Me- “ Hey dude, slow down the bike. We don’t wanna reach there before the bride and the bridegroom. Also the roads are wet.”
Vinod- “ This is the slowest I can go.”
Me- “ Okay. The rain is getting heavier. Stop by the side. I don’t want to go with wet clothes to a wedding reception.”
Vinod- “ No stopping. This is fun.”
A speeding car ran through a pothole and it splashed water on my right from my face to my waist. My favourite light blue shirt now had brown unpleasant circles on them.
Me- “ Okay, now it’s fun. Asshole.”
Vinod- “ You are acting like an old man since evening.”
Me- “ Have you ever heard old people’s abuses?”
Vinod – “ Oh! Enough. Shut up. I was never interested to go to this reception in the first place. It was you who told Imran- Oh yeah definitely I’ll be there and all that crap. I had told him I’ll be out of town so cant attend the reception.”
Me- “ Imran is our close friend and it’s his own brother’s wedding. When someone’s invited us, it is only kind that we attend, at least as a respect for our relationship.”
Vinod- “ Look, the old man’s talking.”
Me- “ After the talking, next comes the bashing and the abusing. So, screw it all up and ride.”
Vinod- “ He dint even send us the invitation card, man. He just called us over phone. And you talk about respect and shit.”
Me- “ Haha. Now who’s the old man?”
Anyway, we reached the hotel with me all wet and dirty. He wore a jacket and so was fine. I demanded him the jacket and wore it to cover my dirty shirt. But in a way I felt the dirty shirt was better than his silly red jacket with “No Fear” written over it. I checked out my watch to know that it was 7pm and I recollected that Imran told us to be there by 7. So, we were bang on time. Vinod entered the main entrance without waiting for me and I had to follow him. He walked as if he knew the hotel left and right. He spotted the party hall entrance and waited for me there. We both entered and a well dressed old man said- “ Please come in.” He showed us to the line of chairs and said- “ Please be seated. The bride and the bridegroom are stuck in traffic. They will be here soon.” The hall was deserted except for a few countable number of people and four photographers. For a small hall, four was too much. Maybe they wanted to see all angles of their guests.
Two of them came towards us as if they were launching an attacking on us but just took photographs of us from almost all angles. One of them came so close to me that I wanted to kick him there. I mean, I was wearing this silly jacket on a wedding reception and this guy takes photographs of me as if I’m the Brand Ambassador of ‘No-Fear’.
Vinod- “ See, he told us 7pm and the damn bride and bridegroom aren’t here yet. That stupid Imran.” He looked irritated and continued- “Hey this idiotic photographer is trying to kiss me or what. Tell him to back off.”
Me- “ Macha, enjoy.”
We passed one hour and the people who matter dint arrive yet. Our buttocks were getting sour. Meanwhile, those photographers dint know how to pass time so they took a few more photos of me and him. For a change I gave different poses and a smile. It was getting too boring. We drank three glasses of the ‘Welcome Drink’of water melon juice.
Vinod- “ Damn. I’m leaving. Call that idiotic Imran and tell him we are leaving.”
Me- “ He isn’t using his phone since last week.”
Vinod- “ Okay. Come on. Get up, lets leave.” He digged through his pocket and said-“ Wait, my phone’s ringing. Take, It’s Imran.” He passed the phone to me.
Imran- “ Where are you guys man?”
Me- “ Where are you? We are waiting in the party hall since one hour and now our buttocks are paining.”
Imran- “ Shut up. Stop kidding. I’m waiting here in the hall for you. You are not here.”
Me- “ Okay now stop joking and tell me.”
Imran- “ Hey idiot I’m waiting in the party hall. Hey wait, which party hall are you in? Are you in the ‘ground-floor’ one?”
Me- “ Yes. Of course.”
Imran- “ Come to the third floor you silly crack cases. What kind of dumb people you both are man? That’s a different function there.”
Me- “ Who the hell knew there are two party halls here. Okay wait, we’ll be there.”
We went to the correct hall, wished the couple, gave them a present and spoke to Imran.
Imran- “I just can’t believe you guys, man? Really stupid.”
Vinod- “ Yes. That is why we came here.”
Imran dint get that and I was happy for that. Next was the most important programme of the evening- eating. We ate, and ate like pigs. After two rounds of ice cream, as we were about to leave, Imran commented on the jacket- “ No Fear? It should be – No Senses.”
Vinod- “ Yes. That is why we came here.”
Imran again dint get it and I was happy once again.
(The last time I did a tag, I thought I will never do another tag again. But here I am with a tag that Priyanka passed on and insisted that I do it. After all I'm not a stubborn person. ;) )
Oldest Memories –
It goes back to a very young age when I used to wait for my dad every evening to come back from office to take me for a ride on his new bike. On the way back from the ride everyday, I used to hope he would buy me a ‘5 STAR’ chocolate but I never asked. See, what a wonderful kid I was.
I also remember, once when my dad took me to buy a dress for my birthday, I selected a white-and-white combination of shirt and shorts. I was as pure as our politicians (if you already started cursing me, then stop). My dad didn’t buy me that for which obviously I dint like my father for 2 days.
And this one, I don’t remember this but my parents keep telling me this every time I am in the airport. It seems that I had pissed on my mom’s saree on my first ever flight journey. That was a punishment for my mom for being over confident with me that she took me without a diaper. But poor she, it would have been so embarrassing.
Then this one, the ultimate one. At the age of 3, I used to go to a play home not so much for learning anything there but more so because my parents were working and we weren’t ultra rich and hence I had spend my day somewhere. A girl of my age used to come to the play home. She and me were best (I used to say bestest) friends at that point of time. When my parents came every evening to pick me up, she used to cry and even hit my parents for taking me away. God gave me the powers of attraction at the wrong age, I suppose. Just Kidding.
I keep dreaming of how it would be to meet her now. It would be wonderful as well as kind of weird.
Anyways, if you have survived the post till here then please take the trouble of reading further.
What were you doing ten years ago?
I was in grade 7 ten years ago. I was listening to a lot of ‘Backstreet Boys’. That year was the last occasion that I had topped my class. I was my class teacher’s favourite. I was a very well behaved child then (please believe me). Fortunately or unfortunately she stayed very close to my home and she knew my parents well enough. I remember I had gone for a movie called “Dillagi’ along with her and her family members. How many of you have done that?
Today, I’m a very changed person. I am somebody but I want to be somebody else. The route to become that somebody else isn’t an easy one. And right now, things aren’t going the way I want it to. I’m quite a worried person since a year. Just that people around me will never notice that.
If you read my ‘TODAY’ then this would be predictable. I want to be someone whom I want to be, not someone else. But other than this I don’t see much into the future. Anyways, my worries for myself.
What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?
If by then I wouldn’t have been shot by any of these terrorists, I picture myself sitting idle, lazily on the sofa on a Sunday morning and ask my wife- “ One cup coffee please?” and I would get a loud reply – “ Go make it for yourself, I’m cleaning the house.” I paint quite a picture, don’t I?
But on a serious note, I really have no idea. I just hope everything goes fine.
If you had a time capsule, what would it contain?
Most special to me has been my mother and my little sister and then my dad. But in fact, all nice people would be on my ‘time capsule’.
I discovered a game of ‘car-race’ on my phone, I listened to some stupid radio station, I ate peanuts and I almost pulled off my hair, all while I was sitting alone in the driver’s seat of my car stuck in a mega traffic jam. I could only see an ocean of vehicles all around me. The traffic wasn’t moving a bit. It had been an hour now and I deduced that it was not a regular traffic jam. Meanwhile all the roadside sellers got busy selling peanuts, cucumbers and water packets. I called the ‘peanut-guy’ and asked – “What’s this traffic jam about?”
He said – “ Don’t you read the newspaper?” I usually give one chance before I bash up someone when they ask questions like that.
I said –“ I’m very poor. I don’t have money to buy a newspaper. Can you please tell me?”
He looked at me weirdly and said- “ There is a JD-S ( a political party here in Karnataka) rally going on. It might take at least another two hours to clear.”
“ How far ahead is the traffic blocked?”
“Around 5 kms” he said and asked if I wanted some peanuts.
“Yes” I said and gave him five bucks.
“You said you are poor and you don’t have money?” he asked. I dint slap him, I just smiled.
Okay, now it made sense. There were two big posters on both sides of the road in front of me with those party leaders all smiling along with a caption- “Sons of the soil.” I dint have any stones with me, so I dint pelt any on them. I then grabbed my phone out so that I could make a few calls to my jobless friends and pass time. Jeezzzz…. The network was jammed. Since I had switched off my car, I opened all the windows for some air. The guy in a car to the left of mine called out to me and asked- “ How do I have to go to reach ‘The Windsor Manor’?”
“ I guess, you’ve got to fly above all these vehicles here.” I said.
He turned to his people accompanying him in his car and would have said something like- “Look at that guy in that car. He’s such a dumb ass.” But he looked back at me with an irritating face and asked- “ After the traffic clears, which way should I go? Tell me properly.”
I’m not a dumb ass, so I replied- “ Same road ahead. About 5 kms from here.”
“Thank You” he said, which sounded like ‘Get Lost’.
On my right was a ‘Ford’ with a cool looking aunty sitting over the side closer to me. We both looked at each other and exchanged sad smiles. She relocated her sunglasses to her forehead and said- “ These politicians na, they are such idiots. Irresponsible idiots. See their posters, they are a shame and they say they are the ‘sons of the soil’.”
“Shall we send them back into the soil, aunty?”
“Haha. But, really they are senseless.”
“Yeah. They are our so-called ‘leaders’ and their sons (who are local rowdies) are our future leaders. You and I would only die of BP arguing about all this, but it makes no difference.”
Aunty liked me. She smiled and said- “ Yeah. That’s true. So since how long have you been a resident of Bangalore?”
“I was born here, aunty. I’m the ‘Son of the soil’.”
“haha. Good one.”
Anyway, then I got out of the car, stretched myself. Found a public telephone, called my parents and informed them that I will be late. I then spotted a police guy and thought about sharing the idea of ‘sending the sons of the soil back to the soil’ but then I would be counting rods of the prison door with a few complimentary strokes on my back. So, cleverly I went back to my car, reclined the seats to the extent, closed all the windows to three quarters and slept.
I dreamt of me roaming around in the US. Every time man….. every single time…
About two hours later, in between my dream and reality I heard sounds with 3D effects as if devils were entering. I suddenly woke up to find out that the vehicles behind me were honking and the traffic was moving. I put the car into ignition and started. After an hour and a half I reached my home, for dinner, ate the food, which was prepared as lunch originally and slept again. One heck of a ‘jammy evening’.
Neha – “ You are sooooo sweeeeet RJ .”
Me (RJ- aRJun) – “ Oh really? Am I so?” obviously I’m so.
My cell phone as ever disturbed me and it was VJ (ViJay) on the other side.
VJ- “Hey RJ! I got to take my brother to the dentist.”
Me- “ So?”
VJ-“ And then I have some very important work to do.”
Me- “ So?”
VJ- “ I have to give a presentation in the class tomorrow. A power point presentation.”
VJ- “ You got to do it for me. I mean , prepare the slides and I’ll collect it from you by evening. Moreover, I’m not feeling well.”
Me- “ Then go fall in the well. You see flowers in my ears or what? You do this every time.”
VJ- “ I’ll do the SS assignment for you. I promise. Please dude?”
I hated SS as a subject. My SS (Signals & Systems) text book has been my latest sleeping partner. The more I read the more I got confused and the more I get confused more I sleep. Kind of weird but true. Anyway, VJ hit me on my weak point.
Me- “ Okay. Get the details and the text for the slides soon to my home.”
VJ- “ Thank You. And by the way, how u doin?”
It hadn’t been even a day since we met. But I knew where that line had come from.
Me- “ I’m not falling for all that. Screw up everything of yours and come soon.” We hung up.
Back to the messenger - Gtalk. Neha, my classmate was online. I never said out loud anywhere but I kind of liked her.
Neha- “ So, what are your hobbies?”
Me- “ I collect stamps and old coins.” I haven’t seen a stamp in ten years.
Neha- “ Oh yeah? Very good. I too do that. I want to see your collection.”
Me- “ Were you a mischievous girl in school or the innocent kind? ” stupid as it gets but anything to change the topic. Stamps, old coins, what bullshit?
Neha- “ I was very naughty, u know? Once when I was 15, I had eaten an ice cream and never paid for that. Haha…” She must have giggled, I thought. She typed- “ What about you? What kind were you those days?”
Me- “ I was a very innocent guy. Just that I never paid for pani puri since the age of 6.”
Neha- “haha… stupid.” This must have either meant- ‘ Oh what a nice sense of humour you have. You are an interesting guy.’ Or rather it just meant – ‘What a stupid guy you are.”
Me- “ In fact, until the age of 15, I thought my name was ‘Stupid’.”
Neha- “ haha…. Who dared to change it after 15? ;), Anyway RJ, I got to leave now. See you at college tomorrow.”
Me- “ Yeah. Cya.”
I like her man, I really do. She keeps boasting about me and who hates that? Anyway, as I keep saying – “ My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying” nothing comes easy to me.
15 minutes later VJ drops by and gives me his pen-drive and departs. Over the next 2 hours or so, I completed his work in a not so bad way. As a matter of fact, anything was good for him. Nobody was at home and I felt bored. I switched on the TV and to my wonderful luck the power went off. There was a carving of ‘Lord Ganesh’ on the wall and I stared at it as if to say- “ what is the matter with you?” and turned away.
I then went out to the balcony. It was 6 in the evening now. Two children were playing badminton on the street and I had a good neck exercise watching them play. A few younger children were playing ‘Hide-n-Seek’. I tried to help the guy who was seeking and all the other children noticed it and started singing at him and me –“ Cheater- Cheater – Cheater.” I felt like jumping off the balcony. Just then I saw my neighbour walk out. He’s Ankit, a junior to me. He’s the ‘Dude of the area’ kind. He called out – “ Hey RJ, you free now? I got to get my guitar repaired. Would you join me?”
I yelled out- “ 2 mins dude. I’ll come.”
I got ready and left with him. It was the first time I sat behind him in a two wheeler and at once I felt ‘bungee-jumping’ was better. We reached the place and he went in with his guitar while I was standing outside checking out the ‘Café Coffee Day’ female customers. The place was filled with jobless people and couples, I thought. I never had the talent to drink coffee for an hour, so I wasn’t a regular to such outlets.
As I gazed through, I found a guy with a black T-shirt sitting alone in a table. No prizes for guesses, it was that damn VJ. He deserved a tight bash on his nose. I breezed through people into the outlet towards his table. As I saw him, he too spotted me. As I almost reached him, a girl came with two mugs of coffee mugs and slid opposite him in his table. Small prizes for guessing, it was Neha. I stood still for a minute maybe with my mouth open. She din’t spot me but VJ was still looking at me with a question mark on his face. Nobody knew how to react. I swallowed all the abuses which usually comes to my mind in a flash, looked into his eyes as if to say- “ What an ultimate asshole you are”, took an about turn and left breezing away with another bungee jump into my ‘home-sweet-safe-home’.
The next day, VJ got a full dose from me and about Neha, I decided it’s better to concentrate on SS. At least I would have an outside chance.
The door bell rang at 6 in the morning. I came out of a wonderful dream where in I was riding a bike in Switzerland. I got up and dragged myself to the door to open it. A bell ring was far out of range to wake up my mom and my sister, so I had to open the door. I opened it and it was our car cleaner. He ordered- “ Give the car keys.” I wanted to ask him – “When did u become the owner of my car?” but I spared him and simply passed the keys. He washed the car talking to someone over his cell phone. They spend rs.4000 change on a cell phone when they don’t know how to manage their family for the next meal.
Anyway, I finished my morning activities and went to the gate. He was still cleaning the car wearing an innocent face. He looked at me and said cheerfully- “ What sir? You’ve lost weight..!!”
I checked if anyone had heard that and giggled. No one. I said-“ I’ve stopped eating.”
“Why?” he asked.
“I bought a cell phone. I don’t have any money left.”
Mad fellow, dint understand that and said- “really?”
“ See if you can get me a job.”
“ Come on sir, you must be joking.”
“ Thank God! You have a brain.”
He laughed. He said-“ That movie that I was telling you about last week has now released. Tamil movie. I heard it is super.”
“The movie is super or the movie’s name is super?”
He laughed as if to say- what kind of a dumb ass you are and said-“ Not the name. The movie is super. It’s name is- Billa.”
“Shall we go?”
It's fun sometimes. Away from the expensive multiplexes, silent crowds and all that. 'Watch a mass movie along with the masses'. Sit in an uncomfortable chair, without air conditioning and enjoy the charged atmosphere. I don't mind it once in a while, you see.
“What? You and me?” he asked as if he got an electric shock.
“No. You and my spirit.”
“Ha ha. Sure Sir. We shall go to the Lido theatre.”
“ I’ll come back here in one hour” he said and walked back with a spring in his step.
I entered my home and by now my mom was awake. I told her that I’m going to a movie with ‘Raman’. She asked- “ The car cleaner?”
I said “yes” and quickly walked away to my room. My sister was there and she asked-“ Did your girl friend dump you or what?” and giggled.
I stared at her and said- “ Shut up and go sleep.”
She again giggled and walked away. I got ready. Raman came 5 mins earlier to the fixed time. I got my bike and we started and left. On the way, from behind he asked me over my shoulders-“ Sir, do you have a girl friend?”
“ You know Bipasha Basu?” I asked seriously.
“I recently broke up with her. I’m seeing my colleague now.” Poor guy dint know I was full of bullshit.
We reached the theatre and it was one of those old style theatres and there was a long queue for the tickets. I said-“ Go fast and stand in the queue.”
“You don’t worry, Sir” he said and walked straight into the theatre’s office room. Meanwhile I parked my bike, returned and stood near the entrance. After a while he came and I ordered him- “ Go fast. Stand in the queue.”
He drew out two tickets from his pocket and showed it to me and said- “ I know the ticket counter guy here.”
I looked at him and wanted to say something witty but refrained. We entered the theatre and he started laughing out loud all of a sudden.
“Now, what happened?” I asked.
“ You broke up with Bipasha Basu??? Hahahaha… Nice joke.”
Oh my god. I should have simply stayed at home.
The movie began and then came the moment where the Hero of the movie arrives and all the other heroes in the theatre whistles. I too put my fingers under my tongue and blew a loud whistle. Raman looked at me in astonishment just like a proud father would look at his son and said –“ Super sir. Super.”
After the movie we went to a restaurant. He ate as much as I could have in two days. Of course he knew I was going to pay the bill. Over lunch he asked- “ How was the movie, Sir?”
“Super” I said in his language trying to please him.It wasn’t bad actually. Though I don’t understand tamil much, I know that much that their movies are technically very sound. In fact, far better than bollywood. I conveyed that to Raman and he became blissful as if he had directed that movie or something.
Anyway, after a day of very different kind of fun (for me) we reached home. Just as he was about to leave, he asked-“ Sir, can you lend me rs.1000? I need it, Sir. You can deduct it from my salary.”
I’m a wonderful human being, just if you dint know. More so, I was in good mood. So I counted out the amount and passed it to him.
Now after a month, I realize that that was the last time I met him. He never turned up to work after that. I pictured him spilling all that money in a bar or on a new cell phone. Now, my mom gives me lessons on crap like not to get carried away and so on. My sister keeps pestering me with queries like - “ Remember if you had given rs.1000 to your ex-girl friend by any chance?? Just askin man…She too never came back...” ( I had spent more than 1000 bucks on that bitch. That’s a different matter)
Anyway, I still keep saying- “ I’m a wonderful human being. I helped a poor guy.”On hearing this, one of my friend broke his jaw when he fell down from his chair laughing at me.