Monday, May 28, 2007
Six feet from the Edge
Not being a good driver is something that doesn’t really make much of a difference. You go about things sanguinely while the unlucky soul in the passenger seat is all jittery. For every querulous query of his regarding your expertise behind the wheel, you return a confident riposte. The car might make tremble, the engine might make ominous noises and others might honk with increased vehemence but the driver remains supremely unconcerned. It’s like you’re the KPS Gill of the road, above trivial issues like the performance of our national side.
A plan to meet members of Morons Inc. at CP seemed a good time to test my driving prowess, or lack of it. I arrived at Lazy Labrador's (Thanks, Shrey) kennel, oozing confidence. Lazy Labrador rolled out and we embarked on our quest, little knowing what the day had in store for us. The journey to CP was rather uneventful. There were minor issues like pick-up and gear changing that needed to be addressed, LL informed me. There were also times when he had to bring to my attention that the car was merrily rolling backwards and would touch the life of another of its ilk unless I chose to do anything about the same. I accepted his advice in good faith and continued in my Lefty-ish manner. There were signals where I had to start twice, but in the master plan of Life, the Universe and Everything, double ignition doesn’t really matter. The reader can therefore fast forward to our buoyant arrival (Lazy Labrador’s relieved one) at the heart of Delhi.
Fellow Morons were met, scrumptious chicken at KFC savoured, sundaes at Nirula’s enjoyed and our sojourn at CP came to an end. LL and I therefore set off to complete the second leg of our journey in order to get back to home sweet home. The return started smoothly enough with fewer jolts and double starts. However, it was just the lull before the storm. Or should I say Hurricane? Even that seems inadequate to describe the Chaos that followed.
We got lost. But only slightly. For confident souls that we were, we knew that it was only a matter of time before we got back on track. And with the help of obliging Johnnies here and there, we achieved our goal as far as navigation was concerned. But then disaster struck. The brakes failed. An irritated driver, above petty things like traffic rules made bumper to bumper contact and drove off, cursing. At the same signal, the car refused to start. Or to be more truthful, Lefty refused to let the car start. But eventually I managed to get a grip on myself and got the engine going. Now came the part where LL and I sat with bated breath, waiting for anything to happen any minute. It wouldn’t have surprised us if a spaceship had landed right in front to reveal a talking carrot performing on the mandolin. Conversation became strained, a feeble pretense at trying to believe that things were normal. I did my best to maintain a large gap between the next car and mine while Lazy Labrador gave one useful instruction after another. Each signal had me praying that the car would stop in time.
Finally we reached the aforementioned kennel and LL rolled out, wishing me luck for the remainder of the journey. I managed to traverse that with minimal mishap as well and became happier and happier as the road home got shorter and shorter. At last I was home. Safe, secure and in one piece. Surprisingly so was the car. The teeny weeny scratch on the bumper doesn’t really count. Even Harry has a scar on his forehead.
As I wiped the bits of sweat off my brow and prepared to get off, I made an interesting observation. The handbrake had never been released on the return leg. Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your tears!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Innocent no more
Throughout the happy days of my childhood, I’d always been looked upon as a good kind soul. The sweet cute innocent variety. The person who came to mind when the word seedha needed an example. I suppose I did a lot to fuel the perception too. On my first coherent visit to the brilliant city that I am now lucky to reside in, lunch at Nirula’s brought me face to face with the harsh realities (or maybe not) of the wooing game. With couples seated left right and centre, all I could think of was “What a co-incidence. So many guys have come with their sisters today.”
Things changed, for better or for worse, as I grew up. I could now distinguish between a date and a family gathering. A tendency to indulge in more leg-pulling and playing practical jokes than most people tended to mask the sweet cute Lefty. However a recent chat with Good Girl revealed to me that for all intents and purposes, the sweet cute Lefty was a thing of the past. Extinct. Deader than the dodo. According to highly placed sources in the Feminine Fortress, Lefty was a “thorough scoundrel”. If anything went wrong the usual suspect would be me. And Sporty Hunk also found out, to his dismay, how inconvenient this kind of reputation could be.
Having undertaken to participated in MI-20, codenamed “Operation Birthday”, Sporty Hunk was trying to ask out Femme Flat to dinner. Undoubtedly, the subsequent meal would open the eyes of another innocent soul regarding sibling affection. But I digress. Sporty Hunk’s task became more and more onerous when Femme Flat, having been at the receiving end of Lefty’s demented sense of humour before, refused to believe that the person asking her out on Gtalk was not Lefty with Cruel Intentions. Even a phone call to Sporty Hunk failed to convince her. “You’ve probably got Lefty behind you. It’s a prank” was the refrain that Sporty Hunk had to put up with. Much cajoling later, Femme Flat acquiesced to “see” about the invitation.
The sun set. The night sky dazzled one and all with its luminescence. Chandrashekhar’s soul rested in greater peace. I was having a pow wow with Good Girl and Bang Bang, the brilliant creator of Leftykins, when my partner in crime, Bald Boy, joined the august company. Soon Femme Flat followed suit with her troop of faithful groupies. Sporting evil Grinch-like grins, Bald Boy and I walked up to them and put multiple spanners in the works. Femme Flat reddened, the groupies fumed and Good Girl and Bang Bang guffawed away in the corner.
Sporting Hunk finally managed to take Femme Flat out to the ‘Vegetarian’s
The entire drama was entertaining to the hilt. It had a happy ending and just one death. The person who died was sweet cute innocent Lefty. The autopsy is still on to find out exactly when the death took place. But whenever the funeral takes place, everyone’s invited.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The Other side of the Wall
A lot has happened since my last post. Vicissitude seems to have been in vogue.
It still seems yesterday that I ceased to live in a city. Yet I realize that I’ve been forced to blend with the landscape here. I am now one of the crowd, firmly rooted in this ghetto of geeks, goofs and almost-girls. Time certainly flies by, and it has flown me past the Wall. The Wall that firmly demarcated the Young from the Young at Heart. That separated the enthusiastic doers from the lackadaisical thinkers. The Wall that told you that you had reached the halfway point of your time here. It seems ludicrous, it doesn’t sound true and I certainly don’t look the part but I am now a Third Yearite. But then, maybe I do look the part. Maybe there’s too much wisdom in my eyes, as Phoebe told Joey.
The other side of the wall is all about Grand Old Men. The light at the end of the tunnel becomes visible and you spend your time scavenging for interns, preparing for the all important upcoming exams and awing the greener side with your R wisdom. While the second year retains vestiges of its youth through contact with the first, the third are far removed from anything new.
Great responsibility is supposed to come with great power, not with great age. Why then am I expected to become all-knowing now? Why should I dole out advice to all and sundry when I could do with the same myself? The two paths ahead of me are clearly illuminated. Either become one of the Wise Ones and lose all hopes of ever indulging in the indiscretions of youth, or become one of the outcasts, to be frowned upon by peers and laughed at, or worse still, remain unknown to your juniors. Of this other side, what I’ve seen, what I’ve known would probably turn Medusa into stone. But I’m at the wall and I’m waiting there for you. Or are you inconsolable too? (Metallica’s playing in the background).
A short affair with civilization, and I’ll be back, mature and sagacious. I’ll have anecdotes to dish out at appropriate moments and a panacea for all problems, be it just a placebo. The tales of my youth will now be part of the stuff that forms the R folklore. Orphaned and childless, I might even have grandsons who I wouldn’t want to disown. Perhaps then it’ll remind me that it’s not so bad. It’s not so bad.
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