Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yeh CCD ka hota hai?

Bundled up on a cycle rickshaw, I watched the evening traffic choke up a relatively wide road in this place called Kadam Kuan. I was returning from a trip to rural Vaishali where I was stopped twice by "Party Workers" on bikes. They had asked me which party I belonged to since only party workers and politicians traveled using white cabs in villages during elections. I get off the cycle rickshaw paying him ten bucks for a kilometer and walk on towards a sleazy hotel I have rented out for two months at 175 a day. It reeks of cigarettes.

The waiter walks in without knocking. A regular feature in this place I notice. I ask if there are any good hotels around to eat and he rattles of names with descriptions that didn't really sound palatable. I asked if there were any Pizza joints or a McDonalds around to which he blinks blankly. "To koi coffee ki jagah hogi na Patna mein?", I ask to which he offers to provide coffee in the room itself. I plead again, "Yahaan koi Coffee Day ki dukaan nahin hai? CCD?". "Ye CCD ka hota hai?".

I settled for a cup of tea that he brought in, switched on the TV and lay on the bed while they buzzed about the latest campaign strategy. The bed is usually drenched with my sweat due to power cuts.

It's been more than a month now and little has changed. Except for three offers by the waiter so far: "Kauno aurat chahiye ka? Aap akele bejaar ho rahe honge.", and an offer by a strange girl to meet up in Delhi after a month for some 'romance' if I could only lend Rs. 10,000 to fund her purchase of a new cell phone now. She even claimed that she is from a family of IAS officers.

13 more days in Bihar and counting.