Friday, August 05, 2005

The Good, the bad and the picchhly

Something happened today which has made me come to this space again after a long time and write about something else.

There is a very peculiar phenomenon, commonly observed in the towns of U.P. and Bihar. It happens elsewhere as well, but what happens there is in a different plane altogether-qualitatively and quantitatively. I had the good fortune of growing up in the quintessential northie town of Benaras. The general reader would know about the holy city, partially. The Ganges, one crore temples, the banarasi saaree, world renowned universities, narrow labyrinthine streets and of course the benarasi Paan. The 'Paan', of course, is worthy of a separate post in itself and this space shall be painted red in due course. What many won't be aware of, is the phenomenon which we shall now address.

A girl leaves for school in a rickshaw. No, this isn't it. Relax.

As the rickshaw takes the first turn , a scooter starts and begins to follow the rick. On an average, there'd be 3 guys on the scooter. BTW, it's illegal and considered shameful in our parts if there are less than 3 riders on a two-wheeler. Generally you'll find 4 guys- two sitting, one standing, and the 4th oscillating between the two positions. But don't call us hooligans yet. There are also dignified familes which go on outings and all the 6 members sit peacefully and sing bhajans.

Anyway, so by the time the rick covers a km, there are 5 bikes around it. One on the left says, "Baby, kal kahaan thi?" The girl looks in the other direction and the one on the right says, "Jaanu humne raat ko kitni baar ring kiya, har baar uncle ji ne uthaaya? Humse angry ho kya? Ache yeh lo, tumhaare liye kuch greetings cards aur scent laaye hain. Shaam ko boating karne chalogi?" The one whoz behind cries, "Are lovely, kabhi hamaare saath hang out kar logi to tumko mind ho jaayegaa kya?" There's a sad lover on one of the bikes who sings tum to thehre pardesi saath kya nibhaaoge with the sideys offering him sympathies and providing suitable encouragement and requisite backing vocals. So and so forth. And the karavan continues.

The characters change, the props change, but the basic premise of the plot remains the same.So there is a lot of love, many lovers but very few lovelies. Clearly not a state of equilibrium, this.
Now what happens is that all the romeos are ready to give their right hands for the juliets. Conceptually. In practice, however, they prefer taking them. The logic - intent was always there, we are just facilitating the execution. Nothing like breaking limbs for a social cause!

By the time the girl reaches her school, there are about 12-15 bikes with 30-40 guys trying to catch her attention. She gets off the rick and goes inside the school and now it's time for the lovers to do some introspection as to what went wrong. No sooner do they turn, the realisation strikes. Everybody thinks - had it not been for these other idiots around, she could have been mine. The social cause also begins to linger in their minds. Suddenly everybody is looking towards everbody else, trying to make an assessment of the battleground realities.

It starts with someone making a casual remark about how he enjoyed fornicating with the members of the fairer sex of the other's family and enquires about what would be a good time and place for an encore. The other tries to gently remind how the former's dad is still battling out the court case against a condom manufacturer whose product malfunctioned with such disastrous results. A third party chips in commanding both to thank him, for it was entrepreneurial skills which resulted in such fine human specimens as the two of them. He also doesn't fail to reminisce about the carnal pleasures that he felt whilst he was engaged in the said venture.

As this light-hearted banter continues and pleasantaries exchanged, one of them begins to think that words are no good and its time for some action. Whoever draws first blood stands to have advantage. He finishes thinking, takes a decision, marks a pray, charges ahead and is lying unconscious on the ground the next moment. Someone finished thinking before he did. Everybody follows suit in decreasing order of the reaction time for thought - action conversion. Last they remember is the sounds of approaching sirens of the police jeeps.

Last I remember was two constables carrying me to a jeep and shoving me inside.

Moral of the story: Playing Devdas is not everybody's cup of tea as there's many a slip between the cup and Dilip.