Suddenly , I find a lot of deadlines in my life .Submissions and papers and reports.So I spent the last night preparing a presentation on the analysis of the movie “Remember the Titans” for a behavioral course of mine. I forgot most of the things during the presentation in the class . I said stupid things such as “This movie is not about just football. It is about motivation , leadership , and…and…well , a lot of things” and “The central character in this movie is Coach Boone , who is a coach” . Life is a little hurried these days.
But everyday, after chomping on some unidentified un-flying object for breakfast at our mess, I fill a cup of hot steaming tea, and go to the little ‘terrace’ kind of thing we have in our hostel. Do not have visions of those Rs.57 lac apartments which have terraces and owners with French poodles as pets and three ultra long cars down in the parking lot. The terrace at our hostel is a very poor cousin of those blessed terraces .Our terrace is much more unglamorous . It has got some empty beer bottles stacked in a corner and a couple of dominoes pizza cartons thrown in another and even a broken washbasin lying in another . But every morning , I go there after my breakfast .The sunshine feels warm , and I sip the tea , and I flip through a copy of the Economic Times and say “Hey ram , these guys are as boring as a radio on mute , where is the filmy gossip part ?”. I find ET boring. There are so few pictures, and the few it has are of currency notes and smiling executives and sensex charts . But that is not the point right now . I liked this terrace thing, until around 10.15 am today morning.
Because as I stood in the sunshine and stared at the horizon and lazily sipped the tea and wondered why a lovely girl like Kajol married Ajay Devgan , our hostel washerwoman passed by . I looked at her , she looked at me , and somebody in a room nearby , started playing “Humne tum ko dekha , tumne hum ko dekha , aise , hum tum sanam , laakho janam , milte raho ho jaise.” Ok , nobody played the song .Instead , this followed –
Washer woman – “ Aaj aap paise denge kya ?”
Me ( looking straight down in the cup of tea)- “ Jee…umm..actually..”
Washer woman – “Saab , pichle mahine ka bhee rehta hai 200 rupya….”
Me( thinking that the tea should have had more milk in it )-“ Jee , main samajhtaa hun , but main kya karu….”
Washer woman ( looking amused ) – “Saab , main saamne hoon , chai ke cup mein nahin.”
Me (looking up at her) – “He he…umm , dekhiye , main aapke paise pakka dunga , and jaldi hee dunga , please kuch time de deejiye.”
She let me go with a “Theek hai saab , but please jaldee paise de dena.”
24 carat gold. That is what her heart is . You can make a dozen gold biscuits by melting her heart. She let me go. Because she understands the plight of a man who is broke.
Yes , I am broke. Kangaal. I was not this way since my birth . I was born in a financially stable family. My dad is a doctor and mom is a doctor and though things would have been much better if they were into selling kidneys and other money making ventures , things were ok .And so they were till a amavass ki raat , couple of weeks ago , when my dad called up. My dad is as predictable as a hindi movie , when he calls me up.
Dad – “Haan bete”
Me – “Haan papa”
Dad – “Everything fine ? ”
Me – “Perfect , papa.How is everything at home ? ”
Dad – “Perfect , bete.”
Now , I swear on Hema Malini’s eyes , Dad always asks about the weather in Kolkata after this. But this night , he did something else .
Dad – “Munnu, you withdrew more cash from the ATM , did you?”
Me-“Yeah , went out to eat some popcorn , and needed the money for that .”
Dad – “So you bought some popcorn with that money.”
Me – “Yeah, salted popcorn , and a little ticket for the movie I watched while eating it.”
Dad – “Ok. See, munnu, you shall be managing a family of your own in some years”.
Dad went on to mention terms such as money management , kid’s fees , life insurance policy , money management , family budget , house loan and money management. But then I decided to join in the conversation and before I knew , Dad was mentioning phrases such as “how dare you reply to me like that”, “what do you mean” , “shut up” , “shut up I say”. And I ended the conversation with a “Ok , main aapko apne pairo pe khade hokar dikhaunga”.I hate it when I remember dialogues from hindi movies.
So now I am standing on my own feet , without any money .Things between me and dad are fine again , and he has been asking about the Kolkata weather with no mention of ATM card over the last six calls. But I feel I have been spending too much , it is like my “andar ka accha beta” has woken up and decided to save daddy’s money .
So I have kept away my ATM card and decided not to touch it before a specified date. And the side effects have been quite stirring. I have seven rupees as my cell balance now. I am fine as long as I talk to people who call me up. I am fine as long as I do not call back boys who give me a missed call and expect me to call back. But I get restless if some girl gives me a missed call and expects me to call back. In such a situation , and with seven rupees as my cell balance , I am unable to call back and am left watching my interaction with the female species drop to abysmally low quantity.
The hostel departmental store wallah observes the change in my eating habits.
Me – “Woh ‘Hide and Seek’ pack kitne ka hain ?”
Store guy – "12 rupya"
Me – “Oh , who Bourbon pack kitne ka hain ?”
Store guy – "15 rupya"
Me – “Ok.cool.Ek Parle G de do.”
Store guy – “Kya dada aap bhee , IIM mein bada paisa wala naukri milta hai aap logo ko , tab bhee Parle G ?”
Me – “Swad bhare , shakti bhare , barson se .Parle G !”
I wish I could tell you I love Parle G , but I cant tell you this , because I don’t like Parle G . But with a three rupee price tag , it looks like a juicy pizza to me these days.
I have to buy a gift for my sister and send it to her as promised. I have no money to buy that right now. I researched on the internet.A survey said that less than ten percent of shoplifters get caught .I plan to make my move next weekend .I be in the ninety percent , and my sister gets her deserved gift.
And I have been participating in a lot of business school contests who have these big monetory prizes.So half the day , I am mixing up a lot of stuff in a word document and writing my name on its cover and sending it as an attachment with a mail that sound like this –
Please find attached my submission towards the marketing paper writing contest being organised by your institute.Thanks.
PS - I am unimaginably poor."Ghar ka karz" , "chote bhai ki fees" , "behan ka dahez" , you name it , and I have to pay for it.So Please help me win.I need it.I shall gift you a dry fruits pack if I win.Promise.
I have not won any contests till now.But a couple of NGOs are willing to sponsor me after some of these business schools forwarded my mail to them.
And in case you need some help in preparing power point presentations, writing reports or applications , editing images , leaving comments on blogs , googling information , hacking your company website , sending hate mails or any other kind of appropriate cyber activity , I am your guy .At very reasonable rates. Completely secure online payment facilities. Now I shall go.I have to work on a essay called “What I want to be when I grow up” for my seven year old cousion.He needs to submit this essay at his school by this weekend.This essay is not so challenging , as every child thinks he wants to be a pilot or film star , till he grows up and daddy tells him to be an engineer. . It is rather easy writing this essay .But tell you what , he is paying some damn good money . I just hope that somehow , someday , when the washerwoman asks “saaab , paise denge kya ?” , I wont have to look down into the teacup.