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Monday, September 21, 2009

Big Weekend...Small Town


Haryana...Love it....hate it...but you just cant ignore it.

I generally don't form opinions, but even I have an opinion on Haryana. And surprisingly it has changed drastically over the years.

Opinion 1. I had not seen Haryana then, I had not see Haryanvis then. I had only heard about them. The general opinion was, stay away from them...I didn't waste any energy forming my own opinion.

Opinion 2. I had not seen Haryana then, but I had closely seen a few Haryanvi men. No don't get the wrong impression. I just found these guys to be strong, single minded, focused and their best quality..they didn't care about
the world or about what the world thought about them. So I started liking Haryana.

Opinion 3. And then I saw Haryana and saw the Haryanvi girls. And I fell in love with both. Karnal, Panipath, Kaithal, Pipli and most recently Yamuna Nagar. Lets leave the names of the girls out. I love Haryana now.

So when the wife asked me (told me rather) that we were going to Yamuna Nagar over the week end to attend a family function, I did not try and shoot my usual barrage of excuses. Yamuna Nagar...yes I had been there earlier and wanted to go there again.

I love the drive on NH 1 with all its Dhabas. I always make it a point to stop at one of them and my standard order is Aloo Pyaaz ka tandoori paratha with Dahi (although a Haryanvi friend of mine does not have a very high opinion of the Dahi at these Dhaba. I respect her opinion but I respect the Dahi better).

I love the drive. There is no need to drive lower than 100 kmph on NH 1.
Once U leave the highway and take a right from Pipli, Haryana becomes more obvious in all its glory. The lush green sugar cane fields, the desi sharab ki dukaan, the men in while kurta pajamas and white shoes, the women with duppatas over their head and face.

Approaching Yamuna Nagar, seemed akin to getting close to Nainitial or Shimla with all the mist and fog. The roads were surprisingly empty and we had a lovely drive. The wife and I even got to discuss long pending issues.

Yamuna Nagar is a small town just like so many others all over India. The roads are meant for cycles, people, carts and bulls. Houses are kothis and many of them still have the aangans with no ceilings. Electricity wires try to fight each other other from one make shift pole to the other. Colonies have been planned, assuming no one will ever own a car. There is no space for even two scooters to pass abreast, forget cars.

But....neighbours still greet you when U go out in the morning to sit in the jhoola in the courtyard. Parathas there taste just like granny said they would. The milk and curd there tastes like well..milk and curd. Every time I went to a house and was offered coke, I shamelessly refused and asked for a glass of cold milk instead.

The drive back was as nice. This time shoping stops were added enroute. The wife had acquired all necessary information and I was navigated to the whole sale market for bed sheets at Panipat and other markets at Sonipath.

I love Yamuna Nagar and I love Haryana.