Feb 27, 2008

The Day I Tried To....

       It was around eleven thirty when I got off my computer and walked up to the balcony to get a whiff of cool, fresh air; it was hot and stank of used socks. I swore. My spine was hurting like a millipede had gone trekking on it with spiked boots. I stretched, chasing the knots out of my muscles and leaned over the rails to get a look. It felt nice - the non-existent breeze floating across my face.
       Suddenly, the moon came out and I could make out a couple walking across the lawns, holding hands. Something gave me the opinion that I knew them from somewhere. I racked my brains, fiddling around the intellectual crap with a pitchfork. My sub-conscious told me I had known them all my life. They were too familiar.
       I ran inside the room, took hold of my broken specs that was entangled in a towel and put them on hurriedly. I rushed back outside, with the towel hanging to the frame of my spectacles, looking like a Turkish bride, and focused my vision on the part of the lawn that these two people were traversing swiftly.
       Yeah, yeah. Of course, they were my parents. I had to give some buildup. I owe it to them. Fact is, they had come over to Ahmedabad; my Dad had a conference. From the minute they landed, they were not too impressed by mine effects. I had tried my level best though. They remained stubborn and refused to treat me as a grownup individual, who can take care of a paunch. That was one thing I had never been able to explain away. My Dad pointedly asked,

"Oye, Sirpy. That's a paunch man...!"
"Yeah, I think it is..."
"You boozing...?"... Doubt creeping in.
"Appa...! This is a dry state, remember...??". This is me being defensive throwing in some simple strategy.
       My Dad was not completely convinced, as he gave me a cynical glare and pushed off to complain to my
Mom, who was busy inspecting my wardrobe and was throwing out all my stuff, trying to find some evidence to incriminate me. But she always neatly folded them back in just to placate me, saying that she was just trying to clean up the room. I never complain. My room always looked like goblins had a fancy dress party and had belched clothes all over.
       Anyway, I stood staring, as the lovers-past-prime made their way across the sub-pass towards the cricket ground. My brain worked involuntarily and I mentally followed the most probable course that they would take in their walk. And then a plan diabolique struck me.
       I ran inside, called up DFock and ordered, rationalized, begged, pleaded and finally bartered my pink underwear to brainwash him to come to the basketball court. Fifteen minutes later, I huffed and puffed my way to the court. DFock was thumping the ball away, here and there, throwing expert hoops. Fear grasped my intestine and made a pretzel. But I knew I had to do it to save my image. I entered the arena and waited.
       As per my calculations, my parents had to come around the corner in exactly twenty five minutes. They showed up an hour later. By then, DFock was royally pissed, as he did not see any of his incentives materializing.
       Never mind him.
       The second my parents came into the picture, I ran yelling war whoops, into the court. I could actually hear my parents talk,

Dad: "Is that our son...?"
Mom: "Eh...? He's too tall and too fair to be lazy."
Dad: "No. No. That is the sweeper. I meant one of the guys in the basketball court..."
Mom: "Hmmm... Wait. Something's wrong. He does look like our offspring, but basketball...????!!"
Dad: "Exactly. Let's go check him out."
Mom: "Oui."

       And then it was disaster. Three simple things. Three simple things that I had forgotten.
1) My spectacles were still hanging to my towel back in the room.
2) I can never ring the doorbell of every house.
3) I still had the paunch.

       Both my parents had the laugh of their lives, as I pirouetted, waltzed and gracefully curved my way around the ball in a zillion ways, never touching it. I was in deep disgrace.

       Later, my Mom patted my back for the effort and said she was proud of me. A pat. For all that toil in planning and executing. A pat.