Friday, June 21, 2013


My mouth feels acrid most of the day. If you are a nobody like me, neither rich nor poor, you will know what a fermented existence it is to be like the fly: irritating enough to elicit a frown but not threatening enough to warrant more. Now before I get the rap from you dear reader for being an ingrate, for not appreciating my privileged existence, for pointless negativity let me assure you I am as sane as they come. Why then does my cranium curdle as the day progresses?

You have gone into the Basrurkar market, parking with care. Business done, you return and eye the vehicle placed across the road, gauging the angle of turn. No one moves so you get behind the wheel and begin to ease out, trying to catch someone’s eye for guidance. Not so much as a muscle twitches until your car comes to rest on the van behind with a dull clunk. The place erupts. You are a person of murderous intent thereafter.

You return from a shopping spree, laden with bags and the nagging feeling you were fleeced. The bargaining, the silly sweets for change, the tepid Thums Up thrust at you with an insistence it is chilled, the shoe pinching in rhythm with the sweat dripping; a dull ache has begun to hammer at the head. All you can think of is dumping yourself unceremoniously in the car to first switch on the AC. What do you know;the parking attendants have done the disappearing act.

You are blithely power walking the poodle, sniffing the moisture in the air appreciatively when along comes an Audi 4, crunching headlong into the storm water, spraying you with the drain dregs at a brisk whoosh. All you can do is gnash your denture in time to the strains of Honey Singh’s vocals emanating from the dimming tail lights.

You just shelled out something to the tune of twenty four thousand rupees for two pairs of progressive, transition, monochromatic spectacles, having settled on a green and blue david johns and another in maroon, after trying out some thirty four frames. The optician positions your head to mark the center, reaches for the frames and drops them to the floor. With nary a remorseful breath, he bends to pick them up, blows esophageal air twice and proceeds with the event. 

You have paid a packet for a holiday promised with adventure and action. A lot many people seem in charge and there are several communications, the leader guiding you to the camp on phone, even awaiting you near a mountain road for the last leg. Just as soon as the money exchanges hands, there is a Houdini act, all of a sudden you have been declared self-sufficient.

You just craned your neck at the petrol pump in response to the attendant calling attention to the zero marking on the pump. A second fellow proceeds to wipe the windscreen with flair. You debate whether to step out for greater vigilance. Too late! Payment made, credit card slip signed with a greasy pen and you drive off in relief, only to puzzle over the fuel needle that refuses to rise where you want it to.

You are out on a road trip and had the foresight to put the car through a servicing before setting out. But the water logging and moonscape on our roads have brought your steed to a grinding halt. You count your stars it happened close to habitation; there is even an ATM close by for the unforeseen expenditure. You advance, bouncing leaping, grinning at the guard outside only to find it all deathly silent inside. Of course, it is not working!

After precise spelling out of the fond message, having selected with care the most appropriate combination of flowers and cake for a loved one’s special day and having made an advance payment online, Ferns and Petals delivers it all with a minuscule card, the words scrawled in an illiterate hand!

It is these little things. After all it takes only a teaspoon of curd to ferment milk!

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