Being with a bunch of insane people has it’s advantages. In my case, it opens parts of my brain that have been unused for so long that even fungi is ashamed to grow on it.
Anyway, I’m walking down the bridge with S and N, intently discussing shady movie scenes from c-grade films when I accidentally step into a puddle. It actually took me back to the time I was about six or seven. If there is a substance my brain is made of, I’m sure it’s called element random!
Anyway, so back then I used to stay over at my aunt’s place every other weekend. Majestic ground floor apartment it was, with a huge compound that led to the beach. During the monsoons, it looked much nicer than it actually was. It’s a hardly a surprise that I wanted to spend all of my time there.
So one of those rainy days, I put on a nice pink skirt and blouse and stepped out looking all happy and pretty in order to jump in and out of the puddle. Reason? Well I wanted to pretend like I was being shot for a Kodak commercial. Every now and then I would stop and repeat, ‘Kodak moments-jeevan ke haseen palon ke liye’. Yes I had a tag line and all for my advertisement. I was such a cool kid. It’s not even funny.
My aunt had a maid by the name Betty. She was as lost and day-dreamy as I am. I’d tell her the silliest things and not a word from her mouth. One evening the two of us were sitting in the compound, people we were stepping in and out of their cars. A wedding was taking place at the other end of the compound. I obviously wanted to sit there and stare at all the ladies, who were walking around with enough bling on them to put women in soap operas to shame. Betty, on the other hand, had better to things to do. I *had* to make her stay somehow, so I decided to engage her in a conversation.
Me: Betty I have superpowers.
Me: I do Betty. A lot of us are born with them.
Then inhaled deeply and acted like I was channelling energy from the Universe, but I was really just trying to cook a story up.
Me: In my case, I can look at people and know what their names are.
Me: Like that woman there, in the pink saree, her name is Laxmi. Can you see the woman in the green saree? She’s Sarita. Yes.
Me: The couple there, it’s a little hard. I think they know I’m trying to find out what their names are.
Me: Harish. Definitely. I think the lady is Chandra. No, no! Asha. Yes, she had me confused for a minute. (My attempt to sound more realistic)
While, I don’t know if Betty paid heed to a word I said, I thoroughly had fun making these stories up.
There is however one thing Betty loved more than spacing out. Kissan ketchup. True story. She was always waiting for us to get out of the house so she could get her hands on that bottle. One day when they left me alone with her, I decided to play god. I pretended like I was leaving as well.
As soon as she stepped into the kitchen, I sneaked up on her. “Betty, I’m Jesus Christ. I know you’ve been finishing the ketchup in their house and you must know that I will punish you for your wrong doings.”
And just like that I ran out of the house, only to appear in half an hour. Well, you know if I came in right away, she would have known it’s me.
Anyway, the ketchup stealing never stopped. Either she knew it was me or she was just too dazed to pay any heed to the voices around her. But I’ve got to thank the Lady for making my life more colourful. She helped me acquire the art of cooking up nonsensical stories early in life.