Young and Stupid – Chapter VII – The Finale

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Before we commence with the finale of Young and Stupid, I would like to thank each and every reader for making this a great success. I enjoyed writing every bit of it, and I appreciate all the encouragement and feedback that I received from each one of you. As I promised the whole series is now available free for download.

Click here to download >>>>Young and Stupid – The Complete Series<<<<

Thanks once again for all the love. And now without further ado, here is….

Chapter VII – The Finale

 

The sound of the bell echoed through the house, striking a chord of fear in our hearts.

 

Please tell me that was your impression of the doorbell.” I rhetorically said. It rang again, this time sounding more like a death knell.

 

What do we do now?” she whispered.

 

Just stay right there, I’ll check through the peep hole, maybe it’s just the milkman or the paper boy.”

 

It’s almost seven thirty in the evening not morning.”

 

Oh dear lord no! Mom was supposed to be back by 8.”

 

What if it’s her? Oh my gosh, no! She’s going to find me here and freak out. We’re done for. I told you this was a bad idea, didn’t I?”

 

Look this isn’t a time for ‘told you so’. Clear the mess in the room quickly and I’ll go look through the peep-hole.”

 

I walked hesitantly towards the door hoping against hope that my mother wasn’t on the other side. I took a deep breath and looked through the peep hole. Sure enough, it was her. I could see her getting impatient as she rang the door bell again. I had to stall her. But how?

 

Is anyone in there?” she said aloud as she banged the door.

 

Coming!” I yelled back not sure what to do next.

 

What’s taking you so long? Open the door?” mom demanded

 

I just got out of the bathroom, ma. Just give me a minute.”

 

I looked inside the room, she had cleared the table and stood there awaiting her next orders.

 

Jump out the window. NOW!”

 

What? Are you mad? Jump out the window?” she said in shock

 

I live on the ground floor you know. No one in history has died falling from this height.”

 

Okay and then what next?”

 

Well go round the back again. Make sure no one spots you and then wait for me at the junction going to the main road. I’ll try to make it there as well. But if I don’t….”

 

No don’t say that.” she said like a heroine in a Hindi movie.

 

Arrey, all I meant to say is that. If I don’t make it there, just go home. No point waiting and getting late na?”

Okay I’ll change and leave.”

 

There’s no time for that, just leave.”

 

But…how can I go home looking like this….Arrey….okay you don’t have to throw me out the window you know?”

 

I helped her climb up to the window sill and jump outside. “Be careful.” I told her and then I turned to go towards the door. I decided to wet my hair for the ‘just out of the shower’ look.

I took a deep breath and opened the door. Mom entered suspecting foul play

.

Why did you suddenly decide to take a second bath?” she interrogated while scanning the room.

 

Oh you know me, ma. Hygiene freak that I am!”

 

Mom was somewhat shocked at the statement. I, the same person who could guiltlessly go a week or two without a bath, now claimed to be hygiene conscious. I had certainly pushed it too far with that. She eyed me head to toe, suspiciously noting my appearance. Ironed jeans, long-sleeved shirt (that too tucked in) and wet hair? Surely that did not add up.

 

What are you really up to? You look too fancy to have come out of the shower a minute ago.”

 

This old rag? You think this shirt looks fancy. I’ll tell you what’s fancy. Fancy would be something like…”

 

The orange t-shirt masi gifted you!” mom exclaimed.

 

Of course….the…orange t-shirt. yes…” I stuttered.

 

Thief! Thief! Someone’s running away with your orange t-shirt!”

 

Your tired, ma, you must be seeing things. Why don’t you sit down here?” I tried to draw her attention away from the window.

 

Stop fooling me, look out the window there. That girl is getting away with your t-shirt.”

 

Well what do you know? Let me have a closer look. Indeed it is the same t-shirt ma. But mine is a large, what she’s wearing is clearly a medium. It must be a coincidence.”

 

You just shut up and get out of my way.” mom brushed me aside and ran to the window.

Chor Chor!” she yelled and then she turned to me. “Don’t just stand there go and chase that girl.”

 

Mom, you’ve always told me it’s a bad thing to chase girls. How can I go against your words?” I said in a last ditch effort. Mom wasn’t going to fall for my ‘slick talk’ twice on the same day. She grabbed me by the arm and took me to the window.

 

Don’t think that I’m buying every word you say. Jump out and go after her!” she ordered.

 

I just realized I’m afraid of heights….okay okay you don’t have to throw me out the window.” I jumped feeling a sense of deja vu.

 

It was unlikely that the commotion would get past the ever-so-cautious ears of Mrs. Nosey. In no time she was at her window too.

Kya hua bhabhi?” she inquired in her Himesh-like nasal tone.

 

There’s a girl who’s sneaked into our building, she stole a t-shirt from the clothes line or something I think.”

 

Tch tch, see that’s why I put cloth pins on all the clothes I put out to dry.” she said looking down at her ‘dirty laundry’. That was the time she discovered to her horror that her beloved roses were missing.

 

Ahhhhhhh……Bhabhi, that chorni stole my roses too.” she screamed in a fit of panic.

I was about to burst out laughing, but I decided to play along.

 

What would anyone get out of stealing a poor little boy’s t-shirt and a nice lady’s roses, ma? This is unacceptable. I’ll chase that scoundrel down I tell you.” and so saying I ran off.

 

Go beta gooooooooo!” Mrs. Nosey’s words echoed through the building compound. I ran faster barely able to contain my laughter.

I headed towards the junction wondering if she’d be waiting there. Being spotted by mom must have scared her. I had to hurry, I ran with all the might that I had. A few meters later my heart threatened to jump out of me if I tried to go any faster. I slowed down to a jog-like pace. I must have been quite a sight jogging like a cross breed between a party-goer and a marathoner at 8 pm in the middle of the road. When I finally reached the junction, almost ready to collapse I didn’t see her at first. She then came out from behind a car and tapped me on my shoulder. I turned to her, she looked like a mixture of pale and bright orange.

 

Calm down, it’s okay now” I said breathing heavily.

 

But your mom spotted me how did you ever manage to get here.”

 

Long story, I’ll tell you.” I said, still panting. “Let’s get out of here first. I know a short-cut”

 

I lead her to a narrow lane between two building complexes. We stealthily made our way across like the Alcatraz escapees. On the way I filled her in on how I got there. Her reaction was a mixture of shock, laughter, awe and finally pity.

 

I’m really sorry I got all mad at you. If it wasn’t for you we would have been busted by now.”

 

Oh don’t you worry. It was really nothing.”

 

I was busy trying to act all modest when I heard a loud hi-pitched bark. We turned around to see a furious man with a soggy Pomeranian in his arms.

 

Oh shit, this is the stupid dog…” she said in total shock

 

And the stupid guy.” I completed her sentence. She nodded.

 

Hey you! You’re the girl who kicked Tiger into the gutter. You’re going to be sorry!” the man threatened.

 

Tiger!” we both laughed.

 

Oh you think he’s harmless huh? Well I’ll show you….Tiger choooo!!” he said as let the ‘ferocious beast’ loose.

 

We better run.” she warned me.

 

Please do you think this floor mop can actually harm us?”

I should have listened to her, because the very next second tiger locked his teeth on to the ends of my pants.

 

You gushy vushy mushy freak! Those are expensive jeans, let go of them!” I said as I kicked him away as we fled from the scene. Tiger followed in hot pursuit, the owner close on his heels egging him on. The passers-by stared in amusement as dog chased man and man chased dog.

 

It’s gaining on us.” she said running out of breath. “I can’t run much longer.”

 

I was too out of breath to even respond to that. As we were both about to be hunted down by our pursuer a larger beast roared on to the scene. It was Mr. Schumacher Rickshaw-wallah. He slammed the brakes and swerved right in front of us.

 

Saab, madam. Jaldi.”

 

We jumped in still dumbfounded by the chain of events.

 

Aap yaha kaise?” I asked.

Arrey Saab, if we rickshaw-wallahs can come to Himesh’s rescue all the way in Germany, can anything be impossible for us?” he proudly proclaimed as he blasted ‘Tera Suroor’ on his stereo (complete with Jhankaar beats of course). Tiger chased us doggedly, but finally gave up as Mr. Schumacher blew a cloud of smoke right in its face. We finally heaved well deserved sighs of relief. We soon reached her locality and stopped a safe distance away from her building.

 

Kitna hua bhaiyya?” she asked our driver.

 

Kya madam, bhaiyya bolte ho aur paisa poochte ho?” Mr. Schumacher was obviously a softy at heart.

 

Jab zaroorat ho yaad karna saab.” he saluted and turned his rickshaw around once again revving and whizzing into the distance. I saluted back as ‘Tera tera tera surooooor’ echoed in the distance.

 

After a quite a while I felt a sense of safety.

 

Wow it’s finally over and we didn’t get killed. That was a really close call!”

 

I wouldn’t feel to safe if I were you!”

 

Wha-what do you mean?” I said getting a little scared.

 

Well you know what I’m talking about; you were the one who started the whole mess in the first place. What the hell were you trying to do?”

 

What are you talking about?”

 

Don’t play the fool; you know what I’m getting at. Does spilling tea all over your girlfriend ring a bell?”

 

That was a genuine accident, I swear.”

 

The truth. Out with it!”

 

She meant business, it was best not to anger her further.

 

It was a misunderstanding. I thought…”

 

What did you think? Come on tell me.”

 

I thought that we were about to have our first kiss. Fine?”

 

Why would you think that?”

 

I don’t know I guess it was in the moment.”

 

And you just jumped to conclusions?”

 

How am I to know? We never talk about things like these.”

 

So talk to me about it. I don’t bite like Tiger does, you know?”

 

I didn’t want you to think I was like one of the other guys. You know how everyone obsesses over getting physical the moment you’re in a relationship.”

 

But you did want to do that too. What are you trying to be saint for now?” she retorted.

 

Well yes but no…you know we need to talk this out but I understand if you don’t want to.”

 

Yes, we need to, but for now you need to get back home and do a lot of explaining. Like what happened to the t-shirt or what took you so long, or what happened to Mrs. Nosey’s roses?” she chuckled.

 

I’m sure you’ll sweet talk your way out of this though. Somehow I get the feeling that you will”

 

God alone knows what I’m going to do. Well I guess I’ll get going then.” I turned and started to walk away.

 

Wait” she called out.

I turned around as she came towards me.

 

Yeah?”

 

She hugged me and pecked me on the cheek, “Go get ‘me tiger.” she giggled as she turned to leave.

 

I smiled at her and started to walk back. I had no clue what I’d say to mom, but somehow I wasn’t afraid. After all today, I found out that miracles do happen and that super-heroes do exist. Speaking of super-heroes. Where was Mr. Schumacher? Then in the distance I heard the familiar mix of nasal whining and revving. The superhero had arrived yet again to save the day. I prepared for another round whatever Mr. Fate chose to throw in my path. When you’re Young and Stupid, anything is possible. Absolutely anything!

By,

Paras Sharma

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Young and Stupid – Chapter VI

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Chapter VI

 

As was the case with most major events in my life, when the moment arrived I unexpectedly froze. My mind wanted to go ahead and initiate a kiss but the body refused to co-ordinate. Somehow I recuperated from my momentary paralysis and turned to her. “Close your eyes stupid!” a voice inside my head said. I did so, unsure how I would navigate from there on. I moved ever so slowly, careful not to make a fool of myself. How stupid it would look if I missed! I peeped stealthily with one eye and saw I was going the right way. I decided it was time to take the plunge; I closed my eyes and leaned in. A feeling of nervous anticipation seeped in as I was moments away from kissing her. What would it be like?Would the proverbial fireworks go off? The tension was reaching a crescendo and then it happened!

She screamed out, “What the hell are you doing?”

Quite a weird thing to say when you’re about to kiss, I thought as I opened my eyes. She sat there almost arched backwards, her eyes bloodshot and her face getting redder with every passing second.

 

Look what you’ve done!”

 

I hadn’t realized that I had made a faux pas yet. But soon enough I saw that I had made a major boo-boo. Somewhere between my thoughts of what a first kiss would be like, my unknowing elbow had knocked the tea cup over and spilled the concoction it contained all over her majesty’s outfit for the evening. I looked at her in horror when realization finally dawned upon me. Any second now the tea cup would come crashing down on my head, I had to either duck or say something witty to save my skin.

Uhh, it doesn’t really look all that bad you know. In fact I can hardly tell.” (GREAT COME BACK EINSTEIN)

That was a brand new t-shirt.” she growled

 

I’m really really really sorry. I’m going to make it up to you. I swear.” But she wasn’t listening, she was busy ranting.

 

…It was such a cute tee . I fell in love with it right when I saw it. You know how many girls I had to fight off to get this one at the end-of-season sale?”

 

I’m sure it must have been hard, it’s a really great tee, no wonder everyone wanted it.” (SHUT UP! SHUT UP NOW YOU IDIOT)

 

My t-shirt, you ruined it, see how you ruined it. Such great fitting and that too for 40% off. And the fabric…..the fabric….” her voice started to get shaky.

 

Oh no! This isn’t a good sign. Oh God please don’t let her…..” I hadn’t even finished my prayer as she burst into tears.

I was officially screwed now. If embarrassing myself and ruining my girlfriend’s clothes wasn’t enough, I now had to face my worst fear, dealing with a sobbing girl. It couldn’t get any worse, this was a worst case scenario, this was the mother of all disasters, a massacre yes that’s what it was. There was no way to rise above this one. Even Hallmark didn’t make ‘Sorry I spilled tea all over you’ cards. Game over, this was the end of the road. I wanted to cry louder than she was, but then the voice inside my head intervened yet again.

 

Don’t give up. You may think of this as a disaster but this is actually a good thing.”

 

This has to be the worst epiphany ever” I thought. “How the hell is that gigantic tea stain on her shirt a good thing?”

 

Remember young one! Daag acche hain! Surf excel hai na! Ting tong.” and so saying the voice faded away.

I turned to my sobbing girlfriend with a new found dose of confidence and quipped,

Baby, I know a way to make everything alright. Take your shirt off!”

 

You perv!” she roared, about to throw the cup at me.

 

So I can wash it! you don’t have to take every damn thing literally.” I said shielding my head with the tray.

 

And what am I going to wear until then? You don’t have any girl clothes lying around in your closet….or at least I hope you don’t.”

 

Just wear one of my t-shirts na.” I opened my closet and literally tossed the first thing I could lay my hands on to her.

 

Chee what a jhataak orange t-shirt this is? Why did you buy this?”

 

You think I’m that stupid”, I said straightening my elegant royal blue shirt. “One of my aunts gifted me this. I hate it as much as the next guy. Besides I think you should wear it just in case we have any other accidents. Now give me your t-shirt quick.”

 

Shouldn’t you be leaving the room sometime now?” she said in a flat tone.

 

Oh yeah, sorry!” I left the room red-faced.

A couple of minutes later she tossed the t-shirt out of the door, I headed straight to the washing machine with it. As I soaked the soiled t-shirt in soap water, I heard her yell again. I rushed to the room wondering what had happened now.

You spilled it on my pants too, IDIOT!!”

 

I opened my closet and stepped out of the room saying, “You know the routine”. A minute later she came and dumped her jeans into the washing machine. All I could do now was wait and pray that surf excel saved the day. I had no clue what to say to her, I had gone from a romantic to a dhobi all thanks to a wretched tea-cup.

I’m really sorry, I mean it.”

 

It’s okay, just forget it now. Let’s just dry and iron my clothes and I’m going home after that.”

 

I had already caused enough troubles this evening to ask her to stay back.

 

You go wait inside; I’ll come back when this is done.” I meekly said.

 

She left without a word while the machine washed and spun and dried and finally spewed out the soap water. Somewhere hope went down the drain with it. I prayed as opened the lid. “Oh God please let the stains be gone!” I picked up the shriveled up t-shirt and unfurled it. SUCCESS! The giant stain had disappeared. For once the commercials were right. I quickly took the jeans out and inspected them too. Affirmative, my plan had worked. All I had to do now was iron them and they’d be good as new, maybe I could salvage some pride after all. I rushed to the room and headed straight to the ironing board. I was about to start when she cut in saying, “Let me have that, you might burn a hole in it for all I know.”

I was a little hurt at that, but I felt I deserved it. She finished ironing it and carefully inspected it from each angle, and then held it up to the light straining her eyes to find even the tiniest speck on her beloved discounted t-shirt. I had obviously done a good job, but she wouldn’t admit that. She simply asked me to leave the room again as she prepared to change back into her original avatar. I turned around and was about to leave the room when the door bell rang. We froze….

 

 

 

Young and Stupid – Chapter V

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Chapter V

 

Even though the rickshaw-wallah drove like a nervous 18 yr old at a driving test, we were home before we knew it. I got out first, paid our chauffeur for the evening and thanked him. He reciprocated the gesture. I then held my hand out for her and escorted her to the gate as the rickshaw revved and whizzed away in the background. The evening was progressing wonderfully, but now we were about to enter a land where we would have to watch our steps, lest we be watched. I rummaged through my pockets for my keys as leaned to her ear and carefully explained the next leg of the plan.

 

Okay, here’s the deal. We have to be really careful from hereon. My house is in the last wing which means we need to get from Wing 1 to Wing 3 without being noticed. If we go together, the chances of being spotted are multiplied tenfold. There are far too many vantage points. I can name the old man on the 2nd floor in wing 1 & the Secretary’s house in wing 2 just off the top of my head. Try and understand the gravity of the situation. One false move and we’ll be the talk of the town. Therefore we MUST and I say MUST follow what I say? Do you copy?” I said (feeling like an army general).

 

Did you just say ‘do you copy’? And what on earth is a vantage point?” she looked at me in bewilderment.

 

Ahh mademoiselle, you are far too innocent for this harsh world. Just go round the back while I head from the front gate and open the door for you, okay?”

 

Say like that na, idiot!” she knocked me on the head and then she giggled and walked towards the gate that led to the back of the building.

 

I took a deep breath and charged to my wing. I searched for ‘watching eyes’ as I passed wings 1 and 2. They were either uninterested this evening or hidden too well for me to spot them. I reached my door and opened it making as little noise as possible. I wasn’t going to let a creaky door spoil my careful preparations. I unlocked the door and waited for her to come with bated breath but there wasn’t a sign of her. Half a minute passed, still nothing. I started to get worried again, but I couldn’t go and see what was going on either, that would be too risky. She arrived just as I was about to hit the panic button.

 

Nice building”, she said as she casually strolled in.

 

I shook my head, “By the time this evening is done you’re going to give me a heart attack for sure!”

 

I carefully closed the door and then turned to her.

We made it! We got in here without being spotted!” I said ecstatically.

 

Not exactly Fort Knox you know?” she said as she warmly hugged me. She could have squeezed every little bit of life out of me there and it would have still felt wonderful.

 

You’re going to remember this one for a long time. I can bet my last buck you will.” I beamed with confidence.

 

I think you’ve already spent it. And by the way, you can thank me later for saving you the blushes at the bus stop.” she mocked me.

 

If someone hadn’t messed up the directions in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to go to the bus stop! How on earth did you manage to lose your way this time?”

 

Oh…nothing much, just a little diversion.” she casually said.

 

Accha, let’s hear the rest of that”

 

Arrey why are you wasting time now? The important thing is I am safe and sound, right?”

 

Of course, of course safety first, but I can sense there is an embarrassing story behind that nonchalance of yours.”

 

Non-what? Why do you keep confusing me with all these words?”

 

Okay then I ask you in layman’s terms. Spill it Missy!”

 

But nothing happened….”

 

Sure sure….now can we have the truth!”

 

She paused for a second then sighed and finally gave up. She put on her puppy face and said,

Promise you won’t laugh?”

 

You know I can’t lie to that face! Of course my dearest….I will laugh.”

 

No, it’s not fair it wasn’t my fault, it was all because of that stupid dog. I just went to pat it on the head and it just started barking like crazy. I tried to calm it down but it just got louder and louder.”

 

There, there strays can get mean.” I consoled her.

 

Chee, why’d I play with strays in that dirty gully? It was a nice Pomeranian, you now the furry, gushy-vushy-mushy ones….soo cute!”

 

Did you just say, ‘gushy-vushy-mushy’?” I laughed holding my sides.

 

Listen na, so I thought it would be nice and harmless, but that started to chase me. So I ran. And all those people on the road, they’re watching the tamasha they didn’t even bother to help!” she complained.

 

Stop it! You’re killing me here!” I was falling off my seat.

 

You too! Useless! Laugh! Don’t even wait for me to finish the story. You’re not even concerned how I tackled that beast!”

 

You mean the gushy-vushy-mushy beast”, I broke out into another fit of laughter.

 

She was embarrassed thoroughly but couldn’t help laughing either.

 

Cartoon!” she said as she whacked me on the head.

 

Please finish the rest of the story.” I said trying to regain my breath.

 

Well the damn thing was tugging at the end of my pants, I tried to fight it off but its jaws were locked on tightly. I just swung my leg and it went flying into the gutter. It was so funny. I mean, I felt bad for it, but then the evil thing chased me and made a mockery out of me”

 

Jeez, why do all the fun things happen when I’m not around?” I laughed hysterically banging my fists on the table.

 

Yeah and then a couple of minutes later a guy with a leash comes and asks me. Excuse me, I saw my dog running this way, did you see it? I just pointed in the other direction and scooted from there.”

 

You come here!”

 

We hugged chuckling like in-mates at an asylum.

 

For all that trouble you had to go through, I have a great time in store for you.” I said leading her to my room. I switched on the music player. The plan was now coming towards fruition.

 

How thoughtful of you to play the Bee Gees instead of all that screaming and yelling you usually listen to!”

 

Anything for you, your highness. You just wait here while I serve the main course for the evening.”

 

I headed to the kitchen and picked up the pre-arranged masterpiece and turned towards my room. I knocked on the door as I entered. The look on her face was what they call ‘priceless’. She sat in amazement as I placed the tray on the table and sat next to her. Talkative as she usually was, she was speechless then.

 

You….you didn’t have to go through all of this.” she gathered the words somehow and blushingly said.

 

It was all worth the look on your face”, I said handing a cup of tea to her. She gazed into my eyes as she held it. She then rested her head on my shoulder. The words “Perfect Moment” flashed before my eyes. False alarm again I thought being ever the cynic but this time it was really happening. The moment was here…

 

 

 

Young and Stupid – Chapter IV

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Chapter IV

 

As I lay on the couch all I could think about was her. In a few minutes she’d be here. I would open the door and compliment her; she would blush as she entered. I would then kiss her hand and present her with a rose (how gentlemanly of me!). She would compliment my shirt and I’d dismiss it saying, “Oh I just threw on the first thing I saw“. Then I’d lead her to my room and there we’d spend the rest of the evening lost in each other (not to mention tea and biscuits and the solitary chocolate). This was going to be a day she would never forget. And in all fairness every first should be an everlasting memory. Speaking of firsts, we could have quite a few of those today. Handshake hugs wouldn’t make the cut today, nothing short of warm, loving bear hugs this evening! Maybe I’d peck her on the cheek if she let me. And if it all went really well, we might just have our first kiss. It all sounded very romantic, but I wasn’t quite sure how to initiate a kiss. Everyone always said that when the time is right, you just know it. I could have sworn that it was ‘the right time’ on a million other occasions but my timing had always been bad. Hence I never mustered the courage to try something like that. My friends found it rather odd that we hadn’t even kissed despite dating for so long. I hadn’t really lost much sleep over it, but it had been at the back of my mind. Maybe today I’d have a chance.

Half an hour had passed since the phone call and as expected, she hadn’t arrived yet. I decided to spend the remainder of the wait watching TV, but since nothing but re-runs of the previous night’s soaps were on air, I decided otherwise. Instead I picked up the newspaper and started solving the crossword. Maybe I’d find some new words to impress her with.

Today’s crossword didn’t seem like much of a challenge. A mere 10 mins of down and across was all it took to have it all figured out. Riding high on a wave of confidence, I decided to venture into uncharted territory…Su-Doku. Numbers weren’t my forte, but today there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do. I glanced at the watch and realized that it had almost been an hour since the phone call. I was a bit worried but tried to maintain my composure. ‘She’ll be here any minute now.’ I calmed myself. A minute passed, then two, and then five….still no sign of her. Was she going to show up at all? Was she serious when she said ‘there’s always room for second thoughts’? Oh God, please don’t let there be another guy, I’ll never joke about something like that again. I had just about lost my marbles when the phone rang. It was her.

Where are you? Everything’s okay na? You had me so worried, you know?” I snapped

 

I’m sorry, I really am.” she said apologetically

 

Arrey…now don’t be sorry, you should have called me earlier na? You knew I was waiting.”

 

Yes but you didn’t have to get all angry. I’m confused as it is.” she defended herself.

 

Okay baba, I’m sorry bas. Now would Her Highness be kind enough to inform me where she is and how long she intends to take to arrive here?”

 

You won’t get mad at me again, will you?”

 

I won’t. You have my word. You can have my head chopped off should I dishonor my word!”

 

That won’t be necessary, you’re kind of cute. Now be a good knight and pick me up from the bus stop on the road that goes to the station.” she giggled.

 

How the devil did you manage to get yourself there? That’s not even on the way to my house!”

 

Well you’ll have to get here to find out, kind sir! I’ll be waiting.”

 

I hung up thoroughly confused. How could she manage to screw up such basic directions? There was only one person who could explain that and she was waiting at the bus stop. I locked the door and left walking as fast as I could and hailed the first rickshaw I could see.

Bus stop. Jaldi, bhaiyya” I said.

 

The driver was more than happy to turn the meter and put the pedal to the medal. Rickshaw-wallahs always enjoyed driving like maniacs especially with the passengers’ consent. After my rickshaw ride from hell I reached the bus-stop. I couldn’t decide whether to get down kiss her or kiss the ground. Mr. Schumacher demanded Rs.15 for the ordeal. Damn it! I didn’t have my wallet. I certainly couldn’t ask her majesty to pay. I started rummaging through my pockets praying that I would find some long forgotten Gandhi somewhere. She understood the situation and intervened saying,

Why don’t we take this back to your place? I’ll pay. After all, if it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have had to come here in the first place.”

 

The driver looked more than happy to take us for another roller-coaster ride.

 

I sighed…“Chalo bhaiyya. Let’s go back where we came from.”

 

Haan sahab, ekdum fast leke chaloonga.” he said stressing on ‘fast’.

 

Nahi bhaiyya, abhi to hamari shaadi bhi nahi hui.” she said and both of us broke out into a fit of laughter. We then hugged me and she kissed me on the cheek saying “Thank you brave sir!”

 

It was an honor, your majesty.” I took her hand in mine and paused a moment to let it all sink in. Our most memorable evening had just begun….

 

Young and Stupid!

Standard

Preface

No matter how old, mature and refined you are today, there was a point of time in your life that you were, (how do we say this politely), ‘Young and Stupid’. Now don’t get all defensive, you know it’s true. Your nonchalance doesn’t fool me and I suggest you stop lying to yourself as well. Let’s refresh our memories to a time when we weren’t ‘world-wise’ and ‘politically correct’. I am referring to that period of your existence which you would rather pretend never happened. The phase where your wardrobe was filled with outfits you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing today, when your hair-do was something you’d accessorize with a paper bag. Yes young-lings let the the repressed, haunting memories resurface. Go and find that photograph that you’ve hidden from the world for years and gaze at it intently. Take in every little detail, face your worst fears and laugh at yourself. Only then can we proceed.

Assuming that you have successfully lowered your level of ‘coolness’, we can now come to our story (which I have excavated from the depths of my subconscious). Before anyone tries to file a lawsuit I would like to mention that the following is a work of fiction. No such events occurred in my past. Yes, that’s exactly what it is. Or maybe I just don’t want to accept the fact that something like this ‘may have happened’. No animals were harmed in this incident (if you discount me of course). All resemblances to any ex-girlfriends, living/non-living, real/fictitious are (believe it or not) purely co-incidental.

If for some strange reason you are still reading this, the torture ends here, but don’t get too comfortable, the story is about to begin. Hope to see you on the other side…Hello? Anyone there?

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Chapter I

Dateline: Diwali Holidays of 2004. Your’s truly is all of sixteen and in ‘love’ (surprise surprise).

I had been trying all week to find a way to get rid of mom. After repeated trial and error, I decided to have one last throw of the dice before I finally called it quits. One last desperate attempt to convince her to visit her sister. If this didn’t work, I knew nothing else would. I may as well just forget everything about my ‘plan’ then. All hope rested on this final try and with that in mind, I entered mom’s room, flashing a smile as wide as my jaws would permit and sugarcoatedly said

Hi Ma. How’s everything going. Slow afternoon, isn’t it?”

Yeah, nothing new about that” she simply said. I pressed on

So why don’t you do something to kill the boredom Ma?”

You think I haven’t tried? I’ve already cooked both lunch and dinner and you don’t even look hungry, and there isn’t anything on TV in the afternoons either.”

I impishly grinned, “You know ma, I have something you could do, but I don’t know if you would be up for it.”

Good, then don’t bother yourself.” she said, her poker face still intact.

Maybe you should go and visit Masi’s place, na.”

Mom sprang up at the mention of my aunt, “Arrey, why should I pointlessly turn up there?”

I decided to make my move now.

Ma, I know things aren’t peachy between the two of you, but she is your sister after all.”, I said trying to maintain an innocent, sincere look.

(At this statement, mom turned defensive) “Na, na, nothing like that. Who told you we were fighting? It’s just that she’ll think that I visit her only when I’m bored. It will reflect poorly.”.”

Quite the contrary mother dearest. You fail to see this from the other perspective. Couldn’t aunty feel that you’d rather sit at home bored all day than visit her? Now wouldn’t that look worse?”

You think so? Maybe you are right. She has been snappy of late, maybe a visit would calm her down.” mom pondered.

Oh it will make a world of a difference Ma. You take my word for it!”

Okay then, I guess we’re going to pay your aunt a visit today then. Clear the mess in the living room and get dressed.”

Damn it! This was backfiring, time for evasive action!

Mom, I was actually suggesting that you should visit her alone.”

Mom (turns suspicious) “And leave you all alone here? Are you upto something?”

I put on my best shocked expression and sighed “I just thought it would be a nice change from the daily routine for you, and you…you doubted me. I’m saddened by this lack of faith that you show.”

Okay okay stop it with the big words.”

No, mom, the damage has already been done. My very own mother suspects me, Oh, the shame of it!”

Enough said, now cut the melodrama before I change my mind.”(whoops, maybe I went a bit overboard but it seemed to be working, mom was falling for it.)

Great, I’m sure you two will have a great time catching up, give her my regards.” I said leading her to the door.

I don’t have a good feeling about this! I better not hear any complaints about you from the neighbours.” mom warned.

Mrs. Nosey? What makes you think I’d trouble her?” (this time I put on my puppy face).

Oh I don’t know, maybe that incident with her bird? Now wasn’t that a memorable event?”

Hey now you can’t blame me or even the cat for that matter. The bird died out of the dual shock of being let out of its cage and then getting an up close glimpse of kitty’s teeth. The poor thing was just yawning!”

At this point mom realized that there was no point pursuing the conversation any further. She wisely surrendered.

Okay okay fine bye. Be good! I’ll be back by 8.”

Take your time, the place is in safe hands.” I said flashing a wide reassuring smile.

Mom paused for a moment and then left. I closed the door and jumped for joy. I couldn’t believe I had actually pulled it off. Phase one of the plan had been successfully executed.

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Chapter II Coming Up Next Week!