Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions. Please go to Motorcycle Diaries -> India: Ocean to Mountains (or Click here) to check out the previous events.
Date: 23rd August 2016; Route: Delhi – Agra
“Try and fail but never fail to try”
After going through the previous day’s mess, we decided to start early in the day so that we could skip the market traffic. Still, it took around an hour to reach the Red Fort. It is one of the historical monuments of utmost significance built by the Mughal emperor, Shahjahan. Every year, on Independence Day, our Prime Minister gives a speech addressing the people of the nation and hoists the tricolor at the Red Fort. And it would have been a shame to overlook the place. I am glad that we came back for it.
While we were strolling on the Fort’s avenue, a couple of guys sitting on the bench shouted and asked “Oye, Kashmiri ho kya (Hey you! Are you from Kashmir?)”. That tone pissed me off. Even though I am not from Kashmir, I felt bad for the people who belonged to that place. Not everybody in Kashmir is a radical fanatic (I am trying to sugar-coat it but just in case you didn’t get it, I meant terrorist). I know, from certain angles, I might look like a terrorist too but I was offended by the stereotypic image which they were trying to create. I swear, in that moment, I felt like punching on their face but I just ignored them and moved on.
It took more than a couple of hours to check out the fort. It’s not just a fort; it has more to it than meets the eye, it’s a must visit place in Delhi. Despite the fact that the British had damaged the monuments and buildings inside, it has been refurbished and maintained in the best of its conditions. But don’t worry; even if you are from England, we Indians are generous enough to welcome you with open arms. And we would be glad if you could just walk in with the diamond, studded on your Queen Mother’s Crown, which rightfully belongs to us 😛
After Red Fort, it was time for Lotus temple. A 2001 CNN report even referred to it as the most visited building in the world. And I was expecting a lot from it, owing to its obvious comparison with Sydney Opera house. Since it was closed yesterday, I got only a glimpse of it. But this time, we were even prepared to trespass in case it was closed. To our surprise, they allowed us to visit the place. And I should say it’s an architectural beauty. The flower-like shape looks sexy from the outside but when we went inside, there was nothing. I know it was a Bahá’í House of Worship, but to me, it just looked like a church without the figure of Jesus.
It was a tricky situation for me. The worst thing about me is my brain interprets certain things in the opposite way. If someone tells me something serious and says do not laugh, the only thing I am sure of is I am gonna laugh my heart out. It’s not like I laugh at the funerals but at times I can’t resist the urge. There I was; in a similar situation, everybody was supposed to be silent inside the hall. I controlled myself and tried to put my shit together. As I was looking around to see if I was the only one who had that itch to giggle, my eyes caught her attention, she was a foreigner. We looked at each and started smiling, for no reason. Damn, she was hot. Once we got out, I wanted to talk to her but I thought it won’t be right to ditch my partner in the middle of the ride. So I decided to leave the rest of the things to my imagination (hmm, I am quite a dreamer) and hit the road to Agra.
Meanwhile, I also met an old time buddy. It was nice to catch up after a long time. After conversing for an hour or so, we were on our way. It was already half past two, and we were starving. When we had stopped for lunch, one of the guys came up to us and asked if it was “Ganga Jal” in the jerry can. As per Hindu tradition, Ganga Jal is the last thing you consume before you die. And carrying it in the jerry can is like carrying a coffin along with us. “WTF! Man, are you fucking crazy. Either you are dumb to ask such question or that was a lame joke. Both ways, you need help.” this is what I wanted to say. But what I said was “No, it’s just petrol”.
After this and the incident at the Red Fort, I felt like the government should dispatch every single dumb human being of Delhi to Agra. FYI, Agra is famous for 2 things, Taj Mahal (apparently) and lunatic asylum. And I am evidently not referring to Taj Mahal. Oh, and the chief minister would be a good start.
P.S. People from Delhi, you guys are wonderful. Just to clarify, I am kidding. I know you guys have the tendency to start MC, BC at first sign of trouble. Please don’t curse me to death.
Do I sound offensive? Yeah, even I don’t think so 😛