Moradabad – 2

It was beginning to get a bit dark, so I thought it would be better to get back to Moradabad, and thus, I ask the outlet staff as to how get back to the bus stop and one of the customers at the outlet agrees to drop me at the local bus stop. It must have been about a 10 minute ride on his bike but I did not see anything during that, as I had closed my eyes because of the speed at which that guy was driving the bike. Getting down at the bus stop, I could see a bus leaving for Moradabad and I ran after it as I had no clue when the next one will leave and finally to have something on your side, the conductor saw me running towards the bus and asked for it to stop.  A bit relieved, I got on to the bus and was at my hotel after about and hour and 30 minutes. Oh yes, I did have some local food at the bus stop, it was supposed to be a samosa, but I have no clue why it did not taste like one and inflation for sure has reached here to, the rate is the same as in Delhi.

Inside the Bus

It was about 8 pm now and I thought, I will order food at around 9 or so, but to my surprise and as against the things that you expect at the hotel, the guy from the reception came and knocked on the door and asked me to place the order for the dinner now as they would not be able to get it if I place the order later on. Hence, I give him the order and expect the food turn up in about 30 minutes or so but as minutes tick by, he only gets the food at around 9:30 pm and tells me that he was taking orders from all the people at the hotel and thus, they get all the foodstuff at one go. After dinner, I pick up a book and fall asleep reading it.

The next day was more or less the same as I visited the same outlet. Thus, I will move on to my journey to Amroha the day after. Now, Amroha is towards the direction of Delhi and about 125 km from Delhi. From Moradabad, as there are not too many people who go to Amroha, this time I have to travel in a smaller bus with about 30 or so seats. In the bus are people travelling back to their homes, going on their job to the court in Joya and on the way, I see a huge university campus with hundreds of students outside its gates and some five-star hotels. As I get down at the bus stand in Amroha’s J.P. Nagar, I ask for directions to the Hariyali Outlet and this time, luck was on my side and an Auto Rickshaw guy agreed to drop me there for 20 bucks. But I must say this, people were arguing with the Auto guy to take them about 3 km before from the outlet for 5 bucks and just refused to get on the auto and preferred to walk rather than paying the 10 bucks which he was asking for.

Me in the Sun

Once at the outlet, which was similar in layout to the one at Sambhal, I noticed that majority of the consumers there were farmers and as the person who handles the billing for the Reliance Mobile connections was not there, I had taken up his chair and people mistook me for that guy on quite a few occasions and so I decided to go and sit at a table placed in the Krishi Salah Kendra part of the outlet. After finishing of a couple of interviews, as I came back to the table, a farmer turned up there and asked me for advice on what kind of inputs he should be using, in what quantity and before I gave my expert advice on things totally unknown to me, I guided him to the concerned person. In the evening, as it was time to go back, I had realized by then, that I would have to walk back a fair distance to get an auto which would take me to the highway. After walking for about, 20 minutes, I ask a rickshaw guy if he will take me to the highway. He tells me that they do not go till there and thus, he can drop me till the railway tracks from where I will get a shared auto which will take me to till the highway.

Streets of Moradabad

And thus, after taking two autos I land up at the highway, where after waiting for about 10 minutes or so, I get a super fast bus (that is what it said on the front of the bus but for me it still went at the normal speed), which takes me to Delhi in about 3 hours and this time, I witness a lot of beautiful farms by the road and also get to see a McDonald’s in the middle of nowhere in Gajraula, the last place where I expected a McDonald’s to be in. And thus, this marked the end of my second sojourn to the unseen parts of India. Though, I must say, it is a bit uncomfortable to walk around these places when you are being stared at like a wonder never seen before by every other person in those places. But, I guess it sure gives you a lesson in what to wear to these places when you go there the next time and how to be a bit invisible rather than standing out of the crowd.


  • Nandan says:

    Interesting log.

    By the way, the McD at Gajraula is a pretty busy McD now, catering to all the city traffic from NCR who frequent Kumaon hills.

  • Vibha says:

    Interesting Indeed! McDonald’s in Gajraula? An unmistakable sign of globalisation.

    Thanks Chaitanya, for taking us into the rural India. Not many of us have had the opportunity of seeing it up close.

  • Pushpinder says:

    Dear sir,

    It was a nice narrative short and crisp.

  • Nandan says:

    @ Vibha – Gajraula always had the most popular food joints. It is next to BP Pump, almost in the same campus. Same is the case at Mathura. Not sure is there is some corporate tie-up kind of thing.

  • @Nandan – I have had a stopover at that place in Gajraula about 4 years back while going to the Corbett. At that time, there was a Dhaba there by the name of Bhajan, which is till there. The place, as you said, is a nice stopover for people moving on towards Uttrakhand. But to see a McDonalds there, in the middle of nothing was a huge surprise.

  • Nandan says:

    Bhajan has done very good for itself , all these years. There is another old and popular joint called ‘Tadka’ (right inside the premises of BP Gajraula) and Bhajan now runs ‘Tadka’.

    Even the UP State Transport Bus service used to stop over right opposite Bhajan on the way to Delhi and a lot of passengers would cross over and have their food at Bhajan. For some reason, I never really understood the hoopla around this :-) since it looked like another crowded, no super clean, flies flies flies, kind of place.

    Anyway. Where do you take us next ?

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