Airier than an auto and faster than a rickshaw, the tonga was as packed as a blueline bus. Not a popular commuting option any longer, we boarded it at Sadar Bazar.
Like in the magical world of Harry Potter adventures, it trotted on giving a view of poles, trees, and houses, hopping and leaping to clear the way for the moody mare to chart her own course. The tonga jolted people, splashed on PWD puddles, overtook a DTC bus, got honked at by a Pajero and jumped a red light.
Sitting on the stone-hard cushions, the wind ruffled through our hair and the heart felt breezy as we passed Novelty Cinema, Mori Gate and ISBT before arriving at Delhi station. A return journey was immediately decided upon. It took some wait while the mare relaxed, the tongawalla smoked and commuters trickled in. This time we took a shorter route, through Peeli Kothi, rushing past streets lined with abandoned mansions and ancient trees.
The steady clip-clop of the mare retained its dignity against the rumble of trains, pom-pom of cars and whoosh of the metro. The sound reminded us of an old world, long dead. Soon we were back at the beginning.