Think about it, people. It is 48 degrees in Gurgaon. There is no electricity. There is no water. Your European vacation is waylaid by this volcano in - of all places - Iceland. Might as well just give up and go back to your roots. To the One who plonked you in the middle of all this. India offers a unique blend of traditional and modern ways of making this trip, aided in part by our friendly neighbours.
1. Shop till you drop. Go hunting for that noodle strap top in Sarojini Nagar, or that killer choli in Lajpat Nagar on a crowded weekend, preferably near festival days. You have the option of a Hindu or a Muslim bomb going off in the garbage can next to you just as you are polishing off that plate of steaming hot momos with the lethal red sauce. Spicy!
2. Contact Ram Sene for Rent-a-riot services. Let’s say, you are an artist looking for that big break. For a fee, Muthalik will arrange a riot-worthy chief guest at your exhibition, conduct the riot to your specifications, fracture your leg (the break that you needed), and offer a complimentary ride in an ambulance to the farthest government hospital. If the riot did not kill you, the hospital will. A perfect frame.
3. Try the railways. Of the several options available, the latest one is to just go to the station and wait for the announcement that your train is now coming in platform 23 instead of platform 1, leaving in 5 minutes. What will ensue is not a stampede, as you may think. It is merely Indians, who are prone to ‘tripping’ as Mamata Didi has so eloquently put it, that will trample on you, crushing your bones, lungs and heart into dough that can be easily transported to your loved ones in a Maggi Noodle carton, by Registered Post, Acknowledgement Due.
4. Tried the highway? Helps if you have a rich dad. Just floor the gas pedal in that BMW you got last month and let go of the steering. To really make it work, down a few drinks with friends and get out a little past midnight. European engineering at its best.
5. If you are a woman, you are spoilt for choice. You could try getting burnt for dowry, have acid thrown on your face, get grievously assaulted, kidnapped. The younger you are, the better your chances.
6. In Haryana heartland, the options get even more exciting. All you have to do is fall in love with a person of the same gotra. This, for the benefit of my readers from the West, is anybody who descended from Adam and Eve. Or fall in love with someone from another caste. This, for the benefit of my readers from the West, is anybody who did NOT descend from Adam and Eve. In either event, the Khap Panchayat, consisting of village elders, or the Baap Panchayat consisting of your dad and male siblings, will take care of you. They are not very good at properly carving heads, but the remaining remains will be packed in bite-size pieces in bio-degradable gunny bags. Very environment friendly.
7. Fake encounters. Not the most efficient because it involves State participation. And the police, who may mix up the Intelligence – you cannot find a more inappropriate use of this word – and end up killing someone else. But, nevertheless, an option. Connaught Place is a preferred venue because of the grand skyline.
8. Real encounters. Way more efficient in terms of the number of people saved every day from their humdrum existence. Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Battisgarh – all of them offer an excellent safari experience atop a ramshackle bus through lush green foliage as you negotiate the terrain, trepidation in your heart. TV coverage arrives in minutes, not letting your loved ones miss the sight of you gasping for your last breath, your brain leaking out through the bullet hole in your skull, blood oozing out of your left thigh. Don’t forget to wax before you venture out.
9. Stay home. Just make sure you are old and rich. South Delhi and DLF City are the rage. If your neighbours don’t know you, you can spite them by having the stench of your rotting flesh get into their central AC ducts, hanging in there for months.
10. If you are unlucky, you have to just wait and die of old age. How unspectacular.