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A Memoir of Agra Trip- To Asha...With Love!

Our journey began with alarm bells, messages beeps and ringtones- different types of wake up calls for sleepy SeFians! The excitement was so huge that even the lazy like me didn't snooze my alarm, and woke up at the first sound. In the entire period of 1 hour- that me, and almost all of us must have got for getting ourselves ready, my cellphone recorded 20 incoming and outgoing calls. All, just to ensure that we are ready, and on time.

Two buses were hired to collect people from all corners of Delhi and Delhi-NCR (We SeFians hog the city!) Mine was the second pick-up point, along with Rahul sir and Bhawna bhabhi. I waited at Inderlok Metro Station, when quiet Ashish came up in the bus. I waved a ba-bye to my bro (thanks to him for dropping me there at 5 in the morning!) and stepped inside ASHA. Aha! Asha comes as a refreshing, hopeful name. That's our mini bus’s name that was actually very mini for us 15 SeFians. Me and Rahul sir looked each other in an unusual kind of bewilderment. We exchanged looks and gave two opinions, both one after the another. First- "No no must be just a pick up bus, and would drop us at a decided point, where a bigger bus must be waiting." And second- "Ma'm didn't tell us that the SeFian lot would go in 2 different buses?" Deep inside, we knew, Charu ma'm is not very much into giving surprises. We grabbed comfortable seats of Asha, and sat with our mouths wide open. One after the other, all of us were in bus, with exactly the same bewilderment that me and Rahul sir had on our faces few moments ago. Equally disappointed with the look, comfortability, space, and speed of Asha, Charu ma'm asked us if we should take a prompt action, and change the bus on the highway. Hands rose in agreement and disagreement. After considering the pros and cons of the opinion that laid in front of us, and as respectful of each other's opinions we SeFians are, the final decision happened. We were not leaving Asha, in the asha (hope) that atleast the driver would better the speed. He gave a verbal promise for this as well.

So, we were not leaving Asha- at least not till the day dawns! We had tastiest sandwitches which Megha’s dad made on her special request, then some chips, then some soft drinks, and then some chocolates. The first SeFians trip as it was, we decided to make it memorable. Ideas poured in for various activities. While some suggested to play dumb charades, others came up with a we*** idea of playing hide and seek. (LOLz! I guess Asha was too small for even rats to have a party) It was agreed that there is no more interesting and engaging game than Antakshari! And when we creative lot begin singing, dear friends, the world realize that Bollywood has given us endless songs to hum, scream, and enjoy. The Antakshari episode continued till some two hours...and only stopped when Nature's call made us stop the bus. To be honest, this first stoppage of our Agra trip gave us a dual relief. First- nature's call as I told you, and second- the relief to stretching our bodies, after sitting in the stiff Asha for continuous 3 hours! And well then, who can forget that meethi lassi ka glass, mistaken identity of White Vultures, and the photo session we had there!

Time to step in the bus again. Enough of singing, and humming...we decided to wait till our singers and music directors produce some more good music. While everyone was on the verge of dozing off (lassi shows its effects), Nachiketa opened his Nachipedia and screamed he had a Tom and Jerry DVD! No sooner our smile went to our ears, we realized that we are in Ashaa! DVD player in Asha?- NO! But Yes! They had it! See, its not as bad as you think guyz. All of us loved it when Jerry gave Tom a run for his life, and how Jerry had the final blow. But sometimes, even the funniest of things can not stop your eyelids to meet. Many of us took a nap. This was, comparatively the quietest period of our trip, although, everytime the driver applied the brakes, Asha produced a sound that reminded us of some snake charmer, forcing his snake to wake up, else he’ll cry!

We were nearing one of the best Seven Wonders of the World. While Mandeep rained his deodrant bottle on him, Vrinda combed her hair, Mohita corrected her muffler, and I redid my kajal, the signs were clear that we have almost reached. We steeped down and realized that the sun was right above our heads. Must say, Asha was better in this context. Our hunger pangs were increasing, so we discovered a shaded place, and unpacked our food items. How can a foodie like me forget the yummy taste of paranthas brought by Arpita, Noodles by Santosh, and what not! Then we did five things for the next 1 hour. We ate, we ate, we ate, we ate, and we burped. Other related things, we could control, as now it was the time for some horse riding. That was real fun. Our cart man was as filmi as he was old. He quoted some famous dhanno dialouges, and tickled our funny bones. He was too good! Now we were on the entry gates of Taj Mahal, and the photo session began again. Well this time it was Taj Mahal on our capture. We were enthralled by the splendid beauty. We chatted, discussed few things that went into the making of Taj Mahal, we roamed around, rested, and praised the skilled craftsmen who had put their souls and hearts together in making Taj Mahal one of the rarest monuments. No voting, or prefernces might have been necessary in making Taj Mahal one of the seven wonders of the world. It is, and will remain one of its kind! Now time to kiss a goodbye to this ever beautiful graveyard. The group was tired, and scorching heat was making it even more difficult. In this, a bottle of chilled frooti, and ice candies did wonders! We were re-energized, and enjoyed our horse ride again. Ma’m had not taken too nuch of noodles, and it was damn hot as well. Then why did she prefered to take a walk, I wonder!

Well, well, Asha was our fate for the day. We all stepped in, and exchanged our seats with each other, hoping that it would give us some relief. (Weird thought I know. Sometimes we all become Tarun sir!)

The way back home was comparatively better than the morning one. No no, neither did Asha’s driver pitied on us and installed an Air Conditioner, nor did they strech the bus from two sides to make it more accomodating. But the driver played my dear Salman Khan’s movie! Yippie, we watched Mujhse Shaadi Karogi! I tell you, Salman looks so cool in that movie na! Fine taste that "I’ll-run-the-bus-on-30km-only" driver had! I applauded, and watched the movie till other SeFians complained of a headache, and paused the movie. (Pheww...I’ll see them for this!!!) It was then decided to give our trip a religious touch, and we headed towards Krishna Janam Bhoomi. With prayers on our lips, pain in our heads, and rats battling in our stomach, we sighted the divine place. One prayer, that must have been there on everybody’s lips was of reaching homes on time. "Dear God, you are comfortably lying on your couch. Its already past 8. Please do something that triggers Asha to run fast!"

Then we had a lavish dinner. With a stomach full of food, and kheer on paying extra Rs.5/-, me and Vrinda really praised the cooks.

Asha again. We stepped in, and took whichever seat we could. Not a difference it makes. I tell you, that driver must have been learning how to drive a mini bus. Though Asha did not have a Learner’s sign on its dashboard, but then, the driver may have his own reasons for that! Probably he didn’t want to disfigure Asha's beauty by pasting a sticker on it. Or he probably didn’t want to let us know that he is still learning. Whatever, when I’ll open the detective agency of my own, I’ll figure it out- "VIBHA WILL FIND IT OUT DETECTIVE AGENCY- MISSION- ASHA".

We were in bus. No sooner we stepped in, something hit Vrinda’s feet. She screamed "Mouse", while Charu ma’m opined it must be a cat, and Mandeep froze me by speculating it as a lizard! So, Asha had mouse/ cat/ lizard as well! Me and Vrinda came back to our sense only when the bus moved, and we were assured that the rat/ cat/ lizard must have jumped off the window by now. We knew our journey was coming to rest. This was the last time, we SeFians were together on our first trip. We began singing to mark the occasion. This time, it was boys Vs. Girls. Well I would personally not call it singing. We didn’t sing, but roared. On the flip side, Charu ma'm was too tired even to hum.

Time kept flying, some fell asleep, some cracked jokes, some expressed worry on Asha's tortoise speed, and some even went as far as to click not-so-decent pics of Megha and Neha, and Vrinda and me. It was only after we saw them at Neha’s camera that we displayed fury.

It was past 12 A.M., we neared Delhi. One after the other, SeFians bade goodbye to each other. Those who were still in bus got numerous calls from their homes, asking when will they be back. And then, the worst part of Asha was when the driver declined to drop us at our respective points. Reason? Asha dear has no CNG to run. No CNG?? In the evening it drank the entire CNG petrol pump! We were half dead by then. Luckily we sighted a CNG petrol pump, and pampered Asha, not to throw any more tantrums, and drop us safely. I was the second last to get dropped. I bid Good Morning to Ashish, (the only SeFian left in Asha by then), and ran home (literally).

Our Agra trip comes to an end. After almost 24 hours of unlimited fun, we were at our homes, safely. Office trips are nothing new. People generally travel in luxury buses, trains and personal vehicles, but an Asha ride was something that few get the chance to take. Though it drank CNG 4 times that day, and had few mice as pets, we had enjoyed the Tom and Jerry show. We had actually enjoyed the cacophnic snake charmer bus-break sound. We had enjoyed the lovely answer by the driver, when we asked him to increase the speed, "yeah to iski maximum speed hai". I sighted Taj Mahal for the first time, and brought back home some unforgettable memories. Thanks Charu ma'm, for giving us some difficut to forget memories of our first office trip.


  1. Wow!! Vibha you have drafted a very beautiful pic of ur trip....!! I am feeling like like... I was there with you on the trip and enjoying each and every moment! :)
    Hey...please write about our New Year Picnic too... :) m waiting!

  2. Nice post as it is Asha..I mean Vibha..though as ur ex-TL, it is my duty to point out few errors in the blog..well I have a list..correct these sentences :P

    Our journey began with alarm bells, messages beeps and ringtones

    So, we were not leaving Asha- at least not till the day dawns!

    after sitting in the stiff Asha for continuous 3 hours!

    We were nearing one of the best Seven Wonders of the World.

    ma’m had not taken too nuch of noodles,

    installed an Air Conditioner,

    This time, it was boys Vs. Girls

    Luckily we sighted a CNG petrol pump

    Though it drank CNG 4 times that day

  3. Thanks for the pointers sir. Quite clearly, it was written years ago, 2008...almost 5 years to be precise. I was an amateur writer then and have grown up as a writer now...I do not want to correct the sentences now so that I can see, and quite literally, my growth chart in writing :)

    Thanks again for the pointers though, they were and always will be a help :)

  4. Nice Saying !!

    You are now senior writer :)


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