Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dyeing

Fiction

Nostalgia is one of the many escape routes for boredom.  People in business know it particularly well because their job keeps them occupied from early morning puja to the god of wealth till late in the night puja to the same god. 

“I’m bored,” said Kamakshi to her husband on a Sunday evening.  Mithun, the husband and businessman, had made sure that his business would not disturb him on Sundays.  But the god of business is no kinder than any other god.  The executives would call on Sundays too to enquire about how to deal with some consumer who complained about some defective product which was sold in one of the many outlets of the Mithun Chain of produces.  If the executives didn’t call up, Mithun would call them up to make sure that no consumer had any complaint.  “I’m bored,” declared Kamakshi during one such call on a Sunday evening.

They were newlywed couples, Kamakshi and Mithun.  She had just turned eighteen and passed class 12 from a reputed public school in Delhi where she had earned a name for herself for sucking some part of a boy’s body which event became a public entertainment on social networking thanks to the boy whose father was the owner of a multinational corporation.  Kamakashi’s father was running a business which was just finding a toehold within the nation, thanks to the new Prime Minister who encourages business.  

“Marriage is the solution,” announced Ganesha after Kamakshi’s father consulted the Pundit.  

Mithun had just inherited business from his father who had fallen ill seriously.  Some capital was all that was needed to continue the business after paying up the bills of the best hospital in the city, the hospital that belonged to a religious sect run by Ganesha Baba.  The dowry solved both the problems.

“OK, darling,” said Mithun when the sun was going to sink in some ocean whose name he could not recollect much as he tried.

The geography teacher of his residential school came to his mind, however. A bald head who carried a comb in his pocket all the time.  With a beautiful wife on whom Mithun had a childish crush.  He had gifted an exotic shawl to his geography teacher the day he left the school.

“A lady’s shawl?” exclaimed Mr Panwar seeing the shawl. 

“My mother brought it from Singapore, sir,” said Mithun.  “Just for your madam.”

“But...” wondered Mr Panwar.  How does his wife have a connection with a student’s mother?  Mrs Panwar was a housewife. 

“Sir,” Mithun was worldly wise enough to clarify, “I asked my mother to bring a gift for my best teacher and she misunderstood that it was a lady teacher...”

The gift was accepted.  Teachers are such fools, thought Mithun. 

“Why not visit my school?”  Mithun asked his bored wife on the Sunday evening when the sun was sinking in an ocean whose name Mithun’s knowledge of geography could not recollect.

“School?” spat out Kamakshi.

“My school,” asserted Mithun like a typical Indian husband.  “My school where memories lie.  Where memories cannot die. Better than the Lodhi Garden.”

“Better than the Lodhi Garden?”  Kamakshi’s memories too began to masticate.  Lodhi Garden is famous for the meeting of lovers.  Romance.  Love.  Greenery in the heart of Delhi.  Where she had spent much time savouring the greenery of life.

“Let’s go,” she said.

Mithun was eloquent in the beginning as he entered Mr Panwar’s residence in the teacher’s quarters of his residential school.  The eloquence soon waned when he noticed that Mrs Panwar was nowhere in sight.  Not even a glass of drinking water?  Mr Panwar was more interested in combing his bald head and talking about the good old days when he was fortunate to have such great students as Mithun. 

Kamakshi was getting bored. 

Mithun’s business executives had given a number of missed calls.

“Sir,” asked Mithun, “can she (pointing at his wife) use your wash room?”

“Why not?” Mr Panwar led the way.  Mithun followed looking here and there.

Mrs Panwar was nowhere on the way.

Having used the toilet of her husband’s teacher, Mithun’s wife was relieved. 

“I’m sorry,” said Mr Panwar when Kamakshi returned from the toilet.  “We didn’t offer you even water.”  He brought water from the fridge and glasses from the kitchen.

Kamakshi’s nose turned upward.  Mr Panwar was too old to notice such upward mobility of noses especially when the face was too beautiful. 

“Take a little just to avoid offence,” murmured Mithun in the ear of his beloved wife.

Kamakshi drank one sip. She was thirsty.  But she wouldn’t drink anything but mineral water supplied by multinational corporations in sealed plastic bottles.  The campus is great, she agreed as her husband drove her back home.  Better than Lodhi Garden.  She had walked around the campus holding her husband’s arm and feeling proud being ogled by young boys before they entered the geography teacher’s boring residence.  It was a nice picnic.

“Why didn’t you show your face, dear?” demanded Mr Panwar of his wife when the student with the beautiful wife had left. 

“Didn’t you know that I had just applied dye to my hair?”

Somewhere in a wardrobe an exotic shawl was wasting itself.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful post sir :)
    I could literally make a mental picture of the characters and scenarios !!
    Had a heart laugh :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad, Aram, I can extract laugh in spite of myself.

      Delete

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