The moment I inhaled in this air, the never-ending sneezes began and within 24 hrs I was down with cough, cold and fever. This is the worst time to fall sick. Lot of time and money has been invested in this experiment. Cetrizine…drowsiness…struggle to stay awake…RNA prep…Oh! I am about to sneeze…run out of the lab…Aaaaachhhoooo…
Scene 1: Enter guest house. The room is quite good. It even has a television. I have not seen TV for the past one week (which includes one weekend) as my hostel room is getting re-wired. While shutting the door and thanking the attendant I notice that the room cannot be latched from inside. I tried asking the man (who neither understands Hindi nor English) why is the latch broken. He is clueless and gave me a look which said, “Sorry Madam, we do not provide this facility.” Ok. I made a satisfactory security arrangement which I won’t disclose here.
Scene 2: A well equipped lab. Few people around. Silence. Nobody is asking me questions. On the other hand I am the one who is asking “where is this?” and “how do you do this?” I am hardly doing anything. Just watching and taking notes. In my 5th year of PhD, I have become a trainee. That is called ‘regression’.
Scene 3: I am walking down the street in broken sandals, looking for a mochi. People guide me to the corner of a particular street. I see a well-dressed man next to a make-shift shop. I point towards my sandals. He says, “Sorry Madam, the shop is shut for today.” (And I remembered the DDLJ scene when Amrish Puri says exactly the same dialogue to SRK) My next question is, “What time do you open tomorrow?” Was it a stupid question to ask? I don’t think so. But the man held a different opinion. “Tomorrow is Sunday madam. I don’t work on Sundays.” Hmmm. Everybody deserves to rest on Sunday.
Scene 4: I am brushing my teeth before sleeping. I hear somebody singing (and screaming) downstairs. I guessed it was the attendant as I saw him there a few minutes ago when I went to collect water for myself. “Dilbar mere kab tak mujhe, aise hi tadpaoge…” I noticed that anybody standing downstairs can see that my bathroom light is on. I switch off the light and continued brushing. The song stopped.
Scene 5: A long bike ride to CCMB. AB is driving. And I am not at all nervous. I never thought that AB will ever be able to drive a bike and that I will risk my life sitting behind him. So many things have changed in the past 5-6 years. We have shared so many memories together. We talked about some of them and laughed thinking about others. I irritated him a lot (I know how to do that) and then reminded him of his favourite dialogue he used to say in similar situations. “Chappal utha ke maaroonga to phir rowoge (cry) aur rowoge is liye nahi ki chappal se maara, balki is liye ki phata hua chappal se maara…” Ullu ladka. He had forgotten this dialogue of his. How can I ever forget anything related to the 3 of us and JNU?
Thanks to the television in my room. I got to see the MTV Roadies episode (last week’s and also the finale yesterday). I had been following the show every weekend since last 3 months. Oh, ‘weekend’ reminds me of something. I will spend my next 3 weekends in 3 different countries (Of course I am exaggerating a little. One of the 3 countries is India). Excited.