Saturday, November 10, 2007

Been here before?

Meeting your old pals from school is a feeling that we all look forward to. Strange, but from the first glance itself your friends try and notice the changes in your personality. Some of these changes are commended and some bluntly criticised. You start rolling a joint and here comes out the skeletons from their closets, as if the person just sneezed.

“Hey, even you…eh?” one of my mates says, with that I-just-caught-you-in-the act expression on his face. “Well, that’s the best I could ever afford. You know, they call it the poor man’s drug.” I say, still trying to be on my guard but failing every second as pretentiousness starts subsiding.

“Why do you use so much paper man?” asks another. I think he was trying to showcase his hidden talent but wait, here comes the revelation. “Man, I used to smoke through the papaya stem in school.” What? Papaya stem? People smoke weed thorough papaya stems. But he didn’t stop here. “You reckon the time when I used to steal this poor dame’s lunch box, I used to be really hungry ‘cause I was stoned,” he says and now he’s got that I-am-such-big-stud look.

“Yeah, I remember you running with her tampons while you were searching for her lunch box, you moron.” Laughter, almost infectious, rocks my little room while this other friend cracked up. “So, you were stoned all through out, even when you took out the packet of tampons?” the same guy asks my was-a-dopehead friend.

“‘Course I was. But I really didn’t understand the fuss about it. All the women thought, I was a pervert but I never had a girlfriend who could educate me about all these things.” He said looking at me, and I could sense some kind of spite, as if we were the guys who dated all the women in school.

He lit up the joint. He obviously didn’t know that it was hashish that came all the way from Manali. He thought it to be the good old ganja we smoked since school. This was probably his first time. He took a drag.

“Shit, what the heck is this? This is not ganja that I smoke,” he says. “Yeah, this is not your papaya-flavoured thing. This is hashish,” I say.

“Fuck…fuck, you guys are making me do drugs. I want to puke now. You guys are still evil.” He kept on cursing and swore that he would not come to see us on a dry day when booze is scarce. But like old school pals and for old times’ sake, he helped us finish the joint.

So here it was, my sweet revenge. My war against those of you, who just carry a pretentious been-there-done-that type of an expressionless face, has just started. I am sure you haven’t been and haven’t done that.

Just another diwali musing

You are too old for these firecrackers. You could have written a story about the purple goblins and their filthy habits. You could have waited for these goblins to attack you from the Northern Ridge but you wanted to burst firecrackers. Now you wait for your companions to tell you that your imaginary friends are just as mischievous as you.

But haven’t you played this game before? Say when your favourite team wins the match, you open a case of beer and after getting little tipsy, you start looking for firecrackers. Same goes with the national victories. Wars and marriages too. For all that you know, you love that burgeoning pyromaniac to come out of your head in its true avatar. There is something primeval in you that force you to burst firecrackers. If there are no firecrackers, or say you a warlord, then you start shooting in the air. It is form of expression that lacks all aesthetic clarity and cannot be predicted.

Firecrackers are a big industry now. Newspapers tell you that there exists a competitive market with Chinese crackers making its presence felt in the narrow lanes of Punjabi Bagh or Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. Some of the firecrackers look pretty, some without the noise and some don’t burst firecrackers at all. The credit for the evolution of this new species of human beings goes to the forests and the greenery (more primeval than man but under threat).

This new species of human beings who do not burst firecrackers have a heightened sense of civility. They know that the burgeoning pyromaniac comes from that stage of human evolution when all the folk and the kin wielded weapons at each other and participated in mass loots. Those were different times.