Friday, September 21, 2012

Sleeping in the Spotlight on a Garbagebin

As I have mentioned in the previous post that most of my friends don't live in a rented room, they sleep at the Garage. Such is its location that it can accommodate many. The road on which it is situated is partially closed at one end, hence limited traffic and noice in the night. Across the road is a river-sized drain (separated by a wall). Adjacent to it is an abandoned MCD Garbage-house followed by a temple. Very strategic and enviable location indeed!

While a few sleep under the shed of the garage, a majority of them sleep in the temple while some other sleep on the garbagebin.

When the question - “where can I sleep” finally sprung up, Ajay volunteered to be my host. Least did I know that he would take the “host” thing so seriously. He forewent his prized possesion for my comfort. Such hospitality, to the extent of austerity, for a friend whom you know for barely 2-3 days is beyond my understanding.

The place which was waiting to be my bed was the roof of the MCD Garbagebin! There was a wornout foam mattress lying at the edge of the bin which he gave to me. He himself slept on a bed-sheet!

4-5 days back, that mattress got drenched in the heavy rains and it was still a bit soggy and had a faint stench. If a relative of mine would have made me sleep on that mattress, I would have cussed him endlessly but here, I felt so indebted to Ajay for his generosity because he offered me the best he had. Everyhting in this world is so relative.

The view in front of me was nothing short of breathtaking! It was Ganesh Chaturthi that day (20 Sep). The Banquet hall on the other side of the drain was all decked up, adorned with beautiful lights. The reflection of those lights was shimmering in the drain water. You get a similar view from the backside of the verandah of Taj Mahal with the river Yamuna (read Drain) flowing in front of you and the reflection of the stars shimmering in it.

Cool breeze was blowing so there was no apparent need of a fan but mosquitoes were aplenty. Despite the fact that I had applied Odomos (Ajay gave it to me) on my feet, hands and face; there was no respite from them.

At home, I sleep like a package with just my nose jutting out of it to breathe but here I was sleeping like a true digambari Jain: the sky was my blanket if not clothes!

After an hour of tossing and turning in the bed, I finally decided to borrow a sheet from my friends who were sleeping on the floor in the adjoining temple. When I went there, I came across my childishness in the most brutal manner.

There were alteast 10 people sleeping at one end of the temple and 5 on the other end; not a single person was covered. What to talk of a sheet, most of them were not even wering clothes (except for an under-wear). I was humbled at the sight.

Despite getting such a cushy mattress to sleep and a partial cover against the mosquitoes, my demands had no limits and here they were sound asleep on just a bedsheet – carefree and contented.

When you are humiliated, you want to hide in the darkest possible corner of the house but I realized, quite painfully, that I was under the spotlight. There was a street-light several meters away on the nearby road but so glaring was its light that it made me believe as if everybody is seeing me and probably mocking me as well.

To make the tattered mattress sleepable, Ajay had covered it with a bedsheet. I lifted it up and snuggled inside. Problem solved. 

When I got up in the middle of the night to drink water, I came across another hard reality of a rickshaw-walla’s life when I saw a colleague in the middle of an Orgasm. However, I can not allege that the other guy, who hide his friend’s modesty with his knee, played any direct role in the 'climax' of this late-night show.

You got a girlfriend/boyfriend; if not, a laptop loaded with ‘stuff’; an internet connection; your own room with all its privacy and if nothing else, at least a washroom! A homeless rickshaw-walla has none of these. But his ‘basic instincts’ and urges hardly care about these details and only few have control on them. I faked indifference, drank water and slept again.

Without the alarm, I was up at 6. Almost everyone was awake by then. The drain plays the life-line in the life of my friends. Just like river Ganga takes up all your sins so that you come out fresh to sin more, similarly, this drain takes everybody’s ‘dump’ every morning so that they return fresh to dump again the next day.

After the daily chores of the day and tea & matthi at a nearby stall, I, kallu and few other friends set off for Kamla Nagar, waiting in front of a girl’s PG. We were ready to kickstart a new working day as and when an ‘angel’ arrives.


  1. I wonder Gaurav if u soon gonna start "Dumpster diving".....

  2. Dude!! your blogs are super interesting.... i am loving each and every bit. but i want to know what makes you do or experience these things?? i mean how fo you come up with these "ideas".

    1. thanks for the compliments Rads but maybe you can increase their intensity a bit to successfully cajole this narcissist to divulge the secret ! ;)

  3. Going through your blog inspires me at each and every step. Quite extraordinary!! You have called yourself as a "NARCISSIST". That I don't know but one thing I am sure about is that, you have set an example before an endangered species "HUMANITY". In fact, I also wondered, what made this "NARCISSIST" quit all the materialistic desires of life and go for "HARDSHIPS"!!