Friday, June 16, 2006

THE CHRONICLES OF CASSINI's - The Delhi and Dhanaulti chapter: 30th May, 2006

May 30th, 2006
It’s a hot and humid Tuesday afternoon - John, Ludo and I meet up at Ruby and hitch a cab ride to the Sealdah station. Taxi-rides are pretty uneventful in Kolkata, but not when you are traveling with 2 crazy members from CASSINI’s DIVISION who spend their time bugging each other. I get my first taste of Ludo’s “Astronaut – Ass” mantra, and it leaves me totally perplexed! But what leaves me more dumb-found is when Ludo gets down somewhere near Moulali to buy cigarettes from a shop that sells car batteries!!! (An honest mistake, I know!)
The journey hasn’t even begun and yet the signs are ominous – this is going to be one helluva mad-cap journey!

Rahul and Sookie are already at the station by the time we reach. The Rajdhani is on time and we find our compartment. Unfortunately our seats seem to be scattered all over, so after stuffing our luggage on board, we spend the initial part of the journey keeping to ourselves.
- I spend my time reading the manual of my digital camera, but I don’t make much headway since the instructions are all Greek to me.
- Sookie busies himself by making himself mammoth cup after mammoth cup of coffee.
- John gets down to stringing his bass guitar.
- Ludo chats with a few co-passengers who are excited to be traveling on the same train as a pony-tailed rock musician.
- Rahul? Oh he’s busy reading. He finishes 2 magazines before dinner-time, and then promptly starts reading a collection of fantasy short-stories, absolutely oblivious to the leg-pulling going on between the other 3.

And in between all the above we do a lot of munching and crunching – the stewards on the Rajdhani spend a whole lot of time feeding us. We burp our way through the initial part of the train ride.
We also get together in between the munching and crunching to discuss the current rock scene in Kolkata and also about Someplace Else. This is never a cheery topic, and despite the recent success of Cassini’s (** touchwood **), Rahul reminds the other band-members that it will always be a struggle for bands in Kolkata, regardless of them being “THE HOBOS or LOS LOBOS”!
And so the journey continue…

Dinner is soon served – and it’ s chicken curry. However my advice to all of you would be to
avoid it all costs the next time you travel by Rajdhani. Not unless you wish to spend a night of stomach clutching and loo running!! Seriously – by the next day 4 of us are feeling quite miserable and we blame the chicken for our plight. But that is another story.

There isn’t much to do after dinner, so I decide to go to sleep despite it being only 10 PM. The others spend their time in more productive ways no doubt. My last memory before I conk off is that of John praying on his bunk and Ludo swigging away at a peg of rum concealed in a bottle of Thums Up.

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