Feb 14, 2010

A Dingbat in Love

Dhrit's auricles and ventricles were playing beach volleyball when they were suddenly hauled rudely by the whirring of the phone signaling a new message. Swearing, they let themselves be tossed hither and thither, as Dhrit visually recorded the contents. It was a simple two-word message. He was not a man who was normally bound to make mountains out of simple messages. He believed in cold logic and rationale.

He also believed in hope which is a completely irrelevant fact. But the current case was different; all the letters were in uppercase. They either signified importance or ignorance. After subjecting his brain to some extreme Nokia torture, he settled on importance. Logically, he wanted to reciprocate. Violating the punch dialogue copyright of most Tamil heroes he decided to give more than actually take. There were only three words that could effectively communicate what he felt at that instant and he decided to do it in person. All this happened in exactly fifteen seconds after he saw the message.

It said, "GOOD NIGHT".

Ignoring desperate pleas from his instinct, he blundered across the room pocketing the phone. He slipped into a pair of jeans along with a clean T-shirt, emptied half the contents of a half-empty deodorant can on himself, grabbed the bike keys and flew outside the door, love-light glowing in his eyes. Let me tell you, Hell is no fierier than a man in love.

Minutes later, he was on the road, polluting the Chennai night air with free deodorant samples. He played the words again and again in his mind with her saying it in her high-pitched shriek that seemed to make nails scratching on the blackboard, music. Queerly though, each time she did, she held a bowl of 'mayo' that she offered to him on a glass plate.

After fighting with a policeman who initially refused to believe that the 18-year old headshot of the wanted convict on the driver's license was himself, Dhrit finally reached the Watershed Apartments. Addled on by gallons of adrenalin that pumped through his rather shapely muscles, he parked the bike amongst the bushes (actually flung the poor vehicle). He reached the base of the apartment and pressed the button for the elevator. While waiting, he adjusted his bangs so as to cover his ample forehead of a football field, hitched up his trousers and checked for sprinkles of dandruff; he found nothing. But he had to look good to feel confident; and vice versa. All was set but something nagged at the base of his hair follicles and did not see it. He blamed it on the testosterone-induced butterflies in his belly and punched the button for the topmost floor.

Bored inside the lift, he started reading the lift specifications. He wondered tangentially, 'If specifications are referred as specs, can't gratification be called grass?' The lift pinged at the 10th floor and he walked out of the elevator and up to the door that said 106, leaving the cognitively-high debate unanswered.

Dhrit Ramakrishnan knocked on the door of Geetha Kannan, belligerently.

He knew that she lived alone with her roommate. After what seemed like the time taken for a grounded Air India flight to take off, she opened the door. Dhrit blinked taking in the splendid visage that threatened to choke him with emotion and spit. It held him spellbound; pink nightie, sleepy eyes, fluffy slippers and hair tied a tight bun to boot. A voice that mixed equal amounts of a trombone and heavy earth moving machinery said, "Who is it? What do you want?"

Our hero mustered all the wants of puberty, all the pangs of a first-time-lover, all the retarded butterflies that now flew drunkenly - bottled them in three simple words and uttered them in some ancient Mayan dialect.

"You, aaa.. Eh..."

She got exasperated. Her concept of an ideal man did not contain anybody who comes knocking at 1 'o' clock in the morning and speaks ancient Mayan dialects. "What is it that you want?", she asked again.

He finally managed to get them right. But seconds after he said those words, five phalanges materialized out of nowhere and landed smoothly on his right cheek, leaving a burning red mark in its wake as our hero let loose an expletive that can come out only after a brilliant slap. The slap made his eyes see Mohabbatein in reverse and trust me; it is not exactly a pleasant sight either way. The door exactly behind him opened; the right one that said 109. He turned 180⁰ to see his actual love fuming at the actual door, looking as angry as a Facebook user who just discovered that Facebook has changed its layout once again. Our hero believed in cold logic and rationale. As 109 shut itself before he could cough up an apology, he knew that Geetha was over.

Important Fact: You can convince the woman you think you love of anything; even that you can kick the crap out of Flying Action King Arjun, but never of uttering the three stupid words. To somebody else.
Equally Important Fact: No man, starting from the Stonehenge construction workers, till date, has understood that statement. It simply does not make sense. Like Action King Arjun flying kicking all the time, instead of acting.

Anyway, coming back: our hero found everything falling in place: the sign-board, the license photo, the bass voice, the mayo on a glass plate and the blurred traffic signal.

He had forgotten his spectacles.

He turned back to peer into the imposing figure of a middle-aged woman whom he had never seen before in his life. As disgrace and humiliation engulfed our hero, who continued now in some vocal version of hieroglyphics, he heard the tinkling of bells. The bells were in beautiful Tamil and were seductively drowsy.

"Who is it, Amma? What is all the noise? Is it the police? Did we get caught for watching My Name Is Khan, today?"

The body attached to the voice came cantering up to the front door; pink nightie - check, drowsy eyes - check, fluffy slippers - check, paranoid - check, and hair let loose - uncheck. That could be adjusted as bad hair debt.

Our hero smiled. He still believed in hope. He also started believing in potential.

PS: This story borrows heavily from this pathetic Hero Honda ad.
PPS: This story was written for http://www.thebanyantrees.com by me and is edited largely.