I was once a 7 year old kid. ‘As naughty as a monkey’, an Assamese monkey to be precise. I played, slept, ate and played. My uniform repeated routine. Human Beings were kind to me back then. We used to live in a place called Mathura Nagar near Down Town Hospital, where people preferred to rent houses with cheap apartments easily available. Those were the first generations of Nuclear families in a city subjected to a judgmental mob and a ‘joint family’ tradition. My father was a Government employee and mother a housewife, the staple profession of a majority Indian Women. We had a family of four fitted perfectly on our Bajaj Super. Well people were much thinner then. Our city hadn’t been invaded by KFCs and other American Junk Outlets as of yet. My elder brother never allowed me to join in his cricket group so I had to find my own play mates. Amongst my playing buddies, the central character was ‘Gedi Buri’, the part time maid somewhere between 9-12 years old. She was an ’emigrant’ officially but ‘immigrant’ in reality. Her kin settled successfully in the city and had contributed to the Indian population multiplying it further through future offspring. The only race India is expected to win over China by 2025. Are we supposed to get an Olympic medal for that? These people usually belong to Dhubri, Barpeta on legal records and if you know them closely they reveal their actual origin. The D-Voters provide the minority votes to the government for a return promise of daily food and a ration card. She told me her Bangladeshi connections privately which I was never meant to disclose. That was the proximity of our relationship. Along with our shared playing time we used to enjoy the newly introduced Cable TV. The childhood in the 90s. The strange fact of Gedi Buri was the name. I asked her the meaning to which she answered it meant a baby girl in home. Gedi was pitch-black. She used to borrow my Mom’s shampoo and bath for hours at our backyard. I would join her as it was fun to bath with garden pipes and her by my side. She was more than a part time maid to me, a good friend I assume. My mother used to tease me with her that one day she will get us married. The color of her skin and the strange aroma made me ridicule the fact of us getting institutionalized. The good times we have together like watching TV, playing Cricket or the way she oiled my hair compiled me to rethink my decision. A 7 year old kid never knew that it needed more fuel to run a marriage. The best part of our relationship was I never had to do a single duty and enjoy the lack of obligation. She was the only person who took orders from me just the way my mother obeyed my father. I desired the way my father ordered my mom for that glass of water or the cup of tea. The difference was she getting paid and my mother getting older, weaker in the clutches of doing house work.
Gedi was absent from work for a week now. My father went to enquire in the slum colony and found out she was getting married to a bus conductor. Her father, a local woodcutter was more than happy to let go of the girl suffering from chronic Tuber Culosis. The disease is the burden and the girl is the symbol. The boy’s relatives weren’t informed concerning the TB situation. In all the recent developments, I was angry and sad about not being able to say the last goodbye. I wanted the farewell similar to something done in the world of films. However I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to hug her. She used to have that ‘slum odour’. Mother has discovered the term. Gedi was pushed to a dark world through deceive and sometimes I wonder where might have she ended up. Was she happily married ever after or may have had to suffer tortures from her husband on hiding the fact on the TB illness. I remember visiting Kukhleswar, a local temple when I thought I saw her amidst the vagabonds. Well they all look and smell the same to me now.
Well this is a story of a boy who had an obsession for romantic love. He could waste hours imagining falling in love with anyone from the *opposite sex.
*NOTE: The story has been approved by the Supreme Court of India.
All he wanted was to fall in love and the idea involved seemed to amuse him. A Shakespearean protagonist. Let me introduce you Bhargav. This is a short story and I wouldn’t waste any more time describing the main romantic lead.
The most awaited day in the glorious history of Assam had arrived. “Mythologically” it is known as Saraswati Puja, “transportationally” it is business and “girlogically” it is the ultimate Desi Valentine’s Day.
Girlogically – Etymologically it refers to girl logics. It can range from discussing about a girl’s attire or about her boy friend and his odd moustache. Yeah such nonsense. But it conceals deep logic.
The objective of Saraswati Puja has been changed to our local requirement. The primary motive of Valentine’s Day officially is the feast of Saint Valentine. In the human world it is the day a guy takes out a girl on a date. Red Rose. Greetings Card. We all know the rest. Likewise, Saraswati Puja is the worship of Goddess Sarawati but what really happens is a cold war among girls on their quest for becoming the most beautiful girl of the day. In short they want to appear in News Live, the easiest way to earn Celebrity status in a small city like ours. There is also vast source of Facebook opportunities for freelance modeling followed by tagging others on those pics that appear in FB pages run by some pervert Admins.
The other methods to earn celeb status. Let us know a few of them.
1. Join a biker gang and try to convince your friend the difference between a ‘rider’ and a ‘biker’. In the words of Forrest Gump, “My mama says there is no difference between a Rider and a Biker. The similarity is both of them have forced their parents to pay for that”.
2. Top the engineering entrance and your posters will be everywhere. By everywhere I mean above Dustbins, Toilets, and City Bus. Celeb STATUS GRANTED.
3. The last option is only applicable for girls. Upload photos on your FB account and the ‘Red Necks’ of the country, the modern city boy or any Men whose abdomen craves for women would get drawn towards you.
Bringing back the Valentine-Saraswati analogy, girls usually date their lovers on Saraswati Puja. No one can stop you from going out including the hypocritical society and so on a ‘Rulific’ point of view it is quite viable.
Rulific – See Rule. Rules are usually boundaries which our parents set for us and change it momentarily according to their convenience. For Example – Mom, “If you study for 3 hours you can have the TV remote”. After 3 hours of “Butt-On” study, “Mom the remote?” Mom, “Watch it after the daily soaps end”. She calls it “Jodha Akbar” and I feel like “Jodha Murkho” (fool).
For the boys it is just another day to go out, possibly smoke and stalk girls coming out from Loreal Trends, L-16, Rimki Beauty Parlor according to one’s budget. Seriously not judging. The epicenter of the day is located in Panbazar amidst the age old colleges like Handique and Cotton. Students, ex- students crowd out these colleges.
A legend unfolds. Once there lived a girl who never had a date. Not that she was ugly but her parents were very strict Brahmins (and I don’t know whether she had problems getting admission in Government Colleges).They seldom allowed her to leave the house. She never succumbed to them. During those days they never had the tradition of tuitions to bunk for hanging out with lovers. She tried every tactic but failed. Since this being a Holy day the parents finally allowed her and she went out with the guy. This is officially the first date ever by a boy and a girl. So the legacy carried on and what started as a Worship day became a day of ‘liberal love’. The purpose might have changed but it is still beautiful.
Liberal Love – A type of consent hang out where you don’t have to worry about your parents calling you every hour asking your whereabouts. In India it is only possible when you get married or your mobile phone’s battery has just reached equilibrium (charge ended).
The day held no significance to Bhargav. He had made plans with Richa about going out together. Richa was his BFF. The abbreviation BFF is a man made relationship required to know where you stand in a girl’s life.
The names of other relationships includes.
Father – The most loved person by a girl.
Husband – The most loved person by a girl.
Boy Friend – The most loved person by a girl.
BFF – You are next to the throne. (If I break up).
Brother (fake ones) – I am sorry but you are ugly and this is what I do with guys who try to flirt with me.
A minor setback in the story was the returning boy friend of Richa. The returning boy friend can be the most tragic part in any story.
In every Comedy there is a tragedy. Returning boyfriends is the tragic element in this supposedly comic story. Taking it into contrast with 3 Idiots where Chatur Ramalingam was the tragic character. If you have read Arden Shakespeare the character of Antonio in Twelfth Night was tragic. He was Homosexual in nature. Back then people thought such feelings to be absurd. Time has changed and now we find even simple love so ridiculous.
Coming back to the story, Bhargav was expected to meet his friend Richa on a medium priority track.
Medium priority – Boy/boys with which a girl will hang out in a special occasion. Usually the regular boyfriend or the extended friend.
Needless to say – he was The Extended Friend. Her boyfriend was back from Vikas, a Youth Academy for upcoming engineers. Normal behavior of people studying there ranges from sharing Engineering pages on facebook and a NIT-free attitude that they are already engineers.
The day began with huge traffic flooded on the streets. So Bhargav opted for the costliest transport available in the city of Guwahati. He hired an auto rickshaw to meet Richa. The first thing the auto walla said to him was, “Dada alone?. Where is your partner?” This made Bhargav happy. He got zoned out for a second and told himself, “See the auto walla understands my potential. You deserve a girl with you”. In truth Bhargav was suffering from the beautiful girl syndrome. We always prefer the best looking girl/guy in the class and then we never accept the rejection. Why do we fall in love with only the physically best looking girl in your class?
Richa was one of the beauties of the day. She always had the mark of sensuality coupled with excessive cuteness. Just when he entered college, to his horror he saw Ragini. FLashbacks of his past started to erupt and a fast recap of their previous episodes began like it does for any TV series. She was accompanying a friend but left hurriedly. HALT. Well Ragini was just another failed episode in his life exactly like the unsuccessful Singur Tata Nano plant in West Bengal or the Tata Nano Car itself. Bhargav realised that the girl he tried to fall in love with was no longer a virgin (source: through untrusted rumors) whereas he was still the desperate teenager on his pursuits for being a High Priority entity in someone’s life. The same feeling Vinod Kambli gets whenever he watches Sachin Tendulkar crossing milestones after milestones.
Finally Bhargav reached the place where they were expected to meet and walked towards Richa who was with the Unwanted Boyfriend. Richa waved Bhargav to introduce him. Bhargav had to cross the road and finally he met the couple live. That road between them was the distance between his delusions and reality. The condition of AGP vs Congress.
“Oi Bhragav, this is Deep”. Richa smiled and introduced the guest appearing stereotype. After the hellos they left the scene and he was all alone (not literally). It was still crowded.
The hero? went home. On a bright note he met some classmates and gulped the Khicidi.