feeling as I looked at the person sitting in front of me, who was describing the fun of eating with hands, with a lot of graphic details. I would have loved to torture and kill slowly, but today I had to be back home by 8:30 and I was already running late. By half an hour to be precise. I was thinking while I was in the metro that took me back home, when I realized that the train was running a bit slow. Some technical snag. Nothing much to worry about…

But it stopped right in the middle of two stations, and to top it all, this was the underground line. Imagine being stuck inside a closed cabin, in a dark tunnel, for more than an hour, with people you don’t know and whom you have been hating ever since one of them started shouting in the phone (and your ear), in a language you don’t understand, and while a recorded voice keeps playing from the cabin speakers…..”There will be a slight delay in this journey, inconvenience is regretted” followed by it’s Hindi translation.

I was able to maintain my sanity by thinking about the final day and which workshops I would attend.

Sunday, 21 February 2011

A pleasant day. Slightly cloudy. Wonderful. This is going to be a great day for comic con. And despite the previous days experience I decided to give the metro another chance. This time it was bliss. It was empty. No man or woman or hermaphrodite or beast or any third gender, none, ingen, nici unul, ninguno. Here is a photo to prove it. Though taken on the next station and a few people had boarded the train by then. And I travelled like the lord of the train for quite some time, before it started filling near Kashmere Gate. Although this bears no significance to the story, I just wanted to show this to my fellow metro users who are usually packed like sardines. Yes, I am a sadist.

Riiiinnng…..Riiinnnnggggg….click…

I think it is going to rain.

It better not. I am on my way to comic con.

Welll….I think it will. The sky is dark.

I don’t see any clouds.

Must not be where you are but here it is. Moreover there is a strong wind blowing.

Hmmm…..it is quite quite where I stand.

Maybe not in your part of the city.

Well, it is not going to rain. Don’t worry. I am going to the con, It is just a gentle breeze. Coool and pleasant.

Where are you?

In the underground metro

You !#@$#%$$…..loud click.

I was unfazed. Come heaven or hell, I am going to take it head on. Finally I was there. Bought the ticket….security check (if you wish to call it that)….and a whole lot of pamphlets were showered on me. I collected them all...two words…Paper Aeroplanes. Talking about the place…it was crowded. There were people who had come specifically for the purpose of enjoying the Con.

To my pleasant surprise, the people in fancy dress today were a bit more Indian in their taste. There was a crowd around a “Gora” dressed up as the famous Chacha who processes information faster than a computer. I wonder which computer. If the older ones then maybe. Unless dear old chacha has upgraded to Brain 2.0 or something.

People were gathered around him like flies on honey, to get their photo clicked with him, besides the fact that there were many Indian ‘Chachas’ roaming around. Remind me to smirk next time I read an article that we Indians are not fond of fair skin and it is just a fairness cream ploy.

But more than that I had different things in mind. If there was a Chacha and a Pinky…then I was sure someone must have come as Savita (the Bhabhi). That was something to ponder on. Note to self: Search after having a bite.

I went towards the food corner at the Haat….and it began to pour. This was a Deja Vu moment for me. Somehow, I am the rain god’s bunny. On a regular day though I would not have cared two hoots. But today I had my camera along. Took solace beneath a food stall canopy with maybe a hundred others. Coincidentally, it began pouring “Canines and Felines”, when the first thought of a Savita in the crowd entered my mind. And now my brain was in an overdrive mode……talk of wet dreams.

A few minutes of day dreaming before the rain grew fiercer. The shaded area was less and to secure the continuing services of my camera, I had managed to get drenched in the heavenly leak. The camera was safe though. But wet and cold I watched as the people before me were eating piping hot food. The one nearest to me was feasting on a fish dish from the nearby Bong stall. I hope you choke on it….Note to self: Force choke works only if your last name is Vader.

The bong stall gave me an idea. The last time I was here, Mrs. Ray had told me about the famous fish roll they make there. So…I went and ordered a fish roll. And…..I waited and waited. The rain stopped. People around me finished their food and a new batch of homo sapiens arrived. They ordered. They got what they ordered.

Excuse me…I had ordered a fish roll about half an hour ago. Sir, its coming. Oh! really…from where? After a few more attempts at sarcasm, I got what I wanted in record time of 45 minutes. It looked good. Smelled fishy. Was hot. About the experience now…..Have you ever eaten a dish that had a burning hut crust but the moment you bit in, the filling inside was icy cold? Oh..why was I not near the North East counter. My pork momos..my dear pork momos..now I understood your worth. Note to self: Don’t listen to Mrs. Ray.

Since the rains had already washed whatever was left of the con there was nothing else for me to do except wait for the showers to cease. They had started again. And make my move home. But standing beneath a shed gave me a rather different perspective of the place. And my trustee camera helped me in clicking a few ingenious solutions. Jugaad is an integral part of the Indian society. A few people took off with the “Umbrella Canopies” installed near the eateries. It was funny watching the eating joint worker, running after the young thieves. Another one was a man who was carrying a board over his head that shielded him from the torrent. And another man walked close behind him.

But I saw the best example of innovative entrepreneurship, as soon as I exited the place. One of the advertising hoardings had fallen down…or was made to fall down. And a ‘Chai Walla’ was running his business from inside it. The sudden chill ensured that his boiling drink was selling like hot cakes. It took me 15 minutes to click a photo. I squatted awkwardly, sitting with my camera positioned…and the people kept coming in the view. A few apologized, while others simple refused to acknowledge my existence. Am I invisible? It was irritating to the point that the enthusiastic young lady in the pic shouted at one of the passerby……”Photo to khichne do.”

An eventful day. I had managed to get a few clicks, despite the rain, wind and lack of light. Though I still cursed the rain, since it had ruined the Con and I was cursing the Con organizers even more…because they closed down. They gave up without a fight.

I walked towards the station, when a man stopped me. He wanted to know the route to New Delhi. It took me a few minutes to understand what he meant. He had a thick Tamil accent. And guess what, the guy was from Chennai. Since I was going that way, I told him to tag along and that I would throw him out of the train, when his station will arrive. He had a towel around his shoulder. Reminded me of Ford Prefect in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy….A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have……

Well the next half an hour, I spent trying to focus all my attention on the words of wisdom of my fellow traveler. He spoke good English, its just that the accent gave me a hard time. And till his stop came, I was filled up to my brim with knowledge. For the sake of the readers, I will list it down in simple points, which I presume would be easier to remember. And after you have read this, there will be a test on it, so read carefully:

  • North Indians face a big problem when down south. Especially with food but they eat a lot of Sambhar when there.
  • Telegu food is too spicy and hot. Karnataka is bland. Tamil cuisine is just right.
  • Punjabis eat too much of meat, which is bad for health. Vegetarian Southern food is a better option. Trust me, I was fighting hard with my urge to throw him out at this moment.
  • Eating on a Banana leaf is good for health. Some, photosynthesis shit. Photosynthesis is good for plants. And somehow the minerals and vitamins in the leaf, creep into the food when it is served on it.
  • Kerela buses are usually glued together and the drivers are dangerous drivers. Oh you haven’t seen our Punjab Roadways and the Delhi Blue Lines.
  • There were many more points like how the positioning of leaves changes during funerals, wedding rituals, Rajnikanth….as a good science student, I will tag all of them under ‘Etc.’

At last his stop came and as promised I pushed him out. Now the funny thing about the peak time in Metro is that the people keep pushing each other. Its a jam packed situation and you have to fight through a dense wave of human population to get in or out of the train. I thank my stars that usually I don’t have to get in or out at the major stations.

As the door closed, I saw the man waving at me from the platform. It seemed while trying to manoeuvre himself through crowd he had managed to lose his towel.

All I could do was wave back….….if you’re gonna survive out here, you’ve gotta know…where your towel is.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Fiasco at Comic Con – Day 2”
  1. Deboshree says:

    Haha I loved the insight on South India. I have eaten on banana leaves only on a occasions and remember feeling very festive about it… good to know the health bit. 😀

  2. Purbaray says:

    Oye!! don’t you malign my finger licking fish rolls at Bijoli Grill!! I’ve never had a single bad experience. Maybe they saw the smirk and decided to reach you a cold lesson.

    Are you sure your Tam Uncle didn’t leave his towel behind for you? Are you sure it wasn’t Sanjay Leela Bhansali?

  3. Pzes says:

    hahaha… Wow Pattterson!

    Why didn’t you go dressed as Sabu? So easy…

  4. zephyr says:

    Tamilians are highly intelligent see? Maybe it has to do with the banana leaf or the towel or both. 🙂 Good you restrained yourself from throwing him out! Loved the pics and the commentary.

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