March 20, 2008 § 1 Comment
It was a summer during which I had tried to maintain my dignity intact, after all that had happened during the previous year(s). But fate conspires against me to such an extent that all my caution is rendered redundant. However, I was naive then and believed that I could stay out of situations and did my best to that effect. I believed that the previous incident would be the most embarrassing of my short life, but as will be narrated here, fate wasn’t quite through with me that time.
It was wedding season in Mangalore that year. A wedding had been timed to my vacations to a nicety. A cousin was getting married. She was all happy and stuff; and I was happy too(food!!!). The Mehendi function passed off as peacefully as is possible with around 40 drunk guys dancing and singing (which could be mistaken for wails). After a night of revelry and debauchery(not really 😛 ), I (as usual) overslept. And the marriage was scheduled in some hours. Not that I was needed anyways. But mom was adamant that I get to the function hall with the others who were going early. So I was kicked out of bed and told to take a bath. After a quick survey of the bathroom for spiders and other icky creatures, I proclaimed myself ready to take a bath.
And since this wasn’t an open area…I was..er…in my birthday suit. And I was merrily nahaofying, when the bathroom door flew open and in came this girl. She takes one look at me, smiles and proceeds to get water out of the bucket and wash her face. Meanwhile, following my scream of surprise, a cousin rushed to the bathroom, only to see me trying to cover myself with my hands and the girl calmly washing her face, as if she was alone in the bathroom. In between unconstrained laughter, my cousin found the time to give me a towel, which incidentally was near the girl (so I couldn’t just go and grab it could I? ). As the cousin went around the house telling of the incident to anybody who’d listen; I stood inside the bathroom(wrapped in a towel, of course) as the girl finished her facewash routine. She looks at me once again, giggles and says, in Tulu, “You should lock the door from the inside, you know”. Lots of thoughts came to my mind then, some of which included “There shall be blood!!”, “There is no dignity left” and “Revenge shall be taken!!”, but none came to my lips. And then she exited the bathroom. I was left standing there, lost for words, the last vestiges of my dignity taken away from me by a door lock. Everybody in the house came to know, everybody asked. They mocked me, they laughed. I could never meet that girl’s eyes again. She had seen.
[About the girl: She is about half a year older than myself and was one of the intelligent & beautiful types. She is now married.]
March 18, 2008 § 2 Comments
Well, since I cannot think of any topic to blog on, I thought that posting about something that happened to me would be a nice change. So here it is. Anybody who knows me, knows that I goof up in really, really weird and embarrasing ways. There was the case of the broken beaker in the chemistry lab, a weirder case of the broken burette or when I got drunk at new years’ eve party. So many that its difficult to recount at one go. Though I have not come off much worse out of these situations, its been regrettable anyways.
There was a time in my childhood when I used to go to Mangalore on every vacation. It would inevitably be marriage season then. Weddings in the family or in the neighbourhood. The fact was that every vacation there would be a wedding somewhere in the village. And there was me in the midst of all this. This account involves a wedding.
The thing is, whoever gets married in the village (its more modern than that, but I can’t quite remember the word) has to come to our house to take blessings from the kula devta (the ancestral house has a big Temple in the courtyard- Village Temple sorta). And these customs are followed quite strictly in the village, married couples have been known to come first to the temple and then go to their own house. Vacations meant being witness to these visits.
It was in the seventh standard vacations. I sorta have an intense dislike for spiders and there was one in the bathroom in the house. Several pleas to have it killed, exterminated or fed to an owl or something fell on deaf ears; they said it would go away on its own. “Grow up”, they said. I didn’t want to. So I decided to bathe using water from the well constructed on the temple premises. It was a very good thing to do bathe there, as my dad told me. But I had my reasons. So I used to bathe in the space provided near the well. It was nice actually, pulling water out of the well; shivering at the first burst of water over the skin and generally feeling very good that one was doing one’s duty towards being one with nature.
All was fine; I was seen as a mumbai boy who liked to embrace the simple village life by all the relatives, nevermind the dark, disturbing and cowardly fact behind me bathing at the well. And it was good for one’s image too. But it all had to come crashing down one day.
It was a nice cool morning. I had overslept. People seemed to be busy in the house. Apparently some function in the neighbourhood. Guessing that I would ask to be dressed up and all, I decided to bathe at once. I got to the well. Drew the first pitcher of water, and started to nahaofy. It was after the first round of soaping was done, and I had just rinsed it off; I heard a weird sound, of many people talking. I didn’t pay much heed. It was then that I heard it. The voice of laughter. Giggles, actually. Girls, I thought and trembled. I turned around and what did I see? A full complement of girls with a bride. And aunties and uncles and assorted children. And two videocameras. With cameramen. Trained at me. Me in underwear. Me in shock. Disbelief. I think I blanked out then. My mom later told me that I had shouted something in the vicinity of “Gaaaaaaaaahhhh!!”, and covered my eyes. Which was not a very intelligent thing to do, was it? Lots of people from the house had rushed out to see whether I had fallen into the well or something. And they were stunned too. Fortnately someone had the sense to come over and gather my towel and give it to me, while smiling kindly at all the people. I was escorted into the house – shocked, shivering and wet.
I regained my senses after about half an hour and demanded explanations. Why wasn’t I told? Why this conspiracy against me? I alleged. They just forgot, they said. They had come for blessings before the wedding and they had come from the back gate, which is why this happened; I was told. Its your fault too, they said. Couldn’t you hear people talking? Anyways, its getting late now, get dressed, we have to go to the function. Come, now don’t be so stuck up. Its just a little thing. Ya, little is left of my dignity, I said.
Its not the something nice for lots of people to see you with very little clothing on your body, no matter what Rakhi Sawant has to say on the issue. It took me several days to actually gather the courage to go and bathe at the well again and this was only after I confirmed from various sources about information for any wedding in the vicinity on the particular day.
Its not a easy feeling knowing that somewhere in some dusty corner of someones cupboard lies a video cassette with footage of a shocked and traumatised boy of 13 standing in only his undies, with a mug in his hand.
But little did that 13 year old know, that the future was to repeat the same incident again, but in a crueller and more dastardly way. Little did he know that what would transpire 2 years hence would scar him(and probably someone else) for life.