It is 10:20 and I am still stuck in the morning rush hour. In the past fifteen minutes I have crawled past MyHome Apartments, then Wipro, and now I am waiting in front of Cyber Tower. Surrounded by similar people, all techies, yet everyone unique. The number plates in front of me read like the map of India; there is a MH-12 (Pune), there are MP-09 (Indore) & MP-04 (Bhopal), there is a TN number, a UP number, a PY (Pondicherry/Punjab?), a GJ-01 (that would be Ahmedabad, or Gandhinagar?), I am on a CG-04 (Raipur) bike, and of course numerous AP numbers.
A small break in the crowd and I move ahead a bike-length. I am beside an auto, when a horde of eunuchs pounces on the people in the auto. The guy sitting near the entrance is nervous as hell, he is blabbering something but it is apparent he is scared. The other two guys are not paying any attention, one is staring straight ahead, and the other one has his gaze fixed on the sky oblivious to the racket surrounding them. The eunuchs have found their prey, the nervous guy is being hounded, he wants to bolt but his escape route is blocked. A twenty changes hands, and the eunuchs move on to the next auto.
Another break in the traffic, another bike-length traversed, and I am astride a car. I really pity the guys in cars. If on bike I take so long to negotiate this jam, what would be the state of people in cars?! One good thing about the traffic jams in Hyderabad is that there is no incessant honking. The horn is used sparingly, making the traffic jam not totally unbearable.
The signal turns green; I head on towards my destination. A bike runs parallel to me for few seconds, the rider smiles, shouts his thanks – I had pointed to the un-retracted side stand few minutes back – and breaks my reverie. I gear myself for the long day ahead, mentally preparing for work. I am all ready, but for one thing – a cup of hot cappuccino.