Noel Ellis's Official Blog

I wield the pen to explore the vastness of the human mind

Category: PUNJAB ROADWAYS

GT ROAD RENAMED NOEL ELLIS ROAD

Someone said uproot the Taj Mahal, thereafter people came up with an idea to demolish the Rashtrapati Bhawan and Parliament. Then a few suggested the Red Fort too should bite the dust. I am amazed at how people think and add fuel to the already lit communal fire. One thing is clear, the way we are trying to tamper with history it will definitely have consequences.  What Aurengzeb did or did not do is not the question but had we Indians got the guts we should have not allowed him to invade us. Had we been united then we would have not allowed anyone to leave a landmark or any legacy. We aren’t united even today thus not learning from our history.

Be that as it may, I was thinking why not rename the Grant Trunk (GT) road. It was named Sher Shah Suri Marg once. Who was Mr SS Suri? Please dig into the history books to find out don’t ask me. A Punjabi song popular amongst truck drivers about the road were “GT road te, haye road te….” Bus drivers used to believe in, “Chak de phatte nap de killi, subha Jalandhar sham nu dilli”. I remember traveling this route by road as well as rail as a child and it used to be the most prestigious route called the NH-1 from Lahore to Calcutta. I have seen this road transform from a road to a Highway and that is history.

There was no direct bus or train service to Delhi from Kapurthala, my residence. The nearest place to get a bus or train was Jullunder now Jalandhar (change in history). A small bus stand on GT road Jalandhar used to be congested like hell. To identify a bus going to “Garha” village or Delhi was difficult. If the bus had its chassis bent, torn silencer, splattered with mud, doors missing, broken windows, hanging head lights and the radiator glaring at you over a half hanging fender one could assume this is a local bus. A nicely painted, well dressed driver, Jalwa horn blaring, cushioned seats, freshly cleaned if not painted body; with lots of hanging jhalars all around the bus was an indicator that this could be a long route bus. Of course the shout in short bursts, Dilli-dilli-dilli-dilli. The conductor used to make it very clear “Rah di sawari koi na hove” (passengers getting down enroute need not mount) and mark my words Phillor and Phagwara people were dropped only at Ludhiana.

GT road was broad though but did not have dividers in between then. I have seen it grow from two lanes to six lanes and to what it is today. There were hardly any flyovers. In those days buses and trains used to race side by side. Closer to Ludhiana somewhere near Dhandarikalan, “keenu” used to be a new citrus fruit introduced those days. The long route busses used to stop for a quick drink of freshly squeezed malta or keenu juice.

Ambala Cantt used to be a major junction and the trains used to halt long enough for dad to rush to Puran Singh da dhaba and get fresh mutton curry and tandoori rotis. From there reaching Delhi was either from the Meerut-Gaziabad route for Old Delhi or the Kurukshetra route for New Delhi. We mostly travelled to Old Delhi. Moment one heard the heavy sounds of those typical clangs and bangs on the common rail and Road Bridge on river Yamuna hugging the red fort walls one knew “Ab dilli door nahi” (Delhi is not far away). If history has to be changed then the Bombay-Ferozpur Frontier Mail and Delhi-Amritsar Flying Mail also need to be re-named.

Why not change its name into Akbar road, no-no not the Azeem-O-Shaan Sahensha but our very own indigenous Akbar saab who is now an MP. With no offences meant sir and no religious flavour as till date I am confused who was Akbar’s son, was it Babar or Humayun or neither. My history is pathetic as it is. I always get mixed up with the fathers and sons of that era. With the present generation they won’t even care to find out who was who and we talk of changing history.

Why not name it Noel Ellis road? Half of India will not be able to pronounce it first of all. The only qualification I have is that I am a common citizen of this country. Why history can’t be created by renaming a road on the “aam admis” name. Why do we always look up in history to name things after all those oldies, or all those political figures? Well, freedom fighters too now are being felicitated at many places. I gave my youth too for keeping the country’s sovereignty in tact by serving the motherland by being part of one of the finest Armies of the world. Yes people may say I am living person. I will argue lets create history by not naming something on somebody who is already dead.

These days I find only polarisation and hatred being spread. I do not accept it as a citizen of this country. All those who try to change history will become history themselves.  Today’s generation cares two hoots whether you name a road or a building on anything. We are a modern India so changing ancient history won’t work Mr Dhotiwala. Can you guys grow up? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

ONE BABA & FORTY POLICE

One baba has brought the North of the country to a standstill. 200 plus trains have been cancelled, 10 lakh potties on the road side and increasing every minute, as many plants and trees watered. 40 companies of CAPF mobilised, Army on standby, busses halted on the borders and so on. Air Force summoned in as I believe helicopter movement is on the cards. Poor Navy, they can’t mount warships on trailers or else they too would have been made part of a naval blockade in Panchkula. I am not ridiculing the navy but I am ridiculing the state of affairs in this country that just look at this person he can hold this country to ransom. Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have declared holidays in schools and colleges till 28 Aug. Kya baat baba ji, where were you all these years. Police as usual is about to hand over the baton to the Army as situation may go out of their hands.

There have been a few more babas who were on my radar screen, one of them is languishing in Jodhpur jail and I don’t want to dirty my fingers typing about him. Then there is another baba who claims to have a third eye. He can somehow find out from smell of your burp the number of aloos missing in the aloo ka paratha which you fed to a black dog, on an amavasya, at the turning of the road near the kabristan. He can motivate you to distribute jalebis to all the diabetic patients. He can clear all blockages between you and your “kirpa” by trying to remember which place you belong, what khana or mithai or deity is famous in your hometown and then come out with weird solutions. Innocent people lap it up as the brainwashing is done by such ungodly men.  Hindustani today is just looking for solutions which are sasta and tikaau.

Well, today if you want to lead a colourful and peaceful life you either become a baba or a politician. No responsibility, tremendous fan following, catch the nerve of the janta, exploit the naive public, say anything and it becomes gospel, divert attention anywhere, exploit sentiments, give some jobs as your maintenance staff, money is not an issue as people donate, if they don’t they are made to donate for fear of God and dire consequences. Both ways the sufferer is a person like me. They make the rules, they break the rules, they tell me what to do and what not to do, and I simply follow. Why? because I am illiterate, if I am educated I don’t apply my brains, even if I apply my brains I am threatened of consequences, even then if I rebel I am one of the very few. Add religious and political fanaticism to it, like every political party today is saintly and holier than thou and every baba has become a politician. His voice for vote counts, so what is left for you and me is to follow them or be left out.

I was watching the type of people following this so called MSG. Either they were people who are senior citizens or they are the youth who are unemployed. I don’t say they are uneducated but are basically vellas. Who will leave the fields when the paddy crop is in full bloom? Who can leave their homes where there is family and cattle to look after? Who will join such a movement at the peril of his job? Who is ready to face consequences including death due to police action? They are people who have been completely brain washed or have reached such a stage of life where life and death doesn’t matter. Some youngsters may risk their lives for the compensation which their folks may receive after their death or injury.

Whatever said and done this trend is taking this country on a different turn. The path to attain moksha is given in all scriptures; the only thing is we go to the wrong people who interpret it for us in their own way. We in India are such blind followers of anything which is chanted with a mantra because our upbringing is such. Please, I don’t want to hurt any religion or sentiment. I just want to put across that we are blind followers of anything which shows us a ray of light or hope. We have lost faith in our own selves completely. I would say we go beyond that, moment we come out of the temple we start comparing our chappals and in case circumstances permit, we don’t hesitate to exchange ours in the very presence of our God. We make him witness to our crime and thank him for providing exactly what we needed. We donate an additional coin if the colour matches our dress. That’s what we are.

Our thoughts need transformation. It is time now when another baba may emerge. There is already one who started with yoga and now is marketing beauty soaps and shampoos.

Countrymen and women, let us not make matters worse, let us not lose lives. If this baba is upright and correct the courts will set him free but if he is not let him face the music. No one in this country is above law. In case the verdict holds him guilty just walk away from him. Who can’t make a mistake, we all are mortals. You would have made one in judging him as he did not reveal his other side to you. If he proves he is innocent then why do you worry? The inconvenience you are causing to the nation is tremendous. The loss that is being caused because of your blockage is unwarranted. Will your baba be “sachha” enough to foot the bill of all the forces deployed and all the destruction which occurs? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

 

JET ROADWAYS AND PUNJAB AIRWAYS

You all must be wondering about the title of my article, and rightly so, as I believe a flight from Goa which was about to take off decided to go by road to Mumbai and also another two flights came nose ball to nose ball on a Delhi runway. It must have been fun when the pilots would have lowered their windows and shouted the choicest of abuses at each other. I hope they are not taking lessons from the Indian Air force that is practicing landing on highways. Be that as it may, I actually flew down memory lane and many-many moons back when I was a school and college going kid and travelled frequently between Kapurthala & Jalandhar (Jullunder) as it was called at that time. The only mode of transport was by bus. Aircrafts I had not seen except the Air force planes which used to do their combat exercises or a trail of white lines (condensation trails) emanating from a Dakota packet flying over head. Air travel was for the super rich and we belonged to Dangar (cattle) class.

 

I remember standing at DC Chowk, we used to wait for busses going to jullunder. We had three categories one was the PEPSU roadways, with a symbol of a Greek character “the flying horse” PEGASUS, believe you me one used to find painted on the driver’s door “pilot” and true to the spirit  of the insignia, those buses really used to take off. The conductor used to shout “RAH DI SAWARI KOI NA HOVE” (we don’t allow passengers who have to get down enroute) and once warmed up, the KILLI (accelerator) only found the floor and one wondered whether the damn thing had brakes. Mid way the pilot would adjust his “Pug” and scratch his beard with no hands on the steering. Even the dogs feared crossing the roads. True to their words, we used to be before time in jullunder, the 54 seater bus never had more than 20 passengers for obvious reasons, more so to live another day.

 

Then there was this transport service called the PRINCE BUS. Nicely painted, good seats, radio, nice lighting inside those blue, red, orange and green ones. Well dressed conductor and driver, clean floors. We used to be told that this is also a nonstop bus, but it used to stop at zozila stadium, chungi naka, railway crossing, khojewala, uccha pind, neeva pind, teda pind, veenga pind adarsh chowk, phutbaal chowk, doordarshan, nakodar chowk, and three more stops before the bus stand. One used to get fed up adjusting seats and invariably as school had taught us to be gentlemen; we used to go standing in that half an hour’s run.

 

Then there was our own Punjab Roadways, with a motto, CHALAANGE TAN PAHUNCHANGE (we shall reach if we move). My goodness lord, torn seats, no back rests, doors invariably broken, cracked wind shields of the driver, widow glasses missing for the passengers, MUFLI CHILKAS to pass time like one bursts bubbles of the Amazon delivery packing’s, smell of diesel mixed with fumes. Invariably, the bus won’t self start, the driver will coolly request the passengers to push, well, the crowds were supportive and used to push it and once it started it won’t stop, due to the fear it might stall, so you run and get on the bus. Your seat which you had kept a hanky on gone and so did the kerchief. Now you wonder, did you take the right decision as invariably it would have a damaged silencer thus made a deafening noise. Many a times if you were in a bus behind this one & you would be amazed to see the chassis bent, one always wondered which side the bus is actually going. To top it all it won’t let you overtake it as a matter of prestige and looking at it from behind one was scared to even think of overtaking it. Well those were the good old days.

 

I am not getting into the technicalities of why the plane wavered off the runway, but it is a matter of concern. I was also shocked to see the planes and its pilots staring at each other on the runway. Well this again reminds of Punjab roadways, where the right of way was always of the bus, right side-wrong side was not the point of discussion, the bus is always right, you move your vehicle off the road and in time to save yourself the wrath of the state transport. Literally, one feared for life seeing a bus. We were basically pedestrians, or on cycles and ultimate used to be on a borrowed scooter. In those days there were jawla horns blaring. If you hear it leave the road, as you never know which side the bus will appear from. You might be expecting it from the front but it might surprise you from the rear too. Today, those ugly horns have been replaced by flashing of head lights in the day on high beam. If I have flashed it, it is my way. I may flash it to warn you to get out of the way. I may flash them to ask you to give me side as you are going too slow as per my standards. Lights flashed means all traffic rules are redundant thereafter. The vikram or the tamtam drivers are the worst, if you don’t budge they will swing their vehicle towards you when they are just short of you and then swing back on track. I have almost had a heart attack many a times, but now am used to their tactics. Traffic sense, traffic discipline, traffic norms are made and broken by me as I decide them to be. If I am in a good mood, I will let all traffic pass, if my wife has had a fight with me, hell can break loose. You can watch out for your own safety for all I care. I own this road. Period!

 

Well, if that be so for the airlines in India, Gods help us. Thank God I haven’t taken a flight since some time. These days I pay for my water and food during air travel. I hope they let me carry my poori sabji and aam ka achar in the aircraft one day. I also hope they don’t tell me to push start an airplane someday. I heard on a panel discussion that all this is because the IAS babus are not treating the airline safety properly. In fact they were questioning that a babu who has no clue of aviation is made its head and it needs to stop forthwith to improve aviation in the country. So in the same breadth may I say the same for defence too? In Canada the defence minister is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and a war veteran, the sports minister has been a Para-Olympian, the education minister is a doctorate, our PM is a Chaiwala, and down the line, our finance minister is a lawyer, our defence minister is an engineer, I shall not talk about the rest. It is something like the fauj, moment you do a Radio course, instead of making you the signal officer of the unit you are made the quarter master. Comedy of errors everywhere!

 

Ladies and gentlemen, India is India, no one can beat it, no one can run it, no one can destroy it, no one change it. I am lucky to be born here, it has its wonky ways of functioning, it has its own ways of running and repairing itself, it is unique, it is wonderful, so why can’t we change it to Jet Roadways, and let Punjab Airways handle aviation. Is it possible? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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