Often many of us prefer taking a long drive. In such times it is obvious that one has to travel via National Highways or other expressways that would make us reach our destination faster. What does one usually do in such drives? Plug in their earphones, sit back and relax. Some people go to sleep making themselves cozy in the small space that they get. Many prefer to chat with friends and spend the time.Personally for me this is my second highway drive from Delhi to Agra and for the first time probably I refrained from plugging in my earphones and actually noticed the surroundings.
I started my journey from the populated city of Delhi with tall buildings, massive government offices, roadside shops and off course the blazing sun. But after an hour so it was amazing to see the entire scenery change in front of you. After you leave Delhi proper you enter the Yamuna Expressway. It was told by my driver that the entire stretch of over 200 km long expressway was built by Jaypee in UP and in return the lands beside the expressway were given to UP . Nice barter system in contemporary times!
The massive buildings disappeared into yellow fields with occasional stretches of tall green trees. A beautiful sports stadium complete with a golf course also stood by the expressway and so did a professional management institute.After a certain while the expressway started bifurcating into many lanes. This was for the toll booths that were made after a certain stretch. It is a rule that one has to pay for using the expressway in a particular area. In the sense, one has to pay for using the expressway in Delhi, Mathura, Agra and so on.
Throughout the whole journey what intrigued me the most was that after regular intervals there were small rest houses for the travelers complete with all good delicacies that one could lay their hands on. As I entered in one of them I heard lots of noises. It was a splendid view inside the inn .There were people of all ages . One table had around six to seven friends sitting and sipping iced tea. They were probably making a small weekend trip . Where to, was unknown to me. Another table had a middle aged couple savoring idli and dosa. From what they were talking (They were loud and I was not eavesdropping) I made out that they were going to visit their daughter in Agra.A young couple who I think had just got married were making their way to see the Taj ( I hoped the girl would not ask him to make one for her though!). Another family was trying to calm their son down who was adamant about a certain food that he did not want to eat. A little girl sitting beside him (his sister maybe ) was silently watching the scene and finishing not only her own food but also her brothers.
I was completely engrossed in the scene when my own food came. As we were in a hurry we quickly finished off our food and were about to leave. While waiting for our car I just happened to glance at the store attached to the inn. A young boy of about twenty was completely confused with the customers jumping all over him with their orders. He was baffled amidst so many customers yelling at the same time – Mujhe woh blue wallah chips do, Bhaiya mujhe orange juice chahiye, Mujhe chewing gum de do, bhaiya mera balance dijiye and the likes. Though I wanted to wait for some more time to see how he tackles the situation I was running late and so had to leave the guy and take to the roads again.
By the time we started our journey the sun had almost gone down. The light had become dimmer and the series of inns and restaurants had disappeared to give way to the barren land with an occasional hut here and there.What was additional to this scenery was cows. There were cows everywhere. Looking past a sign board I understood we were crossing Mathura and there had to be cows .After all it is a sacred place as it was a birthplace of Lord Krishna.
There were still miles to go in the journey and I started contemplating about the people who were in their cars on the expressway going to their own destinations. I saw a car with a man driving and a little child sitting beside him. Probably a father was taking his daughter home maybe from a hostel; another car had an elderly couple maybe going to their son or daughters place. Many trucks passed us. Some were carrying fragile items and some were carrying fruits and vegetables to be delivered to a vendor. A state transport corporation bus went passed us carrying around forty passengers. Some were probably going to their villages, some going for a vacation, some going to spend some time in a quite place away from the busy hustle and bustle of the city life- I would never actually know.
As I neared the end of my journey I thought that one can actually see and feel things around them if they only looked at it. Every sight has a unique story to it. One just needs to discover that story and feel it.But what is sad in contemporary times is that people are so busy with their own lives that they do not have time to stop and think about what is going on around them. I have always been advised to stop the music in my car and watch the surroundings. That day I discovered exactly why I should do it. It gives a person a different feeling, a different pleasure that cannot be completely defined by words.
So, next time if you travel through a highway or an expressway take some time out and observe everything that you see, you can actually derive a story out of it. Every sight has a silent expression which would compel you to think about it in depth.