Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A night in Banglore

“Where are you going?”

“I am kidnapping you” I joked.

“Katte” she slapped me on my helmet.

“Did you resolve the issue?” she asked me.

“That fool ...” I said turning around for just a second.

“HEYYYyyy”

I saw a blur, and felt an impact on the side of my bike.

Bastard I thought.

Stop the bike” she said. I had never heard her voice so serious and so stern.

She got down and went to help the man. I turned around and saw him on the ground. A couple of people came running to help him.

Nautanki saale I thought. I watched the drama unravel on my rearview mirror. People running to get him some water and help him up. Suddenly a wave of fear engulfed me. I didnt have any money on me, what if they ganged up on me. I sat there watching what was happening.

Time stretched on, there was a part of me that felt guilty for just sitting there, heartless. Not because I had hit him.

He did not look before he ran across the road, It was raining and I couldnt see him until it was too late, He couldnt be hurt so badly

The arguement was eventually lost and I climbed off my bike and went up to the man.

He was old and was carrying some papers wrapped in a plastic cover.

Here, drink some water” A man said.

Where are you going sir?” Another asked.

The man took out a pair of glasses and read off the paper in his hand “Yuken”.

After a very awkward few minutes.

Ask him if I should drop him” I told her.

The man was silent. He walked towards my bike, as she led him to it.

He accepted too fast. This is fishy. What if its a scam. What if all these people were setups. What if they saw me driving around, talking with a girl on the backseat and thought I was the easiest prey for them. Yuken was in a deserted dark street a little too far away from the mainroad. What did I get myself into?

Careful uncle” she said as she helped him onto the bike.

All this while the old man was playing the part beautifully. He was limping at just the right frequency, he stopped exactly at the right places, that you would think you could just drop him off and he would be fine, but he couldnt walk as far as Yuken. He climbed onto the bike.

Thank you madam.” He told her.

Thank you for this fat IT professional with a fatter wallet and a wad of food coupons is what I heard.

I drove as fast as my bike could go on the muddy side road without slipping. The road was completely dark, but I was determined to drop this fraud off and come back. All the while I was wondering what I would do if...

At last I could see the front gate of Yuken. The dimly lit driveway reminded me of all the mugging scenes that I had ever imagined. I stopped ten feet before the gate.

Surprise suckers, you have to work harder than that to mug me I thought.

A little more in front sir” The old man asked.

I could hear a half hearted begging in his voice. It made me soften a little bit, and I didnt like it.

Its ok” he said as I edged my bike a little further forward.

He got down and tried walking. He was limping.

Careful” I said. Cold hearted. I did not want him to think I was softening up.

I turned my bike. And saw the old man struggling to walk to the gate.

Thank you” the man said, turning around raising his hands. The street light hit his face and I could see.

I saw the agony of a hurt man limping in pain. I saw the determination of an family head to get his work done. I saw the innocence of an old man unable to see that it was I who had made him limp but instead he saw a boy who had helped him. I saw what a good man who had been wronged would look like.

As I drove away all I could think about was how we so easily judge good people in this world.

Monday, 19 July 2010

AndrIravu

“This is so unfair” I said.

“What is?” She asked.

“You were 3000 kms away and I said good night to you on the phone, now you are just 3 kms away and I still do it over the phone?” I said.

“Aaaah” She said.

Me and my friend were trying hard to figure out how to get to Casa Major road. I was thankful that the roads were empty. Suddenly I saw how broad roads in chennai were, and how beautiful. The streets were draped in the yellow of sodium vapour lamps. One must really drive around after 11 in the city to appreciate it.

We picked her up, and for the first time I cursed my friend for not having learnt to drive a car, or for not having offered to sit in the backseat. But as they say “Vallavanukku pullum aayudham”, besides there was no need for a rear view mirror at this time. Now that I think about it I dont think I saw where I was going from there. My friend pointed and I drove and we were at the beach.

It was humid. There was no wind. And my friend was looking at some lady wearing half a cushion cover. All I could think about was how my girl broke out of her house, in the middle of the night, stood in a deserted road and came with me half way across Chennai just to be with me by the beach.

She would probably slap me across the face and call me a filmy bastard, but that night really was filmy. We waited for the breeze to pick up, but it didnt, so we decided to head back. I would really like to thank that largishly fat man at the restaurant. He looked like one of those hitmen who would be the first to get his ass kicked by thalaivar (suck it thalapathy fans). He said the most beautiful words that any hungry midnight wanderer accompanied by his girl with cash could have heard.

“We are open till 2:00 am.”

So we ordered a drink that turned out to be an ice cream, a sandwhich that was just that and a warm milkshake that hit my inner throat with such force that it made me reconsider my choclate craziness.

What sticks in my head about the whole night is when we were coming back.

“Yenna?” I asked my friend.

“Super chemistry. But I think you will fuck it up.” and he started laughing.