Artwork : 13/06/2018

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My parents’ wedding anniversary 😂

my parents are the last people you would club together as a couple…..

Yesterday, my father threw me off by asking me to bring a dozen samosas from the market after I was done fooling around in the stadium. Junk food and my father are antonyms, but he had to compromise his ethics to save his marriage, as my mother had declared him an ‘unfit’ husband at 16:34 because he did nothing special on their 22nd anniversary – and anniversaries before – which was a shame because Rani Mausi’s husband takes his wife to Darjeeling every year on their marriage day. My father coolly turned another page of the newspaper, scratched the vest over his stomach, yawned and deadpanned,

“He really wants to push her off the cliffs. ”

That apart, he did not even help her find the Hanuman Chalisa in the morning, which was a sin given that it was their marriage anniversary.

I am a product of arranged marriage. And I can vouch that my parents are weird couple. They are so different they are not even meant to be together. I’ve imagined several parallel worlds where my parents don’t meet until 2018, and I can see my mother, young and lively, breezing past my grey-haired father, like Rajdhani passes by dilapidated halts. I can’t believe they’ve managed for so many years without getting into nasty fist fights or court cases.

My parents are so opposite in nature you’d assume their marriage was a social experiment. My father is a sweet, composed man who has never shaved off his moustache, while my mother is a moody, peppy woman who is currently donning her thousandth hairstyle. It’s not just about their physical appearance, it’s also about their character and what they want from life. My father hopes for a little garden and a cow, and a honey brown book shelf with framed glass doors when he retires. My mother dreams of a business class seat in an aeroplane flying over Paris, and poor hostesses asking her if she’d like to have something.

‘Nothing but a spa. ‘She’d say in her newly acquired British accent, and the hostesses shall escort her to an attached cabin with an elegant spa, where a Jacuzzi surrounded by candles would have Ecuadorian rose petals floating over lukewarm water.

My father finds content in small things, eating a mango, for example, where as my mother could have handkerchiefs made of gold and she’d still wonder why she is so destitute.

I am not my father’s advocate. My mother is emotional, where as my father is a stoic. He doesn’t have a taste, nor does he reveal his thoughts too often. Sometimes, he’s difficult to get. We didn’t even know when his birthday was until a few years ago. When we asked him, he turned another page of the newspaper and said,

“I’ll look that up in the certificate. ”

On the other hand, My mother speaks her mind. No, she screams her mind. If you don’t want to know what she’s thinking at the moment, she’d still tell you, even if it’s a dumb idea. She likes to exhibit all the colours of her emotional pallette and also pokes at us to know the finest details of every happening in our lives. Yesterday, she wanted to know if Dolly aunty saw me on the way and if she said anything.

“Who is Dolly Aunty? “I quizzed, to which my mother gave a really long answer, which included enriching informations like the design on her son Tinku’s 2nd birthday cake and her current waist size which was large enough to circumscribe two soccer fields.

So yesterday, I went to this old fast food joint, Rangeela. They sell samosas at 7 rupees a piece. We tripled on the scooter and zoomed to Rangeela. On the way, we saw a hot girl riding a scootey.

“If I were the son of a Dubai Sheikh, I’d have turned. “PC said. Since fuel prices have gone up, PC takes extra care in his movements.

Also, I’d say don’t triple on a scooty. If you do, don’t sit in the middle, as your penis will have to struggle against the butts of the rider, and your butts will be pressed against the penis of the person behind you.

The joint had been revamped. The counter was glistening with polish. There were fancy watermelon bowls to hold Sprite bottles. There were tokens to facilitate the transaction. The bar table was clean and shiny and there were three bottles of chilled water at each table. Well, time changes things, you see.

We bought Samosas after waiting in a long queue. After that we relished the chaat and scooted off.

At home, everything was hunky dory and my mother didn’t grunt much when I emptied the rasgulla can down my stomach. There wasn’t much celebration because my mother was kind of tired from all the cooking and marketing. I massaged her feet with two oils and she asked me to get a wife who won’t fight with her.
My father was busy putting grease on the door handle meanwhile, because that could, in a way, make our life better.

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #the last lap

Sunrise….

 

“5 minutes to go! “Mr. Gabbar announced after stretching his back at about 9. “Grab your bags. ”

I looked around drowsily. The zombies around me had finally collapsed. The couple was zonked out, snug together – the boy’s head glued on the girl’s shoulder at a weird angle. Somebody had put a kurkure in his half-open mouth, which I’d have plugged out had I been a kind man.

I was sick of filming the curvy paths and the deep lush green valley. There was no snow because we forgot to click that option while booking the hotel. Anyway, no matter how lovely the scenery, after a while, you start missing the comfort of your fluffy mattress, the privacy of your small room, the choking groans of your fan which your landlord swore on his mother he’d repair in the evening. You rot away for months and the fan still whimpers like a granny’s fart; but there’s a peculiar relief in the realisation that nobody can hurt you within that territory. The familiarity sustains you – take that away, and life becomes a minesweeper.

They woke up. Well, it seemed like they were only pretending to be asleep. But their faces were all tired and swollen.
In the back, a girl gagged loud enough to throw airplanes off the radar, and it produced a domino effect, and people started either gagging or complaining of nausea. Mr. Gabbar took out his magic pill – the orange candy – and got it distributed through volunteers. Of course, the volunteers got to keep the remainders with them. Since, one of the volunteers was Popatlal, I got an extra candy.

“Don’t look out. Look straight. “Mr. Gabbar suggested.

“Why, sir? “I quizzed.

“Your head starts spinning. We are going round and round. It’s necessary to look ahead. ”

I swear to God I’d looked out at the windy paths all the morning and nothing had happened, but the moment I heard Mr. Gabbar’s explanation, I began feeling dizzy.

“Sir, why don’t they honk here? “Mishra asked. The conversation began with the definition of sound and went on till I passed out. Later they would tell me how Neta puked after he had enough of their enlightening dialogue regarding the effect of wave on the rocks of Shimla.

We reached the bus stop two hours later, because the driver had forgotten that they didn’t allow buses through that way and so he had to go back and cover the distance of 3 kms in 26 kms. I could not feel my legs when I leapt out of the bus. Our bags were kept in a van, and we were told to follow a lanky guy who was a local. The Military Man lead the parade, sometimes even passing the lanky man, and we followed like Hamelin’s rats, avoiding death as the cars zoomed by, allowing us a narrow space, on the other side of which was an alluring death miles below.

We reached the old hotel, which was nothing like Bhatt camp’s opulent horror houses. It was a four-storey establishment in the need of repair.

We went in to take the keys, and Neta was quick to grab a bunch from Mam.

“Distribute it. “She said.

Neta nodded and ran upstairs. There he found the room with a balcony, which offered the most panoramic view of Shimla, plonked our luggage there, and threw the keys at the crowd behind. The Military Man, Neta and I had seized the best room of the hotel already, and now all I needed was a nice commode with a bidet.

The view…

To be contd…

Two Days of Winter : Day 1 #the toilet

Another struggle on the fore…

The first thing I saw when my eyes opened was our conductor collapsing like a dead pine. DJ RonCruz was quick to react, and he grabbed the semi-dead man by his collar before he could roll all the way down through the door and experience a really cool freefall into the valley. Yes we were in the pass again. On my left was the rocky mountain and on my right were the terraces. The terraces reminded me of Boticelli’s Mappa dell’Inferno, only that these were not grotesque. There were resplendent houses with sloping roofs, sometimes only two at a level. Surrounded by coniferous trees and monkeys and birds, these cottages could anytime pass off as one of the best honeymoon spots in the world. I didn’t waste any time and began picturing my honeymoon with this hot Arabian diva I’d seen on YouTube the other day.

It turned out that the conductor was just sleepy from the overdose, and he suffered minor trauma which could be cured by two rounds of Iodex massage. Everybody went back to being crazy once DJ RonCruz resumed playing sexist but popular and upbeat songs. Girls looked like plastic surgeries gone bad and boys looked as usual- ugly and gross. Back in the stern, a feeble cry was demanding the bus be halted instantly for a piss break or somebody might jump, but it was suppressed by the mind blowing music and ceaseless cheers. And ten minutes later, the guy actually jumped.

The bus screeched to a halt. Everybody went quiet.

“He jumped! He jumped!” shouted the third year guys from the stern side.

Girls look kind of cute when they are gobsmacked. You might view this as a sexist statement, but I swear I have observed this. And science backs it too, because your eyes expand when you’re surprised, and big eyes are beautiful. Applying deductive reasoning to the two statements, we get that girls look beautiful when they are surprised.

Anyways, the guy was alright. He said he’d jumped from vehicles before. Once he even jumped from Brahmputra Mail and rolled like red carpet for a few feet and then got up alright.

“When I stood on my feet and brushed off the dust from my shirt, people gazed at me wondrously, as if I were the incarnation of a divine being. They clapped and whistled, and I knew I was invincible. “He elaborated. He also shared with us some techniques to jump off a moving vehicle, and talked about how he was thinking of contacting Guinness World Records for the highest number of safest exits from running trains. It is a talent, in the same way being able to pass snakes through your nostrils is.

Mr. Gabbar did not scold him much, because he could understand the motivation – the insuppressible urge to pee, which can make men move mountains.
Girls began demanding a pee break as well. These little struggles for equality worth being mentioned, because these tiny pixels would, over time, grow into a vivid mosaic. The problem with girls demanding a pee break, though, is you’ve to find a proper toilet, which the government of India has failed to build in sufficient quantities over 70 years because Muslims used up all the marbles and all the good architects migrated to Dubai to construct tall towers. It’s not government’s fault if you see it that way.

The bus did not stop for another hour. And when it did, all we could find was a dilapidated toilet with enough holes on the door to use it as a makeshift sieve for filtering tea at community gatherings. And the toilet policy was such that you had to have breakfast at the owner’s little joint in order to be able to use that shabby cabin.
So we ordered around 50 chais and got them hot in small papercups. The taste was awful, similar to railway food. Junior girls had brought fancy noodles, packed at home, and it triggered a riot when they opened the box. People shoved forks in each other’s nostrils to keep them away, and dug their hands in the little tiffin box that could feed not more than two pigeons. In not more than one blink of eye, the noodles were sliding down people’s small intestines for further digestion. We got plenty of photos clicked and Neta insisted I capture his shoes clearly. He had to send his photographs to his long-distance girlfriend, who is not much into him, if you ask me, or him.

The selfie sisters, after having relieved themselves, took twenty four million selfies and when their storage space ran out, chased this iPhone guy for a free photoshoot.

“For 3 years they never gave a fuck about me, and now they want my iPhone. Bitches! “The iPhone guy secretly told us later.

Once everybody came out and a head count was done, DJ RonCruz sat back at his place and resumed the music. And such vampires my friends were, they, once again broke into unstoppable mad dance.