22 August, 2005

Window Dressing

This started off as a comment on Khyati's post, but as the words were flying out from the keyboard, I decided to publish it as a post instead.
Read on...

As I look outside my window, I can just about touch the leaves of a coconut tree. At the fag end of this leaf, sits a crow pecking at the remains of what was once probably a fish. At the base of another leaf by its side, there is a half eaten chappati. On the third leaf there is some idli and on the fourth, some other meat. The crow hops from one leaf to the other, alternating between the wide spread of culinary delights it has managed to pilfer.

Meanwhile, the aroma of mutton biryani from the second floor, combined with that of fried fish from the floor below finds its way into my nostrils and sends the salivary glands into a tizzy. Before I know it, I find myself heading for the kitchen, asking mother dear ,"What's for lunch?" "Dal and alu methi." Brilliant. I shall go back to watching the crow eat its fill. Atleast someone has a choice over their afternoon meal.

So exult O shores and ring O bells
but I with mournful tread,
walk the deck my mutton lies
fallen cold and dead.

Existential angst?? Naah... not from my window.

18 August, 2005

Normal events in an abnormal house

The following is an unabridged, 'blow by blow' account of what transpired on the night of 15 May, 2004. But before that, just a little background so as to enable you to get a clearer picture.

People present - Abeer Garg, Saurav Palit & Akshay Kawale, fondly referred to as The Crow, for obvious reasons. (The fourth roomie, Saurabh Lall, was regretably absconding, ensconced in Lovely Home.)
Time - About 9 P.M., with just about two weeks left to finish engineering (supposedly). The excitement is hence palpable.
GUPTA sandwich - Staple food of all engineers, north of the gap of Mankhurd.
The gap of Mankhurd - Distant suburb of Mumbai, the last bastion, separating the have and the have nots.

Here we go. Brace yourself. For those of you who have a special attachment to rodents of extremely humongous proportions, now is the time to stop reading.

Abeer goes into the kitchen to top his 'GUPTA ©' sandwich with salami, when the vermin runs out from behind the cylinder towards the kitchen window, trying to jump out of it. Finding it shut, it (later we found out the ‘it’ was a ‘him’) jumps on to the masala rack and hides behind some containers (Pearlpet ©). Abeer frantically calls Palit and asks him to get his ass down, albeit silently, lest he scare the vermin. He comes down in a trice, and marvels at the size of the young ’un. This he follows by giving him The Ozzy Scare (hands above the head, fingers splayed, tongue out). Vermin promptly lets loose some few of his droppings. In the meantime, The Crow (Mr.) joins in the fiesta making the kitchen quite crowded (three’s always a crowd). It is then mutually decided that the best way to kill ‘vermin’ is by shooting paper pellets at it. So AK is given the job of making pellets, while the duo sets about letting them loose (the pellets, ignoramus). But soon it is realized that paper pellets are not too exciting. So the weaponry is upgraded, and now the duo shift to using matches (Mango brand ). A couple of flaming missiles, and vermin has his hair standing on his back, and lotsa shit on the rack. Now Abeer is of the opinion that its now or never, and the matter should be put to rest, and vermin through the test. “Let block the main door, trap him in the mosquito net, and then bash him up.” Palit agrees whole-heartedly, but then the loss of a beloved mosquito net forces him to think otherwise. He opines to let vermin be, since nothing that has not happened can happen in two more weeks. Crow is also of the same opinion. But Abeer still disagrees. A couple of minutes of deep pondering by the trio ensue. The idea of flaming it is being discussed, when Palit gets two sticks form the loft (’neath the staircase) and keeps one to himself and hands over the other to Abeer. “Lets just bash it up. Kawale you block the door.” Game plan in mind, they now set about achieving their goal. The main door is blocked. Kawale stands on the staircase, to block vermin’s upward route, with his WMD, the humble jhaadu. Abeer goes in the hall. Palit takes up the daunting task of dislodging it from its perch on the rack. Vermin runs out of the kitchen. Finding the main gate blocked, it takes a U-turn and enters the hall, narrowly missing the blow of Palit’s stick. It runs behind the speakers, trying to stick close to the walls, but finds itself at the wrong end of Abeer’s stick. Dead-end, time to turn back towards the main door. At this point, Crow remarks, “I am like the goal-keeper”, and proceeds to demonstrate the same with a flourish of his jhaadu. Swept aside (pun intended) by the confusion all around, vermin does the hall and back to main door routine three four times, during which he gets a few back-breaking shots. Now suitably weakened, he cowers between the speakers and the desk. Sensing his opportunity, Abeer pushes the stick into his snout, and delivers the fatal blow. Vermin reels back and promptly flips over to his side. There is much joy and celebration. Palit rolls vermin out in the open using his stick, while remarking “its so cute”. (Note: - It was at this time that we realized that vermin was a ‘he’ ). Soon the need for a photo session is felt, and a frantic hunt for batteries ensues. Crow is duly criticized for not having his digicam handy. Batteries being old, the camera doesn’t function and a historic event is not photographed for future generations. The discussion now veers to how vermin should be disposed off with. Palit says that it should be burnt in the pit in the courtyard, while Crow roots for drowning him. In the end, indecision prevails and vermin is then rolled into a bag, which is then carried at the ends of two sticks, and tossed into the garbage dump. Everyone comes home happy, and they proceed to have a hearty meal, content with the knowledge that the vermin menace is over at last… Well, at least for the next day or two