So finally the skies have opened up to drench the parched Hyderadabi tract. Seriously I never saw it coming. So here I was staring stupidly out of the window of my one room apartment thinking what excuse I should tell myself for bunking college today (the biggest lie you can tell is to yourself!) Then a CS struck me…my inner Sid said,” It’s been a really long time since you really enjoyed getting thoroughly drenched in the rain; so here is your golden chance…no parents around getting paranoid about you catching a cold or fever; no girlfriend to whom it may seem uncouth; succumb. Bedraggle yo’self to the max.”
As soon as I decided to get wet, new innovative thoughts struck me. How about taking a shower in the shower! But first things first. I looked at myself in the mirror in the loo, which I’m entitled to use. Hmmm…not bad…you could do with a complete shower. I slipped a packet of genetically synthesized and laboratory isolated foamless ayurvedic shampoo (name withheld bcos I don’t want the stock of that particular shampoo to run out due to excessive buying by females who want to know the secret of my german shepherd like silky hair)
I slipped out from my den into the dark without making a noise. Due to my over cautiousness I accidentally stepped on the cat (damn the light in the corridor had malfunctioned) which was napping silently in the corridor…it let out a big shriek and ran for its life. I had a mild heart attack on hearing the sound…but regained composure quickly…the rayalseema guards (I live in a high security zone) who were sleeping at the other end of the corridor instinctively got up and began reaching for their..u know wat..I shouted that it was me and told them to take it easy…being butchered even before my day had begun was a bad idea! I frantically pressed the lift button to make an escape from the clumsy situation. But the damn thing wouldn’t respond. I kicked the door in frustration; only to realize with in a few seconds how silly it was when a shot of pain ran up my legs; I looked down in disbelief; I was wearing Bata bathroom hawaii slippers instead of sneakers. Dumb AH!
The lift made its appearance now (who said non-living things don’t have a sense of vengeance) the lift closed its heavy metal doors with a sound which can be best described as a remix between a bang and a thud. I’m not claustrophobic but today I was feeling like one. And it so happened that the lift was still in a coquettish mood. I stay on the sixth floor. Somewhere in between the 4th and 3rd floor the lift came to a sudden halt. It was a power failure. Damn! What timing. I was hoping power would come back soon; but it was not to be. I waited for ten minutes; no power; I became restless. For those who came in late: I suffer from multiple personality disorder. So now the matrix-world-inspired Sid took over. This guy lives and breathes the matrix philosophy: This world we live in and the life we are leading is a just façade. Something sinister and manipulative controls the entire human race for its own selfish needs.
Now this guy is a self-proclaimed liberated soul. So he tries his telepathic powers to make contact with any liberated souls in the vicinity. But the matrix seems to have cutoff his telepathic powers. Immediately the AXN-Survivor Series inspired Sid takes over. He first analyses the situation. First thing he notices is that dumb ass original Sid has forgotten his precious and only communication gadget with the outside world in the comfort of his haversack back in the den. So basically there was no means of communication except shouting out like a mad guy at a rock concert or do some boxing practice on the walls of the elevator. Both of which were rejected due to the volatile nature of the situation. The building being a high security zone if banging and yelling was to be heard from the lift; police would surround it immediately and carry out some encounter practice thinking some naxalite was planting a Claymore mine. He checked for all the stuff available and listed them.
The list was: comb, belt, hanky, chappals, a polo mint, a bus ticket of 49m metro, shampoo packet, a 20 rupee note, a 50 np coin, 4 pieces of clothing, a reynolds refill and the last of all a tooth pick! The list was uninspiring. Everything seemed useless except the toothpick with which I could maybe meddle with the alarm’s circuit; putting my EDC lab exploits to save my life. Before he could take any bold step the lift jumped to life. And started free falling.
The original Sid took over now. Newton’s unfathomable laws started revolving in my mind. I was calculating the impact force using the three equations of kinematics, which I had learned in school. I arrived at a negative value! Screw kinematics; save ur ass. My mind was reeling. I heard KK’s voice in my head, saying,” Everything happens for a reason; be cheerful always” The lift scene from Pokiri flashed on the 70mm screen of my mind. Damn! dat guy at least had a gorgeous chick in the lift when it was going down. I wished the bindaaz kudi in our apartment were in the lift with me now. I would have had a great time terrorizing her. The thought of her beautiful face took my mind away from the hurtling lift for a second. Hell. If she were in the lift with me I could have climbed out of the lift fan ventilator standing on her shoulders (she is some 6feet 4 inches!) The lift came to a sudden halt and opened exactly on the ground floor. I thanked my stars and rushed out like a guy who has been given freedom from a lifetime imprisonment. I stopped. Looked around. Walked back to the lift. Kicked it hard like I was kickin my enemy’s ass. It dint hurt my foot much this time. Satisfied with the results I walked away. Outside it was raining cats and dogs. First I thought lite teesko…but then…oka saari commit aithe nenu na maate vinanu.
Suddenly my stomach growled. I realized it was dosa time. I wadded through the water like a duck and successfully reached my food supply point. The owner of the tiffin center Mr. Dosa Reddy (I forget his original name often) on seeing me smiled and said ” Enti Dora gaaru; rain or shine you are always on time for your dosas.” I was feeling extra hungry due to the ordeal in the lift. So wanted to order more than my daily quota of one dosa but was short on cash. DR readily gave me credit (that’s customer relationship management aka CRM; this guy outta be in an IIM or a SAP professional; I must ask the HR ministry to put spl. reservations for tiffin center owners in the IIM’s) The ravva dosa and mysore bajjis rocked (tasted good) and to top it with two glasses of extra strong chaai is manna from heaven.
I’m a victim of routine. I always do what I repeatedly do. So the next stop was the newsstand. Shafiq Bhai smiled his paan coated toothy smile and handed out The Hindu. We chatted sometime on the matters of global concern. I was about to depart when he says,” Saab ek naya kitab aaya hai. Dekthe kya? ” Damn! This guy knows how books make go week in the knees. He hands me a copy of ‘The Google Story’. I’m too absorbed in the book when he calmly says,” Toh aap buk ley rahe na. Bagal mey rakhta hoon. Shaam ko coll sey wapas aane par 150 bucks pay kar key ley lo” I listen stupidly; as if completely mesmerised (i never saw it coming) and even nod my head in approval! Good books have such a hypnotic effect on me. I come to my senses as the economist inside urges me to haggle on the price. I love this haggling part. Finally after a much friendly heated debate he settles for a princely sum of 100 bucks (a complete steal cos the original legal edition costs 600!) Overjoyed at my latest acquisition I walked ahead carelessly into the rain before I realize the paper has turned to pulp fit to be recycled again. I go to him begging for another copy. He obliges and this time even gives a polythene cover for protection. In the shop the radio mirchi RJ is announcing heavy rains lashing Hyderabad. And even gives names of areas clogged with water. Amazing network this guy has. He knows which lane where is clogged with how much water.
I noticed a traffic jam which was in the process of forming near the Hyderabad central cross roads because a motorist and autowalla were quarrelling bcos the motorist while riding in the water clogged road had spilled water on to the driver who seemed to be in the mood for a panga. Why do hyderabadis have this inclination towards picking up a fight anywhere any time? The fight doesn’t seem to end. The auto driver is now threatening the motorist “Mere area ka number deta hoon. Aata kya?” Finally a wise old man intervenes and that’s the end of the nautanki. But it was not the quarrel but the water puddle, which caught my attention. It was growing in size by the minute. It was the size of a mini swimming pool. I just wanted to strip and jump into it. My junior school memories in Chennai came flooding back. We used to have this well fenced ground in school, which was meant only for the toddlers. During monsoon the ground used to fill up like a swimming pool. All we nippers used to enter the ground by removing a faulty screw in the fence and dive away to bliss. It was fun unrestrained; not to mention that latter I got spanked by my parents.
But that was at a young age; now I was a fully-grown, employed and a responsible citizen. Log kya kehenge when they see a dude strip to his trunks and take a plunge into the puddle in midst of a fully traffic terrorised road. Hey! I might be even be featured on TV9 or be talked about on Radio Mirchi. My instant ticket to fame. But the idea of appearing semi nude on TV9 would not be so nice and would even hamper even my matrimonial prospects. Or worse people would think I was a demented soul and drop me in Erragadda (its undergoing modern technical and architectural renovations kehte!). So I ditched the idea.
I still had my shampoo packet and decided to take a shower in the shower. My hands were wet and in one hand I had a newspaper. I slid the newspaper in my armpit and tore open the packet with my razor sharp teeth. The thick viscous liquid flowed out. I had just opened the packet when the newspaper slid from its position and scuba dived into the torrential waters. I watched horrified, as The Hindu was moving departing like a corpse dumped into the Ganges. In the commotion the shampoo packet also fell into the water. I was flummoxed. Nature was conspiring against me in denying me a chance to have a shower. I ran valiantly towards the departing polythene like an old hindi film hero running towards the heroine with open arms. Shafiq wisely had hermetically sealed the paper in a black mutton carrying cover; so it was easy to spot it. After a Herculean effort I secured the cover and securely tucked it into my waistband.
But the fun was not over yet. I saw a line of bricks, which were placed on the road in a linear manner acting as a sort of Shri Ram’s Bridge to Lanka, between two parallel roads. During the selection process for the Naval Engineering College I had made mincemeat out of these kinds of hurdles; so the acrobat in me got going. I forgot that these bricks had been exposed to rain for a long time; the spirit of adventure overrode my common sense. I set foot firmly on the first and with amazing rapidity in alternate steps covered the entire array of bricks. I was just about yelling yahoo when the last brick gave way. It simply buckled under the load (I had forgotten what was taught in my strength of mtrls. class about fatigue and failure) and I promptly fell into the water flat on my bum. It was water full of clay. Some of it accidentally entered my mouth. Yuck! But hey it reminded me of chocolate but the flavor was not the same. I got up slowly. Checked if all my parts were in one piece and slowly hauled my self to my apartments. My clothes were coated with dark brown clay giving it a very appetizing look. The lift was not responding. I had to walk up the stairs. I tried to enter my room silently but it was not to be.
My didi’s young son (8 months old) was sitting on the floor with a big grin on his face as if saying,” Itne bade ho kar pants mey susu karte ho!” And when I stepped towards him he let out a big waaaaaaaaahhhhhh…Didi promptly appeared and all my notions of making a silent entry and exit were quashed. She gave me a disapproving look but dint say anything. The little fella decided it was time for some fun and promptly leaked his output. Didi exclaimed,” Baah! Both of you are making the house messy. I just cleaned and here you both are dirtying everything.”
I bent my head in shame and sneaked towards the bathroom to wash myself. I turned the tap. No water was coming. I got mad and started hitting it. No avail. Didi came and said, ” The motor has got spoilt kehte. There will be no water till afternoon!”