Introduction– As I sit with my good friend in the coldest hours of Delhi winter in this popular café, warmed with the ambience of multi-ethnicity groups, buzzing with their chit-chatter, clattering spoons and plates, stamping bottom of beer and whisky glasses to the tables, of which ours were filled with rum, and a continuous usher of waiters who were moving back and forth in the final closing hour of the bar. The Dj was in the final mix of his playlist including-classic rock, top charts, pop, techno but mostly on the lines of popular tracks. Alike him, Engulfed in the atmosphere were both me and my storyteller friend who was about to throw in an interesting narration as our crunchy – crummy snack for the second drink, which was already on the order placed and would also come in an accord with me about giving mental check and pass to this place which we were visiting for the very first time, with definite double green tick marks to the place based on its ambience, cost effectivity, theme, choice of our time, and its viable distance from our place, considering these points we could conclude from our observation that it will turn out to be a fairly good spot for future incoming with a group.
Core– The story was thrown in reference to the date of 23rd Jan, as my friend who would rather hide with an alias of mister. clueless, who works in the ministry(enough credentials! As he would say!! 😀 ), had a funny incident on this date the previous year, as the day is always booked for dress rehearsal of the armed forces who are to march on the republic day parade, aggregate for practice sessions at raj path.As Mr. clueless plans to spectate this event with one more colleague from his department, who guides him loosely about the possible route changes of the buses that generally ply via raj path road and a highly probable barricading up to 2-3 kms due to the merit of this event along with high security personnel on duty. So following the advice, Mr. clueless takes bus no. 410 which usually runs via the destination route but was running today via a different route as Mr. clueless anticipated in his second thoughts but still believed otherwise in his actions. So, co- incidentally! Re-routing of the only bus that he generally travelled by, to that place which was today’s epic destination to be and a critical twist in his story, actually complimented brilliantly to the situation.
Now, Mr. clueless gets down at kendriya vidhyalaya and decides to walk the way, as to his sheer personal levels of general ignorance of details and brilliant story ingredient as complimented from bus 410s’ route change, no other buses were running to his destination, which actually were! but he bought it well enough and was too uncaring for further inquiry, he decides to walk, as now it’s done mentally, that no buses are running today. he begins his journey walking on foot.Now, since this guy is walking on foot, he decides to take a shorter route straight through north block towards south block, he surpasses rakabganj gurudwara, and enter the north block lane, he finally crosses it and takes a left towards the vijay chowk!.but Meanwhile in his on foot journey, he is amused a great deal! as to his astonishment, he couldn’t see a single person on the road; strange!!, or to this untraversed region, the roads are big and broad as they could be; strange again!!, the nearby buildings are imperial in structure and address houses to top authority of the central government; hmm good!! and the area is closed and sealed! ;okay!! Yet Mr. clueless is cruising his way towards the vijay chowk uninterrupted, unfrisked, un-attended by any security personnel, came across no barricades, no police patrolling vehicles, no man in his sharp sight!.A highly confident “gawachi gaan” (Punjabi slang for ‘lost cow’;innocent and clueless) as he exclaimed with an outburst of laughter! which partly was from the memory of that long walk and rest from the rum and coke effect to this eleventh hour of the night at MY BAR.
So try appreciating this situation-In this journey, Mr. clueless is attired in a thick jacket to protect himself from cold, carries a big strapped office bag to his right shoulder and a govt. ID of home ministry, which now he agrees, could have been his last and only resort, in case he was tackled down, questioned or arrested for security breach for a possible terrorist threat, a possible suicide bomber or anyone too dangerous, carrying a possibility of almost anything beneath his thick fur jacket and a big stuffed black office bag, which he carries with an ease of non-responsive sensory perception; which brings a profound but very funny contrast with the demand and appreciation of the situation as anticipated by anyone in his right mind either the security officers or the tresspassers ( imagine the movie scene where a serial killer or a notorious terrorist is entering police headquarters or a vip zone for surrender! 😀 ), so he stood nothing but a danger to his own naiveté.
now, as he describes in his narration, the area is highest level security zone, and the dress rehearsal is to be attended by chiefs, generals, army high officials, other officials of special forces as he later checked it, usually federal level security people can be seen brisk walking in black coats with ear pieces, transponders, interceptors, signal jammers, wireless communication vehicles, special units are on duty, special provisions are employed, back ups are on ready toes, vip protocols are in order and etc etc etc but still this guy is walking uninterrupted towards vijay chowk. Now, as he recalls reaching towards the ‘rice on hill’ which decent to a down slope towards raj path and is front yard to the president’s house, this big giant circle is always closed to public, but since Mr. clueless is on a golden run on foot as he is reaching the place with nothing but an intent to ask someone for right directions!.he looks up meanwhile to his surroundings and first time in his lucky life, can see snipers sitting with their special guns pointing towards him! All looking at him, from different zones, windows, angles, hide outs, as he gives them a look but un-attempting to make a foolish move; lyk taking his hands into his fur jacket!! or trying to get his hands into his black bag!! or going haywire to this response and running in random directions!!. Maybe-couldbe, but if any of those possibilities occurred as an event, well I guess! then he won’t have been sitting here narrating this story. As he continues with his narration, seeing all these snipers he decides to play smart, he comes with a brilliant idea; a genius thought popped to this certainly genius fellow! he looks at the snipers, acknowledges them with an upward chin(cocky?;well I dunno! ), gives a blank look and continues to walk towards vijay chowk as if snipers dint existed!
Now, finally Mr. clueless is at vijay chowk! standing in the right middle of it!! The RIGHT MIDDLE! ;On a closed day! Sealed zone! High security provisions! On the ‘rice on hill’!!, With a road descending to raj path, where he actually intended to be and also backgrounded by nothing but rashtrapati bhawan-tagged to be in no fly zone, no man’s zone, special security zone, high alert zone, highest priority zone etc etc etc but fact of the day, he is somehow standing there with his baggy-fur jacket, A stuffed black bag and still looking for his RIGHT DIRECTIONS! so he takes out his cellphone in the middle of road;yes! His CELLPHONE!! (in order to detonate the device!! 😀 or blow himself up! 😀 ) and is finally spotted by a black coated officer who briskly marches towards him. And goes with –
Officer(amazed)-“excuse me! Umm..(to his shock).. yes! Who are you????!!
Mr.clueless –“kuch ni sirji! Mujhe rajpath jaana hai toh rasta dhoondh raha tha..aur apne dost ko call kar raha tha” (nothing sir! I was lost in my way to rajpath and so I was calling my friend for directions)
Officer(caught in surprise, lost in protocols, thinks for 5-10 seconds, too many things going in his head, looks at his ID ,looks at him top-down, his black bag, his fur jacket and finally says):-aa…hmm.. sir! please come with me.
Mr. clueless(blank face)-ji sir!
Officer takes him to his on site superior officer, who happened to be the DCP of prime minister security ! was standing just yards away, on the other side of the road ,talking to some other decorated official. The officer explains the matter to dcp but softly in his ears.
DCP(attentively, looks at our hero Mr. clueless and pauses and then speaks slowly in a heavy, warm , yet with a tone of inquiry)-“ aap kahan se aaye hein!”( where are you coming from!)
Mr.clueless-“sir! Mein M.H.A. ka employee hoon.. rajpath jaana tha ..woh..dress rehearsal dekhne,rasta ni mil raa” (sir! I am a mha employee,I had to be at rajpath for the event,I am trying to find my way)
DCP-(flabbergasted) –“oh okay! (checks his govt. ID then looks at his bag for a moment and then his baggy jacket ,looks at him top to bottom, looks astonished and gave a stupefied look to the officer)-“aa..hmm..okay, koi baat ni! Umm..Ye officer aapko escort kar dega! Aap inke saath chale jaayein.. please! (its okay! This officer will escort you, you please go with him!)”
Mr. clueless (expressionless; stoned face)- ji sir! Thanks! (leaves)
Mr. clueless’s friend- aabey! Kahan reh gaya thaa!( hey! Where were you!)
Mr. clueless- “kuch ni yaar! Rasta dhoondne mein time lag gaya!( nothing buddy! Took time to find my way).
Mr. clueless’s friend- haan yaar! Bahot security hai!!(yes! Lot of security today!)
by: vishu mishra