Thursday, April 13, 2006

Startling Bike Noises

I happened to be walking in my gully one afternoon, waiting for my friend to turn up, when I heard a bike make stuttering sounds. That was really eerie, since the lane was totally deserted. No bikers, no stray dogs, no passersby, not even prying neighbours who take a peek out of the window whenever they have time on their hands (which is quite often). Being a little timid in nature, I got a teeny bit alarmed (read phat gayi). For once I wished there were strays (I hate them too, but they’re definitely and infinitely better than unidentified bike noises), or neighbours (who would hope to catch a glimpse of whoever I was waiting for, even better if it was a guy). Since I’m the kind of person who backs off from the scene of the crime rather than go headlong into it, I went farther and farther from the sound. Probably for the first time in my life, I was a bit curious though, to know the source of the sound. I couldn’t even remotely spot a bike anywhere around. So what was with the noise? Hesitantly, I started walking towards it, ready to flee if something leaped at me. But nothing jumped at me and said boo, so I continued walking, my stride becoming more confident with each step. I reached the car where the sound seemed to come from (a car making bike noises? Weird!) and cautiously peeked behind it.
Now I need you to understand this. There was a bike behind the car. Now for the sake of heaven and all his cherubic angels’ DON’T ask me silly questions like how come you didn’t see it? because I’m not blind, you know. The car was parked between the bike and the road, get it? Well, I know you don’t. The fucking car and the bike were parallel to the gutter running along the edge of the road. So if you obviously stood facing the doors of the car, the bike was hidden. Now do you get it? Next, you ask yourself (or me) why were the bloody vehicles parked like this? The only probable answer is, to help me get royally seasoned in the sun whilst I waited for the friend. The next thing that pops into your head is, why was the bike making a sound? Ah, yes. That is because, my so-not-absent-minded neighbour left his keys in the bike, and didn’t even bother to shut it. Yes. The cheek of it all.
Like a good girl, I went up to him and said Krish, your keys are in the ignition of the bike. And your bike’s still sputtering. I was so proud of myself. I do have journalistic skills I suppose, I was at the scene of the offense, and I solved the mystery with true detective valour. He interrupted my chain of pleasant thoughts and said, Tu leke nahi aa sakti kya? Jaa leke aa chaabi. Translated I’m a bastard and I had arranged for my bike to be stolen. Now that you’ve foiled my plans, you might as well go and get the keys. Without airing my thoughts, I meekly went down and got him the god-forsaken keys.
My opinion of him drastically changed when he promised me a bike ride and an ice cream at Baskin Robbins the next afternoon. Yum yum! I’m prepared to forgive anything when offered any form of ice cream.
The next day, I fell ill with a bad tummy upset.
And the day after that, my neighbour flew back to Canada, where he had come from.
And the time after that, I vowed to keep my detective skills to myself, as they are thankless.

Years of M-A-T-H-S

In nineteen years of my life, there are very few things that my thick skull hasn’t penetrated. Maths, being one the ones that haven’t. Its funny how numbers have an uncanny way of multiplying into different totals every time I try to work out a stupid sum. I’m being man enough to admit, that I sucked at the subject. And more so because of mum. Now that I’ve grown up, I know that mum’s arithmetic stinks too (she got 8 on 50 in a stinker class test), but I assume she got some sort of a sadistic pleasure in seeing a defenseless soul struggle with fractions and decimals. I cried and I sobbed and I gave her teary-eyed looks that would melt a yeti, but no, my mother was unmoved. No, I’m not saying that the woman has no emotions, but when it comes to maths, she transforms into this monster with no pity on helpless babies.
Of all the stupid bullshit involved with maths, like trigonometry (if I find person who came up with this singularly most annoying concept, I will dig him or her from his or her grave and make him or her eat his own bloody organs after painfully disemboweling him or her), BODMAS (that sounds like the name of a bra manufacturing company), simultaneous equations (simultaneous with what? Cussing?), I have had most trouble getting along with multiplication tables. I still can’t do the ruddy things. I hate them, abhor them, and wouldn’t even wish them on Isha (this girl who makes my face flush with uncontrollable rage and bottled up plans for a successful homicide). But I will not digress, and come back to those worthless multiplication tables. I detest them more than normal quantities because of my dear darling mother.
At the beginning of every, and I mean EVERY eagerly-awaited vacation, a vacation I used to wither away anticipating, a vacation in the pursuit of which I patiently bore the injustice inflicted on me during schooldays with the patience of saints, martyrs and philanthropists put together and the only time of the year I looked forward to for innumerable reasons, my mother used to make me learn multiplication tables by rote. Every fucking vacation. Where are those mums in TV serials and movies, who actually hand their kids a basketball and watch them go and play? All lies, I tell you. The cheek of it all. I had to come home half an hour early, leaving in half a cricket or lagori match, and do those tables. I accomplished little, except wet my notebooks with XXL sized tears, as I heard my friends shout with laughter and fun. Maybe that explains why I had to do the same set of tables the next year; the bloody cunts miraculously evaporated from my memory store promptly after I managed to get them in, just like stupid mischievous kids. So I generally ended up doing the same things I sacrificed my social life for, the previous year.
I vividly remember sitting at my table with my books, cursing my luck, my mum, my friends and my fate with all the swear words I could muster back then. My mum would sit right behind me with a book, and I died to get back to my Enid Blytons, if not my friends. Its decent manners to at least pretend you’re doing something boring, to make me feel better. I used to ask her some doubts, just to kill time. And since I never paid attention while she answered them, I would be in a fix if I was faced with the same problem again. So, if she sensed I wasn’t exactly paying attention, I got a back-breaking thump in the middle of a sum. Or a doubt solving quest. Or anything that convinced her I wasn’t doing a task at hand. Down came her hand on her back. Or maybe my shoulder; let’s just say any place she got. After the initial shock ebbed off, I would settle down into my chair, trying to work out the problem on my own, more befuddled than ever. In a blinding flash of insight I’d go to the last page of my book and find all the working to that very sum. Well, if she’d known we’d done it before, she could have said so. Why get into a fist fight? Mums sure are strange.
Anyway, needless to say, I am finally free of that dreaded and detested subject. Now, I sit back and giggle (and point fingers) at my friends, who are pursuing engineering and the likes. They struggle, they suffer, they bury their heads in despair, and look at me with mounting frustration. I am full of poise, dignity and not to mention lots of free time. Which is exactly why, I have time to sit for hours at my pc, churn up posts that are no use to mankind, listen to my favourite music, with a cup of steaming coffee (provided by the same woman who tormented me so much during those sinfully boring hours), with nothing to do apart from curling up in bed and reading W. Somerset Maugham’s
Mrs. Craddock.
Man, I love my life!