Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writings on the wall

Driving down to Dehradoon from Delhi, the best mid-way pee-break halt was always Cheetal, now apparently Cheetal Grand. (Or maybe always Cheetal Grand, noticed only now). As a kid, stopping at Cheetal, Grand or not, en route to my grandparents' place much further ahead into the Shivalik hills, used to be the height of excitement for me; crackling 'magic pops' on a tot's tongue.

The place had clean loos and a resort-like feel. Rows of flower pots, rabbits, birds -- caged, of course, but perhaps back then, as a child, I wasn't quite rabid about animal rights -- watered lawns, a general air of hygiene, a big open aquarium with monster goldfish, and evident effort gone into keeping the area trim and functional; lovely. And most unlike what certain coffee shops in Delhi have transmogrified into (anyone been to Barista recently?). Point is, pee stops at Cheetal made me happy.

I hadn't been on the Delhi-Doon road for some years, four at least. The last time I went to visit my grandparents' in Doon was, and I looked up blog archives, in October 2010, in the train. Long live the Shatabdi. Except now, train bookings are apparently open 4 months in advance, which makes it impossible to manage tickets last minute in tourist season. Drove there, but returned in the volvo bus, hence stopped last week on our way back to Delhi, for a half hour, my mother and I.

When we get disembark at Cheetal and she starts raving about the lovely little tomatoes and oh look-- :

She: Take a shot of the ornamental chilies! Nanu used to always pluck some...
Me: Nothing doing.

For one, I have way too many shots of silly ornamentals consuming my phone memory. For another, I'm always more amused with signs. I saw some cute ones on my walk one morning in Doon.

See hills in the background? The other side of the board says Don't Be Harsh on Curves.

But Cheetal. Walking about to stretch my legs after 4-5 hours in the bus, and after drinking cold coffee from the self service counter (40 bucks for one and SO much better than the overpriced frappé crap, again, at Barista; also the man behind the counter was immediately smiley and said, of course he could make me cold coffee, strong, without sugar, and thankfully didn't call me ma'am) and, pre clambering back on board, I felt my tickles at inadvertent comic signs turn a shade darker and into alarm. The +40 degree heat didn't help. But all these self-instructions, ( you'll see as you scroll down), like a new boss boss on a power trip, could have hardly been a mirage.

Okay, not this. This is sweet, even if a tad discriminatory. Poor regular flies!
 But this...
Great example, I thought, of  'knowing your audience'.
One measly plastic spoon kinda DOTH a klepto make.
 And this...
I don't know, you know... if people bent on decamping with pigeons are the obedient sort...

Like a truck jammed into a no parking space. Same principle. Only nicer.
Them generous bird thieves!
How else to take in these signs erected all over your disciplined property?
Rusty sign, y u no fun?

Winner of the ornamental chillies vs purple lotus round.
Pity you can't see tadpoles.

Poor guys, out in the bloody heat, watering the entrance of Cheetal to bring down the tempertature of cement
Glorious 2-ambi laden mango tree. ie room freshner for the entire compound
Good thing Cheetal still has enough 'visual relief' going to make up for its don't-do-this-don't-do-that paranoid Hitler attitude.

And clean loos.


The Unbearable Banishment said...

Anyone who can find happiness in a pee stop has figured out the secret of life. Contgrats! I'm jealous.

Your sign commentary is so funny! You're so clever!

Anonymous said...

Yikes..Did I cause a blog post removed ? :(
Deeply repentant and Apologize..no more crap comments from me.

Pls,No need to publish/reply.

p.s. But(even in my repentant state cudn't help) you *are* wrong abt Russell Brand

Incognito said...

Doon has always been the place I go to whenever I need to switch off and go underground (which is often). Looks like you missed the canal road. although the road condition is crap now, the scenery around, makes the trip worthwhile.

Those signs at Cheetal always make me think "why?".

Ps. hes watering "the dust" outside so that it settles by the time buses come in.

Anonymous said...

those are not purple lotuses. they are waterlilies. i thought a delhi resident would know that from habitat.


Nimpipi said...

UB: Generous you are. All that cleverness; I must have learnt something hob nobbing with you all this while!

PforP: In time, I might be able to click on a Russel Brand link. Still too jarred by the first few pages of his godawful booky wook.

And no, you didn't cause anything, relax. :)

I should add, telling me to not publish a comment is a bit like letting me in on a secret and then saying, but don't tell anyone. And I USUALLY reply. You know that.

Incog: That meme on the last post was incredibly sweet.I'm still on that. :)

Yup, yup, he's watering the dust. Wha'disay?

sb (... ?): Hi. I was totally blank! Thank you for pointing that out! I've spent a sizeable portion of the morning googling the difference between lotuses and water lillies and being all dreamy taking in Monet's lillies and ponds and bridges and 'atmospherics'. Glad you corrected me.

Anonymous said...

So many fond memories of this place - especially of those with big groups of friends and ordering almost every single thing on the menu...and there is this magazine shop outside where I had a long argument with a friend as to which is a 'complete' magazine for women - femina or cosmo.. :)

Anonymous said...

So many fond memories of this place - especially of those with big groups of friends and ordering almost every single thing on the menu...and there is this magazine shop outside where I had a long argument with a friend as to which is a 'complete' magazine for women - femina or cosmo.. :)

Incognito said...

:D. As long as it gets u up and blogging!.. my pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Tried it all.. ever distasteful cmmnts..still you post em blatantly.. :(

Will prob move to mailing y fm now.. but the devil's aversion to holy water is light matter compared to us trolls fear of being outed ;)


Soulmate said...

The road trips between DehraDun and Delhi had only one good thing abt them - Cheetal. Now that I have stopped traveling by road, I miss this place a lot... I guess next time, I shall purposely travel by road, bearing all the nausea and headache, just to visit this place and re-live some childhood memories..