Friday evenings for me were the epitome of glee, with of course the weekend to always look forward to. Although I was working in an advertising company, I was not really living an “agency life”. This meant that unlike my creative colleagues I, an HR trainee, got to leave at the usual office closing time.
That Friday as I was making my way out, one of the Account Directors thought it to be a good time to indulge me in a “quick chat” about some new trainees he needed. At the the end of it I thanked him for making me miss my office bus home and he walked away laughing and shouting to the office boy for another cup of tea. The weekend thrill quickly got me over this delay and I hailed an auto to rush towards the metro station, praying all along that the black clouds overhead wouldn’t bust open until I reached home. I somehow squeezed myself into the third metro that came in and as usual was prepared to stand throughout the one hour ride. Any metro travelling office-goer would know, getting a selfie with Big B is easier than getting a seat in a Delhi Metro during the peak office hours. Malignant fate sat by and smiled as with the thunder came the downpour.
Finally when I exited the Karol Bagh metro station it seemed that the rains had shown some mercy and had subsided. However, it was baffling when the Rickshaw walas one after the other refused to make the 5 minute ride to my house. My usual Rickshaw wala spotted the dejected me and offered to drop me, probably out of obligation. One turn into my lane and all my questions were answered. What lay in front of us looked like a pond. Paddling the rickshaw in that depth of water seemed far-fetched so Raju Bhaiya took the plunge and started pulling the rickshaw. I dint know whether to feel guilty, grateful or be petrified. As we waded through, the column of water only kept rising, to the extent that I had to draw my knees up to my chin and sit to avoid any contact with the pool around me. While Raju Bhaiya, submerged in water waist down, kept pulling and paddling simultaneously to cross the 100 meter stretch that appeared like a river at that moment. We made it through to the other side of this “river” where the feet could find landing. As I hopped down the rickshaw outside Aggarwal Sweets, a small confectionary that you will spot all around Delhi, I thanked Raju Bhaiya and turned to cross the road over to my house. On second thoughts, I turned back and asked him if he would like to have a hot cup of tea and samosa, making him grin instantly, as if to celebrate our little adventure.
I got a couple of samosas packed and crossed over to my house. “What on earth happened to you?”, asked my sister at the door. “Make us 2 cups of tea and I will tell you about my Friday evening drama over some chai and samosa…”